Manitoba School to receive CARAS Band Aid Funds

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The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), producers of the annual Juno Awards, announced today the 11 Canadian schools who will receive grants from the Academy's BAND AID program in support of music education. Among the schools is Manitoba’s Niverville Collegiate Institute and ten other schools from across the country.

A primary goal of the CARAS Music Education Program is to help address the erosion of music education in Canadian schools. BAND AID, a component of the CARAS Music Education Program, provides $10,000 grants in the form of musical instruments to schools whose music programs have great potential, yet are in need of funding to ensure their sustained growth.

Awareness of the program has dramatically increased, which demonstrates the tremendous need for the program. CARAS received a record number of applications this year from over 100 schools across the country.

Schools were selected by CARAS' Music Education Committee based on the greatest need in keeping with criteria that included: dedication of school staff; community support and fundraising abilities; inventory and condition of instruments; economic need; number of students; and overall impact the grant would make within the school.

Some of the proceeds from the 2003 Songwriters Circle held last April in Ottawa will be awarded to the former host city's Hawthorne Public School for their music program. At the annual Juno Awards weekend, the Songwriters Circle is a gathering of artists who showcase their songwriting talents in an intimate setting and donate the results of their fundraising efforts to the BAND AID Program. This event was generously sponsored by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.) and the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA).

The winning schools are able to customize the grant to their individual needs by drawing from a shopping list of band musical instruments. Once the school has chosen their instruments, they are delivered to the music program by CARAS, and a special presentation is made at the school.

In past years, presentations have been made by Alanis Morissette, Jann Arden, Remy Shand, Jully Black, Susan Aglukark, Jane Bunnett, Moist, members of The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, The Moffatts, members of 54-40 and others.

The CARAS Music Education program was created in 1997. To date the program has donated over $500,000 to 48 schools and various other music programs across the country. CARAS' Music Education program is also supported by various other initiatives such as the platinum selling Juno nominee compilation CD and it continues with a recent joint pledge of $50,000 annually by BMG Music Canada Inc., EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada Ltd.

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