CALGARY, AB – Music education charity MusiCounts kicked off JUNO Week on Thursday by announcing the 2015-2016 beneficiaries of the Band Aid Program via a special celebration at Lord Beaverbrook High School (LBHS) in Calgary that included a surprise performance by multi-JUNO nominee Alessia Cara and a visit by the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi. This year, the charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has distributed $675,000 in musical instruments among 77 schools nationwide in support of their individual music programs. SiriusXM Canada, who has contributed in excess of $1,000,000 to MusiCounts over the past eight years, also revealed a renewed contribution of $100,000 to the MusiCounts Band Aid Program.

“SiriusXM has been a proud supporter of MusiCounts for eight years and with this contribution of $100,000, we will make sure instruments get in the hands of thousands more students,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts. “And it was very special to have Alessia Cara to inspire the students and help them believe that their dreams can one day be achieved too.”

“SiriusXM Canada is very proud to support such vital initiatives as the Band Aid Grant program and MusiCounts with our annual $100,000 contribution,” said Paul Cunningham, SVP, Sales and Marketing, SiriusXM Canada. “We are committed to supporting Canadian artists, and having the opportunity to see the impact of that firsthand at the Band Aid ceremony is a very special experience.”

Canadian singer-songwriter Cara, a 2016 JUNO Award nominee for the JUNO Fan Choice Award, Single of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year and R&B Recording of the Year, was on hand at Lord Beaverbrook High School to speak about her passion for music and help unveil new musical instruments in front of the excited auditorium. The school is one of four in Calgary receiving a total of $30,000 worth of instruments and equipment as part of the Band Aid Program. She helped to celebrate the occasion with acoustic performances of her hit singles “Here” and “Wild Things.”

“If you have dreams like mine that people tell you are unrealistic, don’t give up on them. Nothing is unachievable and I’m proof of that,” said Cara.

Jeff Leake, Director of Music Programming at SiriusXM Canada, was the event’s host and highlighted the company’s ongoing commitment to MusiCounts. LBHS music instructor Heidi Wood spoke about the school’s music program and introduced a performance by its choir. Approximately 800 students were in attendance for MusiCounts’ Band Aid presentation, along with music industry supporters and fellow partners.

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 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 and communities. This is achieved through the Band Aid Program, the TD Community Music Program, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives. Since MusiCounts’ establishment in 1997, nearly $9,000,000 will have been awarded to help support music education in Canada. These funds will have benefitted over 850 schools and communities from coast to coast, supported over 350 post-secondary music program graduates and honoured 11 extraordinary music teachers through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. MusiCounts is funded by many of Canada’s most dedicated corporate citizens including and especially Bell Media, TD Bank Group, SiriusXM Canada, the Slaight Family Foundation, Music Canada, Vista Radio, the Hot Topic Foundation and Morningstar Canada. MusiCounts has been supported since inception by Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada Ltd., JUNO Songwriters’ Circle and JUNO Cup.

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