New musical instruments donation aims to transform the lives of inner city youth

Members of the Saint James Music Academy reacting to the surprise instrument donation by TD and MusiCounts through the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program. Saint James Music Academy is a non-profit organization that offers free classical music training to hundreds of children in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

A surprise donation struck the right chord with Saint James Music Academy—a Vancouver non-profit organization aimed at transforming the lives of hundreds of inner city youth through the power and joy of music.

TD, along with Canadian music education charity MusiCounts, kicked off the 47th JUNO Awards weekend on Friday by presenting $20,000 in new musical instruments and equipment to the music academy.

With the ability to break down barriers and bring people together, the positive influence music has on a community is no surprise.

"Music has the power to enrich lives and create stronger, more vibrant communities," says Andrea Barrack, Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship at TD. "We're honoured to gift instruments to Saint James Music Academy through the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program so they can continue to provide free musical training to hundreds of children."

Members of the Saint James Music Academy performing.

While Saint James currently provides lessons to over 500 students in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the new equipment will help the organization sustain and grow its grassroots music program in the community.

"Learning to play music can be one of life’s greatest gifts," says Barrack. "It’s an education in creativity, collaboration and focus, and helps to build confidence."

MusiCounts, the Canadian Academy of Recordings Arts & Sciences' (CARAS) is dedicated to putting instruments into the hands of children and teens that need it most. Last November, CARAS and TD renewed their relationship to continue to provide enhanced and continued support for Canadian music through a variety of events, and community and educational programs across the country.