Awards, Honours and Milestones

The following chronology is intended to share Coastal Sound’s awards, honours and milestones throughout its 31 seasons so far! As we gather our history, we welcome additions and corrections. Please email your notes to


We begin the 2021-2022 season, When We Are Together, still during the COVID-19 Pandemic, with IN-PERSON rehearsals. We wear masks and are spaced from each other more than usual. Group sizes are limited by restricted venue capacities. Still, it feels WONDERFUL to join our voices in song again!

September 30, 2021, marked the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Coastal Sound’s Artistic Director, Diana Clark, coordinated and led a #DrumForTheChildren event at Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam. Many CSMA singers and families attended, along with community members, Nation members, MLA, School Trustees.  Tri-Cities TV captured the event:

Katerina Gimon’s new work, Come Back Like the Sea With Singing, commissioned from the 30th Anniversary Music Commissioning Fund, is delivered to Coastal Sound Youth Choir, directed by Will de Sousa.

CSMA Board of Directors signs on to the #BlackLivesMatter pledge and the Canadian Code of Conduct for the Performing Arts.


2020-2021 Season ONLINE: How the Light Gets In. By now, we have figured out the benefits of working online: workshops with artists from all over the world, are possible! CSCC and CSYC join the Bridge Choral Collective in order to work with choirs from as far away as South Africa. CSMA uses the 30th Anniversary Music Commissioning Fund to co-commission 8 new works from Sonic Timelapse Project, a Canadian composition initiative specifically created to reflect the thoughts and feelings of singers during the time of the Pandemic. CSMA has a successful online season, offering Modules on topics from art-making to jazz history; vocal improv to ukulele!

April, 2020. We are able to pivot to online rehearsals. While dealing with the shock of being “locked down”, the fear of COVID-19, and the huge sense of grief we feel, staff learns how to use new platforms such as TEAMS and ZOOM, looping and screen sharing, in order to lead rehearsals online. Most singers stick with CSMA through ’til June.

March 10 & March 12, 2020. We know that COVID-19 is a concern, so we ask singers to stay apart, and sanitize their hands at rehearsal. These are the last in-person rehearsals we have, until September 14, 2021.

March 7, 2020 CSMA choirs all perform together at Roots Before Branches concert at First Christian Reformed Church, Burnaby. We don’t know it at the time, but due to the growing COVID-19 Pandemic, this will be the last time that all the CSMA singers and families will be together, for more than 18 months.

Coastal Sound Children’s Choir and Burnaby Youth Choir join forces to collaborate on a commission from the 30th Anniversary Music Commissioning Fund, by Laura Hawley. Maple Keys is premiered, directed by Deanna Gestrin. Deanna has taken over for Diana Clark for 3 months, while she recovers from a broken ankle and tibial plateau!


Coastal Sound celebrates its 30th season in 2019! A new Music Commissioning Fund is launched after the commission and premiere of a new work, For the Strength in My Heart, by Deanna Gestrin with poetry by Chief Dan George, as chosen by Founding Artistic Director, Donna Otto.

In May 2019, Children’s Choir and Youth Choir tour together to Kelowna, where they collaborate with Okanagan Children’s Choir and OCC Youth, led by CSMA alum Taylor Bone (Collishaw).

Will de Sousa leads Coastal Sound Youth Choir.


Coastal Sound Youth Choir travels to Victoria for workshops and performances with Belmont Secondary Choirs in January.

Coastal Sound Children’s Choir travels to Winnipeg, May 2018, performing at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

CSMA launches their brand new website, designed by Gisele Forge!


DeCoro, Youth and Children’s Choirs collaborate and perform with the Canadian Chamber Choir and Dr. Julia Davids, artistic director, in February.

Will de Sousa is named Assistant Conductor to Coastal Sound Youth Choir. This is a new mentorship opportunity offered by CSMA. 

We are saddened to lose longtime CSMA member and DeCoro singer Nick Stebbing, in March. A special “Nick Stebbing memorial bursary fund” is started in his memory, so that others can enjoy singing like he did. 

Coastal Sound Youth Choir, under the direction of Dr. Joel Tranquilla, tours and performs with Edmonton Youth Choir in May. 

Andrea Howorth, Marketing and Operations Manager, leaves CSMA in June.

Gisele Forge joins CSMA as Marketing and Operations Manager in October. 

DeCoro performs with Coco Love Alcorn at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, as part of Coco’s cross-Canada Wonderland tour. 

