MusiCounts has announced that Carter Chiasson, a teacher at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, NS, is the recipient of the 2020 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. Each year, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an inspirational and passionate Canadian music educator’s impact on students and music education.
“We are thrilled to present the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award to Carter Chiasson this year to celebrate the tremendous impact he has on his students and community,” said Kristy Fletcher, Executive Director, MusiCounts. “Through Carter’s efforts, Allison Bernard Memorial High School’s music program is an inclusive, innovative, and engaging learning experience for students.”
As the Award recipient, Carter will receive a $10,000 cash donation, a significant contribution to the Allison Bernard Memorial High School music program, a crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award design, and will be honoured at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, March 14, as part of 2020 JUNO Week in Saskatoon, SK.
“It’s truly an honour to receive this award. This is something that I feel is not just mine but something to be shared by everyone I work with, the community of Eskasoni, Unama’ki and, of course, my students,” said Carter Chiasson. “The successes of my music program has been a group effort from day one. More personally, it’s incredibly humbling. So many teachers are deserving of this award. Thank you to MusiCounts and the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation for honouring teachers, and the work you do to support music education.”
“Carter is a remarkable educator. He brings passion and purpose into the classroom, inspiring the lives of so many young kids each and every day,” said Sherry MacDonald, President and CEO of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. “He’s shown us all that music teachers can truly make a difference.”
Carter’s role at Allison Bernard Memorial High School is teaching courses in both music and technology. Eskasoni, NS is home to the largest population of Mi’kmaq people in Canada, and Carter regularly uses both music and technology to help students engage with, share and celebrate their cultural identity.
Carter worked with one of his students, Emma Stevens, to produce a video of her singing “Blackbird” by The Beatles in her native Mi’kmaq language. Since then the video has been seen by more than a million people, and Carter and Emma have been invited to perform the song across Canada and even for Barack Obama. Watch the incredible video here.