Founded in 2005, the Canadian New Music Network (CNMN) is all about being inclusive and accessible. Chamber music, improvisation, electro-acoustics, new opera, orchestral music, sound art, whatever – these are all just different paths to the same goal. We need to work together.

The basic premise of CNMN is simple: creating new music as a form of personal expression is an important part of the larger musical ecosystem in Canada. We felt that the larger “new music” community did not have a single, strong, unified voice that could articulate the larger artistic and social values that this music brings to the Canadian cultural matrix.

CNMN has two primary goals:
1) Networking – creating a cultural space and specific events that bring the entire new music community together, to work on common problems and find solutions.
2) Representation – to work with arts councils, government agencies, educators, the media and the public to promote the value of creative art music, both as an art form and as a social value in Canada.

We are a professional association in that we represent a specific professional community – the new music world (“contemporary classical” would be another term, but that felt far too narrow for our inclusive vision). However, membership is based solely on a simple philosophical belief – if you believe that supporting “new music” as a cultural value in Canada is important, you should join.

Our members include other arts organizations, new music ensembles, festivals, orchestras, composers, performers, improvisers, jazz musicians, experimental noise artists, visual artists, music educators, student composers and performers, musicians in other fields, curious listeners, avid fans…you get the idea. We currently have more than 500 members.

Our single most important activity is the networking conference entitled FORUM. These two-day conferences are exciting events where new music artists from across Canada and from the international community meet in order to both discuss important issues for the community, and to talk about new artistic projects. Half commercial arts market, half academic conference, it’s a great place to meet new people, talk about new ideas and projects, and find new partners from across Canada and on the international scene.

Previous FORUMS were held in Winnipeg (2007), Toronto (2008), Montreal (2009), Halifax (2010) and Vancouver (2012). Our Vancouver event was our most successful to date, with 112 participants.

The next FORUM will be held in Calgary from Jan. 24-26, 2014. We’re planning on expanding our international partnerships for this FORUM, and bringing in a wide range of international guests from the U.S. and Europe. If you want to expand your network of contacts and get new ideas off the ground, this is the place to do it.

CNMN maintains a very comprehensive website (visit for more info), a thrice-yearly e-Bulletin to members on activities and projects, and is constantly involved in representation within our sector, working with partners such as the Canadian Arts Coalition and the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, in order to help bring new music to as many Canadian listeners as possible.