Make Music Matter was recognized at the Senate of Canada on Persons Day 2018. We thank Senator Marilou McPhedran for the warm welcome! Below is the statement that was shared in the Red Chamber on October 18, 2018.

1st Session, 42nd Parliament
Volume 150, Issue 237

Thursday, October 18, 2018
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

Persons Day

Welcome to Make Music Matter and Ms. McClung

Honourable Senators,

It’s Persons Day – no woman senator would be in this Chamber today without the win in the Persons Case. At the core of why the Famous Five fought is gender equality. Yesterday Senator Andreychuk told us about why Dr. Denis Mukwege and Ms. Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize. Again, the heart of this Nobel went to the struggle worldwide for gender equality and the right to live free from violence.

With us in the Chamber, we have Manitoba’s Darcy Ataman, Founder and CEO of Make Music Matter, and Ms. Shannon Johnson, Director of Operations.

Make Music Matter is the Canadian charity that pioneered Healing in Harmony, which began with Dr. Mukwege in the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC. University researchers are confirming substantial ground-breaking on the lives of sexual assault and rape survivors. Through their partnership with Dr. Mukwege and others, Make Music Matter has been able to use music as a tool for healing, giving survivors an avenue to be heard and to heal internal wounds.

I also wish to recognize the solidarity and collaboration among genders to address feminist issues. Dr. Mukwege and Mr. Ataman are both examples of how engaging men and boys is a successful approach to achieving greater gender equality, security and healing for survivors of gender-based violence.

Today Senators, today is Persons Day. As we speak of a feminist agenda or of the recognition of gender equality, let us remind ourselves that it was 1929 that Canada recognized women as “persons.”

Dans les tribunes nous avons avec nous la petite-fille de Nellie McClung. Madame Marcia McClung continue de garder le travail de sa grand-mère, femme reconnue parmi les Célèbres cinq, en vie pour combattre l’inégalité du genre et promouvoir l’inclusion des femmes dans la vie politique.

It is my pleasure, along with Ms. McClung to be welcoming the Canadian Women’s Foundation to the Hill tonight as we celebrate Persons Day at a reception from 5 pm to 7 pm in room 256-S.

I encourage you, colleagues, to stop by and join us in celebration of this milestone in Canadian history.

Thank you, merci, miigwetch.


21 April 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Darcy Ataman, +1 204-298-0119,


Founder and Medical Director of Panzi Hospital and Foundations, Dr. Denis Mukwege, Named to Time 100 List of Most Influential People in the World


(New York, NY) TIME named Panzi Founder, Dr. Denis Mukwege, PhD, to the 2016 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The girls and women of Congo, and survivors of sexual and gender based violence in every corner of the world, have a champion. Dr. Denis Mukwege is a pioneer of medical and psychosocial healing, integrated with education and vocational training, safe transitional housing, legal assistance, and social, familial, and community reintegration.

His tireless efforts on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in the world inspires, and informs our work with our colleagues at Panzi Hospital and Panzi Foundation DRC.

“Make Music Matter is proud to be a partner with Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Foundations for our innovative Music Therapy Program, implemented with the support of the staff at Maison Dorcas.

While Dr. Mukwege heals survivors physically we are able to work with survivors, vulnerable women, children and Panzi staff to use the healing power of music to recover psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually from traumatic past experiences” says Darcy Ataman, Make Music Matter Founder and CEO.

The full TIME 100 list and related tributes appear in the May 2 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 22, and now at


Follow us on Twitter @mmm_org and on Facebook at: using #PanziStrong and #FemmeForte and @TIME for updates about the list on Twitter, and Instagram using #TIME100


My Song for Change 2014 winner Matt Blais performs Fire From the Spark, featuring Sam Roberts (Sam Roberts Band), Cone McCaslin (Sum 41), Ian D’Sa (Billy Talent), Hill Kourkoutis (Serena Ryder) and Sekou Lumumba (Serena Ryder), and produced by David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, Stone Sour).

