Canada Council introduces 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.

 Read the complete news release here.

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