Chorus: The National Young Adult Conference

Each year, Canadian UU young adults (18-35) gather to build beloved community, deepen our cross-country connections, and grow as spiritual beings. This gathering, called Chorus, happens over May long weekend every year, in conjunction with its sibling event for youth, CanUUdle

Chorus looks a little bit different every year. On even-numbered years (Conference years), Chorus is quite integrated into the CUC’s National Conference, while still offering specific opportunities for young adults to connect with their community. On odd-numbered years (Standalone years), Chorus is more of a pure “con.” Participants eat, sleep, worship and do activities together in the same building (often a church, camp or retreat site), and join with the youth of CanUUdle for some shared activities a few times during the weekend. 

Chorus, CanUUdle and the National Conference 

Chorus happens at the same time as CanUUdle, our national youth conference (for teens aged 14-19 and their adult advisors), and the weekend includes some shared programming. Older youth (17-19) can get to know the young adult community through the bridging dinner and may choose to “bridge” in a ceremony to mark their transition from youth to young adulthood. 

Every other year (on even-numbered years, or “Conference years”), both CanUUdle and Chorus happen alongside the CUC’s National Conference. On odd-numbered years (“Standalone years”), they happen alongside each other. 

On Conference years, Chorus is designed to give young adults a “both/and” experience – inviting them to engage as full participants of all aspects of the CUC Conference as well as have specific opportunities to build community with each other in more intimate settings and with the bridging youth who are joining the YA community. 

These distinct events include:

  • Senior youth and young adult bridging dinner and social time
  • Youth and young adult-led Bridging Ceremony (usually Saturday evening)
  • Programming on Friday and Monday, also open to bridging youth
  • Social events throughout the weekend

What do young adults get out of attending Chorus? 

We’ll let them speak for themselves! Here’s what participants had to say about Chorus 2019: 

“My favourite part about Chorus is getting to spend time with like minded, positive young adults. Overall, the weekend creates a sense of community for me that carries on past the weekend, and reminds me that there is a place I belong.”

“I just want to thank you for organizing such a wonderful and restorative event, and for encouraging me to go.”

“I’m so glad I came. It feels like coming home. See you next year!!” 

Other favourite parts of Chorus include: 

  • Lack of social media and other internet-related things
  • Reconnecting to people, spirituality, and values that I don’t find elsewhere 
  • Worship practices and techniques that I don’t find elsewhere
  • The many opportunities for leadership within our community
  • The workshops and worship, getting to step outside my role and just be myself in UU context, guitar jams, Food!
  • The singing, the touch groups, the reflection time
  • Reconnecting with people and community
  • Building new connections and rekindling old ones

Registration, fees and subsidies

All young adults need to register for Chorus through the Events Calendar. Registration for Chorus typically opens in February. 

Our registration form asks for basic contact information, dietary restrictions, medical conditions, medications and emergency contacts – information we need to help all participants have a safe and fun con experience. There are also opportunities to step into leadership roles and share your gifts by helping with worship, workshops and facilitating small groups, which you can indicate your interest for on the registration form. 

Chorus registration fees are “sliding scale”, meaning that participants choose the amount they are able to pay. Sliding scale helps us make the event accessible to more people, and empowers participants to support each other. The information on our Sliding Scale page can help you in choosing your registration fee, based on your financial situation. 

Subsidies are available to help with registration and travel costs, through the Dawning Future Youth and Young Adult Subsidy Fund. See the Dawning Future Subsidy Fund page for more information and to apply. Applications are due by the end of each month (at least 3 weeks before the event), and are reviewed in the first 2 weeks of the next month. The limited number of subsidies available in 2020 will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Still have questions about Chorus? 

Contact Youth and Young Adult Program and Events Staff, Casey Stainsby: casey@cuc.ca