Upgrade – Connect – Reach Out

2017 – 2021 | Supported by the EU Creative Europe Programme under the strand for network projects with up to 250.000€ per year.
The project aims at strengthening the network of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, offering capacity building and developing new (digital) tools, cooperating with other players in the sector of Collective Singing and enlarging the scope of the network and reaching out beyond the sector.

The project

Awarded 88/100 points, the project shall receive a maximum of 250.000 Euro per year over four years for a total funding of up to one million Euro.

This funding will not only benefit the 60 member associations in 29 countries and the several hundred member choirs and individual members of the Association, but also the 2,5 Million people it reaches through its network, as well as the 37 Million singers practicing Collective Singing in Europe. By raising the awareness for the sector among the non-singing Europeans, it will contribute to increasing the number of participants in this art form.

The action plan of the project is developed under three keywords:


The project aims at developing and strengthening the network, offering capacity building for conductors, composers, singers and staff to help them internationalize their careers. The association will develop new (digital) tools for conductors and managers, help national organisations to internationalize their activities, with the aim of diversifying the countries involved. The communication tools and methods of the network will be developed to reach out to a wider audience.


ECA-EC is aiming to cooperate with other players in the sector of Collective Singing, involving more (professional) individuals, cooperating with specialized organisations and enlarging the geographical scope of the network.

We will foster inclusive activities (cross-generational, cross-genre, trans-cultural, etc.),  implement cooperation strategies to reach far beyond the current network and further connect the amazing diversity of collective singing practices.


Finally, the association wishes to reach out beyond the sector, encouraging cross-sectorial cooperation including cooperation with other European networks, reaching out to people who are not singing (yet), collecting research on the benefits of Collective Singing and promoting these benefits.

Developed over two years in tight cooperation with the membership, on the basis of needs analysis, the project “Upgrade – Connect – Reach out: Raising Awareness for Collective Singing in Europe” will  run from September 2017 to August 2021.
Over these four years, the focus of the association will be to build a resilient and sustainable model for the future of the network. A more detailed action plan will be published later in 2017.

2017 - 2018



The first year of the project came to an end in August 2018 and we are now at the beginning of the second year.

During the first year, we offered new activities, increased membership involvement and upgraded the communication tools of the association in order to reach new aim groups.

New communication tools:

It also increased opportunities of peer-to-peer learning through the staff exchange programme, and it promoted the cross-border dissemination of choral compositions through the European Award for Composers.
First research on the benefits of collective singing was collected and a PHD student chosen to work on a meta-study that will serve the sector.

Membership involvement was increased through:

  • Membership Day in October 2017
  • Grants offered to (potential) members with reduced budgets
  • New members from countries previously not represented

We reached out to many new partners in the choral sector and beyond:

  • Organising a first “Singtank” for a new strategy for the sector of Collective Singing
  • Gathering associations at a round table discussion in Tallinn
  • Attending different conference and events of other associations
  • Discussing concrete cooperation with a number of choral and non-choral associations for the coming years

Year 2 of the project will see a continuation of most of the activities started in year 1 as well as new initiatives such as a Capacity Building Workshop on Evaluation, a more open peer-to-peer programme and the commissioning of new choral works. The association will collect videos of good warming ups, offer webinars, and publish a number of guidelines on how to make your event mobility-friendly or how to organise a low-budget festival.

Creative Europe is the European Commission’s 2014 – 2020 framework programme for support to the culture and audiovisual sectors.