This weekend, Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11, the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA) will be hosting their annual Kids Helping Kids Musicthon. This is an event that is now in its 35th year. The main purpose is to raise money for music programs for disadvantaged youth and give back to the Winnipeg community.
This very enjoyable marathon of music will take place at Kildonan Place. This is the second year that the MRMTA has been at Kildonan Place since the COVID lockdown, and for Coordinator Christina Hutton being live and in person makes a big difference. “[Last year] it was a real joy to be in person again. There is a lot of energy that you feel from the crowds, and the students were super excited…it was just amazing to be live again!”
The Musicthon raises money by having performing students collect pledges from friends and family, but that is not to say that donations at the event are not welcome. As Hutton explains, “You can show up on the day of the event…enjoy music and be a part of the excitement and support our kids at the event. You can come out with cash, cheque or bank card… we’ll take any form of payment.” The other way you can donate is to go straight to the MRMTA’s website and click on the donate button there.
All of the money raised goes toward helping children who might have some pretty significant barriers to music and arts education. The money gets pooled and distributed through United Way Winnipeg. As Hutton states, “United Way Winnipeg has a lot of grassroots agencies that they support with the funds. There is a lot of different music programming that is run across Winnipeg that is offered for free…so the United Way is funnelling that money to those organizations. It just makes sure that there are no barriers…any young person can access music programming no matter what barriers they have in their life.”
One of the things that Hutton finds really exciting is the connection piece of the puzzle that the programs offer youth. “It’s connecting kids with peers…there is the connection with mentors, and also connections with programming. If a kid looks like they are going to fall through the cracks it’s ensuring that there is this connection that is going to be formed.”
There are more than 100 students who will be performing and collecting pledges for this year’s Musicthon, but Hutton is expecting that that number will grow to 150. The Musicthon raised $8700.00 dollars last year and it is Hutton’s and the MRMTA’s dream to possibly hit $10,000.00 by the time the weekend is over. All of the money going toward supporting arts programs in Winnipeg.
To find out more about the stellar work the MRMTA and United Way are doing with funds raised click here.
For More details about the Musicthon and the MRMTA click here.