Eleanor McCain celebrated the release of her landmark album/book project True North: The Canadian Songbook with an album release event in support of MusiCounts. Donations from the event raised over $100,000, and Eleanor McCain and MusiCounts announced the five schools that will receive $20,000 commemorative musical instrument grants – the True North: The Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grants. These instrument grants will be awarded to deserving schools across Canada in celebration of the 20th anniversary of MusiCounts in 2017.
The schools chosen to receive the commemorative grants via the MusiCounts Band Aid Program are:
St. Aidan Catholic School – Toronto, ON
St. Aidan offers students an orchestra and strings program which is a rarity within the Toronto District School Board. The music program at St. Aidan has been extremely popular among students, creating a positive environment for them to engage in while building self-esteem. This Commemorative Band Aid Grant has had a significant impact on the school’s music program. Their instruments were decades old with some dating back to 1968 but through this Grant, St. Aidan has added new violins and violas to their instrument library, allowing more students to participate in the music program.
École primaire Langlois – Salaberry de Valleyfield, QC
École Langlois’ music program was diminished after their musical instrument inventory was completely wiped out by a widespread mold problem. With no instruments to offer their students, instruments were rented by the school’s music teacher for students to play as they worked on rebuilding the school’s marching band program. The True North: The Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grant which was awarded to Ecole Langlois allowed them to outfit their marching band program with Clarinets, Saxophones, Trumpets, Trombones, Flutes, Euphoniums, Digital Pianos and more.
Jack Hulland Elementary School – Whitehorse, YT
Jack Hulland Elementary School is located on the traditional land of the The K’wanlin Dun First Nation and has many students who are from one of the 14 Yukon First nations. As a school whose entire population must participate in music class, a new drumline and general music program was proposed with the goal of engaging all students regardless of musical taste or experience. With their grant, Jack Hulland Elementary School has built their drumline program and enhanced their general music program with the addition of Marching Drums, Flutes, Clarinets, various hand drums including Djembes, Cabasas and more.
Qiqirtaq High School – Gjoa Haven, NU
With no music program existing at Qiqirtaq High School, the True North: The Canadian Songbook Commemorative Band Aid Grant will fund a guitar based music program. The goal behind this music program is to provide students with an outlet through musical skill building so that they can feel competent and give expression to their experiences. There are currently very few after school activities for students in the community so this music program will have a tremendous impact on the youth of Gjoa Haven. Through this Band Aid grant some of the instruments they will receive include Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Amplifiers, Bass Guitars, Ukuleles, Drums, a Digital Piano, Microphones, and a PA System.
Winnipegosis Elementary School – Winnipegosis, MB
Winnipegosis Elementary School is considered to be a safe haven where students can be inspired in all forms. With the majority of the student body relying on the school breakfast program, fundraising for the music program isn’t possible. To compensate, the school has been making their own instruments and using these for school performances. With their Commemorative Band Aid Grant, Winnipegosis Elementary School was able to enhance their music program tremendously with the purchase of a Drum Set, Tubas, Trumpets, Saxophones, Clarinets, Melodicas, a Digital Grand Piano, Guitars, and Amplifiers. This instrument upgrade means that all students will be able to participate in music class and learn music on new instruments.
The True North: The Canadian Songbook event highlighted the importance of supporting music education and empowering children with music. The evening included a performance from Michael Power St Joseph High School’s drumline and Melanie Doane’s Uschool.