MusicCounts Teacher of the Year focus of Feb ‘Croft Talks

CT S2E5 Key of DThis has been quite the month for local music teacher Dianne Winmill. Years of working tirelessly to share her passion for music finally got noticed and life has been hectic ever since.

In late January, the news broke that Winmill had been named “Music Teacher of the Year,” by MusiCounts, the Canadian music charity associated with the Juno Awards. And while the moniker was a great one to receive, the award comes with more than bragging rights.

Winmill personally receives $10,000 and she also scored $10,000 in prize money for North Hastings High School where she has been teaching and inspiring students for 16 years. In addition to the cash award she’s done countless media interviews, she’s met her favourite band, Blue Rodeo, and she’s going to the 2017 Juno Awards.

On Feb. 24 Dianne Winmill will be the featured guest on ‘Croft Talks and the show’s team is excited to keep the celebration going for this local educator.

“We’ve always loved working with Dianne and her students so we were thrilled with this recognition from the folks at MusicCounts,” says ‘Croft Talks host, Barb Shaw. “This show is going to be a chance for Dianne to tell us all the other stories associated with this fantastic adventure. From a shout-out from Blue Rodeo at their sold-out Toronto concert to recording with her students at Blue Rodeo’s studio, this experience has been full of big-heart moments.”

The show will also include a segment with some of the Royal Conservatory students that went to Toronto with Winmill to record music and an interview with Village Playhouse March Break Camp artistic director, Mary Ann Conlin. Conlin, a former student of Winmill’s, will share her experiences as she went from student to co-collaborator with Winmill on this latest musical theatre offering.

“This is a show about celebrating someone who probably never expected to be celebrated,” Shaw explains. “This will be a night of telling stories about the award, the impact of musical education and also, a chance for the audience to share their stories.”

‘Croft Talks will be expanding the Q&A time at the end of the show in hopes that everyone who was inspired by Winmill might join in the live celebration with stories and best wishes.

“This is such a profound recognition for Winmill and for Bancroft,” Shaw says. “Celebrating the special people who make a difference is what this show is all about.”

‘Croft Talks LIVE featuring Dianne Winmill will be at the Village Playhouse on Friday, Feb. 24. Doors and bar at 6pm, show starts at 7pm. Tickets are $5 and everyone is welcome.