First and foremost, Shallaway seeks to help develop each young person in its care to their fullest potential, as individuals, as musicians and as citizens. A primary goal is the strong identity-formation of each young person as a Newfoundlander and Labradorian, and a Canadian. Having a strong sense of one's own cultural identity equips each young person with a wide capacity to empathetically value the cultural identities of others in the world, whether they meet or not.
Shallaway has consciously sought to connect with other cultures in a developmental way. Steeped in the rich musical traditions of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada, it has embraced the music of other cultures, with some 33 languages in its current repertoire. Through this cultural embrace, the choir has developed an active program of intercultural outreach and exchange. These links have built cultural bridges throughout Canada, in North and South America, Britain, Europe and Asia. The creation and publication of new artworks by Canadian and international composers is a regular vehicle through which Shallaway seeks to fulfill its cultural mandate. Each season the choir presents, in national and international venues, world premieres of works it has commissioned.
While Shallaway moves widely in the world, its core vision of community is a grounded and empathic one that embraces leadership and citizenship as dynamic co-creators of an open, supportive, yet questioning society. Ultimately, in its wider aim for a vibrant new post-cod society for Newfoundland and Labrador, it aspires to empower its young people as pro-active contributors and critical agents-of-change.