TORONTO, ON – Today, JUNO Award winner Ruth B., joined MusiCounts to celebrate Bell Media’s generous support of the MusiCounts Band Aid Program. Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary, hosted the festivities where Ruth B. surprised St. Rita School students with an intimate music workshop, performance and Q&A. This year, St. Rita School received $10,000 worth of new instruments for their school music program through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program.
“We are proud to have awarded this grant to St. Rita School here in Calgary and we hope that our contribution helps inspire future students to enjoy music,” said Kristy Fletcher, Director, MusiCounts. “This event would not have been made possible without Bell Media’s continued support of MusiCounts, which will help us increase access to music education for thousands of students across this country.”
“The current global spotlight on new and emerging Canadian artists is outstanding and it all starts in the classrooms where MusiCounts, along with local radio and digital platforms, can cultivate a passion to explore and experience music like never before,” said Chad Martin, Program Director, Bell Media.
Multi-platinum Sony Recording artist Ruth B. sat down with students for an intimate music workshop, then took to the stage for an acoustic performance of her hit songs “Superficial Love” and “Lost Boy”. The Alberta native then spoke about the impact music education has had on her own career, before taking questions from the audience of excited students.
“Music has opened so many doors in my life and has given me amazing opportunities and experiences. I am honoured to work with MusiCounts to share the importance of music education in the classroom, a cause that’s close to my heart,” said Ruth B. “I loved being part of this wonderful event and have the opportunity to celebrate music and the impact it has in our schools and communities.”
Virgin Radio personality Kirstin Steier hosted the festivities, and highlighted MusiCounts’ ongoing commitment to ensure that all children and youth in Canada have access to music education in their schools and communities. Kristen MacDonald, St. Rita School’s music teacher spoke about the school’s music program and the grant impact, before leading students in a performance for the delighted crowd of supporters.
**To download hi-res images from the event, click here. (photo credit: Sebastian Buzzalino (Unfolding Creative Photography).
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About Ruth B.
Canadian newcomer Ruth B. established herself as an authentic singer/songwriter of considerable promise and purpose in 2016, and the music world responded with open arms. Most recently, she received a coveted JUNO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and a BMI Pop Award for her viral hit “Lost Boy,” which started it all. Her 12-song debut album Safe Haven shines as dazzling pop embroidery far surpassing first album expectations, with Rolling Stone lauding the album 3.5 stars and declaring Ruth B. “one to watch.”
Composing all of the album’s songs herself, Ruth blazes with the same surefooted intensity as she did on “Lost Boy,” but all the while transforming and growing right before our eyes. Her captivating presence charges the atmosphere on the new album with an unpretentious intimacy. Grammy Award-winning producer Joel Little’s (Lorde) layered production showcases Ruth’s breathtakingly golden vocals and piano/keyboard chops while creating new aural spaces for her to shine.
Whether it’s the incredible Pop song craft of “Dandelion” or the up-tempo harmonic splendor of “Safe Haven,” the young artist wins us over as an undiluted force to be reckoned with. Ruth’s instinctual command is elegantly magnified, with Little enlivening the sonic shadings and breathtaking harmonies, but never over-reaching. Like all the best fully-realized debut albums, Safe Haven stakes claim to higher musical ground by the sheer power of Ruth’s artistry.
Blessed with a knack for flaking the gold from every confessional verse, the 21 year old Ruth has described Safe Haven as a musical “diary,” with many of the songs inspired by those final, formative years of high school and the year after leading up to her astonishing debut. “I didn’t do any co-writes on the album because I needed the songs to come from heart,” Ruth says. “Writing songs for me is literally like keeping a diary. These are stories rooted in that crucial phase of growing up – what I felt about love and heartbreak and being young and everything in between, so I couldn’t imagine handing over the diary to someone else. ”
Safe Haven showcases Ruth’s ability to change course, from plaintive piano ballads like the poignant opening track “Mixed Signals” to the moodier love-is-a-battlefield-dramatics of “World War 3.” She scales the heights of her vocal power on the stunning power-ballad “If This Is Love,” which Ruth wrote it in one day and performed the next night to a sold-out crowd at Joe’s Pub. “For me that was a real turning point – the night where people stopped looking at me as a ‘Viner’ and saw that I was a genuine songwriter. Now, my biggest goal is for the songs on Safe Haven to move people and inspire them.”
About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in
television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.
About Studio Bell
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, is an international hub for music and technology, and the first national cultural institution of its kind dedicated to celebrating music in Canada in all of its forms. More than a museum, Studio Bell rises in nine interlocking towers, clad in glazed terra cotta in the heart of Calgary’s East Village. The 160,000 square-foot building includes five floors of exhibition space, an over 2,000 piece collection of artifacts, instruments and music technology, and other features including recording facilities, workshops, classrooms, event spaces, and a 300-seat performance hall. For more information, please visit studiobell.ca.
MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity associated with CARAS and the JUNO Awards is keeping music alive in schools and communities across Canada by putting musical instruments into the hands of children that need them most. MusiCounts’ mission is to ensure that youth in Canada have access to music programs through their schools and communities. MusiCounts celebrates musical excellence and achieves its mission through its Band Aid Program, the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives. MusiCounts is funded by many of Canada’s most dedicated corporate citizens including and especially TD Bank Group, Bell Media, SiriusXM Canada, Music Canada, Vista Radio, and The Hot Topic Foundation. MusiCounts has been supported since inception by Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada Ltd., JUNO Songwriters’ Circle and JUNO Cup. MusiCounts was established in 1997, and has awarded over $10,000,000 in support of music education in Canada. These funds have benefitted nearly 1,000 schools and communities, supported over 350 post-secondary music program graduates, and honoured 12 extraordinary music teachers and one MusiCounts ambassador.