Arts and Entertainment

Caledon Music Festival returns under artistic director Terry Lim

August 24, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

It is wonderful to announce that the Caledon Music Festival is returning to Caledon with three fine concerts planned. Two are scheduled to be performed at the Alton Mill Arts Centre on Friday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 3. The Saturday concert will be played at the Windrush Winery at 3100 Concession 3, Adjala, tucked into the beautiful Hockley Valley.

Terry Lim, artistic director and organizer for the festival, had only praise for the players in these concerts and the music they will be performing. Mr. Lim has been organizing other concerts all summer, right up to a week before the Caledon Music Festival. 

In a telephone interview this week, he told the Citizen, “Each year we try to come with something different. Financially it matters, whether I can do bigger stuff. We have had some grants, including a Town of Caledon grant. The Ontario Arts Council is considering us but we don’t know until the end if we will get a grant from them.”

He promised, “It’s all happening anyway. Each year I try a different time [of year]. We decided it can be better in early September. August can be really hot. This year, there are three concerts from Sept. 1 to 3rd.”

“Friday, Sept. 1, at 7:30,” Mr. Lim began to outline, “at the Alton Mill [Arts Centre], this one is basically a big string group. We want to find young artists on a high level sitting by professionals. A combination of master works with youthful classical composers.”

The first concert is titled: “Haydn to Mendelssohn.”

Coming from a youthful Haydn at age 15 is his first cello concerto, a piece so fitting with three young artists playing it. It has such a light melody, “with an ear worm that could run through the audiences’ heads,” and “they might not mind,” was his opinion.

“Daniel [Hamin Go] is one of the best students coming from New York and Germany and it’s a treat to have him here,” Mr. Lim claimed. “We are featuring Mendelssohn’s Octet with three young musicians and five professionals.”

All of the younger musicians have played for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Auditions for the NYO Canada take place in December and January, and the judges pick the best. One of these, Kai Rousseau, is from Caledon, “the son of one of our donors. I have known him since high school,” said Mr. Lim. “He went into music, and he’s in university now.”

Windrush Winery called Mr. Lim to confirm availability again, this for the second of the three concerts, after a truly splendid concert there last year. Titled “Testing Notes,” it pairs wine with music. The fact that the winery has a Grand Piano gives opportunities for wider choices in music.

“Just imagine this is a program that is more romantic with a pianist and cellist and myself on flute,” Mr. Lim informed us.

He offered more romantic music played in the perfect scenery that surrounds the winery.

“Last year we really loved it there,” he commented. “Last year, it was sold out.”

Windrush is such a beautiful place. How hard is it to find anything more beautiful?

The Grand Finale combines all of the festival players, including soprano Emily Vondrejsova, who lives in Erin. Terry Lim explained that she has been coming back to the festival for many years and that she has spent time in Greece, where she has been studying music. 

The viola player is Ryan Davis. He has come from intensive classical training combined with pop music.

Mr. Lim was keen to say, “We’ll be playing a few of his original pieces that have been performed at TSO concerts. He’s going to be big,” Mr. Lim opined. “He has such an effortless quality to his playing.” 

Mozart delivers the last note for this final concert.

Happy with all of this, Mr. Lim is ambitious for the Caledon Music Festival, hoping they can do more community events with some financial support. He plans to reach out to different companies, for the more funding available, the more that can be done to bring amateurs and professionals together for concerts.

Here is the list of TSO musicians, their colleagues and the Festival Artists:

  • Douglas Kwon, violin
  • Sarah Kim, violin
  • Ryan Davis, viola
  • Andrew Ascenzo, cello
  • Daniel Hamin Go, cello
  • Emily Vondrejsoba, soprano
  • Terry Lim, flute
  • Eric Abramovitz, clarinet
  • Jean-Luc Therrien, piano

The Festival Young Artists are Sally Anh, violin; Kai Rousseau, violin; and Robyn Cheng, viola.

In Terry Lim’s life of organizing and finding support for many other festivals, they are more plentiful in summer than in winter, and during the pause between the seasons, Mr. Lim is inclined to go camping to recharge.

Come the winter, he told us that he teaches university-level music students and is busy with workshops.

For Mr. Lim, the highlight of this year’s festival is “actually having young artists getting involved,” as he said. “We’ve never had a clarinetist before. That comes down to having more community involvement in that way and more concerts.”

The Caledon Music Festival is on over the weekend of Sept. 1 to 3 at the Alton Mill Arts Centre and Windrush Winery. For details and to purchase tickets for each concert, go to the very lovely website:

To inquire about supporting the festival call 647-892-8251​ or email

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