The legacy of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival will live on in the voices of local children. SVFF board representative Deborah Hackett and Artistic Director Lesley Marie Boileau graciously completed a final charitable act as an organization by donating $10,000 to Northumberland County’s El Sistema charity, Sounds of the Next Generation (also known as SONG). It was a unanimous decision by the SVFF Board of Directors to donate the financial proceeds of its not-for-profit organization to SONG, with whom they share many charitable objectives and values.
The SONG Board is grateful for the generous gift, which will be designated over the next five years to support its growing “Artists in the Classroom” project that invites established and emerging artists to lead music workshops with the children. It’s a legacy honouring the work of Shelter Valley Folk Festival and its enduring cultural impact in Northumberland County that will now impact the lives of more children accessing music education. As Festival Director Emeritus, Aengus Finnan, voiced so movingly, “I, too, am proud of all that came and went and the constant rebirth of good.”
SONG’s “Artists in the Classroom” has included cellist Kevin Fox and Cobourg-native singer/songwriter Sue Passmore writing a song with the children. The initiative blossomed from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that SONG children had in June 2016 to perform in R. Murray Schafer’s The Spirit Garden with 100 musicians, singers and dancers from across the country.
The two organizations share similar values, key volunteers, donors and a piece of history. SONG Artistic Director, Marie Anderson, was part of the original organizing committee of the Waterfront Festival in Cobourg in the 1980s, which became a template for the Shelter Valley Folk Festival. Sounds of the Next Generation (SONG) is a free, socially inclusive choral and orchestral after-school music program for under-served children and youth ages 6-13 in Northumberland County that promotes social development through the pursuit of musical excellence.
For more information: www.songprogram.org