About Us

Vision, passion and forward thinking created the foundation of Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa today; an environment that understands the natural desire of human expression through singing; one that nurtures musical and artistic development of young voices; and where integrity, empathy and self-confidence forms part of the development of each young person.

Our choristers perform a diverse repertoire, receive an enriched music and choral education, and build a lifelong passion for music. Since its inception in 2003, Cantiamo has championed Canadian composers and commissioned over 35 Canadian compositions. We also tirelessly advocate for music in schools and singing in every child’s life, every day!

Cantiamo welcomes children starting at the age of 5 through to 17. Our motto is music, leadership, and community.

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Our Founding Artistic Director

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Jackie 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

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Leslie 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


Kathy Goodsell is an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience. She has taught in the classroom, directed children’s choirs and musical theatre, and organized arts celebrations involving all students and staff at her school, including a collaboration with the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa on the year-long Listen Up! project.

Kathy is delighted to join the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa organization where she will continue to teach and advocate for the importance of music education in the lives of children in a supportive and nurturing learning environment. Read Kathy’s Full Bio Here.

Our Cantiamo Girls Choir & Training Choir Accompanist

Teresa 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 here.

Our Girls Apprentice Choir Accompanist

Kathy McGee has had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying choirs, solo singers and instrumentalists since her university years. She mostly accompanies in Church settings these days, including playing at weddings and funerals, where she believes music is central to honouring significant life transitions. She enjoys singing with her grandchildren and playing music for them to dance to, and looks forward with joy to accompanying the Cantiamo Girl’s Apprentice Choir. 

Our Women’s Choir Accompanist

Tahlia De Corso is an Australian pianist, chamber musician, conductor and educator. Beginning the piano at the age of five, Tahlia was very active in the music scene in her home town of Adelaide, winning numerous competitions and performance opportunities at an early age. She had her orchestra debut at the age of sixteen performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. She completed her Bachelor of Music and Honours degree, as well as a Diploma of Music education at the Elder Conservatorium of Music (Adelaide University). Tahlia attended numerous masterclasses and summer festivals across Europe which led to her completing her Masters Degree in the Netherlands. She has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe (Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Belgium) as well as Australia.

Tahlia is an active music teacher having spent the last ten years teaching in both primary and high schools in Australia and Belgium. Whilst living in Brussels, Tahlia also worked as an accompanist and Choir director. Now having recently moved to Ottawa, Tahlia is eager to engage herself in the music scene and is delighted to be given the opportunity to be the piano accompanist for Cantiamo Women’s Choir.