My Song for Change contest winner debuts finished song and video

Calgary songwriter shares studio with who’s who of Canadian music


Toronto, ON (December 2, 2014) – Recording sessions are finally complete and 2014 My Song for Change national songwriting contest winner, Matt Blais, is ready to share his winning song and accompanying video with Canada. The Calgary-based musician was selected by a panel of judges in August during the Western Union-sponsored contest for his song “Fire From the Spark”, which was then professionally recorded and produced with Sam Roberts and Grammy Award-winning producer David Bottrill. The September sessions also featured special guest spots from notable artists including Ian D’Sa of Billy Talent, Cone McCaslin of Sum 41, and Sekou Lumumba and Hill Kourkoutis of Serena Ryder. Additional production support was provided by Head Engineer Kevin Dietz.

“Fire From the Spark” is available for purchase on iTunes, with proceeds from sales going to Make Music Matter, a charity that focuses on enhancing, enriching and improving children’s lives in developing countries through the transformative power of music. The music video can be seen on the Make Music Matter Facebook page and Youtube Channel.

“The My Song for Change journey has been a truly memorable one, highlighted by an incredible recording session with a talented group of artists, producers and songwriters,” said Matt Blais. “I am so thrilled to share my song and video with my fellow Canadians and hope that its message inspires others to use music as a tool for change.”

This year’s My Song for Change national songwriting contest was again hosted by Make Music Matter and sponsored by Western Union. Building on the Western Union heritage of connecting individuals around the world through a global network in more than 200 countries and territories, the sponsorship sought to leverage the power of music to educate, connect, transform and enrich people’s lives.



About Make Music Matter

Make Music Matter believes that by utilizing the transformative power of music, we can influence people around the world to make more positive choices. Positive choices today help to create a positive future for all. Since 2007, Make Music Matter has been using music to engage, educate and foster leadership in youth in communities affected by extreme poverty. Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, Make Music Matter’s on-the-ground efforts strive to enhance, enrich, and improve children’s lives in developing countries. For more information, please visit

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2014, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks. In 2013, The Western Union Company completed 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 459 million business payments. For more information, visit

For more information and interviews please contact:

Darcy Ataman

Make Music Matter Inc

Make Music Matter is hosting Right Her Future: an evening of dialogue and music on March 27 to raise funds for the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, eastern Congo. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, Make Music Matter is honoured to invite you to an evening featuring Dr. Denis Mukwege, LGen (Ret’d) Roméo Dallaire, Dr. Samantha and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. Musical performance by Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo.

Make Music Matter would like to thank the following sponsors for making it possible for Manitobans to stand with the women of the Panzi Hospital:




UW left stack COLOUR Global College Logo

UM Logo col vert-Centred-Fac Medicine        Au_Courant_logo


bounce_logo-mmm             Winnipeg Free Press 4c ju11

GAP_black  Christine Melnick Standing with Dr. Mukwege



Asper Foundation


USB Logo


Galaxy Printing Decal


In the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), repeated cycles of conflict have contributed to its unfortunate notoriety of being branded as the worst place in the world to be a woman. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Denis Mukwege, the Panzi Hospital is a beacon of hope and refuge for survivors of sexual gender-based violence. The international community has awarded Dr. Mukwege numerous accolades for his work as well as multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now it is time for Manitobans to stand with the women of Panzi Hospital in their struggle for dignity and healing.

For the first time ever, March 27, 2014, the founder of the Panzi Hospital Dr. Denis Mukwege will be in Winnipeg for this special evening of dialogue and music, which features an impressive line-up of humanitarians, dignitaries and special guest performer Jim Cuddy. Sum 41‘s Cone McCaslin, Billy Talent‘s Ian D’Sa and local Congolese performers will also be featured.

Tickets are available at or call 1-855-985-5000

Winnipeg, MB – March 3, 2014 – Make Music Matter Inc. today confirmed two new guest performers for the “Right Her Future – Manitobans Standing with the Women of Panzi Hospital” fundraising event, which will take place at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre on March 27th, 2014.

