Nationwide Music Monday Events Held Today Spotlight the Importance of Music and Music Education

One Day. One Voice.

Thousands of Canadians participate in simultaneous sing-along as part of the 13th Annual Music Monday Celebrations!

OTTAWA, May 1, 2017 /CNW/ - At 12:30 p.m. (EST) thousands of Canadians sang in unison to raise awareness and understanding of the role that music education plays in Canadian culture and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people.  The 13th Annual Music Monday celebrations were observed in events from coast to coast to coast with signature concerts in Charlottetown, St. John's, Montreal, Winnipeg, Brandon, Calgary, Edmonton, Scarborough, Vancouver anchored by a National Showcase Concert live streamed from the National Arts Centre, Ottawa. A signature program of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, Music Monday is held annually on the first Monday in May and is notably Canada's largest single event dedicated to raising awareness for music education.

"Singing the Music Monday anthem on the same day, at the same time is like a heartbeat across our nation, connecting music makers of all generations and backgrounds," explains The Coalition for Music Education in Canada's Executive Director, Holly Nimmons.  "The power of music to unite, to inspire and illuminate our shared sense of community and cultural history was especially moving today as we honoured a milestone in Canada's history with words of joy, words for truth, for healing, for life and for freedom".

The only national celebration of music education that actively engages children and youth in their schools and communities; Music Monday shines a spotlight on the diverse facets of how Canadians enjoy music in their lives.  The nationwide celebration included the premiere of "Strong As A Nation", the first in a series of videos by Cole Forrest an Anishnawbec film-maker and spoken word poet who recently won the James Bartelman Creating Writing Award.  The video, which features Indigenous drumming from regions across Canada interspersed with spoken word, has been created for a Youth4Music Aboriginal project. 

Canada's musical heritage was also celebrated at a National Showcase Concert held at National Arts Centre in Ottawa with performances by a mass children's choir, the Métis Fiddle Quartet, singer-songwriter Mimi O'Bonsawin, Inuit Throat Singers a harp and soprano duo, youth jazz and strings ensembles, and the Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra. Anthem Co-writer, songwriter Marc Jordan, musicians from the official Music Monday video, and the children's choir led the nationwide sing-along of Sing It Together. 

Seamus O'Regan, MP who co-hosted, this event with opera superstar Measha Brueggergosman, said "Today, we experienced the power of music, with performances by exemplary young musicians and award winning professional musicians. Congratulations to everyone who raised their voices to show fellow Canadians that we believe music has an important part in our lives, in our schools and in our communities".

Music Monday celebrations continue throughout the day in many communities including Charlottetown, the birthplace of confederation, which is hosting an "epic" day-long Music Monday celebration. "Music Monday In The Streets includes clinics, work shops, art installations, a host of performances and earlier today featured Alexander Shelley, Music Director with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) conducting the Singing Strings and a mass choir of over 700 singers in a performance of the Music Monday Anthem, Sing It Together

"The Government of Canada is proud to support this project, which brings Canadians together from coast to coast to coast and lets young people across the country celebrate our musical heritage," said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. "This year, as we celebrate Canada 150, Music Monday is a wonderful opportunity for Canadians to get involved in their communities and share the gift of music."

"At TD, we believe that one of the best ways to strengthen our communities is by investing in music, access to music and music education," said Andrea Cohen Barrack, Vice President Community Relations and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. "TD is committed to creating opportunities for young people to discover a love of music. We are thrilled to support Music Monday as it unites students, musicians and community members across the country to celebrate the power of music."

The new Music Monday anthem Sing It Together was commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education. The recording and official music video feature Inuit throat singing, Métis fiddling, Indigenous drumming, and children's choirs in celebration of Canadian diverse and vibrant musical heritage. To view the video, as well as to access multiple translations and arrangements of Sing It Together, go to www.musicmonday.ca.

Music Monday is made possible with the generous support of the Government of Canada, TD Bank Group, and the NAMM Foundation as well as Titanium-level support from Yamaha Canada Music Inc., Long and McQuade and all of our partner organizations. For a full list of sponsors please visit http://www.musicmonday.ca/sponsors/

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ABOUT MUSIC MONDAY
Music Monday is a signature program of the Coalition for Music Education.  It is Canada's nationwide celebration of the power of music in our lives, especially our schools.  Music Monday is the only national celebration of music education that actively engages children and youth in their schools and communities. The first Monday in May (this year, May 1, 2017) music makers of all generations and genres gather in their schools and communities to make music, and at the same time during the day we join with one voice, by singing the official Music Monday anthem or a simultaneous nation-wide sing-along

ABOUT YOUTH4MUSIC
Youth4Music is a network of youth who are passionate about music in their lives – learning, appreciating, creating and making music. Youth4Music provides a platform for youth voices, and leadership opportunities for youth to make a difference for music in their schools and communities.  The program is "for youth – by youth – through music." 
More info:  www.youth4music.ca

ABOUT THE COALITION FOR MUSIC EDUCATION
Music Monday is an annual initiative of The Coalition for Music Education, an organization made up of parents, students, educators, and business people from varying walks of life who support school music programs and highlight the importance of music education for all young people in Canada.
More info: www.musicmakesus.ca 

ABOUT CANADIAN HERITAGE FUNDING
The Government of Canada is providing funding of $80,000 to The Coalition for Music Education for Youth4Music through the Youth Take Charge program (Canada.ca/youth-take-charge) of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This project allows more than 300,000 young people aged 7 to 30 from across Canada to take part in music-related events in 2017–2018. By supporting youth engagement through music, the Government of Canada provides opportunities for young Canadians to become involved in a range of activities designed to strengthen their attachment to Canada through active commitment in their communities.

SOURCE Coalition for Music Education in Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Victoria Lord, 416.484.9047 or victoria@vlpr.com

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