Mary Piercey-Lewis is the recipient of the 2021 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year award.

Iqaluit music teacher nominated for national award

Mary Piercey-Lewis has been teaching music in Nunavut for over 15 years

By Nunatsiaq News

A music teacher at Iqaluit’s Inuksuk High School has been nominated for the 2021 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year award.

Mary Piercey-Lewis is one of the five nominees for the award announced Tuesday by MusiCounts, a music education charity associated with the Juno Awards.

Piercey-Lewis has been teaching music in Nunavut for over 15 years, using her PhD in ethnomusicology to provide culturally relevant music programming for her students.

There is no music curriculum in Nunavut, according to MusiCounts. Piercey-Lewis is changing that, by collecting Inuit music and putting together a program.

“Mary expertly teaches quality music education using the music of Nunavut as the foundation. In doing so, she meets the needs of her Inuit students,” said Heather Daley, founding director of the Alianait Arts Festival, in a news release.

In 2001, Piercey-Lewis helped form the Arviat Imngitingit community choir, a mixed-voiced group that specialized in traditional and contemporary Inuit music. This choir has travelled all throughout Canada to perform.

Her students have performed for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and at the National Art Centre in Ottawa.

If Piercey-Lewis is selected for this year’s award, a donation of $10,000 would be made to the music program at Inuksuk High School. She would also be invited to attend the 50th Juno gala dinner and awards ceremony on May 15 in Toronto.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by ilisipirjuaq on

    Bravo Mary! You have helped improve music education in Nunavut and helped bring wider attention to Nunavut and its musicians and music!

    • Posted by Bibo Guimond on

      BRAVO! Mary Piercy-Lewis. RESPECT! 🙂 a great leap forward for “THE PEOPLE” THANK YOU!

  2. Posted by Paul Bartlett on

    Wonderful news! Another fantastic accomplishment for a very talented lady. Best wishes, Mary.

  3. Posted by Charlotte Borg on

    Brava Mary! I can’t express how much joy you have brought to my life with every song you have taught our community’s kids to sing, play to or drum-dance to. I have witnessed performances you led into being with tears in my eyes and gratitude in my heart: our kids in a forum where they look, sound and act beautifully and fill my heart with joy and pride. Thank you for leading them to this and for helping them to simply and wonderfully shine. One tune at a time, one kid at a time, one marvellously skilled, talented, dedicated and passionate teacher at a time. Qujannamiiraaluk!

  4. Posted by Russ Blanchet on

    Congratulations Mary

  5. Posted by Madeline Hillier on

    Congratulations Mary. I am certain you are very deserving of this award. So happy to find this post tonight and to see your beautiful smiling face again.

    Our very best wishes to you.

    Madeline and Reuben

  6. Posted by Jackie Haley on

    Congratulations Mary!!! Best wishes from your hometown!!! You always excelled at everything!! Wishing you all the best in your future music endeavors!!! PS..Hoping you win this one too!!!!

  7. Posted by M Tibbo on

    Mary…Congratulations on this Nomination! I can only imagine the joy and pride that have come to all involved as a result of your efforts. I look forward to seeing you in Fortune again some day …and hearing you play. Stay safe and Hold Fast

  8. Posted by Notice on

    Any else notice the girl in the background of the picture covering her ears?

  9. Posted by Ruth Evans on

    Amazing! SO impressed!!! Mary, you never failed to astound me….. Absolutely amazing. Congratulations. You deserve this recognition and more. Good for you. So proud of you.

  10. Posted by Crystal Burgess on

    A resounding congratulations Mary. Well deserved!

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