Welcome to the new MusCan blog! We decided to add this section on our website to create an informal, convivial, and open space for communication. We haven’t yet quite decided on its content rules or editorial procedures; for the moment, you’ll find that the blog contains occasional musings from Board members or from other members of the society who have submitted them to us. If you would like to propose a blog post, please contact the Website Editor using the form found on the Executive page of the website.
As I write this brief message today, a few weeks before the launch of our new website, I find myself thinking mostly about change. This theme is definitely on many people’s minds nowadays, given the turmoil apparent everywhere in the country, whether its cause is the Covid-19 pandemic, the horrifying discovery of so many unmarked graves at former residential school sites, or the increasing disruptions caused by climate change. MusCan isn’t immune to these changes either! After two years without an in-person conference, we are very much looking forward to a return to lively discussions and unforgettable musical moments in the presence of friends and colleagues from across the country during our conference at Acadia University. That conference will also mark a first for MusCan: a “connected” (or hybrid) conference. The format, designed to allow for more accessibility and greater participation, will combine virtual participation with live participation in conference activities. There will no doubt be glitches and lessons to learn for future conferences, but we hope that this new direction for our conference will open doors for many of our members who cannot, or choose not to, travel every year to attend the conference.
The conference, and all MusCan activities, will also continue to build on themes of equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. As an association for scholars, composers, performers, we have an opportunity to recognize, understand, and celebrate the multitude of musics that surround us, and especially, to give them a place in our conference and other event programs, just as much as in the courses and degrees offered in our colleges and universities. For several years now, MusCan has organized special sessions, round tables, and plenary lectures around these themes, and we want to continue that engagement.
On a more prosaic note, the administrative changes that MusCan has undergone in the last few months have also had a tremendous impact. I can’t talk about change without taking into account the extraordinary dedication of all of the members of the Board. I will have an opportunity in June to thank them publicly and to speak to their work more fully, but given their efforts over the past few months, I wanted to share this with you now. Change rarely comes without great effort, and we hope that our new website, our new member management system, and all the new directions at MusCan will be both useful an enjoyable to all of you.
Yours in harmony! 😉