About Us

March 26 Workshop 2The Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa is a nurturing community of young women aged 12 to 19, who seek to share their love of singing, while also receiving an exceptional music education and opportunities for high-calibre performance. Cantiamo strives to empower each member to cultivate integrity, empathy and self-confidence through choral excellence, leadership training, and educational and community engagement.

Under the leadership of founding artistic director Jackie Hawley, Cantiamo choristers develop artistic and musical competence through the study and performance of a diverse repertoire of music in numerous languages and traditions. Since its inception, the choir has premiered over thirty-five Canadian choral compositions and supported local composers by commissioning new works for treble choirs. Cantiamo has performed in venues from Newfoundland to Iqaluit, including Ottawa’s City Hall, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the National Arts Centre.

The Cantiamo Girls Apprentice Choir (girls ages 11 – 14), Cantiamo Training Choir (girls and boys ages 7 – 11) and the new Cantiamo Primary Choir (girls and boys ages 5 – 7) teach fundamental ensemble and vocal skills in an open and encouraging environment. These training level choirs are supported by dedicated volunteer mentors from the Cantiamo Girls Choir. Through the immersive experiences of rehearsal and performance, the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa seek to instill a lifelong passion for music in its choristers, and teach them values of community.

The Cantiamo Training Choir, geared towards children 7 to 11 years of age, teaches fundamental ensemble and vocal skills in an open and encouraging environment. The Training Choir is also directed by Jackie Hawley and supported by dedicated volunteer mentors from the main choir. Through the immersive experiences of rehearsal and performance, the Training Choir program seeks to instill a lifelong passion for music in its choristers, and teach them values of community and communication which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Our motto is: Music, Leadership, Community.

Our Artistic Director

Jackie's bio pic-BrochureJackie Hawley is the founding Artistic Director of the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa. She has conducted and toured internationally with adult, youth and children’s choirs and has been a clinician for choirs and schools throughout Canada for nearly 30 years.

Ms. Hawley works frequently with the Education Department of the National Arts Centre and is the Music Director of the NAC’s 500 voice annual Music Monday Choir. Ms. Hawley is the Founder of the Nipiit-Katittut- Voices United (NKVU) educational engagement project which connects choristers with youth in Iqaluit to build community and promote leadership skills, musical artistry and cultural enlightenment.  Read Jackie’s full bio here.

Our Training Choir Conductor

Leslie Bricker0459websizeLeslie Bricker is an award-winning music educator, with over 35 years of experience directing children’s choirs, Orff ensembles and music theatre. She has designed and implemented Music programs in elementary schools with children from 3-14 years of age in both Ottawa and Toronto, and has recently retired as an elementary music specialist with the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Education. Read Leslie’s full Bio here.

Our Primary Choir Conductor

20180513-067Kathy Goodsell is an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience, and is a passionate advocate for the importance of music in the lives of children. She has taught in the classroom, directed children’s choirs and musical theatre, and organized arts celebrations that involved all students and staff at her school. Her school choirs have performed with Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre and participated in Choralfest and Music Monday at the NAC and Ottawa City Hall. In 2015, Kathy received the Arts Recognition Award for Elementary Music from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (from which she retired in 2017). Read Kathy’s Full Bio Here.

Our Girls Choir and Training Choir Accompanist

Teresa vdB picTeresa van den Boogaard is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and relishes all opportunities to promote the pipe organ.  In addition to her career as a soloist, Teresa specializes in working with singers, as a coach-accompanist on piano and organ, choral director, arranger-composer, and teacher of musicianship skills.  Read Teresa’s full bio her

Our Apprentice Choir Accompanist


Dian Wilkie

Dian Wilkie holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa as well as a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto (OISE). Since moving to Ottawa with her husband in July of 2014, she has established herself as a teacher, accompanist and performer in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.