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$72,300 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Provides Music Instruments for At-Risk Kids in Toronto

Posted in Community

Published on July 09, 2019 with No Comments

TORONTO, ON – Recently, Sistema Toronto welcomed members of the Parkdale community to Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School for the end of term concert and celebration. Local MPP Bhutila Karpoche and Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Cynthia Good were on hand to congratulate Sistema’s staff, teachers and families on their successful Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. Sistema Toronto Executive Director Christie Grey joined Bhutila and Cynthia on stage to discuss how the $72,300 Capital grant will increase accessibility to music education by allowing Sistema to purchase over 100 instruments for children from diverse and racialized backgrounds facing barriers.

“I’m thrilled that Sistema Toronto is a recipient of the Ontario Trillium Foundation Capital grant. This will ensure that more students will be able to access the music program that has been such a positive influence in the lives of so many children and families,” said MPP Karpoche.

The Sistema Toronto program runs four days a week throughout the school year for three-hour after school music sessions in Toronto neighbourhoods of: Parkdale, Jane/Finch and East Scarborough. The free sessions give children the opportunity to hone their musical abilities in a fun, supportive group environment while also building key social skills such as problem solving, empathy, and self-advocacy. Thanks to the $72,300 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Sistema Toronto will be able to expand to more children in these at-risk neighbourhoods, replenish the instrument bank to continue offering community-based programs, and in turn, enable these communities to thrive.

“What an incredible gift the Ontario Trillium Foundation has given the children of Sistema Toronto through this grant,” said Christie Gray, Executive Director of Sistema Toronto. “These instruments will provide hundreds of children over many years with the opportunity to learn, grow, thrive and become leaders in their communities. We know that access to music education provides children in vulnerable communities with crucial social skills and increased academic skills that will allow them to succeed in all areas of their lives. These instruments are undoubtedly some of the tools they need to access their future success. We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support, a legacy that will last for years to come.”

Sistema Toronto provides musical and intellectual opportunities to 275 children in vulnerable communities, with the goal of transformative social change. More information can be found at: https://www.sistema-toronto.ca/.

About The Ontario Trillium Foundation – OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $108 million to some 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario: https://otf.ca/

About Sistema Toronto – Social Change Through Music Education: Sistema Toronto provides musical and intellectual opportunities to children in vulnerable communities, with the goal of transformative social change. We build stronger communities by enabling at-risk children to overcome poverty, grow, and thrive as engaged citizens and future leaders. Sistema Toronto is first and foremost a social development program, using ensemble-based music education to transform the lives of at-risk children. Sistema Toronto students work together for 10 hours of weekly instruction. They learn strings (violin, viola, cello, or double bass), percussion, choir and Music & Movement while developing important life skills like problem solving, empathy, and self-advocacy.


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