Every year, there are kids across Canada who want to take lessons and learn how to play instruments while their schools face steep and uncaring budget cuts.
Every year, MusiCounts steps up and tries to mitigate those losses, donating money and instruments to schools to help kids embrace their love of music.
This year, the MusicCounts Band Aid program will provide $900,000 in musical instruments and equipment to 90 schools across Canada.
“This year, the roster of recipient schools is the most regionally diverse yet, with an unprecedented number of schools supported in the Territories, the Atlantic provinces and the Western provinces,” MusiCounts says. “The MusiCounts Band Aid Program is also proud to equip schools with traditional instruments that will enable youth to celebrate and explore their cultural identity. Some schools will also receive adaptive musical instruments, allowing for children with exceptionalities to participate in music class.”
The majority of the schools that will benefit from MusiCounts this year — 70% — receive $500 or less for their music programs, before they receive the donation. The $15,000 donation the schools each receive, in that case, “is the equivalent of 30 years of typical funding all at once,” the program says.
But the need is still incredible in size and scope, with MusiCounts only able to help one out of every seven schools that apply.
“There is still a lot of work to be done, and reading through the many applications we received this year was heartbreaking,” said Kristy Fletcher, MusiCount’s executive director. “Whether schools have no instruments at all, or are struggling with collections of instruments that are in disrepair, students deserve to experience the benefits of music education in their school.”
In May 2019, Toronto-based radio station Indie 88 hosted a special day-long fundraiser in honour of Dave “Bookie” Bookman, a longtime staple of Toronto radio and passionate music fan. Despite an original goal of raising $10,000 for MusiCounts in Bookie’s memory, the fundraiser quickly surpassed that and, by the end of the day, more than $75,000 was donated to the organization on his behalf.