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The Internationale Koorwedstrijd Vlaanderen (IKV) or International Choir Contest Flanders will take place for the 15th time during the weekend of October 4-6 2019. It all started in 1987 in Maasmechelen, which became the hometown of this contest for 30 years. In 2019 the competition will take place in C-Mine in Genk. This old mine site combines the history and charm of the old buildings with modern creativity: the perfect place for the International Choir Contest Flanders!

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International in Flanders

Because of IKV, every two years Flanders and the province of Limburg may welcome voices from all over the world, like Croatia, Russia and even Indonesia. All the choirs try to convince the professional jury with performances of known and lesser-known music, melodies form their own countries and of course the compulsory work written by a famous Flemisch composer. 

Competition and musical friendships

This weekend full of music always starts with a kick off concert on Friday evening. Every choir has to sing a jury concert on both Saturday and Sunday, in one of the two categories (equal voices or mixed choir). All the singers will get the chance to get to know each other during the weekend, have fun together and even sing friendship concerts on Saturday evening at different locations in the Flemish province of Limburg. On Sunday the weekend will end with a closing concert and the proclamation.

How it started in 1987...

The choir Cantate from Maasmechelen celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1987. Therefore the president and conductor of the choir Frans Meyers and Maurice Delporte wanted to do something special. The choir not only sang some celebration concerts, they also organised for the first time the prestigious International Choir Contest Cantate in Maasmechelen. This was the start of a long and beautiful tradition. The singers of Cantate, nowadays conducted by Marie-Rose Van Gerven, still contribute to organize this big international event. Because of an amazing group of enthusiastic volunteers, every edition is a successful and unforgettable choir event.  

At our competition different music cultures can get acquainted with each other. And for us, it's an opportunity to promote Flemish choral music.
Jos Venken, chairman IKV


During the first weekend of October 2019, twelve selected choirs from all over the world will participate in the International Choir Contest Flanders, that takes place in Limburg every two years. Do you want to be part of this singing competition with your choir? Send us your application before February 15, 2019.


IKV is a competition for choirs with mixed or equal voices with a minimum of 14 (equal) or 16 (mixed) singers and a maximum of 40 singers. The participation fee for each choir is € 250 per category.


As a choir, you can apply in one of the two categories: choir with mixed voices or choir with equal voices. The jury will pick three winners in each category and there are four other special prices to win.

Prizes to win

First prize € 1.750, second price € 1.500, third price € 1.250. There is a price for best performance of the compulsory work € 750 and best performance of the unison folksong, also € 750. The price of the audience is € 500 and the choir with the highest score of the jury in the competition will receive a piece of art.

Compulsory repertoire

A work composed before 1750, a work from the period 1800-1950, the compulsory work (a work composed by a Flemish composer), a work composed after 1950 of the choir’s own country, a unison folksong from the choir’s own country and a free choice of some other choral pieces.

Concerts during the competition

All the choirs are invited to the big opening concert on Friday night. In addition to the jury concerts, each choir can present itself with a concert program of 30 minutes for the concerts on Saturday evening. On Sunday, we end the weekend with a final concert where every choir can sing one more song.



The participating choirs can choose to stay in host families during the weekend, € 30/person. De organisation will help to find a good place to stay for all the singers. The choirs can also choose to book their own hotel/hostel and pay and arrange everything themselves. 


All the information and details about how to apply for the competition can be found in the document that you can download below. We need all the applications before February 15, 2019. Download competition rules

Go to application form

PARAMABIRA Goes to Belgium 2017 (After Competition Video)

"Life becomes more meaningful when we realize the simple fact that we'll never get the same moment twice." Relive the experiences of the Indonesian choir Paramabira. They participated at the choir contest in 2017. See you in 2019?

Practical info

Dates and location

The 15th edition of the International Choir Contest Flanders will take in C-mine Genk in the province of Limburg, from Friday October 4 until Sunday October 6, 2019.

C-mine cultuurcentrum Genk
C-Mine 10, bus 1, 3600 Genk


The board of the International Choir Contest Flanders: Jos Venken (president), Marie-Rose Van Gerven en Albert Philippaers (vice-presidents), Christiane Janssens (secretary), Finie Tollenaers (treasurer), Mirek Cerny, Geert De Troyer, Frans Loyens, Lea Ubachs, Paul Steegmans, Willy Swennen, Lieselotte Goessens, Steven Smits en Gert Vanderlee.


Christiane Janssens
Oude Hoevestraat 51
3600 Genk
+32 475 399 947 [at]

Competition photos

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