Mission, values and history

What is the World Choir Games all about?

Our mission

Themission of the World Choir Games 2021 Flanders is to exponentiallygrow the singing community (culture) and to illustrate that Flandersis a cultural, gastronomic, and tourist region with a great deal tooffer both Belgians and foreign visitors (tourism).


Webelieve that singing together around the globe during World ChoirGames is an ideal way to share a positive and connecting message withour society. We also hope that the event will encourage many Flemishpeople to enjoy singing together and to join a choir or even set oneup for themselves. Whether you sing in the shower or sing opera,singing is for everybody!


TheWorld Choir Games offers singers and choir fans all over the worldthe unique opportunity to discover Flanders. Our aim is to offer allparticipants an intense tourist experience and to put Flanders on thetourist map both at home and abroad. We are certain that more than17,000 foreign visitors will return home in November 2021 with abroad and diverse image of our region, and will share their positivestory back home.

Everyoneis welcome

Thisproject is not one by choirs and for choirs alone. It is a project bychoirs for a very wide audience! That is demonstrated by the manyfree outdoor events for everybody: 100 friendship concerts with 400choirs from the whole of Flanders, 8 open singings on squares in thecities of Ghent and Antwerp, a mass karaoke for 6,000 singers andFlemish people, etc. We also wish to involve as many disadvantagedgroups as possible and give them the chance to participate in theWorld Choir Games.

Singingin a choir = trendy

Aboveall, we aim to update the image of singing in a choir among those notin a choir to a modern image in line with series like Glee, filmssuch as Pitch Perfect and Step Up, and to do so without scaring offthe fans of Les Choristes or Klara.

Strengthenthe importance of amateur arts in Flanders

Flandersis a region with a rich cultural history and a dynamic culturalnetwork that is well known and recognised worldwide. Our singingculture and tradition is one to be proud of, and an importantconnecting element in our Flemish culture. There are currently 35,000active singers in over 1,000 choirs in Flanders. Other culturalorganisations are doing well, too: with no less than one in threeFlemish people who are either directly or indirectly involved in anamateur arts organisation. This means we are among the world’sleaders when it comes to cultural participation. With the World ChoirGames, we wish to reinforce the importance of amateur arts in thecultural domain.

Parade of Nations INTERKULTUR 3
Best Of IK WCG Nolte Photography 2 min

Onze waarden

Om het in één zin samen te vatten:


Koorzang heeft een grote maatschappelijke functie. Het is een uitgelezen manier om verschillende groepen in de maatschappij te verbinden en zorgt op een organische manier voor meer begrip en samenwerking en minder verzuring.

Zingen heeft ook een belangrijke psychische impact en het is een middel dat mensen helpt met slaapproblemen, burn out en depressie. Het wordt ook ingezet bij revalidaties, b.v. na keelkanker en wordt ook in de ouderenzorg actief aangewend om personen die lijden aan dementie te helpen. Bij initiatieven als de Warmste Week en Belgium’s Got Talent zagen we eerder al contactkoren aan het werk, waar personen die lijden aan dementie, samen met hun mantelzorgers zingen. Zo mochten de Betty’s zelfs het voorprogramma van Muse vertolken. Maar even goed zijn er koren voor slechthorenden, voor daklozen, gedetineerden, vluchtelingen, zwangere vrouwen, personen met een fysische beperking en noem maar op. Ook deze koren komen tijdens de World Choir Games ruim aan bod.

Samen zingen zorgt bovendien voor de aanmaak van endorfines en de vermindering van stress, maar bovenal is het ook gewoon een fantastisch leuke hobby! Eentje die je bovendien ook helpt om goed je balans te vinden en sociaal actief te zijn.

Onze belangrijkste waarden zijn dus als volgt:

  • De verbindende kracht van samenzang
  • Inclusie en diversiteit;
  • Toegankelijkheid;
  • Positiviteit;
  • Ecologisch bewustzijn en gezondheid.

Onze brand promise sluit hier mooi op aan:

“We celebrate the power of singing”



Tosum it up in one sentence:



  • Participation
    This project is not one by choirs and for choirs alone. It is a project by choirs for a very wide audience, for 1,500 volunteers, for disadvantaged groups, for music professionals, for tourists, and so on.

  • Public accessibility
    Extra efforts are being made to involve those living in poverty, the elderly, plus children and young people. VrijUit is the main partner in these efforts, through which we will offer more than 500 tickets at a much lower rate, along with the right and properly handled information for this target audience.

