Feb. 18, 2010
MONCTON (CNB) - The Beaverbrook Cambiata Centre - the prototype for Sistema New Brunswick's bilingual music program - officially opened today. The centre provides musical instruments and music lessons to children regardless of their ability to play - or pay.
"Sistema NB is doing fantastic work to help young New Brunswickers learn about music, be more self-confident, and become team players," said Premier Shawn Graham. "Our government is proud to have played a role in establishing this innovative program in our province. Our investment of $120,000 demonstrates our commitment to invest in learning opportunities, which are vital to New Brunswick's success in becoming self-sufficient by 2026."
Joining Graham at the event were Ken MacLeod, president of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO); and Karen Branscombe, superintendent of School District 2.
The NBYO based Sistema New Brunswick on a highly successful Venezuelan music program. Sistema New Brunswick was created to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential by instilling a sense of hope and joy while fostering qualities such as discipline, teamwork, confidence and self-esteem.
Children must make a commitment to attend the after-school classes as well as to play in the children's orchestra. Improvements have already been noticed in the young musicians who have been making music five days a week since mid-October.
"Music changes the lives of the children, of their families and of entire communities," said MacLeod, who was part of a fact-finding mission to South America. "What we saw first-hand in Venezuela - we are beginning to see here, too. Parents and teachers have already seen improvements in attentiveness and school performance in the children who participate in this program. It has only been four months, but the children's sense of joy, passion, discipline and engagement is unmistakeable."
Today's event included a performance by the recently created Beaverbrook Cambiata Centre children's orchestra, which is made up of children ages six to 10 from four Moncton-area schools: Beaverbrook, Birchmount, Queen Elizabeth and Edith Cavell.
"This partnership with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra is exemplary as it fits so many of the priorities of School District 2," said Branscombe. "By engaging the students in the world of music, Sistema New Brunswick is enhancing and enriching the lives of children and their families."
In addition to provincial investments, funding for Sistema New Brunswick has come from private individuals and businesses. NBYO plans to expand Sistema New Brunswick with the opening of three more centres by 2014.
Founded in 1965, NBYO, whose mission is to "Inspire Excellence through Music" was Canada's first provincial youth orchestra. More information about NBYO and Sistema New Brunswick is online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144; Ken MacLeod, president, New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, 506-384-1255.