MusiCounts Celebrates 20th Anniversary

MusiCounts is pleased to announce 2017 will mark its 20th Anniversary of keeping music alive in Canada, by ensuring children have access to music programs in their schools and communities. To date, over nine million dollars has been awarded to help support music education in Canada.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved over the past two decades to keep music alive in schools and communities across Canada,” said Kristy Fletcher, Director, MusiCounts. “Thanks to our incredible partners and generous supporters, we have made significant strides in providing essential programs to ensure that young Canadians have the opportunity to experience the joy of music. We are particularly excited about the True North: Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grants, generously provided by Eleanor McCain to mark this special anniversary. This donation will allow us to continue to make a positive impact for years to come.”

In 1997, as a result of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS)’s share of the proceeds from the sale of the 25th Anniversary JUNO Awards commemorative CD box set “Oh What A Feeling”, MusiCounts established the Band Aid Program. Since then through a strong mandate and vision, MusiCounts has grown to develop new initiatives and essential programs to increase awareness and support for music education in Canada.

MusiCounts now achieves its mission through five programs: the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, The Fred Sheratt Awards established in partnership with Bell Media, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, the MusiCounts Band Aid Program and the MusiCounts Scholarships. To date, funds through these programs have supported close to 850 schools and communities; over 350 post-secondary music program graduates and honoured 12 extraordinary music teachers nationwide.

On February 15, 2017 applications open for the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, which provides musical instruments and equipment to after-school programs, community centres and other community nonprofit organizations.

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary, MusiCounts is also excited to announce that it will issue five enhanced $20,000 ‘True North: The Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grants’, through the support of singer Eleanor McCain in conjunction with her upcoming True North: Canadian Songbook CD and book release (Retriever Records/ eOne / Page Two Strategies). In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, the three-time East Coast Music Association Award nominee traveled across Canada recording a collection of 32 of Canada’s most iconic pop and folk songs with 10 orchestras. The double CD comes with a bilingual coffee table book featuring landscape photography, song lyrics, commentary by songwriters, behind the scenes photography, and portraits in select Canadian landscapes. McCain will host a private CD and book launch fundraising event on May 9, with a goal to raise over $100,000 for MusiCounts.

“Music has played such an important role in my life and I understand the importance of music education for young people. As I recorded this new album and have started to prepare for the album’s release, I wanted to find a way to not only celebrate this unique project, but also to give back,” said McCain. “I love what MusiCounts stands for, and the incredible work they do to ensure kids have access to music programs and instruments. Creating these new enhanced grants will, I hope, inspire the next generation of young Canadian musicians.”

In 2017 MusiCounts will highlight some of the wonderful stories and successes from its 20 year history on the newly designed website at Join the conversation and share how MusiCounts impacted your life or moved you to take action. If you have a MusiCounts story to share please post it on social media with the hashtag #MusiCounts20 and tag @MusiCounts.

Ashley Sperling