Petition Closed
Petitioning Premier of Alberta The Honourable Alison Redford and 29 others

Premier Alison Redford, Alberta MLAs, and the Edmonton Public School Board: Continue the Music Enrichment Program

As Edmontonians, students and graduates of the Music Enrichment Program, parents, teachers, musicians, and music lovers in Edmonton and beyond, we believe that Edmonton's Music Enrichment Program is an invaluable part of the city's competitive advantage in preparing its young people for full lives and successful careers.

We're asking Premier Alison Redford, Alberta Education, and the Edmonton Public School Board to consider options for keeping this life-changing but relatively inexpensive program alive. To put the financial question in perspective, the province's own budget website forecasts a 2014-15 budget surplus of $5.2 billion--more than twenty thousand times the annual cost of this program.

Letter to
Premier of Alberta The Honourable Alison Redford
MLA, Edmonton-Whitemud The Honourable Dave Hancock
Ward A Trustee, EPSB Ms. Cheryl Johner
and 27 others
Ward B Trustee, EPSB Mr. Ken Shipka
Ward C Trustee, EPSB Mr. Christopher Spencer
Ward D Trustee, EPSB Mr. Dave Colburn
Ward E Trustee, EPSB Ms. Heather MacKenzie
Ward F Trustee, EPSB Mr. Michael Janz
Board Chair and Ward G Trustee, EPSB Ms. Sarah Hoffman
Ward H Trustee, EPSB Ms. Catherine Ripley
Ward I Trustee, EPSB Ms. Leslie Cleary
Superintendent, EPSB Mr. Edgar Schmidt
MLA, Edm-Beverly-Clareview The Honourable Deron Bilous
MLA, Edm-Highlands-Norwood The Honourable David Dorward
MLA, Edmonton-Strathcona The Honourable Rachel Notley
MLA, Edmonton-South West The Honourable Matt Jeneroux
Alberta Minister of Education The Honourable Jeff Johnson
MLA, Edmonton-Calder The Honourable David Eggen
MLA, Edmonton-Centre The Honourable Laurie Blakeman
MLA, Edmonton-Decore The Honourable Janice Sarich
MLA, Edmonton-Ellerslie The Honourable Naresh Bhardwaj
MLA, Edmonton-Glenora The Honourable Heather Klimchuk
MLA, Edmonton-Manning The Honourable Peter Sandhu
MLA, Edmonton-McClung The Honourable David Xiao
MLA, Edmonton-Meadowlark The Honourable Dr. Raj Sherman
MLA, Edmonton-Mill Creek The Honourable Gene Zwozdesky
MLA, Edmonton-Mill Woods The Honourable Sohail Quadri
MLA, Edmonton-Riverview The Honourable Steve Young
MLA, Edmonton-Rutherford The Honourable Fred Horne
Deputy Premier, MLA Edmonton-Castle Downs The Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk
We are a group of Edmontonians, students and graduates of the Music Enrichment Program, teachers, parents, musicians, and music lovers in Edmonton and beyond, asking you to reconsider the decision to close Edmonton's Music Enrichment Program.

The program is relatively inexpensive, at $220 000 per year, and has touched thousands of lives in the over fifty years of its operation. By offering young people an affordable means to pursue music lessons and work with their peers in an intensely collaborative, intensely competitive environment, the program is an invaluable part of the city's competitive advantage in preparing its young people for full lives and successful careers. More than any standardized test, the Enriched Music Program gives young people the opportunity to learn how to work hard and take pride in their achievements--all while exposing them, their families, and their audiences to the lifelong joy of music.

Describing the decision in an interview on CBC, Jane Sterling, communications officer at the Edmonton Public School Board, had not one negative word to say about the program. Instead, she said: "It's a really wonderful program that thousands of children have benefitted from." The sole reason for the program's closure is provincial budget cuts. The province's own budget website forecasts a budget surplus of $5.2 billion for 2014-15. That's enough money to run this program for over 5000 years.

Given the amount of wealth that we share in this province, how can we afford to NOT invest in our childrens' futures through such a vital program?

We are asking the province to reduce the severity of the budget cuts imposed upon the Edmonton Public School Board, and asking the Edmonton Public School Board to reverse its decision to cancel the Music Enrichment Program.