Celebrating youth and music leadership in this issue!


Imagine ...


This time of year feels poignant. Thirty-five years ago, we lost a musician – an advocate of peace who affected millions with his messages – John Lennon. One word invokes so much – “Imagine”. Last month, one day after the tragedy at a music venue in Paris, young musicians sang “Imagine” during a spontaneous sing-along at the 1st annual Youth4Music Leadership Symposium. At this time of the year, we join together to raise our voices in song and to make music. School holiday concerts, worship gatherings, community centres, malls, performance venues, sidewalks, businesses, radio and TV, the internet – so many portals for music to unite us.

Last month, youth gathered to talk about the power of music. They started to develop a youth-led manifesto for “learning, creating, making and valuing music in Canada”. Dreaming and imagining big, the discussions led to solid strategies. The Youth4Music network of remarkably inspiring youth leaders is ready to take action for CHANGE! We’ve started something wonderful – Check out this awesome 3 minute highlight video.

Music transforms us. Music heals us. And yes, music unites us. Imagine!


Youth4Music Leadership Symposium


On November 14th over 60 youth attended the first annual Youth4Music Leadership Symposium in Toronto. A diverse group of youth aged 30 and under participated in discussions to reflect and share what was happening in their own musical communities, and how to advocate for change in raising awareness and commitment to music education for everyone in Canada. The key goal of the day was to create a four point plan in the form of a manifesto for active change supported by a leadership team. It was a wonderful day! Check out our highlights video here!

Participants included representatives from the Canadian Music Centre, National Youth Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre, Ontario Registered Teachers’ Association, as well as high school and university students and student-teachers. There was music! A jam corner led by musician Sasha Molotkow, featured the opportunity for participants to ‘jam' in between listening to live performances from diverse musical genres including the band North of Nowhere, the Bay City String Quartet, and N’We Jinan Artists Lac Seul First Nations. There was inspiration from speakers such as Shane Feldman of Count Me In, Youth Ambassador Céline Peterson, and David Hodges of Hodges Music. Spoken poet and music advocate Cole Forrest supported a motivating panel discussion, encouraging participants to continue building their own leadership skills. Some pretty incredible ideas hatched out of this hotbed of leaders, developing into a beginning for action toward changing how music is learned, created, made, and valued in this nation. All left feeling renewed, inspired, and ready for change.

    Principals of Music Award

    The Principal of Music Award (POMA) results are in! After reading through over thirty inspiring and dedicated applications, the POMA committee would like to sincerely thank the nominators for recognizing incredible efforts across the nation and the nominees for their leadership and support of music education in schools. One recipient from each region (Western, Central, and Eastern), as well as an award sponsored by the National Arts Centre for a recipient in Nunavut, are given to supremely active principals doing an outstanding job for their schools and communities. We want to sincerely congratulate the following winners of $1,500 applied to their school music program. And the winners are ... READ MORE

    Featured article: John Armstrong "What if we could go back in time?

      Hi, my name is John, I’m sixty six years young and music is once again very much part of my daily routine. Just as it had been a key part of my early public school years and for five years in high school. It is now very central to my life as a senior. So how did this come about? READ MORE

      Stories of Success

      Is there something to highlight in your school music program that you want us and others to know? Is there an inspiring story, special event, passionate student or other important spotlight in your music program? Tell us! Send us your ‘something’ by filling out this form, and we’ll broadcast it across the nation by featuring it on our website. Questions? Contact us by email at info@musicmakesus.ca, or by phone at 416-298-2871. 

        Call for Board Nominations


        This is an exciting time to join the board! We are in the process of seeking new Board members for a three (3) year term to commence at our annual general meeting to be held in the Spring of 2016. Qualifications and criteria to be considered in selecting candidates include:

        • Sincere interest in and commitment to the vision, mission, and activities of the Coalition;
        • Skills and experience in one or more of the following areas: finance, fund-raising, marketing, communications, graphic design, public relations, advocacy or community development;
        • Related experience with non-profit Boards, advisory committees and/or community organizations;
        • Time and energy to contribute as a volunteer to the Board activities and Coalition events.

        For more information on this great opportunity, click here.

        Coalition Team Changes


        Delighted to introduce to you our new Communications Coordinator, Sabrina Moella (communications@musicmakesus.ca). Sabrina will take our communications strategies to a whole new level. She is fully bi-lingual and brings a breadth of expertise in social media, marketing and communications to her role. We have already experienced the value she can bring, not just to the Coalition's work, but to our shared objectives for music education. I'm sure you will enjoy working with her when we work together on Coalition programs and initiatives.

        We express gratitude for the vision, care and hard work devoted to the Coalition by our former Communication Coordinator, Spencer Phillips. Spencer moved to UrbanArts, a non-profit Community Arts Council focused on enhancing neighbourhoods by engaging youth in community development through the arts. Spencer has been integral to new initiatives, including the creation of new image and web-presence, notably last year's Music Monday Anthem Search, this year’s Music Monday, “Success in Music. Success in Life. It’s no Coincidence”, the new Youth4Music - Leadership Symposium, and of course our new Music Makes Us site. He will continue to support us as our Website Coordinator through his business Wimbo Media

        Research Funding Opportunity

        The Joint Consortium of Research (representing the Coalition and CMEA/ACME) invites applications for Research Funding. Scholars who are researching projects in Canadian music education are invited to apply for funding support. Up to $5,000.00 will be targeted annually (budget permitting) to fund such research projects. The deadline for submission is Jan. 1, 2016. Find out more on how to apply for this opportunity. READ MORE

        bell2bell - Music Monday 2016

        Next year, it’s all about you! Let’s return to the roots of our work - school music programs! Throughout the day, we will showcase music making from schools and communities across Canada. Starting with the opening school bells at the shores of NL and moving across schools and communities to the closing school bells at the western shores of BC and YT - a wave of music from coast to coast to coast!

        We will run a full pre-recorded webcast day of your music – your videos by Canadian music makers from all backgrounds and ages.

        There are wrap-around services and connections to schools in every community - choirs, bands, faith-based activities, open mic sessions, symphony orchestras, outreach programs and much more. So, Music Monday 2016 will be full of music from musical groups large and small, soloists and ensembles, choral and instrumental, and important messages about the power of music in our schools and communities. Start thinking about your video submission now. Details to follow soon!

        The 2016 Music Monday Showcase will be live streamed from Toronto ON with an exciting lineup of performances. Your video could be selected to view during the Showcase to the nation!

        Thank You!

        The Coalition would like to give a big, heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’ to the industry supporters of the Youth4Music Leadership Symposium. Not only are each one of these organizations tremendously generous, they are also wonderfully supportive of advocating for music in Canada. Their support helped give opportunity to the future generation of leaders and upholds a mandate of continuing to develop inspiring youth to carry on the message of valuing music. 

        Government of Canada

        Ontario Trillium Foundation

        NAMM Foundation

        D’Addario Canada

        Long & McQuade


        St. John’s Music

        Happy Holidays!


        From the Coalition Team to you, we want to wish you a very happy and safe holiday season, and may your new year shine even brighter! 

        Thank you • Merci • Miigwech • kinana'skomitina'wa'w

          We are able to do all of this awesome work because of the support from many groups. For a full listing of this support go to Coalition and Music Monday

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          P.O. Box 556    Toronto, Ontario    M1S 3C5

          Phone: 416.298.2871