Today, JUNO Award nominee iskwē joined MusiCounts, Canada’s leading music education charity, for a celebration at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School in Thorold, ON. This year through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, MusiCounts donated $1 million in musical instruments and equipment to 96 schools across Canada.
“Music adds possibilities for so many students, and we were thrilled to celebrate today with iskwē and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School,” said Kristy Fletcher, Executive Director, MusiCounts. “Thank you to The Slaight Family Foundation for your continued support of MusiCounts!”
As a result of the incredibly generous support from The Slaight Family Foundation, St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School received a $5,000.00 MusiCounts Band Aid Program instrument grant in early 2019. The new instruments have allowed the music program to continue to grow and will give students access to instruments for years to come.
In 2019, the Foundation is supporting six Ontario schools via the Musicounts Band Aid Program: St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary (Thorold), David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute (Scarborough), Epiphany of Our Lord (Scarborough), Lucy McCormick Senior School (Toronto), St. Oscar Romero Catholic Secondary School (Toronto), St. Rene Goupil Catholic School (Scarborough).
iskwē performed “Little Star” and a traditional song for an excited classroom of students and spoke about her experience with music education. “Music education offers students an opportunity to express themselves in ways that are new and exciting, encouraging young ones to tap into their creative minds and hearts”, said iskwē.
“Congratulations St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School on your new instruments,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. “Starting with my father Allan Slaight, we have been supporting the MusiCounts Band Aid Program and helping put instruments into the hands of kids in schools in Ontario. We believe having access to music education in school is essential.”
Applications for 2019-20 are now open, and schools can apply for instruments for their new or existing music program here.
About The Slaight Family Foundation:
The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight is known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, music leader and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture.
iskwē is a Juno Award nominee for Indigenous Album of the Year (2018) and winner of the WCMA Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year (2017). A personal sense of community and ancestral curiosity has enabled iskwē, of Cree and Métis decent, to enlighten, inspire, unsettle and entertain audiences around the world. iskwē’s new album acākosīk -ᐊᒐᑯᓯᐠ (pronounced acha-ko-suk) will be released on November 8. Please see iskwē’s website for November tour dates. www.iskwe.com
Celebration Photos (credit Lindsay Miller)