In addition to featuring Dr. Denis Mukwege from Panzi Hospital, retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire from the Child Soldiers Initiative, Dr. Samantha Nutt founder of War Child North America, Ian D’Sa of Billy Talent and Cone McCaslin of Sum 41 will be joining Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy onstage for a special guest appearance during his musical set.

This special evening of dialogue and music features an impressive line up of humanitarians, dignitaries and special guests, including local Congolese performers and will be raising funds for the victims of extreme sexual violence at Panzi Hospital, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The ‘Right Her Future’ event starts at 8 p.m. on March 27th, 2014. Ticket information available at Ticketmaster or call 1‐855‐985‐5000.


For more information or interviews, contact:

Joëlle Saltel

Au Courant Consultants

(204) 282-­‐2747


mmm-logo1Make Music Matter Announces Year Two of My Song for Change

My Song for Change national talent search announces year two;

Winner will record their song for change with Sam Roberts

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, – February 17, 2014 – Make Music Matter announces the second round of their national talent search, My Song for Change, today.  In collaboration with Western Union, Make Music Matter will seek out youth 16+ nationwide to submit their song for a chance to be professionally recorded with Canadian musician Sam Roberts.  Building on Western Union’s heritage of connecting individuals around the world through a global network in more than 200 countries and territories, the sponsorship seeks to leverage the power of music to educate, connect, transform and enrich people’s lives.

Talent search participants will submit an original musical performance online at, focusing on the global issues they face in tandem with other people around the world.  An online voting system will determine the top ten finalists, and an expert panel will select the winner.  The winner will have his or her song, and accompanying video, produced at Metalworks Studios, along with Juno Award-winning Canadian rocker Sam Roberts and Grammy Award-winning producer David Bottrill.

“Creating music is not only a means of expression, it can be a powerful forum to convey the global nature of Canadian’s experiences, and their ties to every corner of the world,” said Joycelyn David, director of marketing, Western Union, Canada. “We are proud to be a part of My Song For Changeand bring important issues to life through the power of music.”

“I would love to hear what you have to say, what you’ve written, the music that you’ve made, and would be very, very happy and honoured to be a part of bringing it to life,” said Sam Roberts in a social media video promoting the contest.  “Make sure it will inspire, not just your generation, but all generations, to go out there and make a meaningful change in the world that we live in.”

“The ability of music to deliver a message that influences our society is something that I have witnessed time and time again,” said Darcy Ataman, founder and chief executive officer of Make Music Matter, the Canadian non-profit organization behind My Song for Change.  “We are pleased to work with Western Union for My Song for Change year two, and give Canadians the opportunity to use music to tell the stories that affect all of our lives each day.”

Submissions will be accepted on through June 1.  Online voting to name the finalists will take place between June 2 and July 25.  The expert panel of judges will convene to review the ten finalists and name a winner by August 15.  For more information on My Song for Change, please visit Additional information can be found at, and

About Make Music Matter

Make Music Matter believes that by utilizing the transformative power of music we can influence people around the world to make more positive choices.  Positive choices today help to create a positive future for all.  Since 2007, Make Music Matter has used music to engage, educate and foster leadership in youth in communities affected by extreme poverty.  Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, Make Music Matter’s on-the-ground efforts strive to enhance, enrich, and improve children’s lives in developing countries.  For more information, please visit

# # #

For interviews or other media inquiries, please contact:

Ashley Smith



mmm-logo1Make Music Matter annonce la deuxième édition du concours

Ma chanson pour le changement

Le concours national Ma chanson pour le changement revient pour une deuxième année,

                                        cette fois avec Sam Roberts comme invité d’honneur

TORONTO (Ontario), Canada, le 17 février 2014. – Make Music Matter a annoncé aujourd’hui la deuxième édition de son concours national de découverte de talents Ma chanson pour le changement. Organisé en collaboration avec Western Union, le concours s’adresse aux jeunes de 16 ans ou plus à l’échelle du pays et leur propose de soumettre une chanson pour courir la chance de l’enregistrer dans un studio professionnel avec le musicien canadien Sam Roberts. La commandite de Western Union vise à tirer parti du pouvoir transformateur de la musique pour éduquer les populations, favoriser la création de liens et enrichir la vie des gens. L’entreprise souhaite ainsi poursuivre sur la voie qu’elle a tracée par l’entremise de son réseau mondial maintenant implanté dans plus de 200 pays et territoires et qui permet aux gens de partout dans le monde de garder le contact avec leurs proches.

