Year-End: MusiCounts Donated $525K Worth of Instruments and Gear to 33 Community Groups

By Aaron Brophy 11/23/16 |

Kardinal Offishall performs at the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program Union Station event — photo via Strut Entertainment Twitter page

Thirty-three community groups received musical instruments and equipment worth $525,000 this year, thanks to the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, Among the varied recipients, spread out across the country were Winnipeg's Graffiti Arts Programming Inc., Toronto's The Remix Project, Yellowknife's Music NWT, Regina Symphony Orchestra Inc, and The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library (Joe’s MILL)

The MusiCounts TD Community Music Program provides instruments and equipment to community centres, after-school programs and other community non-profit organizations. MusiCounts celebrated the 2016 by putting on a special surprise performance event — featuring Canadian rap star Kardinal Offishall — at Toronto's high traffic Union Station on Nov. 18.

"I started as a young kid and was a part of a community program called Fresh Arts that helped get me where I am today," said Kardinal Offishall in a release. "That's why it was so important for me to participate and make noise in Union Station to celebrate the MusiCounts TD Community Music program. We must continue in each way to empower youth and keep music alive in Canada."

MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), has a mission to "ensure that children in Canada, regardless of socio-economic circumstances and cultural background, have access to music programs through their schools and communities." Some of their other initiatives include the Band Aid Program, which provides needed equipment and instruments to schools and MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, an award that presents a $10,000 cheque to the school of one excellent music teacher each year.

"MusiCounts helps to keep music alive in our schools and communities by putting instruments in the hands of young people right across Canada," added Kristy Fletcher, Director, MusiCounts. "Through TD Bank Group's continued support of our programming, the difference that we have made in the lives of thousands of youth through the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program is phenomenal."

The event also featured performances by Vanessa Lu from The Remix Project and 3GRay, Brooks Banks, and J.White for Art Starts.

The Remix Project provides training in creative fields for young people from disadvantaged, marginalized and under served communities. They received $19,000 in musical gear this year. Arts Starts received $10,000 in equipment and instruments. It pairs professional artists with Toronto residents to work on community-building projects together in all artistic disciplines.

This year's recipients were:

All-City Band Society – Whitehorse, YT
Art Starts – Toronto, ON
Bella Coola Valley Learning Society – Bella Coola, BC
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orillia – Orillia, ON
Birchmount Community Action Council c/o Youth Action Network – Scarborough/Toronto, ON
Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area – Edmonton, AB
Boys and Girls Club of Summerside – Summerside, PE
Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton Whitney Pier Youth Club – Sydney, NS
Boys and Girls Clubs of St. John’s – St. John’s, NL
Cause and Effect Foundation – Calgary, AB
Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale Laval – Laval, QC
Girls Action Foundation – Montreal, QC
Graffiti Arts Programming Inc. – Winnipeg, MB
Harmonie de la Seigneurie des Mille Iles – Saint-Eustache, QC
Harmony Project Society of .B.C. – Sooke, BC
Iqaluit Music Society – Iqaluit, NV
Music NWT – Yellowknife, NWT
Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls – Ottawa, ON
PACT Urban Peace Program – Toronto, ON
Place du Partage – Windsor, ON
Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre – Toronto, ON
Regina Symphony Orchestra Inc. – Regina, SK
Société culturelle des Tracadilles – Tracadie-Sheila, NB
Student Media Corporation – CJAM 99.1FM – Windsor, ON
The Edmonton Strings Players Association – Edmonton, AB
The HopeWorks Connection – Toronto, ON
The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library (Joe’s MILL) – Kingston, ON
The Remix Project – Toronto, ON
Treehouse Housing Association – Telkwa, BC
UNITY Charity – Toronto, ON
Wallaceburg and District Council for the Arts – Wallaceburg, ON
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra – Winnipeg, MB
Youth Link – Toronto, ON

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