Royal Conservatory of Music receives $7.5 million from Ottawa for U.S. expansion


The Royal Conservatory of Music today received a $7.5 million grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to help it sell a joint academic venture with Carnegie Hall in the United States.

The money had been earmarked in the 2011 Federal Budget.

In March, 2011, the two institutions set up The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program, a teaching curriculum and standardized examination process for music students similar to the one the Conservatory has been offering in Canada for more than a century.

Announced with great fanfare, the U.S. program — whose development costs have not been released, but must be in the millions of dollars — has been slow to take off in a depressed economy.

According to today’s federal government press release, 100 music schools and nearly 4,000 teachers in the U.S. signed up last year.

“Our investment is helping The Royal Conservatory to expand globally and share Canadian expertise with the rest of the world. We are proud to support the cultural and creative industries as they are important economic generators in Canada,” stated Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt in the press release.

The document also quoted Conservatory CEO Peter Simon as saying, “We are grateful to the Government of Canada for its investment, which allows us to export our system around the world.”

The $7.5 million is to go toward boosting online resources, setting up a better marketing plan and developing “interactive social media tools to be used by all program stakeholders,” according to a background document.

The Conservatory states that, “All editing, publishing, and program and curriculum development, including computer programming, digital media development, product development research and the creation of intellectual property, is taking place in Canada.”

John Terauds

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