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Parkdale 150

The Parkdale Canada 150 Song Project / Chansons d’ici 150 has been made possible by The Canada 150 Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine canadien.

To learn more about creating your own School/Community song project go here.

In May of this year, a celebratory concert was held as part of the Parkdale neighbourhood’s ‘Spring into Parkdale’ Festival. Student participants performed their amazing new multi-lingual song creations to a thrilled audience! Check out the song-links below to hear recordings of these songs created at Fern, Parkdale Junior & Senior, and Queen Victoria Public Schools in Toronto. Also, check out this CITY TV news story about the project!


Depuis l’automne dernier, chansonnier chevronné Mike Ford travaillait avec plusieurs élèves de trois écoles torontois en les aider de composer leurs propres chansons concernant l’histoire du Canada et la vie dans leur quartier (Parkdale). Ce projet, subventionné par le gouvernement du Canada pour commémorer le 150ieme anniversaire de la confédération canadienne, été présenter le treize Mai lors du festival “Spring Into Parkdale” à côté de la bibliothèque publique de Parkdale, à Toronto. Les participants de ce projet exprime de la fierté qu’ils ont pour leurs héritages, leurs cultures, en composant des chansons en sept langues différentes!


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 began creating their own original compositions – in many languages! To prepare for the spring song celebration, students worked with Mike and Parkdale percussionist Brad Hart to hone their performances and recordings.
It has been an honour, and a blast, working with these wonderful Parkdale students! – Mike
Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.



At Parkdale, the project took on an amazing multi-lingual character – with songwriting groups of 4 or 5 students each creating songs celebrating their school, community and country in 7 different languages.  In performance, at the Spring Into Parkdale concert, all the participants joined in on every song’s chorus, no matter which language!

Nuestra Corazon (Spanish)

Les grandes villes canadiennes (French)

Queen Street, Queen Street! (Tamil w/ Tagalog & Arabic)

Banjul to Toronto (Mandinka)

Crossing the Ocean (Hungarian)

High School Upstairs (Tibetan)


At Fern, the project was embraced by the school’s French Immersion program – groups of 3-5 students each writing in French about a theme encountered in their Canadian History class.  It was inspiring to see learners not only expand their new-language vocabulary and pronunciation, but also take risks and have fun in recording and performing these original works!

La peine de mort  

Le drapeau magnifique  


Quel quartier Roncy!  

Drapeau d’identité  



At Queen Vic the project was taken on by 2 grade 5/6 classes, who each, as a class, wrote one song focussing on an issue of social justice that had been part of discussions and curricula – in this case, the right to clean water and immigration experiences, respectively.  The songs were featured live, in performance on CITY TV news!

Water Should Be Fair 

To Make A New Start 


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