Island student recipient of prestigious MusiCounts scholarship

Emily Granville, Bachelor of Music student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, was recently selected as one of seven people in Canada to win a MusiCounts Accelerate scholarship. Photo by Julie Casson.

WATERLOO – Haweater Emily Granville, a Bachelor of Music student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, recently won a very prestigious award from MusiCounts.

“I was picked as one of seven people in all of Canada for a MusiCounts Accelerate Scholarship,” stated Ms. Granville when contacted by The Expositor last week. “I applied for this scholarship after I was nominated by Inspire, as you can only apply for the scholarship if you were nominated. I won a $5,000 scholarship and a three-week mentorship with industry led mentors.”

“I grew up in Manitowaning but my family is from Wiikwemkoong,” Ms. Granville told The Expositor. “My dad is originally from Moose Factory.”

Her MusiCounts portfolio explains, “Emily Granville is an Anishinaabek and Cree Indigenous student from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island. Emily has spent recent years connecting with her culture more deeply, and has done so in a way that is harmonious with her interests, music. She learned trumpet and piano while in high school after which she attended Cambrian College for Music Performance, opting to major in piano. While at Cambrian, she had many local performance opportunities and also, as she describes, “had the opportunity to learn pedagogical skills.”

“I attended elementary school at Assiginack  Public School (Manitowaning) and then Manitoulin Secondary School (M’Chigeeng),” Ms. Granville told The Expositor. “I wasn’t really exposed to music much when I was growing up. There wasn’t a lot of music options on the island when I was growing up. But in high school I received a lot of help from music teacher Chris Theijsmeijer. He is the best. He really encouraged, supported me and helped me prepare for this.”  

In grade nine (at MSS) she played trumpet then took piano as a minor at Cambrian College and has been a piano major for the past four years in school. She applied to take both instruction in both instruments at Wilfrid Laurier.

 After starting up a music tutoring business, Ms. Granville discovered her passion for music education, specifically through an Indigenous lens, and decided to pursue her studies further. Now in the Bachelor of Music program at Wilfred Laurier University, she hopes to one day get a Masters in Musicology, and eventually a PhD in Indigenous music. Emily looks forward to connecting with an Indigenous mentor for further guidance on how to successfully navigate this industry.

“I want to get my Masters in cultural music, and PhD in Indigenous music. I would like to script (document) and preserve Indigenous music,” explained Ms. Granville. 

Ms. Granville is hoping her story will inspire other young people on Manitoulin to pursue the arts and music. “As a teen growing up on Manitoulin, I felt there wasn’t enough music exposure, especially within the  Indigenous community.  The only option I had seemed to be skating or hockey at the time but I wasn’t interested in sports, I was interested in music. I’m hoping to bring back what I’ve learned to the Island and make music options more accessible for young people.”