Photo Credit: Norman Wong

Toronto, ON  - Canada’s leading music education charity, MusiCounts is delighted to honour award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) with the 2023 MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award, presented by CST Foundation.

Drew is being recognized for his philanthropic contributions to music education in Canada, and his integral role in expanding MusiCounts’ instrument grant programs from exclusively schools to include community groups across the country.

He will be presented the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award at the JUNO Opening Night Awards, Presented by Music Canada on March 11, 2023 in Edmonton, AB. In honour of Drew’s efforts to support youth music education, $30,000 worth of MusiCounts Band Aid Program instrument grants will be awarded to Canadian schools in 2023.

“This award is for the community leaders who have been putting their time into helping so many kids be able to have music in their lives. I’m just receiving it to remind people that helping people is the greatest achievement one can have,” says Kevin Drew. “Everyone should get on the train of helping others out. We have lost sight of this due to the amount of noise that surrounds our lives on a daily basis. The only noise that matters is someone being able to express themselves through music.”

Drew’s lasting impact on MusiCounts began in 2012 when he approached the charity to create a program to support music education for kids who weren’t having their needs met through the school system. Thanks to Drew’s efforts, in 2013 the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program was launched to provide musical instruments, equipment, and resources to community groups or not-for-profit organizations who deliver music programs to youth.

To date it has supported 271 community organizations across Canada and tens of thousands of youth participants with $3.9 million in instruments, resources, and equipment. Additionally, when the Field Trip music festival began, Drew requested everyone on the guest list to make a $20 donation to MusiCounts. The Field Trip fundraisers raised tens of thousands of dollars over several years.

“Kevin Drew is the blueprint for artists looking to engage with charitable organizations. His vision, commitment, and hard work have helped MusiCounts grant almost $4M to community organizations across the country to help young people access music education,” says Kristy Fletcher, President of MusiCounts. “MusiCounts is honoured to name Kevin the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award recipient on the tenth anniversary of the MusiCounts TD Community Music program. Congratulations, Kevin!”

“Congratulations to Kevin Drew, whose contributions to the Canadian music scene and to increasing access to music programming in Canadian communities make him a most worthy recipient of this award. Kevin’s commitment to ensuring that music education and resources reach under-served communities, and his own trailblazing music projects, make him an ambassador that every Canadian can be proud of,” says Sherry J. MacDonald, President and CEO, CST Foundation. “We are proud to partner with organizations like MusiCounts who believe in the power of education and share our commitment to making education accessible.”

The MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award recognizes an individual who has had an extraordinary impact on music education and the charity over the course of its history. Each Award recipient receives a JUNO statuette in addition to the instrument grants made to schools in their name. Drew is the seventh individual to be recognized with the award.



About Kevin Drew
Kevin Drew is more than just one thing. Known primarily as ​​the bandleader and co-founder of the sprawling Toronto-based rock collective Broken Social Scene, Drew is a restless creative spirit whose drive to connect with people through art is more powerful than the winter winds that blow off Lake Ontario.

Surrounded by creativity as the child of a book publisher, Drew attended Etobicoke School of the Arts where he met future collaborators Amy Millan of the band Stars and Emily Haines of the band Metric. Through instrumental experimentations into pop anthems, Drew led the motley crew of outsiders to gold records, JUNO Award wins, performances on late night television, and festival headline slots. And he did so by breaking the industry mould, he co-founded the independent record label Arts & Crafts with Jeffrey Remedios to release those records and, over the subsequent 10 years, the label was pivotal in defining the growing indie rock sound.

The label started a hometown music festival and the band scored major studio films while their albums received the praise of everyone from the BBC to the New York Times. This would be fulfilling enough for some, but Drew wanted more. He spearheaded fundraising initiatives for unhoused Toronto youth and took his history of directing music videos and applied that to creating short films.

He struck up a relationship with Gord Downie, the beloved late frontman of the Tragically Hip, which would result in Kevin producing the band’s final album. That collaboration would continue with Drew producing and co-writing Downie’s two solo albums, the multimedia project dedicated to indigenous reconciliation, ‘Secret Path’, and his farewell love letter ‘Introduce Yerself’. Those three releases would net Drew two more gold records and four more JUNO Awards.

In the subsequent years, Drew would write and act in his debut theatrical play, ‘A&R Angels’, and hold his first solo gallery show featuring a collection of his art and poetry. In addition to the five full length Broken Social Scene albums, Drew has released three solo records.


About MusiCounts
MusiCounts is Canada's music education charity associated with CARAS and the JUNO Awards. MusiCounts' vision is to ensure all youth in Canada have access to music education through their schools and communities. This vision is realized through grant programs that invest directly into schools and communities across Canada and put musical instruments into the hands of kids. Additionally, MusiCounts creates educational resources; empowers young people to pursue music as a career; and celebrates teachers, artists, and philanthropists who champion music education. Since 1997 MusiCounts has awarded over $16,000,000 in support of music education in Canada. 


About CST Foundation
CST Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping Canadian families access post-secondary education. For over 60 years, CST Foundation has delivered on its mission through its advocacy and philanthropy initiatives as well as its education savings solutions provided by CST Savings Inc. and CST Spark Inc. CST Foundation has helped over 800,000 students achieve their post-secondary dreams. CST Foundation supports students on their path towards post-secondary education through financial support in the form of awards and bursaries.