Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at the SKETCH Working Arts Program, located at Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, quite the celebration took place. Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene was on hand to help Melanie Berry, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts, Allan Reid, Director, MusiCounts and Alan Convery, Senior Manager, Community Relations, TD Bank Group, to make the announcement regarding the inaugural recipients of the MusiCounts TD Community Music Grants. SKETCH, an at-risk youth targeted community program, was one of the program recipients announced, receiving $20,000 to purchase recording studio equipment for the creation of a mobile recording / production studio that can be taken to various priority neighbourhoods across the city. Kevin was joined on stage by participants of the SKETCH music program to perform two original compositions that he and the group created entitled, Need a Little More Time and This That This

“Music is a chance that everyone deserves,” said Kevin Drew. “The reason I wanted to be a part of this program is to give young people that chance. There are so many unsung heroes out there that have programs that deserve funding…and that’s exactly what these grants will execute.” 

Kevin Drew was the inspiration behind this initiative when he approached MusiCounts nearly two years ago. His intent was to get involved with the charity in hopes that MusiCounts could create support for programs serving at-risk youth that may not be exposed to music education and discovery through their schools. With the support from TD Bank Group, MusiCounts was able to bring this program to life, expanding their programming to create even more opportunities for youth in underserved communities across Canada. The MusiCounts TD Community Music Grants provide musical instruments and equipment to community centres, after-school programs and other community non-profit organizations, ultimately putting instruments into the hands of youth that need them most. 

“We are very thankful to have Kevin Drew so deeply involved with the MusiCounts TD Community Music Grants,” said Melanie Berry. “He knows firsthand why providing support for these programs is so important and because his passion is so genuine, he is able to inspire those involved with the programs to continue doing the great work that they do.” 

“At TD, we are extremely proud to support this initiative, which provides opportunities to youth across Canada with a focus on music,” said Alan Convery, Senior Manager, Community Relations, TD Bank Group. “Whether it is further education, reading, music, arts or theatre, every young person should have the support they need to reach their fullest potential – and that is what the MusiCounts TD Community Music Grant program is all about.” 

The first year of the MusiCounts TD Community Music Grants program received over 120 applications. A total of $200,000 is being awarded to the 15 selected recipients this year. Programs from across the country will benefit from the newly launched initiative, including guitar, drum and piano programs, orchestras, hip hop academies, recording studios and much more! 

2013 MusiCounts TD Community Music Grant Recipients Are:

À deux mains/ Heads & Hands – Montréal, QC 
Artscan Circle – Newmarket, ON (Operating in 3 provinces and the territories) 
Brander Gardens Rocks – Edmonton, AB  
Broadway Neighbourhood Hip Hop Academy – Winnipeg, MB  
Carnegie Community Centre – Vancouver, BC 
Eka Cooperative Highland Gong Society – Vancouver, BC  
Fédération culturelle de Î’Ile-du-Prince-Édouard – Charlottetown, PE  
The Hammer Band – Toronto, ON  
Heart of the City Piano Program – Edmonton, AB  
iHuman Youth Society – Edmonton, AB 
Jeunes musiciens du monde – QC (Operating in 4 different communities)  
The Saint James Music Academy – Vancouver, BC  
The Salvation Army – Scarborough, ON  
SKETCH Working Arts Program – Toronto, ON  
Status4 Inc., – Winnipeg, MB

Scroll down to view photos of the announcement ceremony and award recipients.  

About Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew is a Canadian musician, co-founder of Broken Social Scene and co-owner of Canadian independent music company Arts & Crafts. Other Kevin Drew projects include his 2007 solo release Spirit If… as well the lesser-known KC Accidental, which consisted of Drew and Broken Social Scene's Charles Spearin. Drew has also directed music videos under the name Experimental Parachute Movement. In 2008 he wrote and directed a short film called "The Water," inspired by and starring his bandmate Leslie Feist. He is currently working on two records, including his sophomore solo album and a collaborative project with The Archies songwriter Andy Kim. 

TD Community Giving

TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2012, TD donated over $65 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. Click here for further information. 

About MusiCounts

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 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives. MusiCounts is funded by various initiatives such as the JUNO Awards nominee compilation CD; annual contributions by Bell Media; Astral Media; TD; SiriusXM Canada; the Slaight Family Foundation; Music Canada, Vista Radio, House of Marley, IA Clarington, 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 and as well as JUNO Cup. Since the Program’s establishment in 1997, over $6,000,000 will have been awarded impacting 286 post secondary music program graduates and an estimated 520,000 students, their schools and communities, from coast to coast. MusiCounts will have also honoured 8 extraordinary music teachers through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. For more information, please visit: www.musicounts.ca