Jewel Casselman is the 2023 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year

March 14, 2023

MusiCounts is thrilled to announce Jewel Casselman from Lakewood School in Winnipeg, MB as the winner of the prestigious 2023 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation.

Jewel has been teaching music for 34 years, and is well-known and widely respected in the music education community. She successfully advocated for music to be added to kindergarten programming at several schools in the Winnipeg area, helping elementary-aged children build a foundation of musical knowledge to carry them through their lives, and sits on several committees promoting diversity, inclusivity and equity. She believes that kids should always have access to quality music education.

“MusiCounts is honoured to recognize Jewel Casselman with the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation,” said Kristy Fletcher, President of MusiCounts. “Jewel has dedicated her decades-long career to building strong musical foundations in children, advocating for the importance of elementary music education in every kid's life. Congratulations, Jewel - way to end your career on a high note!”

Jewel was revealed as the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award winner on The 2023 JUNO Awards live broadcast from Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB. Of the 18 Award recipients to date, she is the first elementary school educator to win. Jewel will be receiving a $10,000 cash prize, a grant for Lakewood School through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, and a JUNO Award statuette.

“I am honoured and elated to be selected as the 2023 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year. Thank you to my family and my students who inspire me to teach every day, and to all of my colleagues and administrators who share my belief in the importance of music education for elementary aged students. Giving students the opportunity to enhance their communication skills, overcome barriers and learn new skills through music is an honour,” said Jewel Casselman. “Thank you to MusiCounts for this incredible award, and the important work they do in supporting music education across Canada. I am retiring from teaching at the end of this year, which makes this distinction especially wonderful.”

Jewel also collaborates with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, drafting lesson plans for their outreach and education, and has been a board member of the Manitoba Orff Chapter for over a decade. Jewel has been recognized for her dedication to music education with the Morna-June Morrow Award for Excellence in Music Education in Manitoba (2014) and received the Michael J. Proudfoot Award for Choral Excellence from the Winnipeg Music Festival (2019). She was nominated for the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

Jewel successfully applied for a MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant in 2013, and used the funds to purchase Orff instruments for Lakewood school. Since then, the program has flourished and a generation of students have benefitted from both the instruments and Jewel's dedicated instruction.

Each year since 2005, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award has recognized and honoured an exceptional Canadian music teacher's impact both on students at their school and the broader music education profession. The Award is made possible through the generous support of CST Foundation.

“We extend our most heartfelt congratulations to Jewel on being named Teacher of the Year," said Sherry J MacDonald, President and CEO, CST Foundation. "Jewel’s lifelong dedication as an advocate for music education has helped to develop countless students into lifelong learners. Her support for music education is felt not only in the classroom but across and into the wider community. CST Foundation is proud to honour Jewel’s contributions to making music education accessible, inclusive, and fun for children."

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award is presented by