CARAS Awards Two Manitoba Schools with Funding

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Students at two Manitoba school will find it just a bit easier to learn music thanks to the organization responsible for the Juno Awards. St. George School in Winnipeg and Whitemouth School in Whitemouth are two of 29 recipients of the 2004-2005 BAND AID grant from The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), it was recently announced. BAND AID is a component of the CARAS Music Education Program - or MusiCan - which provides $10,000 grants in the form of musical instruments to schools whose music programs are in need of funding to ensure their sustained growth. MusiCan's primary goal is to help address the erosion of music education in Canadian School.

Including the 2004/2005 grants to be awarded, CARAS will have donated nearly a million dollars to music programs, impacting over 45,000 young Canadians. This MusicCan program, which was establish in 1997, has several elements including Scholarships to Music Industry Arts Programs, funding of various affiliated programs such as the important initiatives of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, and of course the BAND AID program. MusiCan is also supported by various other initiatives such as the platinum selling Juno nominee compilation CD, annual contributions by major labels like EMI Music Canada, SONY/BMG Music Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada, as well as the Songwriters' Circle and the Juno Cup, a celebrity hockey game that features top Canadian artists and NHL Alumni.

Many high profile Canadian artists have lent support to the program, including a recent presentation of the grant by country superstar Shania Twain to her hometown school in Timmins, Ontario. Other artists who have helped create awareness for the program include Winnipegger and multiple-Grammy nominee Remy Shand, as well as Alanis Morissette, Kathleen Edwards, Jann Arden, Susan Aglukark, Sam Roberts and many more.

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 and the community. CARAS received over 125 applications this year from schools in need across the country, granting money to 29. The program, which receives corporate funding from MasterCard Canada, was able to fund more school than ever before this year.

For more information on CARAS' Music Education program and to find out how you can lend your support, please visit

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