MusicCounts Announces Dianne Winmill as Recipient As Teacher of the Year Award

Music Counts Photo Credit Barry Roden.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Music Counts Photo Credit Barry Roden

MusiCounts , Canada's leading music education charity, announced Dianne Winmill of North Hastings High School in Bancroft, ON as the recipient of the 2017 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. Canadian music icons and multi-platinum JUNO Award-winning artists, Blue Rodeo, are the sponsors of this year's award, which recognizes teachers with outstanding dedication to inspiring and nurturing the musical growth of Canadian youth. Blue Rodeo members, Jim Cuddy (vocals/guitar), Bazil Donovan (bass), and Colin Cripps (guitar/vocals), surprised Winmill with the award during a tour of their Toronto recording studio with several of her students. Following the presentation, the students had an exclusive opportunity to record in the studio.

"We are thrilled to sponsor this award as teachers like Dianne do endless work to inspire their students and keep music alive in schools, which is something that is very important to us," said Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo."I think the value of music programs is immeasurable in the development of a young person's identity in being part of a community," added Colin Cripps, Blue Rodeo.

Winmill will receive $10,000 plus a $10,000 contribution to her school's music program. In addition, she will experience VIP treatment throughout JUNO Week, attending the Chairman's Reception and the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, and will walk the red carpet at the JUNO Awards Broadcast on April 2 in Ottawa.

"We are honoured to have an iconic band like Blue Rodeo sponsor this year's MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award," said Kristy Fletcher, Director, MusiCounts. "Music education was an important part of their lives, and Dianne's dedication to enhancing the lives of her students through music, both inside the classroom and out is truly inspiring."

Dianne Winmill 2017 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year AwardDianne Winmill 2017 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year AwardWinmill has been a music teacher for 20 years, with 16 years spent teaching at North Hastings High School. Her passion for music is demonstrated through her tireless work to promote music education in both her school and community. Winmill developed a first of its kind Royal Conservatory music program for her students, is involved in several community music organizations, and through her guidance the school band has also performed for numerous feeder schools and community groups.

"I feel completely blessed to be selected by MusicCounts for this remarkable award, that recognizes music education across the country," said Dianne Winmill. "I would also like to thank Blue Rodeo for sponsoring the award. I am truly honoured and share this with all the music teachers who are making a difference."

About Blue Rodeo

The definition of a rebel is someone who goes against the grain. For close to thirty years now, Blue Rodeo has taken the road less travelled - and succeeded far beyond anyone's expectations. The band emerged in the early 80's as a countrified rock band in the era of hair metal and glossy pop. Despite sticking out like a sore thumb (or maybe because of it), their single "Try" became omni-present on radio across Canada and set in motion a three decade long career of headlining every club, theatre and arena in Canada. In 1993, when grunge rock was squeezing commercial rock off the radio, they recorded their most acoustic album, "Five Days In July", and scored their biggest hit selling over a half million copies of that one record alone. Now, with their 14th Warner Music Canada studio album, "1000 Arms", Blue Rodeo's successes are measured in terms that include induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2012), receiving a Governor General's Performing Arts Award (2014) and acknowledgement that the band has steadfastly defined itself by its own terms, and in the years that ensued, sold in excess of four million records. Currently on tour across Canada, Blue Rodeo will be kicking off their Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada shows on February 2, 2017 at Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario.

About MusiCounts

MusiCounts, Canada's music education charity associated with CARAS and the JUNO Awards is keeping music alive in schools and communities across Canada by putting musical instruments into the hands of children that need them most. MusiCounts' mission is to ensure that children in Canada have access to music programs through their schools and communities. MusiCounts achieves its mission through its Band Aid Program, the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Scholarships and other music education initiatives. MusiCounts is funded by many of Canada's most dedicated corporate citizens including and especially TD Bank Group, Bell Media, SiriusXM Canada, the Slaight Family Foundation, Music Canada, Vista Radio, and Morningstar Canada. MusiCounts has been supported since inception by Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada Ltd., JUNO Songwriters' Circle and JUNO Cup. Since MusiCounts' establishment in 1997, over $9,000,000 has been awarded in support of music education in Canada. These funds have benefitted over 750 schools and communities from coast to coast, supported over 300 post-secondary music program graduates and honoured 11 extraordinary music teachers through the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award.