Rockers Tegan and Sara donate $25K to MusiCounts
Published Monday, May 26, 2014 7:12PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 26, 2014 8:45PM EDT
Three-time 2014 Juno Award winners Tegan and Sara are always looking for an opporutnity to do something different. So, when the folks at TD wanted to expand their summer music festival with the TD Café by offering a free concert at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall, the Quin twins happily accepted.
It was also a great opportunity to give back to MusiCounts, a charity that aims to keep music programs alive in schools across Canada. Tegan and Sara announced on Monday they will donate $25,000 to the cause.
As part of the Juno Awards, MusiCounts' mandate is to make sure kids have access to intruments in schools across the country. Recently, MusiCounts expanded that mandate to include community centres as well. Allan Reid is the director of MusiCounts. He says 127 organizations applied for community grants last year. Fifteen were chosen and given an amount between $5 and $25,000. He says the donation can change a whole community.
Tegan and Sara understand how important music is. They have created music most of their lives, attending schools in Calgary with choir and music programs, and taking piano lessons twice a week at the insistence of their single mother.
Sara says music gave them structure when they were growing up. "It's more important to us than ever before to have music in schools,” she said. “I think learning the history, learning why music is so significant, working together as a choir or a band… these are really important life skills. It's also a relief at the end of your day to be able to play an instrument. For us we were able to funnel a lot of our teen angst into music and i think it kept us on a straight path."
Their Crescent Heights high school's radio and televison arts program in calgary, allowed them to produce and cut their first two demo tapes -- something they couldn't have done without the help of students.
Tegan says music can be a place where kids feel good about themselves. "It's not always about being the front man , the lead singer or in the band, it's about the people behind the scenes," she said. "We employ so many different types of people who went through music programs and decided, 'hey, i want to do sound engineering, I want to do lights, I want to do guitar tech, O want to set up the stage, whatever it is.'"
"It's an ecosystem of people involved in what we do and it's a wonderful business opportunity. We are small business owners so music was so integral to us growing up."
Tegan and Sara will tour with Katy Perry this summer, but they will return to toronto later this summer to be the closing act of world pride which begins on June 20. Their free show takes place at Yonge-Dundas square on June 29.