Toronto, ON - MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), today announced the launch of the MusiCounts Leadership Circle, a major gifts initiative to raise funds for its long-running Band Aid Program. Leading the charge are Stephen Stohn (former Chair of Board of CARAS, The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts) and Linda Schuyler (famed Canadian TV producer - Degrassi, Instant Star) who pledged up to $500,000 over the next five years in matching funds for gifts of $10,000 or more. The MusiCounts Leadership Circle serves to inspire music education supporters to help ensure the future of MusiCounts Band Aid Program, which provides musical instruments and equipment to school music programs in need across the country.
Initially announced at the JUNO Awards 2016 Chairman's Reception on April 1, 2016, the pledge of $500,000 in matching funds from Stohn and Schuyler immediately sparked substantial donations from Canadian celebrities and industry leaders alike. At the reception, Mark and Suzanne Cohon, George Cohon, W. Brett Wilson, Bob and Jan Ezrin and Deane Cameron and Christina Martinez Cameron came forward as the next five founding donors with gifts of $10,000 each to be matched by Stohn and Schuyler. Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes recently joined the MusiCounts Leadership Circle, donating his $10,000 Walk of Fame prize to the initiative.
"Over two decades on various committees, and the Board, and as Chair of MusiCounts, I've seen first-hand the power of music education for children and youth, especially through the Band Aid Program. The charity has long since held a special place in my heart. Linda and I have made this pledge-we have issued this matching challenge-to inspire others to become part of the MusiCounts mission to make music programs accessible to all Canadian children," said Stephen Stohn.
"Across the country today many children are at risk of reaching adulthood without knowing the joy of music. In 2015 MusiCounts was only able to address the needs of 1 in 4 music programs that applied for musical instruments. With Stephen and Linda's extraordinary generosity, and the substantial support they have already inspired among others, MusiCounts is working to close this gap and create a brighter future for music education in Canada," said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts.
MusiCounts is also launching a Planned Giving program for those who wish to contribute as part of their Estate planning.
For more information on the MusiCounts Leadership Circle or on Planned Giving, please contact Marie Desmarteau, Manager of Major and Annual Gifts at 647.494.4285 or
1. Black Lives Matter members that participated in halting Toronto's Pride Parade are bullies. They entered the land of rainbows with blackened hearts. Don't get me wrong. I don't disagree with the reason for Black Lives Matter's existence. I just don't believe that the ends justify their means.
2. Black Lives Matter know that everyone is afraid to come out strongly against Black Lives Matter's behaviour because they are afraid of being labelled as "Racist!"
3. Black Lives Matter's members who participated in the halting of the Pride Parade should be officially charged, at the very least, with unlawful assembly and extortion. Given that they would not allow the parade to proceed until a document was signed by Pride leadership excluding uniformed police officers from participating in future Pride events.
4. Black Lives Matter members should not be invited back to Pride events. Not unless, or until, they sign a Code of Conduct that would outline how officials and authorities will work together to deal with such parade route disruptions in the future. Thereby eliminating a repeat performance.
5. Black Lives Matter members should have viewed Pride officials as potential allies. Holding their key event hostage to a list of demands is not helping Black Lives Matter win friends or influence people.
6. Black Lives Matter should be respectful of other forms of difference. They should not be pretending to speak for, or make demands on behalf of, other marginalized people.(i.e. Aboriginal People or People with Disabilities.)
7. Black Lives Matter need to work on their understanding of the Canadian Human Rights Act.. You can't claim to work against discrimination by discriminating against others, (It's not right to discriminate based on colour ... PERIOD! Your not selling T-Shirts to supporters because they are not "black" is unacceptable.)
8. Black Lives Matter needs to understand that "the loudest voice in the room is the weakest" because it demonstrates that you are not ready to listen. In order to facilitate effective change you need to be prepared to negotiate. Listening is a mandatory skill for this process.
9. Black Lives Matter should know that respect is earned not demanded. Even if we go by Ziad K. Abdelnour's belief that "Trust is earned, respect is given, and loyalty is demonstrated." We now know that Black Lives Matter does not deserve our trust, respect, or loyalty, They totally violated the #LoveIsLove party that is Pride Toronto.
10 Black Lives Matter as much as, not more than, other lives.