Winspear Fund Scholarships for Advanced Classical Music

Francis George Winspear was a successful businessman, a leading industrialist, a university professor in accounting, a volunteer and patron of several arts organizations, and a philanthropist renowned as an ardent admirer of music and the arts. His contributions to Canada’s business, academic and cultural scenes were both direct and indirect, through his inspiration and mentorship of others in their pursuit of excellence.

The Winspear Fund at Edmonton Community Foundation has a tradition of encouraging excellence within the arts and education sectors. In particular, the Fund supports the Edmonton Opera, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and talented local artists. Each year, a portion of the Winspear Fund is allocated to support students who are pursuing advanced studies in classical music (instrument or voice).

Primary criteria are quality of performance and proven recognition of achievement in classical music performance.

Each year typically 20 students receive awards ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. The size and number of awards may vary.

Critical Dates for the application

  • Application opens: January 15
  • Application Deadline: March 31 at 11:59 PM.
  • Award decisions released: approximately mid-June.

Required Documents to apply

  • A letter of reference from your current major teacher
  • A letter of reference from someone who can speak to your current musical ability
  • Your Curriculum Vitae
  • a professional quality recording and cover sheet (see below)

Recording Criteria Instructions

Applicants must provide professional quality recordings that meet the following criteria:

  • Repertoire must contain 2 or 3 styles for orchestral instruments.
  • Repertoire must contain 3 styles for voice, piano and organ.
  • Complete movements, with no supplementary edits, must comprise the recordings.
  • Recordings must not include a performance with an orchestra and may not include a duo sonata with another instrument.
  • Recordings should not include orchestral excerpts.
  • Recordings must be from within the last 12 months.
  • File Type: YouTube or Vimeo (provide link to recordings on application)
  • Recording should be named as follows: [Your Name], [Composer], [Name of Selections]
  • Duration: Maximum 20 minutes total

Cover Sheet Instructions

A PDF cover sheet must be attached, including the following information:

  • Name of Applicant
  • A typed (not handwritten) list of the repertoire performed.
  • The recording date, location, recording equipment used, and circumstance for each selection.
  • The name of the accompanist on each recording, if you were accompanied.
  • A signature from the applicant or recording technician confirming the above information.

Applicants are strongly advised to review the quality of their recordings. It is the main determinant in the success of the application. If the recordings you provide do not play, you will not be considered for an award.

For the panel to review your recordings, we request that the recording must be a video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo (Note: Vimeo supports higher quality audio than YouTube). Recordings must not be electronically altered and the date and place of recording must be provided for each selection. More details are available in the application.

Winspear Fund Eligibility Criteria

  • Canadian citizenship or permanent residency
  • Have resided in the Greater Edmonton area or Northern Alberta (including Lacombe and areas north) prior to applying and consider this their permanent residence and have family who continue to live here
  • Have achieved local, national or international recognition in classical music performance (voice and/or instrument)
  • Be of amateur status
  • Be pursuing advanced classical music study outside the local area (generally outside of Alberta) at a recognized post-secondary institution or with a recognized private music teacher, or have confirmed dates for opera or orchestral auditions.

What can the award cover

Awards are intended to assist recipients with costs such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, living expenses, travel for confirmed auditions. If appropriate, awards will be paid directly to the post-secondary institution. However, the Fund will pay awards in accordance with what is best suited to each recipient’s situation.

Apply for a Winspear Fund Scholarship

Need help with your application?

We want to make sure that you have the best chance to be successful with your application. Contact Anna Opryshko (Student Awards Associate) for support with your application and answers to your questions.

Phone: 780-426-0015 ext. 107