MasterCard Canada Press Section

Press Releases

back to press release list


CARAS ANNOUNCES LARGEST CONTRIBUTION EVER FOR MUSIC EDUCATION PROGRAM; MASTERCARD CANADA'S $200,000 TO DOUBLE OUTREACH

Contribution Presented at Inaugural 2004 JUNO Cup

EDMONTON, Friday, April 2, 2004 — The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced The CARAS Music Education program will be able to double its efforts as a result of a $200,000 contribution from MasterCard Canada. The contribution was presented today in Edmonton at the inaugural JUNO Cup, a celebrity hockey game presented by MasterCard, which pitted Canadian musicians against NHL Alumni. Music students from Rosalind School — a 2003 recipient of a CARAS Music Education Program grant — opened the game by playing the national anthem using instruments purchased with CARAS funds. The JUNO Cup kicks off JUNO weekend in Edmonton.

The MasterCard Canada contribution — the largest single contribution to the CARAS Music Education Program to date — will double funding for the program. The CARAS Music Education Program provides grants, in the form of musical instruments, to recipient schools whose music programs demonstrate potential, but are in need of funding to ensure sustained growth — and in some cases, continue to exist.

“At MasterCard, we talk about giving people ‘priceless moments’ — those experiences that have profound influences on our lives. With this $200,000 contribution to The CARAS Music Education Program we hope that MasterCard is able to extend the reach of this valuable program to more classrooms and music programs, touching the lives of many Canadian children,” said Kevin Stanton, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Canada.

“We are thrilled about MasterCard Canada’s $200,000 contribution,” said Melanie Berry, President, CARAS. “Music education is the real grassroots of Canadian music and the bridge to tomorrow’s rising musical talent. This support will allow us to give many more talented students the resources to pursue their passion for music.”

The CARAS Music Education Program was established in 1997 to address the erosion of music education in Canadian schools. The Program provides grants towards the purchase of musical instruments for schools whose music programs have great potential, yet are in need of funding to ensure sustained growth. Through CARAS, over $500,000 has been donated to over 48 schools and various music programs. The CARAS Music Education program is also supported by various other initiatives such as the platinum-selling JUNO nominee compilation CD.

The JUNO Cup, presented by MasterCard Canada, features NHL Alumni and Canadian musicians who face off in a fun, competitive, non-contact hockey game. The Artists team, coached by JUNO nominee Kathleen Edwards and captained by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, included: Tom Barlow (Barlow), Barney Bentall, Rich Bomber (The Mad Bombers), Gavin Brown (Producer, 3 Days Grace, Billy Talent), Stephen Carroll (The Weakerthans), Andrew Cash (The Cash Brothers), Luke Doucet (Sarah McLachlan), Jon Gallant (Billy Talent), Bill Keeley, (Pilate), Aaron Lines, Jason Plumb (The Waltons), Sam Roberts, Jeremy Taggart (Our Lady Peace), Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies), John Sutton (The Weakerthans) and Corey Zadorozny (Sam Roberts).

The opposing NHL Alumni All-Stars, coached by members of Nickelback and captained by hockey legend Lanny McDonald, included Brian Benning, Rob Brown, Russ Courtnall, Brad Dalgarno, Al Hamilton, Doug Hicks, Norm Lacombe, Jamie Macoun, Dana Murzyn, Joel Otto, Warren Skoredenski, and Tiger Williams.

About CARAS:
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L'academie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l'enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music and recording industries and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through television vehicles such as the JUNO Awards.

For more information on the 33rd annual JUNO Awards, visit the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) Web site at www.junoawards.ca.

The 2004 JUNO Awards will air on CTV, on Sunday, April 4, 2004.

About MasterCard International
MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members' credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 47 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to www.mastercardinternational.com

For JUNO Cup/CARAS information contact:

Emma Batori,
Holmes Creative Communications
416-628-5613
ebatori@holmesmark.com

For MasterCard information contact:

Matt Cram
Environics Communications
416-969-2726
mcram@environicspr.com