Regional Development Corporation

Province to invest in innovative program to help students through music (09/09/09)

NB 1300

Sept. 9, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is investing $120,000 to establish an innovative, community-based program to use music as a means to nurture youths and to instil in them such positive values as discipline, teamwork and confidence.

(Multimedia)

The provincial government is making this investment to establish Sistema New Brunswick, a provincewide program that will draw upon the strengths of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) to influence children positively through music. Students will learn how to play music and gain other social skills in a co-operative, nurturing environment where personal qualities and achievement will matter more than the quality of the music.

Sistema New Brunswick will launch and operate a prototype children's orchestra centre in Moncton beginning in mid-October. Sistema New Brunswick aims to open, by 2015, four to six such centres around the province, operating in both official languages.

"This is a wonderful way to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential and to acquire the values they need to grow and to have a positive impact in society," said Premier Shawn Graham. "This is a perfect example of New Brunswickers coming together to make a significant positive contribution to the future of our children through the arts. The NBYO is a leading force in Canada for positive change for children, and we are proud of its contributions."

Joining Graham for the announcement were Ken MacLeod, president, NBYO; and Karen Branscombe, superintendent, School District 2.

"I would like to sincerely thank the Government of New Brunswick for its generous contribution to Sistema New Brunswick," said MacLeod. "This investment will help to transform lives as we seek to build self-esteem and confidence in our youth."

Under the direction of the NBYO, Sistema New Brunswick will strive to influence children through music; to foster positive values such as discipline, teamwork, confidence and self-esteem; and to inspire in children a sense of hope, joy and the aspiration to succeed.

The program will be modelled on an internationally renowned program in Venezuela. The National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras of Venezuela, known locally as El Sistema, brings together the country's most disadvantaged youth and nurtures their personal development and talent through free instruments and instruction.

The initial prototype children's orchestra centre for Sistema New Brunswick will be at Beaverbrook School in Moncton. It will also take in students from Bichmount, Queen Elizabeth and Edith Cavell schools. The centre will operate Monday through Friday, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"Sistema New Brunswick will be just such an innovative, community-based program," said Branscombe. "We will provide two rooms at Beaverbrook School with space to grow if necessary. We will also provide orientation assistance to principals and teachers from the four initial schools, assist in recruiting and selecting participants, and offer other support as required."

09/09/09

MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144; Bruce Macfarlane, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Ken MacLeod, president, New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, 506-384-1255.

09/09/09