“Music has to be recognized as an agent of social development in the highest sense because it transmits the highest values: solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion”…
“It (music) has the ability to invite an entire community, and to express sublime feelings.”
José Antonio Abreu,
Founder of the El Sistema Movement in Venezuela
El Sistema is a publicly financed voluntary sector music education program, founded in 1975 by Venezuelan educator, musician and activist José Antonio Abreu, which later adopted the motto Social Action for Music. To say it another way, it is “free classical music education that promotes human opportunity and development for disadvantaged children,” as quoted from the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. By 2015, according to official figures, El Sistema consisted of over 400 music centers and 700,000 young musicians in more than 25 countries worldwide.
The following are the pioneer Sistema-inspired programs in Canada from 2007-2012. Since 2012 the number of programs in Canada has more than tripled.