Choirs perform with Highland Bagpiper Zhongxi Wu in December- a first time singing with Bagpipes!


Carrie Tennant leaves her position as Associate Artistic Director; Dr. Joel Tranquilla joins the team as Youth Choir director for the the 2016-2017 season

Coastal Sound celebrates Coquitlam’s 125th anniversary, with a WE LIVE HERE concert that includes a cameo musical performance by Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart!

Coastal Sound Youth Choir’s Indiekör, conceptualized and artistic directed by Carrie Tennant, wins the Choral Canada Innovation Award at PODIUM 2016 in Edmonton

Coastal Sound Youth Choir directed by Carrie Tennant are featured performers at PODIUM 2016 national conference in Edmonton

Children’s Choir, directed by Diana Clark represent the area on Experiences Canada Exchange, twinning and exchanging with Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie. They travel to Moncton

Sandy Chapell joins CSMA as Registrar and Accountant in June.

CSMA is the recipient of a Port Moody Foundation grant to help singers travel to Moncton/ Dieppe.

Coastal Sound Children’s Choir and DeCoro are part of Coquitlam 125 celebrations, being the very first to perform on the brand new stage on Lafarge Lake. 

Children’s Choir performs at the first-ever Kaleidoscope Arts Festival in Coquitlam, around Lafarge Lake. They receive a Spirt of Coquitlam Grant to create, develop and perform as various roving “Pop Up Characters” to animate the festival.


Artistic Director, Diana Clark received SEVEC Ambassador of the year award presented by Experiences Canada

Coastal Sound performs world premiere of Kris Fulton’s “As the Rain Hides the Stars”, a piece CSMA commissioned

Young singers record opening segment for Canada Winter Games

Shirley Reeve joins the staff for 2 seasons to get CSMA accounting streamlined


Choirs perform O Canada for 102nd Grey Cup game at BC Place

Kelly Proznick takes over directorship of DeCoro; Elise Heard joins as DeCoro accompanist; choir doubles in size

Coastal Sound celebrates 25 years of choral programs in the community!


Children’s Choir with Con Bella and Con Brio 2 singers perform Silent Night with Michael Bublé on his TV Holiday Special

Con Brio 1 & 2 perform with JUNO award winning children’s entertainer Norman Foote

Children’s Choir performs at TEDxKids BC conference at Telus World of Science

Youth Choir tour to Missoula, Montana to participate in the International Choral Music Festival.

Youth Choir awarded a TELUS’ Storyhive grant project to fund a documentary about Indiekör 2014.

Youth Choir wins First Place in the “Mixed Voice Youth Choir” category in the Association of Canadian Choral Communities’ National Competition for Amateur Choirs.

Coastal Sound announces DeCoro, a new singing experience for adults, under the direction of Les Nerling.

Youth Choir tours to Seattle, WA to perform as one of seven featured choirs at the prestigious Chorus America conference. They present a program in cooperation with Elektra Women’s Choir and Portland’s Cappella Romana.

Youth Choir selected as Top Youth Choir and Top Overall Choir at the BC Festival of the Performing Arts, a province-wide arts Festival.

Adult Choir presents their bi-annual Cabaret evening on May 11, 2013 at Riverside Secondary

Children’s Choir co-hosts the One Voice Children’s Choir Festival with the British Columbia Girls Choir and the White Rock Children’s Choir. Special guests include the Guelph Youth Singers and the Wakayama Children’s Choir. Clinicians included Morna Edmundson and Ko Matsushita.

Youth Choir presents two nights of Indiekör at Christ Church Cathedral, the second annual Indiekör concert.

Youth Choir tours to Nanaimo, BC for a local promotional tour featuring Indiekör music.

Children’s Choir receives a SEVEC grant to do a tour exchange with the Guelph Youth Singers. While in Ontario they visit Guelph, St. Catharines, Toronto, and Niagara Falls as well as attending the Senior Treble Festival in Cambridge, ON with clinician Rollo Dilworth.

Con Brio performs with Children’s Entertainer Norman Foote.


The first Coastal Sound-a-Thon fundraiser is held at Rubens Chocolate in Port Moody.

Youth Choir performs with Elektra on the Christmas programs

Youth Choir selected as top choir in all categories a the National Music Festival in Fort McMurrary, AB.

The Coastal Sound Youth Choir tours to Whistler & Pemberton.

The Coastal Sound Youth Choir presents Indiekör, indie-rock music arranged for choir, at Christ Church Cathedral.

