Darcy Ataman is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Make Music Matter, an organization dedicated to bringing an alternate form of therapy to survivors of conflict and trauma, establishing messages of social change and hope. As a music and video producer by trade, Darcy has always valued the long-lasting impact of music and it’s ability to re-stitch the soul.
Darcy graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He operated his own recording studio in Winnipeg and has worked in New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as a music producer, collaborating with countless artists and engineers, including Shelly Yakus, Levon Helm and DJ Jazzy Jeff, resulting in several Juno nominations. These successes propelled him to spearhead and produce the original Song for Africa CD single for the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006. Make Music Matter developed out of that project. Darcy has led efforts to build a primary school in the Masai Mara, Kenya, has supported two HIV clinics in Kenya and created a scholarship program in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. He has produced documentaries in Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan. Darcy has expanded his programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He continues to centre his focus on HIV survivors, child soldiers and child-headed households in Rwanda and has partnered with Dr. Mukwege and the Panzi Foundation in the DRC, focusing on women who have been sexually violated through war.
Darcy is a founder and instructor of the social media section of Human Rights UniverCity summer intensive at the University of Winnipeg. He is a guest speaker for various local and international events, including a regular lecturer at Winnipeg’s Global College. Darcy is a contributor for the Huffington Post and various other websites, blogs, newspapers and publications.
Darcy is committed to enriching and improving the lives of children, youth and adults in some of the world’s most challenging environments. He is an advocate for women’s rights and ensures that those he encounters are able to discover and celebrate their voices, primarily through the use of song.
David Bottrill is a multi-platinum selling music producer with several albums that have reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
He began his career at Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, Ontario working for producer Daniel Lanois and later followed Lanois to the UK to work with Peter Gabriel. David worked for Gabriel over the next 9 years and spent a total of 19 years living in the UK, working on album projects for Gabriel as well as other bands. While in the UK, he gained much experience in the World Music field, making records for Real World Records with bands such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Geoffrey Oryema and the Afro Celt Sound System.
Leaving the UK, David moved to New York (USA) sharing his time between projects in New York and Los Angeles, mainly. In 2004, David returned to Canada. He continues to work internationally, and has collaborated with bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Muse, Silverchair, Godsmack and I Mother Earth.
David joined the board of Make Music Matter in 2009 for the organization’s trip to Rwanda. There, he worked to help produce and record local artists in a collaborative effort with four other Canadian artists. This culminated in the documentary and CD “Song For Africa – Rwanda Rises Up”. David sits on the Fundraising and Marketing Committee.
Michael Espinoza is a full-time lecturer at Brock University in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, teaching taxation to undergraduate students. Prior to this, Michael spent 8 years as a tax accountant, at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Toronto. In 2011, Michael also worked for six months in Deloitte’s office in London, UK, doing project management on a global initiative to streamline Deloitte’s global compliance function.
Michael specialized in taxation since beginning his career at Deloitte in 2004. He obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 2007 and completed his Master in Taxation in 2009.
Michael joined Make Music Matter in June 2012 and is the Chair of the Finance committee.
Rebecca joined Make Music Matter as a volunteer in 2007. She is thrilled to be a part of the team – an organization that marries her passion for music with the resolve to make a difference.
With a degree in political science from the University of Toronto, Rebecca has studied, worked, and volunteered abroad, spending time in the UK, France, and Zambia. Her interest in media, language, and the arts led to five years at a post-production film studio in Montreal, coordinating translation work for Hollywood studios and local film festivals. She has also worked as a Communications and PR Coordinator for the Girl Guides of Canada – Québec Council. Currently, Rebecca is a Marketing Specialist in the Media and Entertainment division at Autodesk, focused on the film and television industry. She is a member of both the Marketing and Fundraising Committee and the Governance Committee.