Thanks to a generous donation from Rio Tinto, the evenko foundation visited two schools in the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region as part of its 2022-2023 Giving Tour.
École Polyvalente Arvida and École Saint-Pierre d'Alma were the lucky recipients of a donation of musical instruments each, valued at nearly $30,000!
École Polyvalente Arvida
École Polyvalente Arvida was delighted to receive a piano, guitars, sound consoles, saxophones, xylophones, transverse flutes, a euphonium and a cajun for its students, who currently have to practice on old, used instruments.
For several years, the school had been working hard to build up an interesting fleet of instruments, so that music would become an increasingly important part of the school:
"Being in a school where sport takes pride of place, it can be difficult for children to feel valued when instruments are in poor condition. I'm convinced that the new instruments donated by the evenko foundation will play a positive role in their self-esteem, sense of belonging, overall achievement and academic success," says Cynthia Boily, music teacher at École Polyvalente Arvida.
Later in the day, the evenko foundation continued on to Alma, where it dropped anchor at École Saint-Pierre.
For the occasion, the foundation was accompanied by singer-songwriter Louis-Jean Cormier, who was in Alma as part of his Le Ciel est au plancher tour.
He took the opportunity to meet the students, who will now be able to practice on the new flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, electric guitars, basses and percussion table.
"It's fantastic to have been able to meet the young people of Saint-Pierre school as part of this wonderful donation from the evenko foundation! I'm sure the students will put the new instruments to good use. They seem to be passionate about what they do, and that's the most important thing when it comes to making music. I wish the young people in the harmony program many successes," says Louis-Jean Cormier.
This generous donation will support the 30-year-old school band project at École Saint-Pierre, which was developed thanks to the determination of teachers and parents. Innovative for its time, the main aim of this project was to enable all pupils, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to receive high-quality musical training.
A renewal of the instruments was necessary to ensure its continuity for years to come:
"Thanks to the donation from the evenko foundation, the program will be able to continue for many years to come, enabling more young people to join the ranks of the school band. The goal is to increase the number of students in the band from 225 to 300, notably by including third-year students," says Richard Garneau, music teacher at École Saint-Pierre.
"We're very proud to be able to make a tangible contribution to the development of the region's young people through music. Both schools were in dire need of instruments, and we are delighted to be working with the evenko foundation on this special project," says Xuân-Lan Vu, Director, Social Investment and Regional Economic Development, Rio Tinto.
"We're very proud to be able to offer instruments in a 3rd and 4th establishment in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region during the 2022-23 school year! Rio Tinto's generous donation allows us to end the year on a high note," says Nathalie Roberge, General Manager of the evenko foundation.