Look at what’s happening in Elora!! A very exciting project is underway…..(VERY EXCITING)! It’s a fantastic initiative that you’ll want to learn about and get behind. Take a moment and visit the School of Traditional Music and Dance (STMD).
In short, there is a proposal in motion to open a new School of Traditional Music and Dance (STMD) in Elora, Ontario. The concept is to establish a small, bespoke school of traditional music, affiliated to a university and running both an undergrad and a Masters programme (i.e. for credit). With a central focus on the Canadian tradition, the scope of the project would include traditional roots (from the Indigenous, British, Irish, French and Scandinavian) as well as Appalachian and other American vernaculars. Drawing upon the experience of similar initiatives in Newcastle (England) and Limerick (Ireland) a central focus would be on outreach in schools, teacher education and re-invigorating a vibrant, community-based tradition of music and dance in churches, barns, schools, pubs and other public spaces. Inspired by the success of Folkworks in relation to Northumbrian music in England, the concept is for a small campus and hub embedded in the immediate community, but playing a truly national role and connecting with an international network of schools and musicians.
The School of Traditional Music and Dance (STMD) will provide a platform for the traditional music and dance of Canada. From the Old Time and Metis Fiddle, to the shanties of the Great Lakes, Inuit throat singing and the sound of Cape-Breton kitchen parties, Quebecois accordion and Ottawa Valley Step Dancing, the School will celebrate traditional roots in Metis, Indigenous, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, English and European fiddle and dance. But nurturing also traditions in the making, the School will explore the impact of new diasporas and cultural cross-fertilizations. Focused on music and dance, the ethnomusicology of the School will create space for visual arts and crafts (from Inuit art to Newfoundland rug hooking) as an expression of Canadian folkways both past and in the making. As a university centre of excellence the School’s core mission will be to train musicians and provide a national focus for the ethno-musicology of Canada’s endlessly diverse musical tradition. A distinctively Canadian response to world-renowned traditional music schools in universities across Europe and America, STMD will create a truly international window onto a uniquely Canadian musical culture in the making. Most importantly, the mission of the School will focus on community engagement, teacher training and the re-animation of traditional music and dance as a regular source of social cohesion and community celebration in school trad. music clubs, pub-sessions and church ceilidhs, at Thanks Giving, on Canada Day and across innumerable local festivals. Training hundreds of teachers, performers and mentors, and developing audiences over many years, the School will re-seed local musical cultures all over Canada.
To learn more and register your support for this amazing initiative, go to School of Traditional Music and Dance (STMD).