Edmonton, AB — MusiCounts and CST Foundation are thrilled to announce Jewel Casselman from Lakewood School in Winnipeg, MB as the winner of the prestigious 2023 MusiCounts Music Teacher of the Year Award.

Jewel has been teaching music for 34 years, and is well-known and widely respected in the music education community. She successfully advocated for music to be added to kindergarten programming at several schools in the Winnipeg area, helping elementary-aged children build a foundation of musical knowledge to carry them through their lives, and sits on several committees promoting diversity, inclusivity and equity. She believes that kids should always have access to quality music education.

“MusiCounts is honoured to recognize Jewel Casselman with the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation,” said Kristy Fletcher, President of MusiCounts. “Jewel has dedicated her decades-long career to building strong musical foundations in children, advocating for the importance of elementary music education in every kid's life. Congratulations, Jewel - way to end your career on a high note!”

Jewel was revealed as the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award winner on The 2023 JUNO Awards live broadcast from Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB. Of the 18 Award recipients to date, she is the first elementary school educator to win. Jewel will be receiving a $10,000 cash prize, a grant for Lakewood School through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, and a JUNO Award statuette.

Jewel also collaborates with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, drafting lesson plans for their outreach and education, and has been a board member of the Manitoba Orff Chapter for over a decade. Jewel has been recognized for her dedication to music education with the Morna-June Morrow Award for Excellence in Music Education in Manitoba (2014) and received the Michael J. Proudfoot Award for Choral Excellence from the Winnipeg Music Festival (2019). She was nominated for the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

Jewel successfully applied for a MusiCounts Band Aid Program grant in 2013, and used the funds to purchase Orff instruments for Lakewood school. Since then, the program has flourished and a generation of students have benefitted from both the instruments and Jewel's dedicated instruction.

Each year since 2005, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award has recognized and honoured an exceptional Canadian music teacher's impact both on students at their school and the broader music education profession. The Award is made possible through the generous support of CST Foundation.

“We extend our most heartfelt congratulations to Jewel on being named Teacher of the Year," said Sherry J. MacDonald, President and CEO, CST Foundation. "Jewel’s lifelong dedication as an advocate for music education has helped to develop countless students into lifelong learners. Her support for music education is felt not only in the classroom but across and into the wider community. CST Foundation is proud to honour Jewel’s contributions to making music education accessible, inclusive, and fun for children."

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.