Victoria Conservatory of Music

At VCM we are Breathing Music into Life! Throughout our history our mission has remained the same: "To enrich lives through music in a thriving community accessible to all." Today our robust and diverse music education programming means our youngest "student" is often a newborn enrolled in our world renowned Children’s Music Therapy program and our oldest can be as old as 92 learning to play an instrument for the first time. At the same time, other students are graduating from our 2 year post-secondary diploma programs while our advanced students are winning national awards and on their way to worldwide recognition joining many of our acclaimed Alumni!

Victoria Conservatory of Music - Students at play!Our Impact Why We Exist

Fifty years ago the Victoria School of Music (VCM) opened with eight students. The primary vision of its founder, Mrs. Alix Goolden, was to meet the need to train musicians for regional orchestras, provide employment to symphony musicians and, as importantly, establish a School of Music for everyone in the community who wished to experience the power of music. Mrs. Goolden’s dream is realized. 40% of the Victoria Symphony musicians are members of the VCM Faculty or alumni and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra is comprised of 45% of VCM students. And, the VCM has grown into one of Canada’s largest Music Schools now serving over 4900 students, of every age and every ability, in our Community School, Post-Secondary Diploma Programs, Children’s Music Education and Outreach Programs and renowned Music Therapy Program. The evolution of the school has always been fuelled by the support of the community, a tenacity of sprit and above all – a passion for music!

On the occasion of our Jubilee anniversary, the VCM is primed to embrace the future with new, diverse and innovative initiatives that will, once again, meet the growing and emerging demands of the community and contribute significantly to the sustainability of the VCM for years to come. To support these exciting new initiatives the VCM launched a 50th Anniversary Campaign which will fund the following:

  • First VCM Satellite Location in Langford to serve the growing population of young families in the Western Communities.
  • The opening of a New School of Contemporary Music
  • The opening of a New School for Music Technology and Creativity
  • Expansion of the Children’s Music Education and outreach Programs
  • The upgrading of our heritage building and three performance halls, which are recognized as being amongst Canada’s most unique musical spaces.

Currently, the VCM’s operating budget is $4.6 million. Tuitions account for 57% of budget, venues/facility rentals account for 7% and the balance of funding (36%) comes from donor support and fundraising activities.

The Victoria Conservatory of Music is embracing the future with a bold vision that can be realized with your support. Together, we can bring more music, to more people, in more communities!

Music for all agesOur Story What We Do

We teach in all musical disciplines including keyboard, strings, brass, winds, voice, jazz, percussion, composition, theory, and music therapy each taught by our highly respected and acclaimed faculty – many of whom are internationally recognized performing artists. Students of the VCM also get to experience the magic of performing on stage to large and small audiences in our three amazing performance venues, Alix Goolden Performance Hall, Wood Hall and Metro Theatre. Our Community School teaches music to people of all ages and abilities: our Post-Secondary School, offered in partnership with Camosun College, offers two, 2-year diploma programs for students who wish to pursue a professional career in music; our Children's Music Education and Outreach Programs serves families restricted by geographical and financial challenges currently reaching over 800 children in 37 different locations in the CRD; our Collegium Program for gifted young musicians, serves students between the ages of 12 and 19 years who audition to be accepted into this intensive program. VCM is home to North America's most respected and renowned Music Therapy Program serving over 1800 children youth, adults and seniors who suffer from developmental, emotional and physical difficulties.

Music TechnologyOur Programs How We Do It

May 31, 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of VCM - we are celebrating by hosting amazing alumni/student concerts and launching a fundraising campaign for four major initiatives which will bring more music to more people, in more communities to ensure we meet the growing interests of our students and sustain our future.

A new School of Contemporary Music will engage those students who often leave their classical studies to experiment with contemporary music. We are thrilled to welcome multi-talented and beloved performing artist Daniel Lapp as the Artistic Director.

A new School of Music Technology and Creativity will focus on new ways to learn music and theory as they relate to technology and will prepare students for careers in the burgeoning industries of film, TV, and gaming. Delivered online our reach will expand to remote communities as well.

Our first Satellite location is being planned in the new YM/YWCA Westhills complex in Langford to serve the growing population of families with young children in the western communities

Expansion of our Children’s Outreach Programs will bring music to more children of families restricted by financial and geographical challenges. Children who learn music early in life are more likely to thrive socially/emotionally.

Music TherapyWhat You Can Do

If you appreciate the value of music in our culture and community, we need your support. Only 68% of our funding is provided through tuitions so we rely on donations from the community.

We are a fiscally prudent organization and we invite you to consider the many ways you can support Music Education in our community. Become a donor, establish a scholarship/bursary to support students with academic/financial needs, make a transformational gift to support our new initiatives, leave a legacy gift…

Or... join our team of wonderful music volunteers.

Please join us and help us Breath Music into Life!


Jane Butler McGregor
Charitable Number: 108172255RR0001

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Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 4,250,000


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