SASS Canada Recent Years

In recent years, SASS has celebrated its first decade of free service to young artists, including a SASS 10-year reunion in 2014 at Oshawa's Regent
 (Click on this link to view a page dedicated to this special event.)

Over the past decade, SASS has also
enjoyed twelve trips to  Massey Hall to hear  the Women's Blue's Revue and Whitehorse, David Myles, and Matt Andersen.

Thanks to Darlene Voogt and helpful community hosts and parents, in past years, SASS has been able to offer scores of regional open-mics
in such lovely settings as
Isabella's Chocolate Café, The Music Scene,  Whitby's Baton Rouge Restaurant,  and Three Steps Up.

rough many welcoming teachers, the SASS family has offered thousands of weekly writers' forums, and hundreds of professional- mentor workshops.

SASS also continued to encourage youth to channel their gifts to help their world, and was honoured to participate  in a concert to benefit the
earthquake victims of Nepal in 2015, in a concert to help the victims of the
Philippines typhoon and the Bangladesh garment disaster in 2014,
as well as fund-raisers for Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre and the Food Bank in 2013,
Special memories:  O
n April 23, 2010,  at the Brooklin United Church, Chantal Rouette organized a SASS benefit concert for Haiti.
Previously, in the spring of 2011, Chantal hosted a benefit concert for the tsunami victims of Japan,
each time involving  a dozen SASS students from Whitby, Oshawa, and Brooklin.  

The  organization and poisedemonstrated by this caring senior SASS student amazed those in attendance.
These last two charitable concerts particularly embodied everything we hoped these young writers would become--
Creative young people of character and leadership, channeling their gifts and their love to make the world a better place.
Thank you, Chantal Rouette.

A  highlight of the 2012 season took place on  Oct. 13, 2012, when  45 SASS students participated in a writing, co-writing, performance,
and leadership camp in Ashburn, led by the spirited Trish Robb, rockers Rob Laidlaw and Dale Russell, and the charismatic duo of Gibbran and Tamsynn-Lee.
We remember this event with particular nostalgia and fondness because it was the last of several times that the late Dwight Davis was able to open
his beautiful home and lovely country property to the students of SASS.  R.I.P, our
very kind friend.

We welcome your
memories and responses to current events in SASS, your ideas for helping SASS carry on as a community-based support structure
for youth outside of school clubs, or what SASS means to you.  Please feel free to contact us with your stories of co-writing outside of clubs, of music and
friendship,   or to suggest how the SASS Team and your peers in the SASS community can better support your creative efforts.      
In the mean time, here are a few
more photos of some events you may recall.    

A few messages to SASS from students, teachers, and parents:

Ms. Chartier & Dale Russell,  Thank you once again for the wonderful opportunity you extended to Sabrina.  She is still flying high from the experience.  She feels
genuinely honoured to have had the opportunity to be mentored by such incredible Canadian talent.  Sabrina is so inspired to continue to write and you, Ms. Chartier,
have provided such support that has granted her a new found confidence to perform.  We are so delighted and appreciative of the time you, Rob, and the rest of the
mentors have put in to inspire these children to pursue their passion and chase their dreams.  Thanks also to Dwight for giving up his home.  I don’t know who was more
excited, him or the children.  As a child of the 70s, what an honour to have Dale Russell mentoring our daughter.   Sabrina has a memory she will keep for life.   Thank
you all,  
Patricia & Joseph Sgandurra  October 15, 2012   P.S.  Thanks also for the introduction to Rob, I’m still elated.

Just wanted to say thank you again for having me out last Saturday.  I was raving about our day all week. It was super duper really fun for me.
I think its amazing what you do to put these things together. I wish I had had an outlet like this when I was a youngster. I'ts really neat to see these kids
all join and be super sensitive to each other's different skill levels and talents and connect as humans and not some popularity contest.
...(I feel) grateful for what you do to make this program happen. It opens up the kids' worlds beyond the school hallways.
I bet sometimes you wonder if its worth it or if anyone notices your efforts. Well, I notice.   Thank you...  
Trish Robb (Singer-songwriter/camp mentor)

Comments from the 2011 songwriting Camp:  

I just wanted to let you both know how much Evan enjoyed this experience.  Thank you both!   -- Evan's  Dad  Darren.

I would like to THANK YOU for allowing my daughter, Emily, to participate in the SASS workshop on Saturday, October 23, 2010. This was an amazing opportunity for
children to co-exist together in a safe, friendly, energetic, musical and extremely talented environment with like-minded persons to express their imaginations and
abilities.  I am tremendously grateful that Emily was able to participate with SASS and have this experience.  Everyone involved with the camp and SASS, including
yourself, Artemis and Dale, Rob, Ilse, and Mr. Dwight Davis for allowing the use of his home, are doing and creating such a wonderful lifelong experience for children
and youth who might not ever get the chance to express themselves musically in such a collaborative and exciting way.  My hat is off to you all and myself and my
daughter will always be grateful for the amazing day she spent with some very AMAZING PEOPLE !!!!!
,. --Corie Stevens

Sensational rising band, THE LATENCY,
enjoyed a March- April, 2010 tour of SASS schools
in British Columbia and Ontario.  
Thousands of young Canadians were moved by the band's musical excellence, undeniable warmth, and connection with their audiences.  
Thanks to all SASS-BC  teachers and pro musicians, including Don McLeod and Tommy Mac who encouraged Brandon, Matt, Ryan, and John
as their unique band was forming.   Many thanks to their management and Maple Music as well as to Jeff Ojeda and Tyler Gendron
for helping make this tour a success.  The Latency have given the next generation of young writers much inspiration.
In addition to participating in SASS recitals at least once a month year-round, SASS students appreciate concerts by professional singer-  songwriters.  For the past several
years in the month of November, the "Share the Music" Program and the Corporation of Massey Hall have sponsored 40-50 SASS students to attend the
Women's Blues Revue.  
Here are a few words of thanks from SASS members attending the 25th Annual WBR Event on November 26, 2011:  "It was not only a memorable experience but an
educational one." (Dominique).  "This was the best performance ever!" (Nikki).  "I loved this evening.  I felt very inspired..." (Keisha).  "The Blues is a music like no
other.  It was so nice to hear such talented women..."  (Michelle).  "I thought it was absolutely wonderful to hear the group 'Digging Roots'.  I enjoyed participating in
the singing with Shakura...All of the musicians had amazing voices and it was special to hear Aida Lee..."  (Darlene)