Sep 30, 2010
For immediate release
New prize to recognize aspiring young musicians
Toronto, September 21, 2010 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the creation of the Canada Council Michael Measures Prize to recognize promising young performers of classical music through a partnership with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC).
The award is being established thanks to a $1 million bequest to the Canada Council from the late Michael Measures, a music enthusiast and long-time volunteer in the Ottawa arts community. Mr. Measures wanted to create an award that combined his passion for music and his desire to help “young Canadian citizens of emerging ability and of future promise.” The prize will be awarded annually to a single recipient from the income generated by the endowment.
“We are delighted to enter into a partnership with the NYOC to bring life to the wishes of the late Michael Measures,” said Canada Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman. “One of the benefits of this partnership is that it draws from the Orchestra’s pool of candidates, who come from all parts of the country and reflect the diversity of Canada’s musical talent.”
The NYOC will coordinate and supervise the administration of the competition and selection of the annual winner. A recipient, between the ages of 16-22, will be chosen from those who have successfully completed the annual summer training program. The first Canada Council Michael Measures Prize will be awarded in 2011 during the NYOC’s summer touring program and will provide a young musician with $15,000 to help build his or her career.
“This is excellent news for young musicians from across the country, as it will allow the recipients to kick start their careers on the Canadian stage,” says NYOC Chair Randy Barber. “The opportunity to win such a large prize will also allow the NYOC to draw a high caliber of applicants, thus ensuring that we will continue to foster the careers of this country’s most talented young musicians by providing them with a top quality orchestral experience.”
Information on the program is available on the National Youth Orchestra’s website at www.nyoc.org.
A native of Ottawa and a graduate of McGill University, Michael Measures had a great love of the performing and visual arts. He was a supporter and patron of cultural activities and an active volunteer with local arts and heritage organizations. He took a particular interest in providing timely opportunities for young classical musicians to improve their skills and in encouraging public recognition of their achievements. He served for a number of years in various capacities on the board of Ottawa’s Laurentian Junior Music Club and as Vice-President of the Ottawa Region of the Canadian Music Competitions.
National Youth Orchestra
The National Youth Orchestra of Canada, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is Canada’s advanced orchestral training institute for musicians aged 16 to 28. Its mission is to educate, elevate, and empower Canada’s most gifted young orchestral musicians. Internationally recognized as one of the finest orchestral programs in the world, the NYOC provides the most in-depth comprehensive training anywhere. More than 500 aspiring high school and university-level student musicians audition for the 80 to 100 spots in the NYOC each year. Since its inception in 1960 more that 2,700 of Canada’s finest young musicians have received orchestral training. Its alumni form the core of major Canadian orchestras while others have gone on to become members of prominent international orchestras.
Canada Council for the Arts
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards many prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering, and arts management. These prizes and fellowships recognize the achievements of outstanding Canadian artists, scholars, and administrators. The Canada Council is committed to raising public awareness and celebrating these exceptional people and organizations on both a national and international level.
Please visit our website (www.canadacouncil.ca) for a complete listing of these awards.
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