Music Matters to Canada: The 2022 MusiCounts Band Aid Recipients

avril 20, 2022
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MusiCounts is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2022 MusiCounts Band Aid Program! The program is investing $870,000 into 77 schools across the country to ensure they can keep music education alive for years to come.

To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we’re taking the celebration nationwide by diving deep into the program’s investment in each region of Canada, looking at both the impact we’ve made over time and the challenges we’ll tackle in the future.

Atlantic Canada

The MusiCounts Band Aid Program will be awarding $119,000 to 12 schools in Atlantic Canada in 2022! The deserving recipients are listed below. Over the course of 25 years, MusiCounts has invested $1,885,000 to 198 schools in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

Many of these schools are dealing with a problem that plagues schools nationwide: ageing, non-functional instrument inventories and the lack of funding available to update them. Schools simply do not have the resources they need to offer sustainable and inclusive music programming to students. In many of the applications we receive, we see schools barely getting by with decades-old musical instruments, and applicants often note that students struggle to find confidence when playing on instruments that don’t enable them to sound their best.

In Atlantic Canada, the average annual music budget among recipient schools this year is just $56. The majority of the schools receiving grants in this region indicated they have no annual budget for music programming. The investment of a MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant is an opportunity to make a decisive step forward - a nice improvement from struggling to keep up!

Lake Melville School in Northwest River, NL will be using their MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant to replace the school’s 10+ year old brass instrument inventory and purchase additional percussion instruments. Their music program will celebrate their unique local cultural connections: both the Innu and Inuit traditions in Indigenous drumming, and the brass bands brought to Labrador by the Moravians as far back as 1771.

Central Canada

The MusiCounts Band Aid Program is awarding $305,500 to 27 schools in Central Canada! The recipients are listed below. Over the course of 25 years, MusiCounts has invested $5,815,000 to 598 schools in Ontario and Quebec.

Schools in Central Canada are a shining example of what MusiCounts is seeing across the country: music education is a dynamic, innovative practice that can extend far beyond concert band, recorder ensembles, and Orff programs. The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a tremendous amount of innovation in music education; now more than ever, we're seeing music teachers embrace new ways of approaching music education to meet student needs and interests, and they’re using the MusiCounts Band Aid Program to help make these ideas a reality.

One such school is Sunnyview Middle School in Brampton, ON. The school - which has a $0 annual budget for music - serves a large Caribbean student population. With the help of a MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant, the teacher will be introducing a brand new steel pan ensemble to help students engage more closely with their cultural heritage and community. Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, ON, will be using the MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant to introduce a radio station program so students - attending the school from 24 First Nations communities in the area - can broadcast their music back home to family and loved ones in remote Northern Ontario. École spécialisée de l’Envol in Québec City, QC serves youth with cognitive exceptionalities, many of whom are hypo- and hyper-sensitive to sound. They’ll be using the MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant to make lessons more accessible for each individual student by replacing the almost 30 year old sound system and to purchase more keyboards.

The Prairies & Western Canada

MusiCounts is awarding $362,500 to 32 schools in the Prairies and Western Canada! The recipients are listed below. Over the course of 25 years, MusiCounts has invested $4,080,000 to 431 schools in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Throughout our 25-year history, we’ve seen time and time again that music class is a unique mechanism through which kids all across the country can connect with their cultural identity. The 2022 MusiCounts Band Aid Program recipients from the Prairies and Western Canada showcase this: 6 out of the 9 schools receiving grants in Saskatchewan are using the funds to acquire culturally-relevant music gear, and several of the schools in the region will be engaging with Elders and Knowledge Keepers in the classroom to work with students, build traditional instruments, and make music.

West Lynn Lake Heights School, 14 hours North of Winnipeg in Lynn Lake, MB, will be using their MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant to acquire a wide range of musical instruments including keyboards, pianos, mandolins, amplifiers, and traditional hand-drums. They’re also planning to engage Elders in workshops to teach students how to build the instruments, which would have been impossible with their annual music budget of $0. Similarly, Frontier Collegiate Institute Dormitories in Cranberry Portage, MB (a “by-choice” dormitory school for Northern Cree communities) are using the funds to purchase drums, drum-making kits, and bear grease to protect the kits. The school is offering the programming as a means for students to connect to their culture, and to learn the drum, protocols, and ceremony of their traditions.

Northern Canada

MusiCounts is awarding $83,000 to 6 schools in Northern Canada. The deserving recipients are listed below. Over the course of 25 years, MusiCounts has invested $756,000 to 71 schools in the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territories, and Nunavut.

Young people in remote Canadian communities face substantial barriers to accessing music in their schools; the landscape of Northern Canada presents a unique challenge. For many of the schools in remote communities that receive funding from the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, the cost of shipping often exceeds the value of the actual grant. MusiCounts is proud to fully cover shipping costs for schools in isolated, remote communities, where the cost of shipping in musical gear is a major obstacle youth face in accessing music education. In the past two years alone, MusiCounts has invested over $30,000 to ensure that musical instruments reach their destination in remote communities.

Nasivvik High School is located in a remote Inuit community in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. The school will be replacing the handful of unusable instruments they had with brass and wind instruments, MIDI keyboards, production equipment, and instruments for small jazz, rock, pop, and rap music ensemble work. The school hopes the music programming will promote mental health and wellbeing and provide students with an outlet for emotional and spiritual exploration in response to the daily hardships (suicidal ideation, poverty, complex trauma, and more) students face. 105 km outside of Yellowknife in Edzo, NT, Chief Jimmy Bruneau serves a population of 400 students. The school will be using their MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant funds to develop both a traditional Tlicho drumming program and a recording program to introduce students to soundscaping, oral storytelling, and music production.

For the full list of 2022 MusiCounts Band Aid Program recipients, click here.