Schools nationwide celebrate as MusiCounts announces $600,000 in support of music programs

    68 recipient schools to receive musical instrument grants for 2008-2009

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity
associated with CARAS, announced today a new name and an unprecedented
$600,000 in grants for the 2008-2009 school year.
    MusiCounts, formerly known as MusiCan, is dedicated to ensuring that
young Canadians, regardless of socio-economic circumstances and cultural
background, have the opportunity to experience the joy of music, explore their
talent, build self-esteem and, above all, dream big.
    The grants will impact thousands of young Canadians and support diverse
music programs that include concert and jazz bands to drum and guitar
ensembles from Pre K to Grade 12 in Elementary, Junior High and High Schools
in urban, rural, remote and First Nations communities from coast to coast.
    "Including this year's grants, MusiCounts will have donated a remarkable
$3 million to music programs across the country," said Melanie Berry,
President, CARAS and MusiCounts. "This reaffirms our mandate to preserve music
education in Canadian schools and raise national awareness about its value and
remarkable power to transform the lives of young people."
    "Sadly, music education in Canada continues to be at risk. Through
MusiCounts, we renew our commitment to investing in the future of young
Canadians and ensuring that music education continues to enlighten, empower
and elevate," said Srinka Wallia, Executive Director, MusiCounts. "These
grants will enable music teachers to submit their wish list for new
instruments and allow students to pursue their love of music, gain access to
music programs, and receive the encouragement they need to develop their
    Research shows that music education enhances cognitive development,
encourages creativity, fosters a positive attitude toward school and
academics, and is influential in lowering school drop-out rates.

    The 2008-2009 MusiCounts Band Aid Grant recipient schools are:

    Crystal Park School, Grande Prairie, AB
    Dr. Gordon Higgins School, Calgary, AB
    Helen E. Taylor School, Wembley, AB
    Nipisihkopahk Secondary School, Hobbema, AB
    River Valley School, Sundre, AB
    St. Helena Junior High School, Calgary, AB
    Westmount Elementary School, Strathmore, AB

    British Columbia
    Carihi Secondary School, Campbell River, BC
    K.B. Woodward Community School, Surrey, BC
    Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School, Vancouver, BC
    Terry Fox Secondary School, Port Coquitlam, BC

    Clifton School, Winnipeg, MB
    Ecole Précieux-Sang, Winnipeg, MB
    Roblin Elementary, Roblin, MB
    Stonewall Centennial & Stonewall Collegiate Institute (2 schools),
    Stonewall, MB

    New Brunswick
    Grand Manan Community School, Grand Manan, NB
    Hartland Community School, Hartland, NB

    Fatima Academy, St. Brides, NL
    Queen of Peace Middle School, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, NL
    St. Anne's Academy, Dunville, NL

    Nova Scotia
    J.L. Ilsley High School, Halifax, NS
    Bicentennial School, Dartmouth, NS

    Bayside Public School, Belleville, ON
    Beamsville District Secondary School, Beamsville, ON
    Brantford Collegiate Institute, Brantford, ON
    Brookfield High School, Ottawa, ON
    Crescent Town Elementary School, Toronto, ON
    Ecole Dewson Street Junior Public School, Toronto, ON
    Don Mills Middle School, Toronto, ON
    Dr. C.F. Cannon Public School, Oshawa, ON
    Dr. Marion Hilliard Senior Public School, Scarborough, ON
    Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute, Agincourt, ON
    Ecole Secondaire Catholique de Hearst, Hearst, ON
    Ecole Secondaire Publique L'Héritage, Cornwall, ON
    Harbord Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON
    Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, Kingston, ON
    Ionview Public School, Scarborough, ON
    McCaskill's Mills Public School, Cannington, ON
    North Peel Secondary School, Brampton, ON
    Riverdale Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON
    St. Teresa's High School, Midland, ON
    Sunderland Public School, Sunderland, ON
    Westdale Secondary School, Hamilton, ON

    Ecole Alexander Wolff, Shannon, QC
    Ecole Joly, Rivière-du-loup, QC
    Ecole l'Aquarelle, Rimouski, QC
    Ecole Marie-Derome, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
    Ecole Polyvalente de Disraeli, Disraeli, QC
    Ecole Secondaire Dorval Jean XXIII, Dorval, QC
    Ecole Secondaire Les Seigneuries, Saint-Pierre-les-Becquets, QC
    Ecole Secondaire Mgr-A.-M.-Parent, Saint-Hubert, QC
    Ecole Secondaire St-Luc, Montréal, QC
    Perspectives II High Schools, Montréal, QC
    St. Lambert Elementary School, Saint-Lambert, QC

    Central Elementary School, Swift Current, SK
    Foam Lake Composite School, Foam Lake, SK
    Light of Christ Catholic School Division (6 schools),
    North Battleford, SK
    St. Michael Community School & Sacred Heart Community School (2 schools),
    Regina, SK
    St. Mary's & Sacred Heart Schools, Estevan, SK

    Yukon Territories
    F.H. Collins Secondary School, Whitehorse, YT

    MusiCounts received more than 300 Band Aid Grant applications from coast
to coast, a record number of submissions that reflect the urgent need faced by
many schools and their communities. Grant recipients were chosen by the
MusiCounts Committee based on economic need, inventory and condition of the
musical instruments, and the impact the grant would make to the school and
surrounding community.

    About MusiCounts
    MusiCounts, the music education charity of CARAS, is helping to keep
music alive in schools across Canada. MusiCount's mission is to ensure that
children in Canada have access to a comprehensive music program through their
school. MusiCounts includes Band Aid musical instrument grants, the MusiCounts
Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives.
MusiCounts is supported by various initiatives such as the platinum-selling
Juno Award nominee compilation CD; annual contributions by CTVglobemedia; EMI
Music Canada Inc.; SONY BMG Music Canada Inc.; Universal Music Canada and
Warner Music Canada Ltd.; as well as Songwriters' Circle sponsored by CMPA and
SOCAN; Juno Cup sponsored by The Keg Steakhouse and Bar; and individual and
corporate contributions, including Astral Media, The Keg Spirit Foundation and
SIRIUS Canada Inc. Since the Program's establishment in 1997, over $3 million
will have been donated, impacting 190 post-secondary music program graduates
and close to 200,000 students, their schools and communities from coast to
coast. MusiCounts will have also honoured four extraordinary music teachers
through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. For more information, please

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Tiffany Astle, Holmes Creative
Communications, (416) 628-5603,

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