About EMSI

Master of the Female Half-lengths, Three Young Women Making Music with a JesterBased in Victoria, BC, the Early Music Society of the Islands (EMSI) is one of North America’s most active and successful early music specialists. It was founded in 1985 to promote interest in historically-informed performances of music composed before 1800.

EMSI presents an annual concert series of music from the middle ages to the early classical age from its home concert venue, the beautiful Alix Goolden Performance Hall.  Each concert spotlights an  internationally-acclaimed connoisseur of period music.

Community Engagement

The Society offers an annual early music bursary, and arranges workshops and masterclasses with visiting artists. Through the Early Music Community Connection program, EMSI supports the concerts of local musicians and makes its period instruments available to the community.

Visit our Members page to see how you can become part of the Society. For advance notice of EMSI concerts and performers, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button at the bottom of our main page.


EMSI is fully managed by dedicated volunteers. Here you will find the Society’s constitution and bylaws.

2020/21 Board of Directors

James Young Artistic Director

Joanne Whitehead President

Hélène Cazes Vice President

Bill Jamieson Treasurer

John Fitzmaurice Secretary

Judith Carder Volunteer Coordinator

Lane Befus Front-of-House Manager

Liz Willis Archivist



EMSI is able to bring you world-class early music thanks to generous support by Heritage Canada, the CRD Arts Council and the Victoria Foundation.

Season Sponsors