Sam Spensley's Journey to the JUNOSSam Spensley's Journey to the JUNOS

Sam Spensley's Journey to the JUNOS

See how one guitar, and a little support, took this Calgary teen to a national stage alongside LIGHTS



Sam Spensley's Journey to the JUNOS

See how one guitar, and a little support, took this Calgary teen to a national stage alongside LIGHTS



Sam Spensley's Journey to the JUNOS

See how one guitar, and a little support, took this Calgary teen to a national stage alongside LIGHTS

Published June 14th, 2016

Imagine yourself at 15. You’re traveling through the ups-and-downs of teendom, with an acoustic guitar as one source of comfort and confidence. Suddenly, you find yourself playing it on national television, accompanying one of your favourite musicians. You cannot change the channel. This is not a dream.

That actually happened to Calgary’s Sam Spensley. You may recall her as the blue-haired young musician who charmed the nation on April 3rd when she joined LIGHTS on stage during the JUNO Awards Broadcast. Many people immediately took to social media, asking ‘Who is that girl?’

Sam Spensley is a teenager whose life has been changed by music. Five years ago, at a time when she was struggling, help came in the form of a guitar and participation in the Legacy Children’s Foundation ‘Gift of Music’ program, a 2015 MusiCounts TD Community Music Program recipient. Through her participation, Sam has grown as both a person and musician – including in ways that could not be anticipated.

Last year, Sam and other Legacy Children’s Foundation participants were given the opportunity to perform with two Canadian superstars at a special TD concert event in Calgary. Sam stood out that day. The event itself impressed her mother, Krista, who was moved to write a letter thanking MusiCounts and TD for their support of community music programs for children and youth across Canada. Krista recognized something at the very heart of the MusiCounts TD Community Program: that learning to play an instrument can have an incredibly positive impact on a young person’s life.


Thumb sam spensley musicounts experience photo for inside article

In Sam’s case, it even took her to the JUNOS where she soaked in countless incredible moments, from walking the red carpet to watching the Awards unfold from right up front, with her family, and, of course, performing with LIGHTS, a longtime MusiCounts supporter.

Watch the video above to join Sam on her journey, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how one talented young woman battled nerves to experience the confidence boost of a lifetime!


Sam Spensley’s very real story also underscores just how and Why MusiCounts. To date, more than nine thousand young Canadians have benefitted from the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program. Thousands more soon will.

TD recently doubled its support of MusiCounts, pledging $1,000,000 in total funding to support the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program projects selected in 2016 and 2017. Applications for the 2016 TD Community Music Program have now closed. Recipients will be selected by jury and announced this summer. We look forward to stories and sounds from next generations of budding Canadian musicians!