Immigration, Citizenship, and Culture Blog

New Music Director of the OSM brings his “El Sistema” experiences to Montréal
By Stephen Fogarty January 17, 2021

Classical music in reality is far from its stereotype as a numbingly dull form of audio entertainment only suitable for people in their twilight years, nor is it a tool for social oppression, as some critical theorists would argue. This was illustrated during a recent virtual meeting I attended with the newly chosen Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) as a member of their Honour Circle of major donors. Our new 40-year-old Maestro Rafael Payare described his experiences growing up in Venezuela where he fell in love with the arts, through the El Sistema method of music education.  Read More


Canada is a collection of ideas, not just a physical space
By Stephen Fogarty June 30, 2020

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act was passed in the UK Parliament, forming the country Canada out of a group of colonies. The British statute’s name reflected an important idea behind the creation of this new country, to help defend the interests of the British Empire vis-à-vis the expanding territory of the United States.  Minority language, religious and educational rights were debated at length leading up to Confederation in 1867 and were reflected somewhat in the agreement reached. Read More






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