City of Gardens/Sweet Adelines

Sweet Adelines

It may not be common knowledge that women like barbershop singing, but 28,000 members of Sweet Adelines, including about 60 active members of The City of Gardens Chapter in Victoria, can vouch for this. The focus of the group is competition, but the opportunity to establish friendships is also an important aspect of membership in the chorus.

The first chapter of Sweet Adelines International was established in 1945 in Tulsa, Oklahoma by a group of women, who wanted to sing four‐part harmony without musical accompaniment. The association soon expanded, with chapters in Canada, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan, The Netherlands, The Republic of Panama, New Zealand and Australia. The Victoria chorus was formed in 1967, and is one of 22 choruses from the association's Western Canada region, which is composed of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.

This non-profit organization for women is dedicated to education and achievement through competition and performance, and Victoria's chapter has recently achieved several memorable rewards. In 1991, the women were silver medalists for Western Canada in Sweet Adelines' annual regional competition. In 1992 they celebrated their 25th Anniversary, and in that year received the gold medal in the Western Canada competition. This achievement granted them the privilege of competing internationally in 1993 in Indianapolis, Indiana, as the only chorus representing Canada. Their local popularity was demonstrated in 1992, when 2,000 fans crowded into the University Centre auditorium in Victoria to hear the group in two performances entitled "Silver and Gold", and then filled Duncan's Community Theatre for an encore presentation.

The City of Gardens Chorus, led by director Julie Smith made a significant impression on those attending the Sweet Adelines Regional Competition in Edmontn recently. They placed third overall out of 17 choruses from BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Plus they were recognized as most improved chorus with a whopping 39% improvement over the last year’s score sheets. The group grew from 40 to 70 members in 2006.

A spirit of camaraderie is shared by the women, from all walks of life, who join Sweet Adelines. As one local member says, "Sweet Adelines harmonize the world through music. Members join to sing, and they stay to sing and enjoy fulfilling friendships." The local chapter also commits time and energy to involvement in the community, and among other activities, raises money to sponsor a scholarship for a University of Victoria music student.

The City of Gardens Chapter, Sweet Adelines International Scholarship is awarded to a female student in the Bachelor of Education degree program, who has demonstrated a talent and achievement in vocal music. Interested in applying?