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Winter & Spring 2018 will see Mike as Songwriter-in-Residence at Toronto’s beautiful and multifaceted Todmorden Mills History Museum. Thanks to the great support of The Toronto Arts Council, Mike will be conducting Song Workshops there for school groups on Mondays ’till May, and for public visitors through March Break and the 5 following Sundays. Watch this space for more info!

ln a similar project, this past year, with the support of The Department of Canadian Heritage, Mike conducted The Parkdale 150 Song Project / Chansons d’ici 150.  

Check out to hear the kids’ songs!


This project involved songwriter/educator Mike Ford working with Intermediate students at three Parkdale (Toronto) schools (Queen Victoria, Parkdale Junior & Middle, and Fern Avenue Public Schools) in the creation of new songs exploring and celebrating local and national stories in time for the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.  It began in October of 2016, and culminated with a public concert in May of 2017, and with the creation of related Teacher’s Resource materials.

The project was entirely supported by the Canada150 Fund of The Department of Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine canadien.


Workshop days were conducted at each of the three host schools through the Fall months. In these sessions, Mike Ford kicked off the project with interactive introductory concerts of his original Canadian History-themed repertoire, showing examples of different approaches, methods and song styles that can be used as vehicle for artistic inquiry.  These concerts were then followed by song workshops that allowed learners to play with concepts of Brainstorming, Song Structure, Rhyme, Rhythm, and more.  From there, song themes were chosen, and the song writing groups dove in and have begun creating their own original compositions – in English, French, Hungarian, Tibetan and Tamil! In February, the workshops at each of the three schools saw the songs become fleshed-out, edited, rehearsed, recorded, and readied for public performance.


Among the topics being explored for the new song creations:

  • The Halifax Explosion
  • Restaurants of Parkdale
  • Push-Pull Immigration Factors
  • The War of 1812
  • Nature in High Park
  • Flying to Canada
  • Canadian Waters, Clean or Boiled (exploring ideas of water use, from Wellington County to Attawapiskat)
  • Food & Music: Budapest to Toronto

It’s been an honour, and a blast, working with these wonderful Parkdale students – Mike

Parkdale 150 is a song workshop project, conducted by Mike, involving Intermediate students at Parkdale Junior & Senior P.S., Queen Victoria P.S. and Fern Avenue P.S. in Toronto, featuring learner song creation on themes of community, history and heritage, culminating in web-shared recordings and a spring 2017 celebration concert.  Made possible by a grant from the Canada 150 Fund, Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine canadien, the project celebrates, among other things, the pluralinguistic attributes of the Parkdale neighbourhood.

On 2015-04-26,at 4:23 PM Latif, Anam ( Subject: Canada 150 logo University of Waterloo student, Ariana Cuvin, beat 300 other submissions in a design contest to create a logo for Canada’s 150th anniversary coming up in 2017. The logo will be featured on special products commemorating the event. Anam Latif Reporter, Waterloo Region Record 519-895-5638