Les participants doivent s’inscrire sur et soumettre en ligne une composition originale qui illustre les problèmes auxquels ils sont confrontés. Un système de vote électronique sera mis en place pour déterminer dix finalistes, qui seront ensuite évalués par un groupe d’experts chargés de sélectionner le gagnant. La chanson gagnante ainsi que le vidéoclip qui l’accompagnera seront produits dans les installations de Metalworks Studios en collaboration avec le rocker canadien lauréat d’un prix Juno Sam Roberts et le producteur lauréat d’un prix Grammy David Bottrill.

« La création musicale n’est pas seulement un moyen d’expression, c’est aussi une puissante tribune où les Canadiens peuvent souligner le caractère mondial de leur réalité et les liens qui les unissent au reste du monde », affirme Joycelyn David, directrice du marketing de Western Union Canada. « Nous sommes très fiers de prendre part au concours Ma chanson pour le changement et de contribuer à mettre en lumière certains enjeux importants grâce à la musique. »

« Je suis impatient d’entendre ce que vous avez à dire, ce que vous avez écrit ainsi que la musique que vous avez composée. Ce sera pour moi un très grand honneur de pouvoir contribuer à donner vie à votre création », affirme Sam Roberts dans une vidéo promotionnelle diffusée dans les médias sociaux. « Assurez-vous que votre message n’invite pas uniquement les jeunes de votre génération, mais bien l’ensemble de la population à poser des gestes concrets pour améliorer le monde dans lequel nous vivons.

« La musique permet de véhiculer des messages qui infuencent notre société, un phénomène que j’ai souvent pu observer », note Darcy Ataman, fondateur et directeur général de Make Music Matter, l’organisme canadien à but non lucratif à l’origine du concours. « Nous sommes ravis de pouvoir refaire équipe avec Western Union pour cette deuxième édition et très heureux d’offrir aux Canadiens l’occasion d’utiliser la musique pour raconter les enjeux qui influencent leur quotidien. »

Chaque personne qui souhaite participer doit s’inscrire sur le site d’ici le 1er juin. Le vote en ligne qui servira à déterminer les finalistes aura lieu du 2 juin au 25 juillet. Le groupe d’experts se réunira ensuite pour évaluer les 10 finalistes et nommer le gagnant avant le 15 août.

Pour en savoir plus sur Ma chanson pour le changement, consultez le site Des renseignements supplémentaires sont également accessibles au et au et au

À propos de Make Music Matter

L’organisme Make Music Matter croit que la musique a le pouvoir d’exercer une influence positive sur les gens du monde entier et qu’il est possible grâce à elle d’encourager la population mondiale à faire de meilleurs choix. Les choix positifs que nous faisons aujourd’hui serviront à bâtir un lendemain meilleur pour chaque être humain. Depuis 2007, Make Music Matter utilise la musique comme outil de sensibilisation et d’éducation pour inspirer les jeunes vivant dans des milieux d’extrême pauvreté. Make Music Matter travaille dans certaines des communautés les plus démunies au monde, où elle déploie des efforts afin d’améliorer et d’enrichir la vie des enfants qui grandissent dans les pays en voie de développement. Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, consultez le

 # # #

Pour obtenir une entrevue ou pour toute autre demande liée aux médias, veuillez communiquer avec:

Ashley Smith


rhf-logo-EN-300January 27, 2014                             For immediate release


Featuring Dr. Denis Mukwege from Panzi Hospital, retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire from the Child Soldiers Initiative, Dr. Samantha Nutt founder of War Child North America and performance by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy

Winnipeg, MB – Make Music Matter Inc. and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy today announced tickets will be going on sale tomorrow for the “Right Her Future – Manitobans Standing with the Women of Panzi Hospital” fundraising event, which will take place at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre on March 27th, 2014.

