Patricia Valentyn, Managing Director
Patricia Valenteyn is an arts and learning specialist with more than fifteen years of experience managing national and international initiatives. She has been involved in a wide range of roles including accounting, artist certification coordination, national program management, project development, fundraising and stewardship. Patricia comes to the Coalition at a time where her broad range of experience will ensure she, along with the Coalition staff and Board of Directors meet the objectives of Vision 25 and the Coalition’s new strategic plan.
Reflecting on her appointment, Patricia said, “I am very excited at the prospect of leading the Coalition for Music Education as it continues to grow, and I look forward to expanding engagement with key stakeholders in every province and territory in Canada and with the music industry.”
Ashley Boychuk, Program Coordinator
A performer, educator, developer and administrator, Ashley Boychuk has a passion for the arts community. A classical trained soprano with a positive attitude and enthusiastic approach, Ashley has several years of experience singing throughout Europe and North America as a young artist, as well as having received numerous scholarships and awards from prestigious organizations. Ashley holds firm the advocacy of music education and promotion of creative learning, which she has developed over the years in both her vocal and piano teaching studio, as well as in choral settings.
Bringing years of arts development and administration experience to the Coalition, Ashley looks forward to continuing to support the growth of the musical community in Toronto and across the nation. Her initiative and determination have lead her to successfully organize and see through past workshop, conference, and performance projects, focused on helping other develop through music. Anchored by past experiences with inner city youth and outreach projects, Ashley holds close the understanding of how music can indeed change lives and create a world of possibilities for anyone and everyone.
Aimee Rochard, Graphic Designer
With a dynamic design style that is bold, image-heavy, colourful and layered, Aimée’s work stands out and her attention to detail is evident. Her designs have a uniformity and a quality that only years of industry experience can help create.
Aimée has been fortunate to work with design agencies such as MAAIINGAN Productionsand The Adlib Group, as well doing design and layout work for Urban Native Girl TV, Toronto Birth Centre, Ontario Lung Association, MUSKRAT Magazine, The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and many more. She is also well-versed in video editing and motion graphics.
Aimée currently lives in Toronto where she enjoys biking, sunny Sundays, and playing with shapes and colours. We are looking forward to having her help shape our Women’s Empowerment through Music campaign as well as many other projects!
Victoria Borg, Music Monday Program Assistant
A classical performer with years of private teaching experience to her name, and a passion for research and organization, Victoria Borg brings a unique and enthusiastic voice to her role as Music Monday Program Assistant. She holds a Masters of Opera and Voice from McGill University, with additional degrees from the University of Manitoba and Western University, and has trained and performed with various companies across the country. Victoria’s early musical experiences — in the form of exceptional public arts education, youth ensembles, and private instruction — made a significant impact on her future studies and work. She looks forward to advocating for the next generation of musicians, that they might have access to such formative programs.
Sharon Tikiryan, Youth4Music Program Assistant
A passionate music educator with nearly two decades of experience working with children and youth, Sharon Tikiryan is delighted to join the CME team as Youth4Music Program Assistant. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University, and a Master of Music from Memorial University of Newfoundland. As a graduate student, she performed and designed educational resources for Opera RoadShow, a touring company dedicated to community outreach that brings opera to elementary schools across Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to her work with Youth4Music, Sharon is an active private studio instructor, adjudicator, performer, and student. She currently attends the University of Toronto, where she is working toward a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy, with a research focus on equity in arts education.
Jennifer Brown, Research Assistant
Jennifer joins the Coalition for Music education as a seasoned research professional. With a background in statistical research for the arts, culture and media industries, Jennifer is excited to bring her expertise to the Coalition. She has a decade of experience conducting and overseeing research projects at the Provincial government level, and has a keen interest in using data to tell stories about the importance of arts and culture in our lives. Jennifer is also a percussionist, and has been having fun making music by hitting things for over 20 years.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chair of the Board
Eric Favaro, Chair of the Board
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.
Ms. Elster is one of Canada’s preeminent music and arts executives. Following three decades of leadership, most recently as Senior Vice President of The Royal Conservatory where she launched ‘Learning Through the Arts’ in addition to many other successful initiatives, she now leads the ‘Canadian Network for Arts and Learning’ and sits on several national Boards. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, an MA from OISE and the Certificate of Leadership in Expressive Arts from the European Graduate School where she is in the process of completing her PhD. She brings to organizations demonstrated expertise in teaching, curriculum development, government relations, fundraising and strategic planning. Central to all of her work is the creativity, inspiration, excellent quality, depth, and joy she learned through her music education training and through teaching music. Recently, Angela was awarded one of Canada’s highest honors – the Meritorious Service Medal from the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada recognizing outstanding accomplishments that set an example and bring benefit to our country.
