Upbeat Downtown is a powerful new children’s initiative in the City of Peterborough, with a mandate to foster social justice among children and youth in our community who face various socio-economic challenges and barriers by providing a safe environment and allowing them to experience joy, and dignity, foster a sense of  achievement and of belonging, all while creating strength and beauty through music.

 The program will offer a combination of instrumental learning as well as ORFF-inspired rhythm and choir, followed by strings in a group learning setting. Each session, children will move through a series of engaging, fun, musical learnings, leading to a series of community concerts and final recital.


News & Updates


Ontario Trillium Foundation SEED Grant Announcement!

The Kawartha Youth Orchestra is pleased to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation through a 2018 SEED Grant to fund our feasibility study for an After-School Music Program for Kids in Peterborough. The objective of the study is to assess the feasibility to start and maintain a fully-funded, child-centred after-school social program that builds social and emotional strength and resiliency through music for children aged six to ten years old.

Inspired by the significant successes of similar programs in Ontario and across Canada, the KYO wishes to fill a significant gap in high quality after-school programs for children living in our city and confronted by socio-economic barriers. In particular, music education in ensemble settings is a proven catalyst for the development of strong emotional and social skills including keeping children involved in learning, and improving their academic performance in the school setting by learning focus, discipline, respect, and cooperation.

For further information on the feasibility study, our progress and plans for a full program launch in 2020, or how you can become involved with this inspiring social development and social change through music education project, please contact Ann Millen ann@thekyo.org or Maggie Goldsmith info@thekyo.org.

April 2019 Update:

We have just completed an extremely successful and fun-filled 4-week Pilot of Upbeat Downtown, our proposed after-school music program. A huge thank you to our staff and volunteers, and our supporting partners/donors for their shared vision to help us set positive change in motion for children in our community. A special shout-out to Ontario Trillium Foundation, All Saints Anglican Church for the donation of space to host our pilot program and to the Royal Conservatory of Music for lending instruments for our use.

   Click on the image above to view the concert programme and the image below to see Celebration Concert rehearsal pics.

August 2019 Update:

The Feasibility Study is complete and the concept of an After-School Music Program for Kids in Peterborough a proven success. The Project Task Group is moving ahead with plans to launch a fully operational Upbeat! Downtown program in September 2020. Over the next twelve-months the team will be working on formalizing business plans, fundraising, curriculum development, and recruitment of staff, volunteers, and participants.

For further information on our progress and plans, or how you can become involved with this inspiring social development and social change through music education project, please contact Ann Millen ann@thekyo.org or Maggie Goldsmith info@thekyo.org.