TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top

IRCPA (International Resource Centre for Performing Artists)

By Musical Toronto on October 10, 2016




Office: 43 Bright Street, Toronto, M5A 3H5, 


Phone: 416 362 1422

Email:  sumintl [at] or info [at]

Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Instagram


Photo Gallery



For 33 years the IRCPA has programmed Workshops and Encounters for emerging and mid-career musical artists both singers and instrumentalists.  In 1983 a few professionals used their own money and presented events in Canada, similar to those they gave in Europe, Israel and the US, when there was time and money during their busy careers.  The goal was and is to share information to help artists identify their place in the industry and reach their goals.  In 2013, 3 years ago, the Founder/Director recognized the growing need for these services and retired her business to volunteer full time to develop the organization into a national arts service organization, building on the years of experience, international advice and recognition as well as noteworthy evidence of good impact in the industry. In 2015, with minimum funding, the IRCPA was able to present 9 Workshops and 3 Encounters. The current funding bodies however,  refuse to recognize the 30 successful years already spent in the field, holding back the growth of the organization and it’s services.

The IRCPA strives to create a Community Hub for musicians and music organizations in Toronto where, according to published record, 90 percent more artists are based than any other city in Canada.  In the meantime, we must rely on colleagues in New York and other cities to provide needed services for Canadians.


The Folks Behind It All

Ann Summers Dossena
Ann Summers Dossena


From her 1958 start in New York, through her years in Rome (1968-1977) to her Toronto base since 1977, Ann Summers Dossena has represented international artists in their career development, and been successful as a presenter and producer of concerts, tours and events, earning acclaim for innovative and creative ideas in audience development, and arts marketing.  In 1983 she created the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists as a Canadian, non-profit, charitable organization to assist emerging artists.

After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ms. Summers gained management experience by working for several unions in Toronto, and Actors Equity Council in New York. Recognizing a need for development of musicians as artists, she became a personal representative in 1958, and incorporated Ann Summers Management Inc. in New York in 1960.

The “Extended Engagement Plan” was initiated in New York to develop and create full–time employment for chamber music artists, and at the same time stimulate the interest of concert goers. The program, now known as the “Artist in Residence” program is funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and Chamber Music America. Chamber groups, including jazz ensembles, were organized as membership corporations, thereby stabilizing many groups with long-term planning.

Ms. Summers produced the first series of concerts at Carnegie Hall, including the “Visiting Orchestra” series which still remains today. She created the”Concert Party” series of informal concert presentations that developed audience-building and marketing techniques that have become traditional in many cities including Toronto’s “Bach Brunch” series.

In 1969 “Concert Party” extended to Rome, Italy. Marriage to Rai TV Director, the late Armando Dossena, led to a base in Rome where she worked as a presenter and producer of many high profile arts events, including a tour of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta in Rome, the Music and Architecture Festival featuring over 200 Canadian artists in L’Aquila, a tour of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to Israel, and two tours of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Italy. The creation of Serate Musicali Foundation Inc. in New York, supported an electronic music lab, restored the organ of Buxtehude and sponsored the Bach and Organ Festivals in Rome.

Returning to Toronto in 1977, Ms. Summers established Ann Summers International, with a focus on serving both artists and audiences internationally. In 1983, The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, a non-profit charitable organization was founded in Toronto, with a mandate to help young artists move into their careers.

In 1985 the first edition of “Getting It All Together” was published by Scarecrow Press and distributed to schools and libraries. A second edition will soon be released.

Several managers have apprenticed in the New York and Toronto offices.

In 1993, at the request of the International Institute of Vocal Arts in New York, Ms. Summers found the Villa Mazzotti in Chiari, Italy, as a centre for a 4-week study program for singers, coaches, pianists, with a distinguished faculty including staff members of the Metropolitan and New York City opera companies, Mignon Dunn, Sherrill Milnes, Regina Resnick, and Italian coaches Bruno Rigacci and Marco Boemi. Ms. Summers coordinated the program in Italy through its seventh season.

Having been awarded the first Manager of the Year Award by her peers in NAPAMA North American managers and agents in 2012, Ms Summers Dossena received the prestigious International Citation Award in 2014 from the International Society for Performing Arts ISPA, a global arts organization of presenters, producers, administrators from over 50 countries.  Ms. Summers Dossena is the first Canadian to receive this award. The Citation read: Cross generational and cross regional, Ann Summers Dossena has arguably promoted/developed more artists and arts leaders than any one individual alive today.  Her commitment to the performing arts has spanned 60 years –it is an honour to acknowledge her contribution. The International Citation of Merit is presented for unique lifetime achievement which has enriched the international performing arts. This award is not for performance but rather for distinguished service working within the profession. For example work as a manager (artist/company/venue), in education, marketing and public relations, consultancy, festival director, acoustician, architect and other associated activities. Recipients may be a past or current member of ISPA. Past recipients of the International Citation of Merit include:  Ann Summers Dossena 2014; Sir Clive Gillinson 2012; Edna Landau, Dr. Miriam Makeba 2008; Palacio de Bellas Artes 2004; Lotfi Mansouri 2002; Russell Johnson 1998; Harvey Lichtenstein 1996, among others.




October 22 at 7:30, 24 Spadina Rd. Tickets are $25


The IRCPA, announces an Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky for 10 singers October 12, and, partnered with Alliance Francaise, will present the Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert.

Sondra Radvanovsky, one of the world’s most sought-after sopranos, often considered a successor to Maria Callas, has graciously given the IRCPA one of her days off from Canadian Opera Company performances of Bellini’s Norma, to work with 10 gifted singers on artistic skills, career guidance and share industry information.

A Name a Scholarship campaign to private donors, has provided 10 scholarships, each named for an important Canadian artist, for emerging singers to participate without financial burden. These scholarships will become a significant addition to the singers’ biographies, and remind them, as well as the general public, to take pride in and draw inspiration from the artists of the past and benefit from their histories.

Thanks to the Ed Mirvish Family Foundation and private donors, the scholarships are in the names of Louis Quilico, Clarice Carson, Ermanno Mauro, Maureen Forrester, Judith Forst, Lois McDonall, Joan Hall, Ruby Mercer, Karina Gauvin and Mary Morrison.

At the Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert Saturday, October 22, one of the 10 singers will be awarded a special career opportunity at the National Opera America Center in New York. Called a Career Blueprint, it includes three days in New York for new photographs, video and audio recordings, new materials, website consultation, and mentoring with professionals. These are services the IRCPA strives to provide in Toronto when funds become available. In the meantime, they are offered by our generous colleagues in New York.

— — — — —

with David Cutler, Jazz Pianist and Author.

November 13, at Long & McQuade, 935 Bloor Street West


The all-day Workshop has a 3 for 1 offer.  One ticket at $75 can be shared with two friends and each spend $25.

Dr. David Cutler, Director of Music Entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina, balances a career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, producer/presenter, educator.

“Hands down, this is the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians.”
Jeffrey Zeigler, Kronos Quartet

“In an age when many say the arts are dying, Cutler rights to musicians with authentic and accurate optimism. I loved the savvy Musicians”

Jeff Nelsen, Canadian Brass

The Savvy Musician Workshop, in partnership with Long & McQuade, brings jazz-pianist David Cutler to share his experiences as a ‘savvy musician’.  Sunday, November 13 from 10 am. At noon the Ceo of Chamber Music America, Margaret Lioi,   Atholl Swainston-Harrison from IAMA (European managers) and Tim Robinson from NAPAMA  (North American managers) will speak at noon.

Share this article
comments powered by Disqus