Saint James Music Academy

Organization Type: Education & Schools
Address: 303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6A1L4
Contact: David Liou
Phone: 778-928-3685
Website: http://sjma.ca

The Saint James Music Academy, or the SJMA, is a non-profit organization that engages and empowers at-risk and underserved youth in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) through the powers of arts education. It is a convergence of musicians, music lovers, and passionate community members who share in the belief that music – listening to music, learning music, being surrounded by music, being part of the music – is a powerful ally in generating joyful and positive social transformation. The SJMA believes that music is an opportunity that should be accessible to all regardless of their social or economic status.


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I interviewed my dad on video in his final weeks. When I asked about his work and finding meaning through helping others, he responded, “I don’t think you can be focused on, ‘Oh gee, I want to make a difference.’ It has to be spontaneous. If it’s not…there’s some kind of egotistical thing going on. That’s a red flag. You hope you impact people on the deepest level you are capable of at the time. Sometimes you hit it, sometimes you don’t. You’re trying.
Lisa Shannon, A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman

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303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6A1L4

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