Diamond in the Rough

The Saint James Music Academy is an organization run by music teachers and volunteers, enabling youth living in poverty to pursue music at no cost. Through choir and orchestra, they encourage children and teenagers living in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver to challenge themselves with Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, as well as building close friendships and discipline in the arts.

The highlight of the program is to encourage healthy extra-curricular activities after school and provide an invigorating system that prevents youth from going down the wrong path. They also provide a light meal after school, as well as an after school pick up so that participants can arrive at the St. James Anglican Church safely. The SJMA aims to give young people a sense of accomplishment, confidence and discover their potential while guiding them to become strong leaders in their communities. Inspired by bands and artists such as Bedouin Soundclash and Hey! Ocean, who come in frequently to record and practice with the students, it is truly impacting the entire community.

Since the music school is free to all low-income families, they are currently only able to accept a minimal amount of students. They run the Academy on donations as well as many fundraisers throughout the year.

On January 10th 2013, Sing It Forward will be taking place at the Vogue Theatre in Downtown Vancouver, aiming to raise $50,000 for the SJMA program. Featuring bands such as Yukon Blonde, Aidan Knight and Hey! Ocean, and tickets at only $25 a pop, they make a great New Year’s gift. Giving back to your local community is extremely fulfilling, and at the same time, you will have the opportunity to get inspired and listen to some great music. The Saint James Music Academy is sincerely a diamond in the rough.

Music Changes Lives. Pass it on.


Check out the talent at the SJMA at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R96D3FzcNVc