Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. 2nd Ed // Review
Kallmann, Helmut, Winters, Kenneth, Potvin, Gilles, Mercer, Ruby, Opera Canada
Prior to the 1950s, not only was there a very limited amount of interest or activity in music in Canada, but seldom were names of Canadians to be found among any of the journals, musical publications or reference works in the United States or Europe. Even so, during the forties and fifties, and especially after the end of World War II, there was a noticeable awakening of interest in all phases of music from coast to coast. Nevertheless, except for the publication of the Dictionaire biographique des musiciens canadiens in 1935, less than a handful of catalogues or essays relating to music had appeared anywhere in Canada as late as 1970.
It was in the early 70s that, thanks to the foresight, enthusiasm, vision, patience, determination and generosity of retired publisher Floyd S. Chalmers and a small group of converted enthusiasts, that discussions and studies concerning the situation began. A publication of some sort was indicated and, considering the quantity of activity, a book was called for rather than merely an article or an essay.
Among the original sources of material were the files of libraries such as those of the National Library of Canada, the Canadian Music Centre, the CBC in Toronto and Montreal, the expertise of individual contributors, among which it was my privilege to be included, gleanings from the daily press, periodicals, newscasts and replies to questionnaires. Then, once decisions had been made as to what should be included and what general standards should be applied as to spellings, abbreviations and style, writing began. Finally, the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, edited by Helmut Kallmann, Gilles Potvin and Kenneth Winters, was published by the University of Toronto Press, in English (1981) and French (1983). It was immediately hailed as a unique, long - overdue and indispensable source of information. In addition to the usual biographical material, it was a "comprehensive source of fascinating, often little - known information about all aspects of music in Canada".
In the succeeding decade, however, the dramatic and veritably explosive growth in the number of performing arts activities in all fields of music within Canada, as well as the many developments within the musical world as a whole, and the constantly increasing number of Canadians active in music internationally, made it obvious that new and additional information was called for. …