Business Number: 100220417RR0001


The goal of the IRCPA is to be a hub that assists Canada’s musicians to achieve sustainable, fulfilling careers that meet or exceed their goals.


The IRCPA’s mission is to connect individual musicians with one another, with artistic coaches, other professionals, and current leaders in the industry for knowledge exchange, coaching, and employment opportunities. These resources are essential for musicians making the transition from training to professional employment.  IRCPA resources have proven – over 35 years – to be needed and to have almost immediate impact in both career and life changes for artists.
A Community Hub/Creative Centre is also badly needed.  Musicians have no place to practice or rehearse, as well as affordable housing, and are bveing forced to leave the city of Toronto.  A Centre such as those of the National Ballet and Canadian Opera Company should be created.., where artists can rehearse, audition, develop business practices, gain confidence and find support in their careers.  It is estimated that singers must find $1000 to travel to audition.  Who else would be required to find $1000 for a job interview?
For the jazz trio or string quartet that feels stuck in its development and is keen to reach new audiences, the singer who has completed his or her training but isn’t clear on the next steps to take, the pianist looking to move beyond winning competitions – for all of these situations and more, the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists aims to help turn potential into accomplishment and excellence.
Please donate now, or even monthly. to make this happen! 


IRCPA needs on-going support from individuals and organizations in order to fully meet it's mandate and continue to grow and enhance services.

The IRCPA is emerging as a dedicated service organization for Canada’s musical artists, including instrumentalists, vocalists, conductors, collaborative pianists and composers in the fields of opera, classical, jazz, world and new music.

Under the direction of founder Ann Summers Dossena and a knowledgeable board of directors, since 1983 the IRCPA has been actively presenting Workshops and Encounters with Canadian and international employers, coaches and established experts to help artists gain confidence, find their place in the world’s markets, and become successful performers in their chosen fields.

These proven programs are now being updated and expanded.  The board of directors is devoted to helping freelance emerging performers hone their skills and gain more knowledge of the industry in which they wish to develop their careers.  The IRCPA is also pursuing a centre, where musicians can come together as a community, at various stages of their careers, to exchange ideas and challenges, and know they are not alone in their journey.

Summers Dossena observes, “It is the nature of the business that there is usually a gap between an artist’s graduation and first job.  This happens not only because a newly graduated artist may not be prepared for the real world of auditions, performing and management, but also because orchestras, opera companies and concert presenters book two or even three years in advance.  Keeping focused by exploring repertoire, learning languages, and gaining a basic knowledge of who’s who in the industry – how and why decisions are made – is vital during this period.

“The transition from student to professional can be daunting. Making one’s own decisions means solid information is needed.  Encounters With Employers prepares the artist for auditions or performances, explores appropriate repertoire, answers questions or offers advice in a supportive, collegial environment.”

Artists participating in focus groups or round table discussions often suggest the hot topics they want to explore in workshops besides contracts or negotiation, representation, and professional wardrobe consultation.  The IRCPA programs address these issues and more.

Such services can be available year-round, as requested, along with brainstorming, mentoring of soloists or groups, long-range and strategic planning, and “platform sharing” for promotional presentations by artists.

Spring and fall events feature Workshops on current hot topics, a Who’s Who in the Industry panel, and discussion on the state of the arts, as well as Encounters with international employers and coaches.

Collaborations with universities, music schools or study programs will allow the sharing of guest experts, for the benefit of both students and professionals.

Summers Dossena, who was honoured by the international arts industry in 2012 and again in 2014, retired from arts management in October 2013 after a distinguished, 55-year career in New York, Rome and Toronto. She has since devoted herself to the development of the IRCPA. 

Workshops and Encounters have been supported by the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, Canada Council for the Arts, private donors and sponsors.

What People Are Saying

"For people like me, out of university for a few years, not able to afford/being too old for young artist programs, there are not many chances to have access to high level training. This is my third ‘big’ workshop with IRCPA. Every one of them made a great impact on my professional development."

— Natalya Gennadi Matyusheva, soprano, Toronto

"Thank you for this incredible opportunity, I learned so much not only from my time with Sondra but also from observing everyone else…. I myself wouldn’t have been able to afford it had it not been for the scholarship in Maureen Forrester’s name."

— Danielle MacMillan, soprano, Toronto

"...a great voice is a given. And solid training, of course. But a lot of the skills necessary for a big career are not taught in the classroom or the voice studio. A young singer only learns the ways of a career during the perilous journey in one of the toughest professions there is."

— Joseph So, , Read More

"...For a lot of singers who do not get into a young artist program or who are just finishing up their graduate studies, this is a great springboard to a professional career."

— Brett Polegato, renowned bartione, Read More

"I left with pages of notes, new colleagues and friends, and a renewed sense of focus and passion ..I know this event has impacted me and that is why opportunities like this must continue and be supported for other artists. With immense appreciation"

— Caitlin Wood, soprano, Toronto

"The Encounter gave me tools to feel more confident and have strong auditions. Thank you also for the career blueprint in New York City... consultations are very expensive but very important and it puts me at ease to know that these will be covered for the season."

— Marjorie Maltais, mezzo-soprano

"Attending the Savvy Musician workshop was an eye opening experience to the level of professional expertise and strategy needed as a young artist. I found myself taken aback at how much i have yet to encounter professionally in our diverse performance industry."

— Amelia Sheils, French Horn Player

"My encounter with IRCPA has had a significant impact in my career in this last year. It has helped me also in developing my business plan strategy and execution. "

— Sonia Aimy, African Jazz Singer and Songwriter

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