Together with the Executive, as Interim Executive Director, Angela will manage the Coalition’s operations, provide support for staff, and work with the Board to develop strategies to support Vision 25 and the Coalition’s strategic plan.
Robert Barg, Vice-Chair, Treasurer
Rob began his career with Yamaha in 1971 in Winnipeg. He distinguished himself as Yamaha’s first Guitar teacher in Canada, and worked as well in retail sales. He taught the pilot Yamaha Classroom Guitar course “Get into Guitar” that was developed by Lee Bartel as part of his Masters Degree. Teaching in both the Yamaha Music School and Junior High classes in the Winnipeg School System, Rob often taught over 300 guitar students per week, and motivated many young students to start their musical careers.
As the Yamaha Music School programs continued to grow across Canada, Rob transferred to the new Head Office in Toronto (1980), where he became the Regional Sales Consultant for Ontario. In 1986 he was appointed the Keyboard Division Sales Manager. Rob was promoted to Director of the Music Instrument Division in 1999, and in 2002 he became the Vice President Music al Instrument Group. In 2006, Rob was appointed Corporate Vice President Planning and Relations Division, the position he currently holds.
Rob and his wife Rose have three grown children and enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren. Rob still enjoys music as a personal hobby, and works actively for music education at Yamaha, to continue to promote music, particularly among children, whom he sees as the key to music of the future. Rob looks forward to offering his experience and support to the Coalition for Music Education in Canada.
Kirsten Maclaine enjoys teaching Elementary Music (K-Gr. 5), Instrumental Music (Gr. 6-9) and T.R.A.P (The Rhythmic Arts Project) at Gulf Shore Consolidated School in North Rustico on the beautiful north shore of Prince Edward Island. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, Kirsten packed up her trumpet and travelled east to the University of Prince Edward Island where she earned her Bachelor of Music, with a specialization in Education in 1998. She returned to Ontario to complete a Bachelor of Music Education at Nipissing University in 1999, and her Masters in Education from the University of New Brunswick in 2012.
A passionate music educator, Kirsten has taught music in Toronto and PEI, from pre-school to Grade 13, and has worked in various positions of responsibility and on many different professional committees. As President of the Canadian Music Educator’s Association, she feels privileged to be able to both serve and support her fellow music educators.
Kirsten lives in scenic New Glasgow, PEI wit her husband Matt and their four children: Emma, Charlotte, Flora and Callum.
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.
Helen Coker is the current president of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association/L’association canadiennes des musiciens educateurs, and in that capacity she joins our Board. Previously she was the Director for Member Engagement on the CMEA board. A native of Woodstock Ontario, Helen is a long-time member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association, serving in several roles including president from 2010-2012 and chairing conferences in 2006, 2010, and 2014. She teaches strings and instrumental music at Woodstock Collegiate Institute after recently holding the position of Learning Coordinator for the Arts for the Thames Valley District School Board, the school board serving London and four area counties. Helen’s interests include spending time with family, travelling and all things Disney.
David Peretz‐Larochelle is a 2015 graduate of the Music Education Concurrent Program at McGill University. He was granted the Quebec’s Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal for his academic and community involvement.
David is an active music educator in high school and community settings. He is an instrumental music teacher at Collège Jean‐Eudes, a private school in Montreal. He is the Principal conductor of the beginner band at the Montreal New Horizons Band (nhmontreal.ca). The Montreal New Horizons Band is a non‐profit organization that operates in the format of a bilingual and intergenerational community concert band. The organization strives to provide quality musical education to everyone, with a focus on the senior population.
While committing to full‐time teaching and involvement with various organizations, David has remained an active performer. As a classical percussionist, he has performed with various ensembles including Stu&Jess opera productions, symphonic orchestras, the McGill percussion ensemble, the McGill University Chorus, and the McGill Wind Symphony. In addition to being an active music educator, David taught alpine skiing at Mont Orford for eight years.
David Peretz‐Larochelle has been an active member of the Youth4Music network since 2014. David’s advocacy work for music education began with the organization and hosting of Montreal’s 2014 Music Monday event. He was thrilled to be hosting the showcase celebrations in Montreal in 2015.
Lynn Tucker is Acting Chair for the Department of Arts, Culture and Media (ACM) and Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in Music and Culture at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). She has also served in multiple administrative roles that included Associate Chair portfolios on curriculum, communications and recruitment, and experiential learning, and Director of Arts & Events Programming with oversight of artistic, cultural and scholarly co-curricular programming on behalf of ACM.