  • Inclusion and diversity on stage
    We are determined that the 11th edition will be the most open, inclusive, and successful edition of the World Choir Games. Special efforts are being made to involve disadvantaged groups in this grand event. This means not only people with mental or physical disabilities, but also disadvantaged groups who face exclusion or obstacles for different reasons when it comes to the culture experience. Choirs for the hard of hearing, the homeless, prisoners, refugees, pregnant women, people with dementia, etc.: they will all be given a seat during the World Choir Games thanks to the Koorvlamconcerten, Jury on Tour, etc.

  • Talent development
    Within the choir world, amateur and professional arts team up and help each other to grow and become stronger. We wish to emphasise this impact in Flanders by offering things such as coaching sessions and workshops.

  • Innovation
    It has never been a better time to innovate when it comes to choirs. Covid-19 means developing new approaches for singers and that’s also the focus at the World Choir Games. The WCG will be a hybrid event, with a Virtual Village for streaming, competition, and meeting. We are also working with IMEC on a Choir Box, which offers a solution to delays in existing systems such as Teams, Zoom, etc. that make it harder to sing together. The technology will be presented during the WCG!


  • Contribution to the flourishing destination of Flanders
    Visitors, residents, and participants form one flourishing community. The World Choir Games unites these three audiences in one project, each from their own perspective, but 1+1+1=5. Over the last year, we have all discovered just how beautiful Flanders can be!

  • Showing off the best of Flanders!
    Hotels, bars and restaurants, airlines and bus companies… they have all had an incredibly tough time due to Covid-19. This project gives them a boost! Thanks to the World Choir Games 2021 Flanders, more than 4,000 foreign visitors will return home in November 2021 as ambassadors for Flanders. They will return home with a broad and diverse image of our region, and share their positive story back home.

  • Reinforce the social cohesion with connection and optimism
    This is so very important today. After months of little social contact, singing in a choir will be able to perform its social role con brio! It is a perfect way to reconnect different groups in society and organically generates more empathy and less misunderstandings.


  • Sustainability & legacy
    The World Choir Games is not a project with a one-off impact. Our efforts lie in a long-term vision in which we aim to encourage more people to sing, and strengthen social cohesion and the local cultural policy, reinvest the acquired ‘capital’ for future events, and apply a continuous quality improvement with the integration of choir coaching and workshops with professional musicians.
  • Ecological awareness
    Our sustainability philosophy applies not only to the choral domain, but to the entire world. Every decision that we make is done with respect for fellow humans but also for nature. We are also greatly aware of our impact as humans on the climate and the environment. For example, we have developed a sustainable mobility plan allowing both Flemish and foreign choirs to travel in a way that minimises the pressure on the environment.

Ourbrand promise fits our values nicely:

Wecelebrate the power of singing”


Thisis the eleventheditionof the World Choir Games. The first edition was organised in Linz(Austria) in 2000 and they have been held every two years indifferent countries across the world ever since.

The11th Games in Flanders aimed to be the largest edition, with over25,000 singers registered for the original edition, but this is nolonger the ambition due to Covid-19. What we do want to be is themost memorable edition!

Previouseditions were held in:

  • Tshwane (South Africa), 2018
  • Sochi (Russia), 2016
  • Riga (Latvia), 2014
  • Cincinnati (USA), 2012
  • Shaoxing (China), 2010
  • Graz (Austria), 2008
  • Xiamen (China), 2006
  • Bremen (Germany), 2004
  • Busan (South Korea), 2002

Futureeditions will be held in:

  • Flanders (Belgium), 2021
  • Gangneung (South Korea), 2022
  • Auckland (New Zealand), 2024

Whoorganises the World Choir Games 2021 Flanders?

TheWorld Choir Games are organised on the initiative of Interkulturand EventFlanders,a partnership between Toerisme Vlaanderen, the department of Culture,Youth and Media, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and SportVlaanderen, in collaboration with the city of Antwerp, the city ofGhent, and Koor&Stem vzw.

Koor&Stemvzw is organising the World Choir Games 2021 Flanders on behalf ofthe Flemish Government. Koor&Stem is the point of contact forchoirs and vocal music and unites more than 1,000 Flemish choirs. Itpromotes singing together in all kinds of ways. Conductors, singers,and managers of amateur choirs can get in touch for advice, training,and performance opportunities, and, beyond the choral world, theassociation is also active in education and the care sector.Initiatives such as Koorklank,Doewap,De Stemvan ons Geheugen,and SingingBrusselshave all been successfully launched and developed in the past years.

Better is one day Screenshot 4

30 october till 7 november 2021, Flanders

Sing together share happiness

In cooperation with

  • Vlaanderen verbeelding werkt naakte versie
  • INTERKULTUUR 400x153
  • Koor Stem
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