About Kathleen


Kathleen Allan is the Artistic Director of Canzona, Manitoba’s premiere Baroque choral ensemble. Her expertise ranges from medieval repertoire to contemporary works, and she is particularly interested in the intersections found between music of diverse genres. 

In high demand as a conductor, composer, and soprano, Ms. Allan is rapidly becoming internationally respected for her compelling musicianship and engaging performances. In 2015, she made her Asian debut conducting Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, and in 2016 was the recipient of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Prize in Choral Conducting. She is the founding co-artistic director of Arkora, a chamber music collective dedicated to interdisciplinary performance. Ms. Allan serves as the Director of Choral Studies and Associate Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at the Vancouver Academy of Music and is the Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Bach Choir. 

Having nurtured a passion for early music since childhood, Ms. Allan has studied and performed with many of Baroque music’s leading figures including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Masaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, Helmuth Rilling, and Simon Carrington. She holds a degree in composition from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in conducting from Yale University.

Her compositions have been commissioned, performed and recorded by ensembles throughout the Americas and Europe and have been featured at two World Symposiums on Choral Music. She is published by Cypress Choral Music (Vancouver), Alliance Music Publications (Houston), Boosey & Hawkes (New York), and is a member composer of MusicSpoke.com. Also active as a soprano, she has appeared as a soloist with the National Broadcast Orchestra of Canada and Berkshire Choral Festival Choir, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Bach Choir. A passionate interpreter of new music, she has premiered over two dozen solo works for the voice. In addition to freelancing regularly in Canada and the United States, she has sung as a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Vienna-based Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Skylark Vocal Ensemble in Atlanta, Clarion Choir in New York City, and the Yale Schola Cantorum.

Visit Kathleen's Website

About Canzona

Canzona is Manitoba’s premiere baroque choral ensemble. A love of baroque music prompted this 24 voice choir into being in 1989 under the direction of Henry Engbrecht. With new Artistic Director, Kathleen Allan, Canzona will continue to delve into the baroque masterworks of Bach and Handel while staying committed to introducing Manitoba audiences to lesser known baroque composers and works. Canzona is proud to have collaborated with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the MuskBarock Ensemble, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Nova and the University of Manitoba Singers.

Sponsors and Supporters

Canzona could not bring a single concert to an audience without the generous support of many sponsors and supporters. Thank you to all of those who make Canzona possible.

Season Sponsors

Granting Agencies

  • Winnipeg Arts Council
  • The Winnipeg Foundation
  • Richardson Foundation
  • Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba


  • Golden West
  • The W.H. & S.E. Loewen Foundation Inc.
  • Milton Penner

If you are interested in sponsoring Canzona, please contact us.

Board of Directors

Canzona’s Board of Directors supports the financial, marketing, administrative and operational needs of the choir.

  • Kathleen Allan – Artistic Director

  • Kirsten Schellenberg – President

  • Doug Pankratz – Board Member

  • Greg Giesbrecht – Board Member

  • Robert Neufeld - Board Member

  • Karla Ferguson - Board Member

  • Erica Minarik – Treasurer

  • Kim Brown – Choir Representative

Contact us if you would like to assist the board of directors.


  • Manitoba Choral Association
  • Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba
  • Winnipeg Early Music Society