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The Agassiz Chamber Music Festival was founded by cellist Paul Marleyn, the Festival’s Artistic Director, in collaboration with the University of Manitoba School of Music (now The Desautel Faculty of Music) in June 1999. The Festival is named after Lake Agassiz, the ancient and vast lake that covered large parts of Manitoba as well as parts of Alberta, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Ontario.


Paul Marleyn’s vision for the Festival is to provide concerts of an international level in what was once part of Lake Agassiz - in the very centre of the Canada, i.e., Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Festival considers it a great privilege to invite internationally acclaimed artists to perform and share their artistry and passion with Manitoba artists and audiences. The Festival has built a stellar reputation for chamber music initiatives in Manitoba. In 2004 the Festival collaborated with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation in the premier performance of Andrew Balfour’s "The Voice of the Lake" and in 2010 the Festival organized a SOCAN sponsored Composer Residency with Steven Gellman.

The Festival has been instrumental in the presentation of the International Cello Festival of Canada in 2011 and in 2014 in collaboration with the Winnipeg Arts Council. In addition to performances of cello sonatas and concertos, both cello festivals featured master classes, competitions, outdoor performances and premieres of cello orchestral works: a double cello concerto by Jocelyn Morlock in 2011 and a triple cello concerto by Vincent Ho in 2014.


To date the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival has premiered 12 commissioned works by Canadian composers and has performed an additional 29 Canadian works.


The Agassiz Chamber Music Festival provides:

  • learning opportunities with informal talks and interviews during concerts

  • master class opportunities with esteemed performers

  • performance opportunities for works of living composers in Winnipeg and Manitoba

  • a wide spectrum of chamber music masterworks and rarely heard works

  • opportunities for emerging artists to present their work in recital and to work with established artists

Who We Are


Agassiz Music Inc.

Rita Menzies - President

Allan Whicker - Treasurer

Susan Harasym - Secretary

Paul Marleyn - Past President


Spencer Duncanson

William Gange

Paul Marleyn

Anne Ratuski

Nicola Schaefer

Andrea Ratuski

Lori Stewart


Paul Marleyn - Artistic Director

Keren Canché - Assistant Artistic Director

Reid Harrison - General Manager

Andrea Spiers - Graphic & Website Design

Paul Vinluan - Stage Manager

Susan Hurka-Bond - Marketing Manager

Ivan Hughes - Videographer

Dan Donahue - Audio Technician