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Dec 6, 2016

A studio of dreams

A studio of dreams at the Kawartha Lakes Club
A studio of dreams at the Kawartha Lakes Club

We are very grateful for your continued support to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.  Your donations allow us to continue providing much-needed programs and services to underserved children and youth across the country.

We are pleased to share with you an article about opening a music studio at the Kawartha Lakes Club.  This is a welcomed addition to the Club, creating space for aspiring young musicians from the community to record their music, which they would otherwise not be able to do.


 If the Community Builds It...

As Lacey picks out the notes to Dust in the Wind on her guitar, she doesn’t even hear a whisper from youth down the hall in The Warehouse after school.  That’s because she’s in the soundproof music studio of this very active youth centre at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes.


“I love playing guitar,” Lacey says. “It’s so therapeutic.” 


The Grade 12 student is a regular at The Warehouse and is in the music studio every chance she gets. 


Although it was built less than a year ago, the studio has brought the community together and has had a profound impact on the Club’s young people.


It was initiated by a legacy donation and has been completed thanks to the unique talents and hard work of a diverse group of volunteers. Lindsay residents Bill Jay and Morley Coombs donated $50,000 to the Club with the goal of sharing their love of music with generations of young people.


When three local recording engineers (Frank Watt, Garrett Drach and Dante Winkler) learned that the Club was creating a music studio, they volunteered their expertise to ensure the space was designed and built according to world-class standards. 


With the construction nearly completed in June 2014, a group of AstraZeneca employees stepped in to put the finishing touches on the studio. They donated time and materials on AstraZeneca’s Community Connection Day at the Club, painting and putting sound baffles on the wall.


Now, the Club’s recording studio has become an important community resource. 


“This is a place where young people can explore the world of music, both in front of the microphone and at the mixing board,” explains Robert Cyr, the Club’s Manager of Community and Volunteer services. 


Sound engineers Winkler and Drach are still on the volunteer roster, sharing their knowledge and personal time to give Club youth a range of opportunities for expanding their creativity and skills.    


Cyr says he is amazed by how deeply music connects and resonates with some of the teens, and Lacey agrees.


“Music helps me relax. I feel calm,” she says with a smile. Lacey puts down her guitar and makes room at the microphone for Andrew, a teen who is known around The Warehouse as “the DJ.” 

Andrew has high-functioning autism and a love of music and singing.  He likes to manage the playlist at The Warehouse, with a preference for anything by Lady Gaga.


Lacey and Andrew are on a subcommittee of the Club’s youth council, planning a number of upcoming concerts, jams and rap contests in the music studio. 


Cyr, meanwhile, is exploring options for expanding the room to accommodate more musicians and bigger instruments.


“We’ve been given this amazing gift and it’s become a catalyst for growing music in the community,” he says.  “If we can expand the space here, then I think the floodgates will open.”


Thank you for your generous donations.  We would like to wish you a happy holiday season.  We look forward to providing you with our updates in 2017. 

Sep 12, 2016

Boys and GIrls Clubs Homework Help programs

Raising the Grade participants
Raising the Grade participants

Thank you for your generous support of Boys and Girls Clubs’ Homework Help programs. 

Children and youth across Canada made their way back to school this week.  To help children succeed in school, most Boys and Girls Clubs offer homework help in the after school timeframe.  A great example is the Raising the Grade (RTG) program. 

Raising The Grade supports at-risk youth 12 to 18 to explore, set, and achieve their academic and career goals by offering academic support, post-secondary and career discovery, and opportunities to use technology and quality online resources in RTG Tech Centres. Through hands-on learning opportunities, a specific focus on personal interests and goals, and supportive relationships with mentors and volunteers, young people who participate in RTG are supported to achieve:

• Graduation from high school

• Insight about their personal interests and how to pursue them

• Sufficient credits and grades for PSE, including apprenticeship, college or university

• Digital literacy skills

• Career aspirations that match their personal interests and goals

The program has been active for several years and we have received positive feedback from participants and their parents who have indicated that this program has been very helpful.  Your generous support allows Clubs to continue providing this much-needed resource for the children and youth we serve.


Sep 1, 2016

Power Up! with homework club

Fredericton Club Power Up! Homework Club
Fredericton Club Power Up! Homework Club

Children and youth across Canada are preparing to go back to school and Boys and Girls Clubs are also gearing up to offer after school programs.  A notable program that we offer at our Clubs is Power Up!, an academic enhancement program for children between 6 and 12.  This long-standing program, funded by Fidelity Investments, has helped hundreds of children to succeed in school.  Please read about Lauren below from our Fredericton Club who has greatly benefited from participating in Power Up!


Lauren's learning ways

"Joie de vivre. That is Lauren in a nutshell.”

Amanda Audette, program manager with Boys and Girls Club of Fredericton, is very proud of this cheerful 8-year-old.

“I’m in French immersion!” Lauren says with enthusiasm.  “I’m going to go to Paris someday.”

“Lauren made great strides in school, thanks to her daily attendance in the Power Up! Homework Club at our Skyline Acres facility,” Amanda explains.

Lauren’s parents were hesitant about enrolling their daughter in French immersion and concerned that switching her from the regular curriculum would be too much of a challenge.

“Lauren convinced them to give her the opportunity and they finally agreed because of the academic support she gets with us after school, five days a week.”

Created by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and funded by Fidelity Investments for over a decade, Power Up! is an academic enhancement program for children between 6 and 12. They get to try new things and develop life and learning skills but most importantly, they have fun—an important factor for kids like Lauren, who declares recess as her favourite “subject” at school.

“I really like the Power Up! Homework Club because I get all my work done here before I go home,” Lauren says.

“Lauren’s mom really likes it too,” Amanda says with a smile. “It makes things so much easier for her, knowing Lauren’s getting help with her French vocabulary and reading.  And with the homework out of the way, the whole family can relax and enjoy their evening.

“Most of our parents tell us how much they value the academic support provided by Power Up! and the fact that volunteers, tutors and mentors are provided at no extra cost.”

Power Up! is just one of three Boys and Girls Club programs supported by Fidelity Investments Canada that promotes learning, both in and out of the classroom. 

Fidelity sponsors the new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program that encourages youth to explore STEM fundamentals and includes an artistic (A) component to encourage creativity and innovation. Fidelity Investments Canada also offers scholarship opportunities for Boys and Girls Club youth pursuing post-secondary education.



Thank you for your continued support, which enables us to expand our reach, allowing us to help as many kids as possible to succeed in school, open doors to new experiences and opportunities and paving the way to a successful future.    

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