This article is the second in a series of reviews of prominent organs in various locations throughout Edmonton.
During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Edmonton’s music community underwent a Baroque revival movement. During this time, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble was founded by Paul Schieman and continues to perform to this day; their primary venue is Robertson-Wesley United Church, the location of this article’s featured organ.
During this Baroque revival, several organs were installed in Edmonton that harkened back to the original German and Dutch organs of the 1600’s and 1700’s. Spurning modern innovations and conveniences, these organs favored the traditional tracker mechanism.
The RCCO held a convention in Edmonton in the summer of 1979 and the new organ in Robertson-Wesley was intended to be the convention’s showpiece. Built by Gabriel Kney of London, Ontario, the organ replaced an earlier Casavant instrument that had been in service since 1956. It was formally dedicated on Sunday, September 16th 1979.
With proceeds from the convention, the Sundays at 3 Organ Concert Series was established. Eventually renamed OrganIC (Organs In Concert), the series is the longest-running organ concert series in Canada.