MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award

Presented by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation
2019 JUNO Awards

Watch Video 2019 Recipients Linda & Stephen

Award Overview

What: The MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, presented by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation recognizes an individual who has had an extraordinary impact on education and the charity over the course of its history.

When: MusiCounts and the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation are  pleased to present Gord Bamford with the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award at the inaugural Canadian Music Hall of Fame Ceremony in Calgary on October 27, 2019 at the National Music Centre.

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Award Details

In honour of the Award Recipients, $30,000 worth of MusiCounts Band Aid Program instrument grants will be awarded to Canadian schools.

Each Award Recipient will also receive a solid crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award design created by Canadian glass artist, the late Shirley Elford.



2019-20 Recipient Schools

To be announced in early 2020.

About the Award Recipient

When it comes to stars, Gord Bamford is as humble as they come. Ask the Canadian country artist to name his greatest achievement and he’ll tell you, without hesitation, it’s the charity work of his Gord Bamford Foundation. Although he’s had numerous hit songs, won 26 Canadian Country Music Association awards and is the only two-time winner of Nashville’s Country Music Association’s Global Country Artist award, the four-time JUNO nominee is proudest of giving back to communities and organizations in-need, including the music education charity associated with The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts.

In 2008, Bamford formed his Foundation after holding his first annual charity golf tournament. The Lacombe, Alberta-raised artist had grown up spending time with his big brother match through the Big Brothers and Sisters program and credits the local 4H chapter with teaching him discipline. Those organizations, he says, had a big impact on his life, so they were the first to receive funds from his Foundation. In fact, Big Brothers Big Sisters were able to establish a permanent home in Lacombe thanks to Bamford’s work.

Over 63 organizations—with initiatives ranging from music, education, health care and sports—have been supported by the more than $4 million the Foundation has raised to date.

It wasn’t long before Bamford discovered MusiCounts and its Band Aid Program that provides musical instruments to schools in need across Canada. Since 2014, his Foundation has donated $200,000 to the charity to support school music programs, the largest donation ever received from an artist in MusiCounts’ history.

As well, Bamford sponsored the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award that recognized the work of Jeff Kula—even showing up in person to honour the Winnipeg teacher. And he’s performed at a MusiCounts Band Aid Program celebration and met with the music class, helping to inspire the next generation of music fans and creators. Says Bamford: “The greatest thing I get to do is interact with a lot of these children and try to make a difference in their lives.”

“This all started as a dream to support local charities and children in central Alberta,” explained the country star. “Over time, we’ve seen the impact these monies can have to support groups across Canada so they too can fulfill their dreams.” When it comes to Bamford’s philanthropy, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Learn more about Gord Bamford and the Gord Bamford Foundation:

2011JUNO Awards Statuette

Previous MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award Recipients

Legendary music and entertainment producer, Bob Ezrin first became associated with MusiCounts in 2004 after his induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. In 2005, he proposed that music education should not only be supported but also celebrated, leading to the creation of the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. Through award sponsorship by internationally-renowned artists such as The Rolling Stones, Rush and Michael Bublé, the award program has since elevated MusiCounts' status in the industry, while bringing attention to the heroes of education. As President of the Ezrin Company, Jan Ezrin manages the company's production efforts in Canada in music and television. A true partnership, working hand in hand in business, in philanthropy, and in life, the Ezrins are also founding donors of the MusiCounts Leadership Circle.
As a member of Blue Rodeo and as a solo artist, Jim Cuddy has received some of Canada's highest honours including, The Order of Canada, inductions into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canada's Walk of Fame, multiple JUNO and SOCAN Awards and the Governor General's Performing Arts Award. For nearly 15 years, Cuddy has been an ongoing advocate for music education through his profound support of MusiCounts initiatives and events. In 2004, Cuddy was the driving force behind the creation of JUNO Cup, an annual charity hockey game, which to date has raised $840,000 for MusiCounts. Cuddy also served on the MusiCounts Advisory Committee for several years, helping to further the charity's mission of ensuring that youth have access to music in their school or community. He has also participated in a MusiCounts Band Aid Program celebration and been an advocate for CARAS and MusiCounts. Most recently in 2017, Blue Rodeo sponsored the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award hosting the recipient teacher and her students at the band's recording studio, The Woodshed.
In 2016, Linda and Stephen made an extraordinary pledge of $500,000 in matching funds to the MusiCounts Band Aid Program. Due to their long-standing history with the charity, they recognized that MusiCounts has the power to continue to change the landscape of music education for children across Canada and wanted to inspire others to be involved. “Our giving has been very much centered around education, particularly music education. We believe that we can do our little bit to help the youth of today become better students and, in turn become better citizens,” said Stephen Stohn. “It is very important to Stephen and me that we 100% love and believe in the causes we support, like MusiCounts,” added Linda Schuyler. “Seeing firsthand the impact instruments make on a school and community has shown how people giving can truly make a difference.”

About the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation

Founded in 1960, The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping Canadian families save for their children's post-secondary education through its subsidiaries CST Spark Inc. and CST Consultants Inc. In addition to its focus on education savings, the Foundation rewards hard working and community minded Canadian students through scholarships, bursaries and awards programs - with more than $2 million awarded since CST began. Through innovation, advocacy and philanthropy The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation continues to deliver upon its mission. For more information, visit