Eskasoni, Nova Scotia's Carter Chiasson Announced As The 2020 MusiCounts Teacher Of The Year Award Recipient

Tuesday, February 20, 2020 — TORONTO, ON - MusiCounts, Canada's leading music education charity, is pleased to announce that Carter Chiasson, a teacher at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, NS, is the recipient of the 2020 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. Each year, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an inspirational and passionate Canadian music educator's impact on students and music education.

“We are thrilled to present the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award to Carter Chiasson this year to celebrate the tremendous impact he has on his students and community,” said Kristy Fletcher, Executive Director, MusiCounts. “Through Carter's efforts, Allison Bernard Memorial High School's music program is an inclusive, innovative and engaging learning experience for students.”

As the Award recipient, Carter will receive $10,000 cash donation, a significant contribution to the Allison Bernard Memorial High School music program, a spectacular crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award design, and will be honoured at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, March 14, as part of 2020 JUNO Week in Saskatoon, SK.

“It's truly an honour to receive this award. This is something that I feel is not just mine but something to be shared by everyone I work with, the community of Eskasoni, Unama'ki and, of course, my students,” said Carter Chiasson. “The successes of my music program has been a group effort from day one. More personally, it's incredibly humbling. So many teachers are deserving of this award. Thank you to MusiCounts and the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation for honouring teachers, and the work you do to support music education.”

“Carter is a remarkable educator. He brings passion and purpose into the classroom, inspiring the lives of so many young kids each and every day,” said Sherry MacDonald, President and CEO of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. “He's shown us all that music teachers can truly make a difference.”

Carter's role at Allison Bernard Memorial High School is teaching courses in both music and technology. Eskasoni, NS is home to the largest population of Mi'kmaq people in Canada, and Carter regularly uses both music and technology to help students engage with, share and celebrate their cultural identity.

Carter worked with one of his students, Emma Stevens, to produce a video of her singing the “Blackbird” by The Beatles in her native Mi'kmaq language. Since then the video has been seen by more than a million people, and Carter and Emma have been invited to perform the song across Canada and even for Barack Obama. Watch the incredible video here.

MusiCounts was thrilled to visit Allison Bernard Memorial High School to congratulate Carter on his Award, and engage with the music class.

About The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation

Founded in 1960, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping Canadian families better access post-secondary education. Through philanthropy, discovery, advocacy and by sponsoring the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plans to help families save for post-secondary education, CST continues to deliver on its mission. In addition to its focus on education savings, the Foundation rewards hard working and community minded Canadian students and communities through scholarships, bursaries and awards programs, and its Inspired Minds Program. CST has helped nearly 800,000 students achieve their post-secondary dreams. The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation and its subsidiaries (CST Spark Inc. and CST Consultants Inc.) operate under the masterbrand name CST. For more information, visit foundation.cst.org

About MusiCounts

MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with CARAS and the JUNO Awards is keeping music alive in schools and communities across Canada by putting musical instruments into the hands of children that need them most. MusiCounts' mission is to ensure that youth in Canada have access to music programs through their schools and communities. MusiCounts celebrates musical excellence and achieves its mission through its Band Aid Program, the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, Scholarships, and other music education initiatives.

MusiCounts is funded by many of Canada's most dedicated individuals and corporate citizens including and especially The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, The MusiCounts Leadership Circle, TD Bank Group, Stingray Group Inc., Bell Media, SiriusXM Canada, the Slaight Family Foundation, and Canada's Great Kitchen Party. 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. MusiCounts was established in 1997 and has awarded over $13,000,000 in support of music education in Canada. These funds have benefitted over 1,200 schools and communities, supported over 400 post-secondary music program graduates, and honoured 14 extraordinary music teachers and four MusiCounts ambassadors.

www.musicounts.ca