By Dan Beck, Trustee Music Performance Trust Fund
The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) co-sponsors hundreds of free live events annually that enrich municipalities across North America with the talents of inspiring professional musicians. It is the hard work and creative efforts of community organizations, working with AFM locals, that make these performances happen with the quality and care to make us proud. We hope to shine a light on some of our outstanding partners in the pages of the IM from time to time. This is the first installment of that series.
The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga (CMSM) is a charitable organization dedicated to presenting excellent live, small-group chamber music events that educate and inform. It strives to make these events truly enjoyable to young and old. This not-for-profit organization is located in the lakeside city of Mississauga, Ontario, a vibrant city in the Toronto metropolitan area.
CMSM seeks to inspire a love and appreciation for music and the arts in the community, especially among school-age children and their families. The organization also nurtures talent by providing enriching opportunities for professional and community musicians to perform new chamber music repertoire, and by presenting the talent of local people from other artistic disciplines.
Committed to creating a rich cultural community in Mississauga and surrounding areas, CMSM inspires musicians and artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to come together to explore and develop their talent. This means providing an opportunity and a venue for new artists.
It also means offering cultural performance programs that stimulate and intrigue new audiences to seek further classical chamber music experiences.
The organization strives to be the key art-in-education resource in the community—for schools, libraries, and children’s festivals. The organization is a valuable resource to the community’s teachers.
This past year, the MPTF and the CMSM collaborated on 34 performances as part of their new “Artfull Wellness” program, held primarily at retirement homes and libraries. The target populations for the program are aging adults, some with dementia; people with developmental, intellectual, and/or physical disabilities ranging from mild to severe; and those with long-term illnesses. These programs are guided by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy’s standards and practices. In addition to MPTF funding, these programs receive financial support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Community Foundation of Mississauga.
Professional musicians involved in the program begin by preparing specific repertoire. Working with a registered music therapist, they design unique programs and activities that utilize common rhythm instruments. There are opportunities, not only for the audience to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of live classical music, but also to express themselves, move, play, socialize, and relax.
Few healthcare settings have the resources to independently provide a program of this calibre. Few residents, clients, and staff members have ever been this close to orchestral instruments. For some people in healthcare settings, traveling to a concert hall can be daunting due to transportation, cost, and wheelchair seating restrictions. At Artfull Wellness events, there is generally no stage and no curtain, just people invested in the common purpose of making music together, engaged and involved in their fine arts community.
The MPTF celebrates the good work of the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga and the musicians from AFM Local 149 (Toronto, ON) who make this program so very special. If you would like to learn more about Artfull Wellness and the CMSM, visit the website: www.chambermusicmississauga.org.