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Sistema Winnipeg with WSO at 2023 Community Celebration Concert


Sistema Winnipeg encourages youth to reach their full potential and inspire greater social change within the community through accessible music education.

Play your part – Help share the gift of music with a child in our community! Sistema Winnipeg is fully dependent on the support from donors, and you too can be a part of helping us change the world! Click Here to find out more!

What is Sistema Winnipeg?

Sistema Winnipeg was founded in 2011 and serves youth in Winnipeg, Manitoba in what are considered at-risk communities. These communities have the fewest resources but some of the greatest needs, and Sistema Winnipeg aims to help inspire youth to make a difference in their world and communities.

The program is a unique partnership between the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), Seven Oaks School Division (SOSD) and Winnipeg School Division (WSD), and provides music education to children for 2-hours after every school day throughout the entire school year (Sept – June). Students are provided an instrument, a nutritious snack, a safe space to learn, grow, and flourish where they make friends and memories to last a lifetime – all at no cost to families!

Currently, Sistema Winnipeg serves up to 150 children from grades 1-12 at two main school communities: Elwick Community School (SOSD) and King Edward Community School (WSD), along with satellite instruction provided weekly at with Isaac Newton School (WSD) and St. John’s High School (WSD).

Programming throughout the week includes general music, instrumental sectionals, full orchestra and choir rehearsals. Students have opportunities to play on violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, French horn and trumpet, as well as performance opportunities in the school communities and throughout Winnipeg. Sistema Winnipeg showcases their learning and growth for the community, the public and with many guest artists such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and singer Paul Ong.

Impacts of Sistema Winnipeg

Since its inception in 2011, the WSO has worked with the University of Manitoba to conduct an evaluative long-term study of Sistema Winnipeg. To-date, the study has found a closing of the gaps between children’s standardized reading and mathematical achievement levels, while significantly reducing instances of tardiness and absenteeism, and school suspensions have dropped dramatically.

Children are making gains in confidence, concentration, focus, communications skills, presence, pride, impulse control, identity and outgoingness. Children are also making gains in their sense of belonging, making friends, general behavior, responsibility, contributing to household chores, teamwork, conflict resolution, decision-making, respect for people and property, cultural integration, sense of safety and lower stress levels.

Best of all, 100% of surveyed parents believe their child is more confident, and 98% are more optimistic about their child’s future.

To view the full researched document, please click here.

History of El Sistema Venezuela

El Sistema is a publicly financed, music-education program originating in Venezuela. Translating to The System, El Sistema was founded in Venezuela in 1975 and eventually adopted the motto “Music for Social Change”. The program slowly expanded and eventually developed to the goal of providing “free classical music education that promotes human opportunity and development for impoverished children”. El Sistema initially had a class of only eleven (11) students and now connect with over 700,000 young musicians around the world! El Sistema programs can be found in fifty-five (55) different countries and many cities, and eventually the original philosophy was brought and adapted to Manitoba in 2011.

Play your part – Help share the gift of music with a child in our community! Sistema Winnipeg is fully dependent on the support from donors, and you too can be a part of helping us change the world!