Sound Symposium is a production of Sound Arts Initiative, Inc. In addition to the biennial symposium, Sound Arts produces Night Music, a monthly improvisational music series at The Ship Pub; ONSOUND, a shorter biennial festival that focuses on a style, genre, or theme; and Echo Village, a multi-disciplinary event at the MUN Botanical Garden. And as always, keep your ears tuned to the harbour throughout the year to catch special renditions of Harbour Symphonies.

Board of Directors
John Barry, Co-Chair
Rod Zdebiak, Co-Chair
Bill Brennan
Kathy Clark Wherry
Susan Hadley
Greg Locke
Kathleen Parewick

Kathy Clark-Wherry, Co-Artistic Director
Benton Roark, Associate Artistic Director
Craig Squires, Co-Artistic Director – Night Music
Delf Maria Hohmann, Coordinator – Harbour Symphony
Bill Brennan, Composer, musician
Andrew Staniland, composer, musician
Gayle Young, composer, musician
Mack Furlong, musician, writer, improv night host
Michelle LaCour, composer, musician, technical director


Kathy Clark Wherry, Executive Director
Michelle LaCour, Technical Director
Craig Squires, Coordinator Night Music
Delf Maria Hohman, Harbour Symphony
Wallace Hammond, Night Music Sound
Greg Locke, Photography, Web
Geoff Panting, Recordist & Sound Archivist
John (J.) Barry, Graphic Design
Kathleen Parewick, Event Assistant
Bert Power, Technical Assistant
Chad Feehan, Social Media Manager
Susan Locke, Event Assistant
Kevin Hehir, Event Assistant
Micheal Reddy, Event Assistant
Oz Gilmer-Osborne, Archivist


Sound Symposium has been opening ears and experimenting with sound since 1983.Every two years, artists from around the world converge on St. John’s, Newfoundland, an eclectic Canadian city on an island in the North Atlantic. The 10-day symposium is brimming with sound activities, both planned and impromptu, all open to the public. There are daytime workshops, evening concerts, outdoor experiences, late night jam sessions, and daily Harbour Symphonies. You’ll hear electronic music and jazz, traditional folk music and improv. You’ll hear world premieres. There are dance performances, gallery exhibits and film screenings. Performances take place in concert halls, on street corners, in basements, in forests, on hillsides, in the harbour and near the ocean.

It’s an event unlike any other because St. John’s is a place unlike any other. Every performance is imbued with the unique culture and breath-taking natural beauty of Newfoundland. Sound Symposium is a production of Sound Arts Initiative, Inc., which also produces the new music series Sound Symposium Presents and Night Music, a monthly improvisational music series at The Ship Pub. And, keep your ears tuned to the harbour throughout the year to catch special performances of Harbour Symphonies. Sound Arts Initiative, Inc. produces these on-demand performances for visiting ships and on special occasions.


Without our funding agencies, sponsors, volunteers, suppliers and donations we could not have made Sound Symposium into the successful and influential organization it has become in new music, sound art, performing arts and education over the past thirty years.

We would like to thank the following organizations for their continued support of Sound Symposium and the work we do.

Funding Agencies

The Government of Canada Department of Canadian Heritage

The Canada Council for the Arts

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

The Government of Newfoundland & Labrador: ArtsNL

We acknowledge the support of ArtsNL, which last year invested $3.9 million to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

The City of St. John’s
SOCAN Foundation
The Mike Zagorski Family

Support & Assistance

The Gerry Porter Family

Canadian Coast Guard
International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation
Neighbourhood Dance Works
Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place, Memorial University (MMap)
School of Music, Memorial University
The Ship Pub
St. John’s Port Authority
Stray Light Media
Tombolo Multicultural Festival

A special thanks to Sound Symposium’s wonderful billets who host over 50 visiting artists.

We respectfully acknowledge the territory in which we gather, as the ancestral home-lands of the Beothuk and the island of Newfoundland as the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. We would also like to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador. We strive for respectful partnerships with all the peoples of this province as we search for collective healing and true reconciliation and honour this beautiful land together.

Sound Symposium thanks
our funders & partners


Sound Symposium is powered by volunteers. Whether you’re looking to meet new people or spend time immersed in experimental music, your donated time is the secret sauce that makes Sound Symposium so special. We’ll thank you with some perks, too.

We need volunteers to work at the merchandise table, and to pull front-of-house shifts at concerts taking place at our various venues, including MUN, The Rooms, and Cape Spear. We need friendly faces to meet and greet attendees at workshops. If you’re good with computers, sound systems and machines of all sorts, we also need volunteers to assist the technical team.

We will help you find the volunteer position that’s right for your skills and your schedule.