It seems that at just about every appearance we make we garner a pile more Friends of the Nation. And soon, we’ll have some ways you can help to make it possible to continue to share the story of Voyageur with more schools, more communities, more audiences all across Canada.

In the meantime, we have some special friends we wanted to acknowledge for their ongoing support in helping the Six String Nation project reach as many people as possible.

D'Addario Canada

From almost the very beginning, D’Addario Canada has been beyond generous in supporting the project on an ongoing basis, providing a steady supply of fresh guitar strings, guitar maintenance products, tuners, capos and things like that. They’ve brought us to industry functions and provided great advice and contacts, not to mention prizes for special events we’ve done from time to time. And they also provide us with custom Six String Nation guitar picks. Many of these picks are given away to the countless performers and volunteers who play a part in our presentations and portrait sessions but we do offer a small number for sale in packs of six – another way D’Addario helps to keep us going!

Esri Canada

We first met Esri Canada president Alex Miller at a surveyors’ conference in Yellowknife. Apart from running a cutting edge GIS mapping company, Alex is a keen singer and musician and immediately saw in Six String Nation a project he could get behind. We’ve presented at many events for Esri Canada, including corporate retreats, conferences and user community forums from Halifax to Toronto to Vancouver. They’ve made me a GIS Ambassador for my work in schools and collaborated with me to create a series of activities students can engage in following or preceding a Six String Nation presentation using their ARC GIS mapping platform. They also provided the map images and animations you see in a Six String Nation presentation.

imaginEd

We’ve delivered presentations to school groups in every province and territory of Canada.
To each group we provide some background material and resources we’ve developed along the way that we hope will deepen the connection students and staff can make with the project. It’s pretty clear when teachers make heavy use of these materials and pretty clear also when teachers are just glad for the break that comes when we occupy the students with a presentation for 75 minutes! In Canada, education is a Provincial jurisdiction – so providing the appropriate materials to best meet the requirements of provincially-established curriculum and guidelines is a bigger job than we can handle ourselves. But through some of our contacts in the educational field we were introduced to Gillian Judson and her colleagues at imaginEd and the Imaginative Education Research Group at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Their work in the field of inquiry-based learning lines up so neatly with the ways in which Six String Nation engages students that we are exploring ways to build resources that any school in any part of the country can use to examine notions of history, geography, identity, music, math, and any number of subjects touched on in the Six String Nation project in a profoundly integrated and, yes, imaginative way. We’re just at the beginning of this journey together so look for more exciting developments to come!

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