The Ensemble Vocal Ganymede is a TTBB chorus whose mission is to offer high quality concerts, inspired, but not limited to classical music. The ensemble strives for excellence in its music, working to continuously improve the singing skills of each member, and uses choral singing to increase awareness in its audience of a variety of musical styles and the challenges faced by the LGBTQ2S+ community. The choir is an inclusive and welcoming space for its musical and social activities and there is a feeling of friendship and community among the members, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Ganymede was created in 1991 by Yvan Sabourin, who remains its current Artistic Director. Since 1991, Ganymede has distinguished itself by participating in cultural events such as the Montreal Pride Community Day each year.
The choir has also engaged in a number of joint productions with other choirs in the production of great works for mixed voices such as the Rutter Magnificat (2019), and Handel’s Coronation Anthems (2018). In a more modern theme, Ganymede performed the K. Lee Scott Lux Aeterna for the holiday season in 2017 in Montreal. For the 2016 holiday concert, the choir performed with the Canterbury Trebles Women’s Choir of Ottawa conducted by James Caswell. First in Montreal and then in Ottawa, these were two performances appreciated in both cities.
In the summer of 2010, Ganymede was selected to compete in the International Choral Festival in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, receiving the special award for diversity. In 2007, the choir flew to France for concerts in Paris and Lyon, while in 2009, the choir was welcomed by the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus in Portland for a joint concert. In 2006, Ganymede won the gold medal in the Festival of Choirs section of the Outgames in Montréal.
On two occasions, Ganymede hosted prestigious choral gatherings: the Choralies du Rallye des Arts du Centre-Sud de Montréal (1996) and Gala Choruses (2004), the largest cultural event in the LGBTQ2S+ community worldwide. The choir has made three recordings: one for Disques A Tempo (best recording from this record label, 1995), and two for ATMA (1996) and O Vos Omnes, in 2011 (still available for download).
Ganymede was featured on the mainstream musical scene by participating in several competitions: the Festival Choral de Montréal (Special Jury Prize, 1994, First Prize in the category “Advanced Choirs” in 1995 and 1997), the National Music Festival (official representatives of Québec on the jury’s recommendation of the Festival Choral de Montréal, 1997), the Festival International du Chant Choral de Trois-Rivières (finalist, 1997; invited choir, 1998) and Podium, 1996 et 2002 editions. The choir has also frequently celebrated in the Saint-Jean Baptiste parade. At the peak of the HIV crisis in the 1990’s, Ganymede sang at several vigils in memory of those who died of AIDS.
Yvan Sabourin completed his musical studies at the University of Montréal together with a master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Sherbrooke under visiting professor Nicole Paiement. He recently completed a development program with Bernard Tetu (France).
Mr. Sabourin leads several choirs in the Montréal metropolitan area: Stakato, Ensemble Vocal de Saint-Laurent, the Chœur du Nord de l’Île and L’ Ensemble Vocal Ganymède.
Last year he participated in the Festival Choral International de Neuchâtel (Switzerland) with L’Ensemble Vocal Ganymède with whom he won a special prize for diversity. He toured France with them in the summer of 2007. At that time, he participated as an animator for the International Choralies A Coeur Joie, Vaison-la-Romaine (France) presenting a repertoire of pieces by Canadian composer Lionel Daunais. Yvan is regularly invited to conduct choral courses in France and Belgium. In addition to having worked in the recording of albums with some of his choirs, Mr. Sabourin has been involved in recording the soundtrack for the latest show from Cirque Eloize, Nebbia, which was established in Geneva (Switzerland).
He celebrated his 25 years of directorship last year. Since 1993, choirs led by Yvan Sabourin have won awards at the Festival des chorales de Montréal, sponsored by ARCIM. He won the gold medal with Ganymède competing in the choral section of the Montréal Outgames in 2006.
Yvan Sabourin is a member of the Alliance des Chorales du Québec, The Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, A Coeur Joie, The American Choral Directors Association and The International Federation for Choral Music.