Professor Tucker’s research interests focus on avocational music-making, work-life balance and well-being, music care and social prescription, and leadership and facilitation. Engaging students in lifelong music-making is at the forefront of her work. Her tireless commitment to developing musical opportunities for anyone interested in music engagement, regardless of career path, is apparent across the breadth of her professional activities and in the suite of Community Music courses that she teaches at UTSC.
Lynn is also a dedicated instrumental music educator and currently conducts the UTSC Concert Band and UTSC String Orchestra. Throughout her time at UTSC, she has founded and co-founded multiple ensembles and music initiatives including the UTSC Jazz Band, Flute Choir, Alumni & Community Concert Band, Music Ambassadors Program, and the Music Performance Lecture Series. Her own origins as a flutist – with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Master of Music Education and Master of Flute Performance degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison – initially led to teaching instrumental music in both public and private schools systems to students in grades 5-12. During her time as an elementary and secondary school educator, she served as Music Director at MacGregor Collegiate Institute in Manitoba and Department Head of Music at Lower Canada College in Montreal.
Throughout her career, Lynn’s interest in outreach has led to her undertaking a variety of roles in support of curricular, co-curricular, and community music-making activities. She was the founding Chairperson of the Quebec Band Association and has served as an adjudicator at numerous festivals in Ontario. She currently serves on the Steering Committee for the National Roundtable for Teacher Educators in the Arts (NRTEA) and the Ontario Band Association (OBA) Board of Directors as President-Elect and Director of the UTSC/OBA Small Ensemble Festival. As an acknowledgement of her teaching and professional practice, Lynn was awarded the 2015 Canadian Music Educators’ Association Excellence in Leadership Award.
Tricia Howe began her career in the music industry in the Manitoba music community as a resource person and performer. A singer, she performs with several acoustic roots projects, and worked on a multimedia ensemble project as a writer. For over 20 years, she has worked in educational resources for Long & McQuade Music across the country, with her main service area being the Prairies. She currently holds the position of Regional Manager, Educational Services – Prairies with the company.
Having had an exceptional experiential education from the teachers she acts as a resource for, Tricia specializes in concert and jazz repertoire selection for Long & McQuade, and curates their annual New Music Favourites collection. She also produces the Canadian Band Association’s monthly Canadian Repertoire Feature and is actively involved with festival syllabus development. In Manitoba, Tricia worked closely Manitoba Band Association, and Manitoba Music Educators Association, partnering on many events and working with music educators, and chairing the MBA Optimist Festival Committee. She was honoured with the Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction for that 2011.
After moving to Alberta, Tricia, joined the Alberta Band Association as VP Programs and Services and has been honoured by membership in Phi Beta Mu. She acts as secretary of the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, and works spends time working on the Visiting Bands Committee for the Calgary Stampede. Tricia also serves on the board of directors with the Alberta International Band Festival (South), Music Conference Alberta, and works with Music Mentors International as Senior Advisor for Publications. She has presented sessions on repertoire selection and musical community building at the Avenues Conference at Brandon University, the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, the TEMPO conference in Manitoba, CMEA National Conference, Arizona State University, various MMI and Long & McQuade professional development sessions, and Music Conference Alberta. Tricia is currently based in rural Alberta, and spends her free time travelling and making music with her family.
Years ago in working with Music Monday, I asked someone who is not involved in music education what we would need to do to really show the impact of music and music education to people who’s first passion isn’t music. His reply was that we needed to find a way to show people how integral music is in our lives. All of the distractions we seek have a musical elements, movies, music, tv, video games, radio, sporting events…..all of them. If we don’t build more people who play music, and people who love and understand it, our lives would be very different, and lesser for it.
In our lives, we use music and art to celebrate, to commemorate, and to venerate. The best of humanity is shown in finding balance -mental, emotional, physical, and creative. To teach our young people, the people who will change our world, about balance and beauty is crucial to heal and harmonize their future. When a school event or ceremony is held, music is always a part of it. When funds need to be cut, the arts are among the first things to be scrutinized. The dissociative nature of the last two statements are the reason that we need to speak up for out young people, until they have develop the voices to say it themselves.
As co-founder of Event Spectrum in1997, Zora was responsible for the overall management of operations, finance and HR. Over the 18 years in operation, Event Spectrum was on the top list of 100 Female business owners by Chatelaine magazine for 7 consecutive years.
While ESI grew to a highly successful agency, Zora pursued her personal passion for music by joining Toronto Singing Studio’s Vivace Vox choir and Musical Theatre Ensemble and performing over the last 11 years in a number of concerts and productions.
With Event Spectrum being acquired by MCI Global in 2015, Zora has been able to continue her musical pursuits while actively consulting for the event management industry.
2016 to Present: Operational Consultant
2015 – 2016: Director of Operations, MCI Group Canada
1997 – 2015: Co-Owner, Vice President, Event Spectrum Inc.