SAO Board News: Spring 2021

The Suzuki Association of Ontario Board has been busy behind the scenes to develop programming and services to give you, the membership, the very best of what we can offer. The full board met on Sunday, February 28 via Zoom. Here is a recap of the goings on.

Members present:
Debbie Hammond | Chair
Genevieve Schirm-Joyce | Treasurer
Liz Biswas  | Secretary
Rebecca Ashworth  | 519 West Area Representative
Susan Beth Barak | 905 North Area Representative
Mary Burke | 905 South Area Representative
Andrea Cook |  519 East Area Representative
Janice Mah | Member-at-Large
Myra Yeung | New Teacher Member-at-Large
Claire Motyer | SAO Administrator

In a policy heavy meeting, the SAO Board voted to establish an interim budget, and adopted the following policies and procedures: communication policy, internal expense authorization, and membership advertising policy. They plan to revise the scholarship program policy at a future meeting in order to increase the visibility of the program with the goal of attracting more first time applicants and to bring clarity to the rules for applicants and procedures for approval.

Liz Biswas has resigned the position of Secretary, and this was her last meeting in this position. (Thank you to Liz for your years of dedication to the SAO!)

Rebecca Ashworth was appointed to the position of interim-secretary, and will hold this position until the next Annual General Meeting.

The SAO Board will be forming the following committees:

  • Online Conference
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Membership Recruiting & Retention
  • Newsletter
  • Scholarship
  • Strategic Planning

All committee recommendations will be included in Board and Strategic Planning discussions.

The following board positions are vacant:

519 West
613 West

If you would like more information about the Board or how you can get involved, please email us at

Join the SAO Board!

The SAO is an evolving and forward-thinking organization of artists and educators from across Ontario. We are propelled by Dr. Suzuki’s vision and principles. The SAO’s mission is to support the Suzuki community by nurturing excellence in music education.

The Board of Directors is seeking to fill several vacant positions in November 2021. Please consider standing for nomination or nominating a colleague to serve on the SAO Board. Suzuki parents, Suzuki alumni, and other interested members of our community would also be welcome to express interest.

Board members volunteer our time in service to our members and to the greater Suzuki community. As a board member, professional opportunities include shaping the future of our SAA Chapter, building relationships with colleagues, actively engaging in discussions with colleagues about developments in the Suzuki community, receiving sponsored governance training, and accessing special travel scholarships for conferences and retreats. Becoming an SAO board member is also a significant personal accomplishment in the larger Suzuki community.

To inquire about current vacancies, please contact our administrator Claire Motyer at To inquire about the work of the SAO Board, or the experience of being a board member, please contact our Chair Debbie Hammond at

Canadian Suzuki e-newsletter

Did you know there was a Canadian Suzuki e-Newsletter? Along with the e-newsletter, which everyone can and is encouraged to subscribe to, there is also an accompanying website. This website was designed to facilitate communication between Canadian Suzuki teachers and will continue to evolve as we go forward adding more information and other pages as needed. Check out some of the items we’ve worked on so far and send your feedback to us so we can continue to connect!

Questionnaires (in English and French): How can we help you and how can we connect?
Events Calendar: See what’s going on across Canada!
Teacher Development Form: Submit your request for a particular teacher training or development event.
Volunteers: We’re always looking for volunteers to join a committee or contribute to our e-Newsletter.