The Canadian University Music Society (MusCan, formerly CUMS) / Société de musique des universités canadiennes (MusCan, formerly SMUC) was incorporated in 1989, but its beginnings can be traced to two small conferences held in 1963 and 1964 at Stanley House (New Richmond, Quebec). These meetings brought together a group of artists, music scholars, and members of various cultural organizations in order to exchange views and ideas about contemporary issues affecting music in Canada. The result of the dialogue among the participants was the establishment in 1965 of the Canadian Association of University Schools of Music (CAUSM) / Association canadienne des écoles universitaires de musique (ACEUM).[1] The objectives of this new society included the following:

  1. To provide a meeting-place for administrators and faculty of both university music programmes and professional schools of music to exchange views and discuss common problems.
  2. To develop minimum standards for music degree programmes.
  3. To maintain and indeed strengthen the position of music study in Canadian universities.
  4. To serve as an advisory body for Canadian music departments and other professional music schools.
  5. To initiate projects that would be considered beneficial to the cause of music in Canada.
  6. To assist in the professional development of the university music community in Canada through symposia and publications.[2]

Membership in CAUSM was initially limited to institutions; however, within six years, a major shift in focus was accepted. In 1971, membership in the society was extended to individuals. That year, the society began the publication of a scholarly periodical, the CAUSM/ACEUM Journal (one or two issues each year). Each issue presented between five and twelve articles in various musical disciplines, along with editorials, reviews, and letters. In 1981, the society changed its name to the Canadian University Music Society in recognition of its broader membership. The journal was also renamed in 1981: it became the Canadian University Music Review/Revue de musique des universités canadiennes. In 2006, the journal was again renamed as Intersections. [3]

Today, the society continues its commitment to dialogue on issues affecting the university music community as well as the advancement of musical scholarship. As a member institution of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, MusCan conducts annual conferences in association with the Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities. As part of the society's commitment to the development of young scholars, student-oriented sessions form an integral part of the society's annual conferences. In addition, since 1988, MusCan has held an annual competition (named in memory of George Proctor, a pioneer in Canadian music research) for the best scholarly paper delivered by a Canadian research student.

Below is a list of those who have held the office of president of the society:

  • Arnold Walter, 1965-67
  • Clement Morill, 1967-79
  • Welton Marquis, 1969-71
  • Lucien Brochu, 1971-73
  • Lorne Watson, 1973-75
  • Brian Ellard, 1975-77
  • Donald A. McKellar, 1977-79
  • Armand Ferland, l979-81
  • Robert Stangeland, 1981-83
  • Bruce Minorgan, 1983-85
  • Gordon K. Greene, 1985-87
  • Donald F. Cook, 1987-89
  • Philip Adamson, 1989-91
  • Gail Dixon, 1991-93
  • Eugene C. Cramer, 1993-95
  • Anne C. Hall, 1995-97
  • Maureen Volk, 1997-99
  • Tom Gordon, 1999-2001
  • Glen Carruthers, 2001-03
  • Ed Jurkowski, 2003-05
  • James Deaville, 2005-08
  • Deanna Oye, 2008-10
  • Lynn Cavanagh, 2010-12
  • Mary Ingraham, 2012-14
  • Joelle Welling, 2014-16
  • Glenn Colton, 2016-18
  • Stephanie Lind, 2018-

1. Blume, Helmut. "The Founding of CAUSM: A Personal Recollection," Canadian University Music Review, 11/2 (1991): 1-3.
2. Ibid., 4-5.
3. Cook, Donald C. "Canadian University Music Society/Société de musique des universités canadiennes," in Helmut Kallmann, Gilles Potvin, and Kenneth Winters, eds, Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, second edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 214.