Contributors

It takes a village to build a singing community. We are grateful to have a team of dedicated and passionate community song-leaders, volunteers, and bridge-builders who work their magic to make Sing for Joy possible. Here are just a few of the many people who support our work…

Stephanie Drouin

Community Song-Leader, Registration, and Outreach

Stephanie is a big believer in the power of song as therapy, and for building community. She leads song circles weekly in the acute schizophrenia unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), bringing the joy of song into a space that otherwise feels like a prison. In 2015, she embarked on a great “inchoiry” to Australia and New Zealand, with the question of: how do we create inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities? While on this journey, she sang with 24 diverse and inclusive community choirs, and volunteered with intentional farming groups. She returned home deeply inspired to change the world one song at a time. Today, Stephanie assists Mila Wood, Founder of Sing for Joy, in leading community song circles. Most recently, she has become the founder of the “Fiercely OK Movement”, which strives to awaken the world to the inner strength & wisdom that is often obscured by mental health labels.

Leila Salnot

Community Outreach and Registration

Leila says: “I was born in Guadeloupe, a French island in the Caribbean, close to Sint Maarten. In 2007, my sister suggested that we visit Canada and I had a “love at first sight” type of experience. I came back the following summer and my journey as an immigrant started. In September 2016, I saw a “Sing for Joy” poster at Christie Pitts park. I would describe “Sing for Joy” as a healing experience. The songs are easy to learn, the tunes are catchy and most of all they are profound, loving, peaceful & joyful – a kind of gratitude offering to the Land, Mother Earth, Ancestors, Life… all those things that bless us every day and that we take for granted. Group singing is so much fun – it is safe, informal and spontaneous. Like the scent of a perfume, the spirit of the songs will stay with you.”

Andrew Foley

Community Song-leader, Guitar and Piano Accompaniment

Andrew says: “Music has always moved me. I was born on the north shore of lake Ontario. Growing up, there was lots of music in our family home. This inspired me to learn how to play guitar and piano, and eventually start writing songs of my own. My music is inspired by the natural beauty of the land and the lakes and the trees of the place where I was born. Of warm summer nights and bonfires at the cottage under the stars, and walking across crisp frozen lakes in the winter. Of my love and appreciation for this land on the Canadian shield, where I spent beautiful times growing up. I like to write songs that are rooted in the relationship between myself and all that I care about – family, nature, music, meaningful moments lived. My songs are a part of my heart and have been good companions on my path.”

Some other people we would love to thank are...

Annie and Ron Wood:

The “One-Stop Mom & Pop Shop” – Web Design, Media Arts, and Photography

 

Andre Bates:

Drumming and Guitar Accompaniment

 

Erin Whiteley and Jacki Spears:

Registration and Artistic Support

 

Inshana Ramsammy and Monica Henriques:

Community Outreach Team

 

Michael Wood:

Videography and Registration

 

Lisa Donahue, Sharon Vanin, Ellen Titus, and Allan Titus:

Community Advisors