Michelle Cormier / Canada

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

Michelle Cormier studied Classical guitar at VCC and later formed tango group Los Porteños del Norte. She currently directs student Mariachi Los Tesoros, is co-founder of School of Groove, a music school focused on the music of Latin America and is founder/director of Las Estrellas de Vancouver. Her work includes travel with youths to study with master musicians and experience the music and culture in Mexico and Cuba. With all of these projects she has participated in Festivals and community events here in Vancouver and Mexico.

HISTORY, CHALLENGES AND MILESTONE

Michelle Cormier founded School of Groove in 2011 offering summer camp courses and it quickly grew to offer weekly classes throughout the year. focusing always on affordable and inclusive music education for kids of all ages and levels. Since 2013 she has been travelling with her Mariachi students to Rosarito Beach, Mexico to participate in a Mariachi Festival and workshops. This project is special and important because all proceeds of the Festival go to support the construction and development of a Boys and Girls Club in Rosarito, offering programing and care to at risk youths of that community, while at the same time creating unique and inspiring experiences for her students.

With Las Estrellas de Vancouver, all-female Mariachi, she has been promoting Mexican culture, inspiring and empowering women of our Latin Community and otherwise, as well as introducing this important symbol of Mexican heritage to non-latinos and professional women musicians of Vancouver. The group has participated in two International Women’s Mariachi Festivals in 2017 and 2018 in Tlaxcala, Mexico and Los Angeles, California representing Canada and demonstrating that this music has an important place in any country, any location.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

With School of Groove, Michelle always makes available her classes for everyone, any level, age and economic situation. She has also worked giving workshops in an Elementary School in Guanajuato, Mexico and at the Boys and Girls Club of Rosarito, Mexico, recognizing the importance of music education where very little is available.

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