Photos from this year’s virtual summit!

Virtual Summit

April 14, 2018

6 time zones.
4 hours.
1 summit.

Join Us!

Are you under 30? Do you care about music education in your school and community? Are you ready to make a difference for Canada through music?
Join us for a day of meaningful discussions about youth leadership and music advocacy during the first national Youth4Music Virtual Summit on Saturday, April 14, 2018!
You will be invited to:
  • Connector.


    Connect with other youth leaders who are passionate about music education and the importance of music in Canada

  • Connector.

    Find Inspiration

    Be inspired by speakers, musicians, special guests and Youth4Music Ambassadors

  • Connector.


    Discuss what’s currently happening regionally with music and music education

Special Guests

The Virtual Summit will be hosted by Youth4Music Ambassadors all across Canada with special guests, including:

Cole Forrest is an Ojibwe artist and spoken word poet based out of Nipissing First Nation in North Bay, Ontario. He strives to bring his understanding and compassion for arts to a level that is perpetual. By always seeking new horizons and pushing to be the best he can be, Cole is forever learning new techniques to hone his craft. Currently, Cole is enrolled in college for film studies and works in the arts sector. Cole Forrest is regarded as an emerging cultural leader of Northern Ontario. He is proficient in movement, theatre, multi media, music, and most notably, writing.
Madison Lockman is the definition of the word “Band Geek.” A little late to the game, she began her musical career in the summer of 2012, playing the clarinet at band camp. Since then, she has spent her time making music any chance she can get. Having thrown herself into everything her high school band program can provide, her resumé includes participation in Colonel Gray’s Concert Band, Senior Jazz and Little Big Band as a saxophonist. In addition to instrumental performances, she was a chorus member of the recent musical production “The Little Mermaid,” which was performed at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in May of 2017.

She hails from Prince Edward Island, living in Charlottetown with her parents, two cats and six sisters. Madison attributes P.E.I.’s tight knit and diverse musical community as the source of her progress and opportunity for musical exploration. Now, a Youth Representative for the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, she is enthusiastic to share her love for the craft with youth on a national scale. It is her hope that many other young Canadians can get as much out of our music programs as she did.

Currently a Loran scholar at the University of Ottawa, Sarah is pursuing a BMus in Harp performance paired with science studies. She believes in the potential to empower individuals through music and influence youth development. As a harpist, Sarah enjoys collaborating with other musicians and has performed with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Memorial University Chamber Orchestra among other groups. She recently completed a piano performance diploma with the royal conservatory of music and has taken her studies internationally with acclaimed artists including Judy Loman.

Sarah’s passion for music extends beyond performance. She has explored an interest in music education as an instructor with the Ottawa Symphony Youth Orchestra and has had a taste of neuroscience research focused on pitch perception. With a range of various experiences, Sarah carries a desire to advocate for the value of music education and the opportunities that music involvement can lead to.

Eric Favaro is respected nationally and internationally as an innovator and advocate for effective programs in Music and Arts Education. Trained as a music educator, Eric taught instrumental and classroom music in Calgary and in Cape Breton. He served as Arts Education Consultant with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, and later as Arts Education Consultant with the Nova Scotia Department of Education. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education, as well as a doctorate in Organizational Development and Leadership. Eric publishes frequently and continues to work on curriculum committees and other projects through provincial Ministries of Education and Federal agencies.

Eric served as president of the Nova Scotia Music Educators’ Association from 1993-95, and president of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association from 1995-97. He initiated and chaired the first National Symposium on Arts Education (Cape Breton, 1997), and served on the board for the International Society for Music Education from 2000-04. He has received numerous honours and awards, including the Musica Viva award and NSMEA Honourary Life Member designation for his contributions to music education in Nova Scotia, and the Jubilate Award of Merit and Executive Award from the Canadian Music Educators Association for his national and international work.

