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Canadian Music Centre John Adaskin Award


The Canadian Music Centre John Adaskin Memorial Fund was established in 1979 in memory of the Canadian Music Centre's first executive secretary. The award supports the Canadian Music Centre in undertaking projects that promote and develop Canadian music in Canadian schools.


  • Music - Education

Selection Procedure

Projects are selected by the Canadian Music Centre and approved by the Ontario Arts Council.

The OAC Awards Office does not accept unsolicited requests for this award.


At the discretion of the Canadian Music Centre.


John Adaskin, born in Toronto in 1908, was a conductor, radio producer, administrator and cellist. The younger brother of Harry and Murray Adaskin, he studied from 1924 to 1929 at the Hambourg Conservatory with George Bruce and Boris Hambourg (cello) and from 1930 to 1933 at the Toronto Conservatory of Music with Leo Smith (cello and theory) and Luigi von Kunits (conducting). He played cello from 1926 to 1935 in broadcasting orchestras and from 1926 to 1938 in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and was a producer from 1934 to 1943 for the CRBC and its successor, the CBC.

As head of John Adaskin Productions (1943 to 1961), Adaskin continued to produce CBC programs, including the popular series "Singing Stars of Tomorrow" and "Opportunity Knocks." On behalf of the CBC he commissioned Britten's The Young Apollo (1939) and Willan's Transit through Fire (1942) as well as over 101 short compositions by 67 Canadians (1950 to 1957) for "Opportunity Knocks." For a brief period (ca 1950) he organized and taught courses in radio and TV production at Toronto's Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. In 1961 he became the Executive Secretary of the Canadian Music Centre, an office he held until his sudden death in 1964. A tireless promoter of Canadian music, he developed the centre's library, edited the magazine Music Across Canada and commissioned several composers to write works for school use. In 1961 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.