Mi’kmaq Schools Benefit From APTN and MusiCounts

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), in partnership with MusiCounts, is helping to keep music alive in two Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey community schools. This afternoon MusiCounts and APTN presented Eskasoni Elementary and Middle school with a $10,000 Band Aid Grant in the form of 19 new instruments.

“We’re incredibly excited,” said Lisa Munroe, the school’s music teacher and band program director. “Most students now are renting their instruments, and there are many more that would like to join the band program, but cannot afford the rental. This grant allows more students to participate in band, and to practice their instruments year-round.”

The presentation featured a performance by the school band as well as local pop-rock group Black and Grey. APTN was on site to film the event.

MusiCounts is Canada’s music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) that provides grants which impact thousands of young Canadians and supports diverse music programs. Many First Nations communities from coast to coast are amongst the beneficiaries.

APTN has contributed $10,000 to the program and MusiCounts matched that amount. MusiCounts Band Aid Grants were awarded to two schools specifically through this partnership, Eskasoni Elementary and Middle School, and Mi’kmawey School in Membertou. These schools have also been selected based upon the location of APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration twin stage being held in Halifax on Saturday, June 21, as well as the criteria that MusiCounts uses to select their grant recipients which includes economic need in the school community, size and condition of the schools’ instrument inventory, dedication of school staff and overall impact a grant will make within a community.

“APTN recognizes the significance of musical legacy to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples’ cultures,” says Jean La Rose, APTN Chief Executive Officer. “Music is an inspiration for many, and it’s important to foster creative expression at an early age. As a national broadcaster of cultural content, APTN is honoured to have the opportunity to travel with Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration to another part of Canada.”

The partnership between APTN and MusiCounts is only part of a larger investment that this program makes. In fact, a total of $80,000 will be invested in school music programs in First Nations communities across Canada. MusiCounts mission is to ensure that children in Canada, regardless of socio-economic circumstances or cultural background, have access to a music program through their school.

“From British Columbia, to Nova Scotia, to each of the Territories, MusiCounts will be providing grants in First Nations communities across Canada this year,” said Allan Reid, Director, MusiCounts. “Music is a universal language that is understood by all of the diverse cultures represented in Canada. We are truly thankful for the support we have received through APTN that will help us keep music alive for the next generation of Canadians.”


MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) is helping to keep music alive in schools across Canada. MusiCounts’ mission is to ensure that children in Canada, regardless of socio-economic circumstances or cultural background, have access to music programs through their schools. MusiCounts includes Band Aid musical instrument grants, the TD Community Music Grants, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives. MusiCounts is funded by annual contributions from Bell Media; TD; Sirius XM Canada; the Slaight Family Foundation; Music Canada, Vista Radio, Morningstar Canada and supported since inception by Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.; Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada Ltd.; along with JUNO Songwriters’ Circle presented by SOCAN in association with Manitoba Film & Music and The Asper Foundation as well as JUNO Cup. Since MusiCounts’ establishment in 1997, nearly $7,000,000 will have been awarded to help support music education in Canada. These funds have impacted over 600 school communities from coast to coast, supported over 300 post-secondary music program graduates and honoured 9 extraordinary music teachers through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. For more information, visit www.musicounts.ca

About APTN: 

September 1, 2013, marked the 14-year anniversary of the launch of the first national Aboriginal television network in the world with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples to share with all Canadians and viewers around the world. APTN is available in approximately 10 million Canadian households and commercial establishments with cable, direct-to-home satellite, telco-delivered and fixed wireless television service providers. The network launched its high definition channel, APTN HD, in the spring of 2008. APTN does not receive government funding for operations but generates revenue through subscriber fees, advertising sales and strategic partnerships. APTN broadcasts programming with 56% offered in English, 16% in French and 28% in Aboriginal languages. For program schedule or for more information, please contact APTN at (204) 947-9331 or toll-free at 1-888-278-8862, or visit the website at www.aptn.ca