Youth Choir performs with Vancouver Cantata Singers

Morna Edmundson consents to be an Honourary Patron.

All choirs perform at St. Andrew’s-Wesley in February 2012.

Youth Choir wins National Festival as well as overall Grand Prize for top choir.


Angela Crocker is appointed as Executive Director.

Youth choir performs at Carrie Tennant’s wedding

Youth Choir performs at the Chan Centre with UBC Choirs.

Children’s Choir performs with Vancouver Chamber Choir on A Child’s Christmas in Wales

The position of Associate Artistic Director is reinstated and Carrie Tennant accepts the post.

Riley McMitchell joins Artistic Team.

Fourth and final biennial Coastal Sound International Choral Festival at SFU with Rollo Dilworth and Henry Leck as clinicians.

Robyn Stewart accepts the position of Executive Director and works in conjunction with Dan Mattinson until August 2011.

All choirs perform at St. Andrew’s-Wesley in March 2011.

Youth Choir wins National Festival and comes 2nd in ACCC amateur choral competition.

Children’s Choir, Youth Choir and Women’s Choirs all win Provincial Festival.

Annette Coffin retires from teaching Novisingers; Dan Mattinson retires as Executive Director

Youth choir wins Top Overall Choir at Kiwanis Festival and top overall choir at BC Festival of the Performing Arts.

Youth choir performs with Good Noise Gospel Choir.


Youth Choir attends the Kathaumiwx Festival in Powell River, BC.

Children’s Choir with Diana performs at Coquitlam Olympic Torch celebration for a crowd of about 10,000 spectators.

A small group of Children perform with Sarah Brightman at the Panasonic Olympic party.

Carrie works with Japanese production team for this prestigious event.

Children’s Choir performs at Canada Olympic Pavilion during Olympic hockey play offs- they meet Honorable James Moore.

Water’s Edge Festival is part of Cultural Olympiad 2010.

Children’s Choir tours to Ottawa where they perform at the Canadian War Museum and workshop with Jackie Hawley.

Children’s Choir wins class at Kiwanis Festival, advances to Provincial festival.

Youth Choir produces and records CD Lights- a full length CD of their repertoire.

Youth choir wins Top Overall Choir at Kiwanis Festival

Youth Choir performs with musica intima


Third biennial Coastal Sound International Choral Festival. Clinicians included Adam Con and Francisco Nunez.

Children’s Choir, training choirs and Youth Choir perform at the official One Year Countdown to the Olympics televised ceremonies at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, BC.

Coastal Sound presents the Water’s Edge Festival in and around the Evergreen Cultural Centre as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Founding Artistic Director Donna Ott0 and incumbent Artistic Director Diana Clark work closely together in a transition year.


Youth Choir tours to Victoria, BC.

Children’s Choir tours to to China with stops in Beijing, Tanggu (Port Moody’s sister city), Xian, Shanghai (after a 20 hour train ride from Xian) and Suzhou.

With Morna Edmundson’s departure as Associate Artistic Director, and director of the Chamber Choir at the end of the 2007/2008 season, the two youth level choirs were combined under Carrie Tennant’s direction.


Kiaro, a second youth choir in addition to the Chamber Choir, is added under the direction of Carrie Tenant.

Second biennial Coastal Sound International Choral Festival

2006 and beyond


2005 – First biennial Coastal Sound International Choral Festival held in Burnaby, BC under a separate society. Clinicians included Diane Loomer, Sanna Valvanne and musica intima, while guest performing artists, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Sal Ferreras & Friends and Anonymous by Choice, were popular with the audiences.

2004 – Children’s Choir tour to southern Ontario.

2003 – Children’s Choir tour to “Festival 500” in St. Johns, Newfoundland

2001 – Children’s Choir undertook a month long tour of Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

1999 – Children’s Choir tours to Juneau, Alaska.

1999 – The organization changed its name to “Coastal Sound Music Academy Society” and adopted the logo still in use today.

1998 – Children’s Choir attends the Pacific International Children’s Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon.

1997 – Children’s Choir and Youth Choir tour to England and Ireland.

1997 – Dan Mattinson is appointed Executive Director.

1996 – The Children’s Choir tours to the Portland International Choral Festival.

1996 – The Adult Choir is established under the direction of Michael Grice.

1995 – Children’s Choir undertakes its first international trip to the Des Moines Festival.

1993 – Judith Forst consents to act as the society’s first Honourary Patron

Circa 1988 – The Coquitlam District Choral Society is formed.