Eric feels his experiences as a music educator, arts administrator and member of many boards ranging from education to government to corporate, have prepared him to contribute to the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Music Education in Canada. He also brings to the table a strong network of national international contacts who also share his passion for the importance of music in everyone’s lives. He looks forward to contributing to the Coalition in a meaningful way.

Jay Wong is a serial entrepreneur, business advisor, real estate investor and host of The Inner Changemaker; rated #1 Self-Help Podcast on iTunes.

Jay’s mission is to create empowering media that summarizes all of the great lessons covered in on his show by other successful changemakers, in hopes that these combined journeys will help business owners grow their business through online marketing and elevate their leadership.

With interviews from game-changing entrepreneurs such as Bob Proctor (The Secret (movie)) Sean Stephenson (American Therapist and top Motivational Speaker), Lisa Nichols (personal development giant) Grant Cardone (Multi-millionaire and real estate mogul) and many other prominent names around the world, it’s no surprise that his podcast sits consistently on top of the podcasting charts and is actively listened to in 123+ countries.

In October 2016, his podcast was even featured at Toronto Downtown’s busiest intersection, Yonge and Dundas square, highlighting the message of what can happen when you begin to tackle the seemingly impossible in life.


He recently got named as one of the top 40 Millennial Influencers to follow in 2018 and regularly inspires audiences of entrepreneurs, change makers, and thought leaders at some of the most prestigious conferences and seminars around the world.

Maggie MacDonnell grew up in rural Nova Scotia and after completing her Bachelors degree, spent five years volunteering and working in Sub Saharan Africa, largely in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention. After completing her Masters degree she found her country was beginning to wake up to the decades of abuse that Canadian Indigenous people have lived through, including assaults on the environment and enormous economic and social inequality.As such, she sought out opportunities to teach indigenous communities in Canada and for the last six years has been a teacher in a fly-in Inuit village called Salluit, nestled in the Canadian Arctic. This is home to the second northernmost Inuit community in Quebec, with a population of just over 1,300 – it cannot be reached by road, only by air. In winter temperatures are minus 25C. There were six suicides in 2015, all affecting young males between the ages of 18 and 25.

Due to the harsh conditions, there are very high rates of teacher turnover which is a significant barrier to education in the Arctic. Many teachers leave their post midway through the year, and many apply for stress leave. Her current school has no Principal as he left after six weeks on stress leave.

There are tremendous gender issues in the Inuit region of Nunavik where teenage pregnancies are common, high levels of sexual abuse exist, and gender roles often burden young girls with large domestic duties. Maggie therefore created a life skills programme specifically for girls which has seen a 500 per cent improvement in girls’ registration in life skills programmes that were formerly dominated by boys. This includes securing over $30,000 in funding to prepare hot meals for the community. She also created a partnership with the daycare centre where her students would work in the classrooms with experienced day care workers. They would gain valuable on the job mentorship and improve their understanding of early childhood education. Maggie also secured over $20,000 for an in-school nutrition program where students prepare healthy snacks for their fellow students.

Also, in areas of high deprivation, isolation and limited resources, teenagers often turn to drinking and smoking, even drugs and self-harm, as forms of escape and release. She therefore quickly established a fitness centre which has become a hub for youth and adults in the local community who are embracing a healthier lifestyle. It is relieving stress, helping young people grow stronger physically and mentally.

Maggie’s whole approach has been about turning students from “problems” to “solutions” through initiatives such as “acts of kindness” which has dramatically improved school attendance. Specific examples include: running a community kitchen, attending suicide prevention training and hiking through national parks to understand environmental stewardship. In addition, her students, despite their own challenges, have fundraised over $37,000 for Diabetes Prevention. Maggie has also been a temporary foster parent in the community, including to some of her own students.

Registration & Schedule



Youth4Music is a program of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada.

Youth4Music is made possible with the generous support of the Government of Canada, TD Bank Group, NAMM Foundation, SOCAN and all of our partner organizations. In Ontario Youth4Music is made possible with the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation Grow Grant.