ETFO Echo at @SLPSKanata @ETFOnews

Marc Cote and Leacock student players The week started with an Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario family event in Kitchener organized by Michael Beetham who had seen me at an earlier ETFO event in Mississauga organized by Jim Giles who had seen me at an earlier ETFO event in Ottawa. One of the "performance pocket" players at that event was Marc G. Cote who had me out to his school in Kanata today (he's the tall one in the picture).

The approach to Stephen Leacock Public School is deceiving. Kanata is (though not for much longer) the site of the Ottawa Senators home ice - a little less than half an hour outside of Ottawa. Broad avenues sprout glossy new low-rise condos on the edge of the leafy, rolling Kanata Golf and Country Club. Past a couple of well-to-do cul-de-sacs and there sits the low-rise landed spaceship of the school - all modern and modular looking with various triangles poking out of the low slung building set well back from the street. It all forms the impression of a sparkling new suburban development. And yet Leacock just celebrated its 50th anniversary!

Marc had been wanting to bring me to Leacock since his first encounter with the project and had been organizing around the idea for some time when I announced I'd be in Ottawa this week so everything worked out perfectly. Marc teaches guitar and gym at the school and has a great philosophy about getting kids involved in music: no clubs or auditions, he just wants as many kids as possible to have access to the guitars and feel encouraged to play - which meant there were plenty of candidates for the performance pocket in today's presentation and they were all fantastic. They're pictured in order around Marc in the photo: Khalil (whose parents were in the audience) played a medley built around "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", James played the intro to "Stairway to Heaven", Lauren played "Blackbird" and Trevor played the anonymous classical guitar piece "A Toye".

Thanks to Marc and the players and all the staff and students at Leacock for a great morning in Kanata - next time perhaps a round of golf to finish the day?

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