For the first time ever, the founder of the Panzi Hospital Dr. Denis Mukwege will be in Winnipeg for this special evening of dialogue and music, which features an impressive line-up of humanitarians, dignitaries and special guest performer Jim Cuddy. Local Congolese performers will also be featured.

“I believe that it is important to honour Dr. Mukwege and the women he cares for by showing support for the fundraising concert ‘Right Her Future’,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Honourary Chair of fundraising efforts. “I would also like to thank other generous donors, such as CUPE, who have been instrumental in supporting this worthy cause.”

“CUPE is proud to have supported Dr. Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital by presenting the ‘Right Her Future’ initiative with a $10,000 donation,” announced Paul Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “CUPE members have given us a strong mandate to raise awareness of violence against women, here and around the world. We all have a role to play to ensure safety and equality for all.”

Since the Panzi Hospital opened its doors in 1999, thousands of victims of extreme sexual violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been given a chance to heal in safety.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Panzi Hospital and will not only aid the women to return to their normal lives but in-turn help the entire country itself stabilize and grow.

The ‘Right Her Future’ event starts at 8 p.m. Ticket information available at Ticketmaster.


For more information or interviews, contact:

Joëlle Saltel – Au Courant Consultants or (204) 282-2747



Le 27 janvier 2014

Pour distribution immédiate


En vedette : Dr Denis Mukwege de Panzi Hospital, Roméo Dallaire, général de corps d’armée retraité de Child Soldiers Initiative, Dr Samantha Nutt, fondatrice de War Child North America ainsi que Jim Cuddy de Blue Rodeo en spectacle

Winnipeg (MB) – Make Music Matter Inc. et Dr Lloyd Axworthy ont annoncé aujourd’hui que la vente de billets pour l’événement ‘Une voie pour leur avenir – Les manitobains aux côtés des femmes de l’Hôpital de Panzi’ seront en vente dès demain. La soirée collecte de fonds aura lieu au Pantages Playhouse Theatre le 27 mars 2014.

Dr Denis Mukwege, fondateur de l’Hôpital de Panzi, sera à Winnipeg pour la première fois pour participer à cette soirée spéciale de dialogue et de musique qui met en vedette une brochette impressionnante d’humanitaristes, de dignitaires ainsi que l’artiste invité spécial Jim Cuddy. Des artistes Congolais locaux participeront également.

« Je trouve qu’il est important de mettre Dr Mukwege à l’honneur ainsi que les femmes qu’il soigne en démontrant de l’appui pour le concert collecte de fonds ‘Une voie pour leur avenir’, » a dit Dr Lloyd Axworthy, Président honoraire des efforts de la collecte de fonds. « J’aimerais également remercier nos donateurs généreux, tels que SCFP, qui ont joué un rôle important en démontrant leur appui pour cette cause méritante. »

« SCFP est fier d’avoir pu appuyer l’Hôpital de Panzi du Dr Mukwege en lui présentant un don de 10 000$ pour l’initiative ‘Right Her Future’, » a annoncé Paul Moist, le Président national du Syndical canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP). « Les membres du SCFP nous ont donné un mandat for pour élever la sensibilité par rapport à la violence contre les femmes, ici et partout dans le monde. Nous avons tous un rôle à jouer pour atteindre la sécurité et l’égalité pour tous. »

Depuis que l’Hôpital de Panzi a ouvert ses portes en 1999, des milliers de victimes de violence sexuelle extrême de la République démocratique du Congo de l’Est ont eu la chance de pouvoir guérir en toute sécurité.

Tous les fonds recueillis lors de l’événement seront offerts à l’Hôpital de Panzi non seulement pour aider les femmes à pouvoir retourner à leurs vies normales mais aussi pour aider au pays entier à pouvoir se stabiliser et grandir.

L’événement ‘Une voie pour leur avenir’ débute à 20h. Pour de l’information sur les billets, contacter Ticketmaster.


Pour plus d’informations ou des entrevues, contacter :

Joëlle Saltel – Au Courant Consultants ou (204) 282-2747