Ottawa to fund music, community projects as part of Canada 150
Canada's Federal Minister for Heritage Melanie Joly joins members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Toronto on Monday, March 14 2016. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Monday, March 14, 2016 12:27PM EDT
The federal government announced it will fund two initiatives designed to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
Speaking in Toronto on Monday, Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said that the government will contribute $7.5 million towards a special music initiative that will see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra partner with other orchestras across the country. The TSO will also work with local musicians, composers, artists, and music industry partners to produce new music and highlight classics.
In addition to the TSO, Canadian philanthropist and former Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie and rapper Kardinal Offishall will also work on the project, which is meant to help foster the next generation of Canadian musical talent.
Joly said the government will also contribute $10 million to a fund which will supply micro-grants to various community projects across the country. The private sector and non-governmental organizations will also contribute to the Community Fund, Joly said.
The Canada 150 celebrations and projects are an opportunity to leave a lasting mark on future generations of Canadians, she said. They’re also meant to help engage youth, celebrate diversity, work towards reconciliation with the country's indigenous communities, and foster environmental stewardship, Joly said.
"In 2017, we want to celebrate and continue to build a welcoming country where everyone can reach their potential," she said, after participating in a special musical performance of Drake's song "Know Yourself" with TSO musicians and local music students.
Balsillie said the various Canada 150 projects will also contribute towards building a new innovative Canadian economy.
He recalled the sense of pride and identity he felt when he took part in the country's centennial anniversary celebrations in 1967, when he was still in primary school.
"It made me a nationalist before I even knew what the word meant," he joked, adding that he hopes the Canada 150 celebrations will do the same for the country's young people. "Let's be the generation that makes future generations proud."