Stanley Cup play offs compete with Classical Music at Bath Institution and … lose.

Bath Medium Security Institution (Ontario)

April 19, 7 pm

First stop. A return to Bath, to the audience of our historic December 2015 first CSC event was very meaningful and emotional. We did not think/know that we would compete with the Stanley Cup play off happening at the same time. There were at least twice as many people in the gym (around 80) compared to what we had at the chapel a year and a half ago.  Warden, Kathy Hinch, and Assistant Warden, Gord Zuber, were both present.

Lukas opened a 70-minute program by calling on an inmate, who in 2015 requested a special encore (Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata). There was no answer. We were told later that the inmate had passed away a month previous. Another inmate – the author of the anonymous letter expressing the depth of the impact that our first event had on his life – identified himself during the post-event communications session.

One of many questions I got that night was, “Mr. Kanovich, I will be paroled in 3 weeks after serving 31 years. Where do I go and what should I do?” Regretfully, I had no answer for him.  Stanley Cup play off game between the Maple Leafs and Capitals  failed twice that evening  – it did not impact inmates attendance of our little event (we had a full house) and ended in the Leafs defeat (4:5).

Accolades for our Founding Artist at Washington debut


“Lukas Geniusas placed second at the Chopin International Competition in 2010, and again at the Tchaikovsky in 2015. Whatever the value of those judgments, Geniusas (the name is pronounced with a hard G, ‘GEN-yu-shas’) made a spectacular Washington debut Sunday at the Phillips Collection.

“The young Russian blew past the first benchmark to meet, technical prowess, with an explosive rendition of Bartok’s ‘Three Burlesques.’ His ‘Quarrel’ movement was vituperative, but the other two movements were more than virtuosic, the ‘Slightly Tipsy’ movement drenched in swirling color and the ‘Capriccioso’ lost in a daydream.

Spring Series 2017

We are pleased to announce our Spring Series 2017. These new musical gifts continue our focus on Correctional Services Canada events, which had such a positive impact in 2016.

Click the name of the venue to view the musical programme for each event.

April 19, 2017
Bath Medium Security  Institution
Lukas Geniušas, piano
This performance will be an emotional return to this institution, which was our first event at CSC in December 2015.

April 20, 1017
Arshambault Minimum Security Institution
Lukas Geniušas, piano
This performance marks an historic first event in la belle province, Québec.

April 21, 1017
Warkworth Medium Security Institution
Lukas Geniušas, piano, and Igor Gefter, cello
This dynamic musical duo joins together for an extraordinary performance.

We thank Pinnacle Music Studios (Belleville) for supplying Yamaha grand pianos for the Bath and Warkworth events. We are also grateful to Piano Heritage (Laval) for providing a Yamaha grand piano for the Archambault performance.

Our featured pianist and most enthusiastic supporter, Lukas Geniušas, made an impressive appearance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) on December 7, in an all-Tchaikovsky programme conducted by Finnish guest-conductor John Storgårds. Musical Toronto had some wonderful things to say about the evening:

Montreal’s Le Devoir offers an enthusiastic review of Lukas Geniušas’ Pro Musica concert at Théâtre Maisonneuve.


Return to Baycrest

For this second visit in 12 months, Looking at the Stars delivered a chamber ensemble, comprising our featured artist, Lukas Geniušas, and two Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) principal musicians, Jonathan Crow (1st violin) and Joseph Johnson (cello). The stunning Baycrest atrium was packed – approximately 300 residents, caregivers, staff and guests enjoyed a brilliant one-hour performance by three outstanding musicians. The program included the works of Chopin, Haydn, Schubert, and Schumann. This international trio were at their best. Communication with residents, who included Aushwitz survivors, was short, but meaningful – few were able to speak easily. Clasped hands and personal eye contact with residents replaced verbal exchanges and family members and relatives expressed their appreciation on behalf of those who were unable to speak. These were very emotional interactions, and we are grateful for the opportunity to deliver these musical gifts to recipients who truly need this music in their lives.

First Anniversary Heliconian Hall Fundraiser

We had to do it, because we need to pay for the gifts we bring to our audiences. We could not have thought of a better way than to do it as we did it – ourselves. Approximately 75 supporters attended this fundraising recital in the delightful Heliconian Hall.  On behalf of the BCI inmates and Baycrest residents who have enjoyed Looking at the Stars concerts recently, we thank you for your contributions.

This was Lukas’ all Chopin evening. Our virtuoso was at his best and so was the audience. You could hear a pin drop during his performance. Founders and guests spoke warmly about the project, commemorating our first anniversary. We have a lot more to learn, but we will continue on this path. Sign up for our newsletter to receive advance announcements about future fundraising events.

Airline challenges couldn’t stop us from Looking at the Stars

BCI Minimum Institution – Lukas, who had missed his flight in Paris, had to rush to Gravenhurst directly from Pearson International. Fortunately, he and Dmitri were able to make a scheduled 30-minute stopover at the Minimum Chapel, where they engaged in a conversation with a group of inmates who had attended Lukas’s first performance at BCI in April and our first Event at Bath in December 2015 (!). As they could not attend the event starting at the adjacent institution, we decided we must at least make a stop and pay our respects for their continued interest in classical music and our initiative. Lukas answered numerous questions, signed the evening’s Event Program Cards and tested local keyboard to a rousing ovation by the inmates.

Ten minutes later we found ourselves at the BCI Medium Institution gym, where Lukas, who was wrestling with severe jet lag, presented his musical programme to an audience of about 120 inmates patiently awaiting on Lukas’ arrival and examining a Steinway grand piano that was delivered to the facility earlier in the morning. Attendees included our board members, Gwen Burrows and Larry Jackson, our possible future partner, Hassan Khan and our loyal supporter, Mr. Frank Verni. Lukas presented a program of works by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Desyatnikov. Perhaps too serious a programme for the occasion and very demanding, but extremely well-received by the inmates, who enthusiastically spoke with Lukas during and after the performance. A lively conversational exchange was enjoyed by all in attendance; most importantly, by the inmates themselves. One large group conversation was in progress from the moment we entered the gym. One could feel, how the ice was melting…

RCM Glenn Gould School String Quartet at BCI Minimum Facility for Restorative Justice Week

As part of Corrections Service Canada’s Restorative Justice Week programme, the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Glenn Gould School String Quartet presented a recital in the gym at BCI Minimum Facility.  It was attended by approximately 80 inmates, institution management, chaplains, and volunteers. Attendees included our Chairman, Mr. Bob Rae and his wife Arlene, our invaluable supporter Mr. Rob Oliphant MP, his parliamentary assistant Kevin Lemkay, our counsel from Miller Thomson, Mr. Andrew Valentine, and our partner and supporter, Mr. Frank Verni.  Barry Shiffman, the inspirational founder of the quartet, presented a classical program, which included works of Bach, Pachabel, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, and others.

Mr. Shiffman engaged in an interactive and inspirational dialogue about classical music with the audience, together with his young talented colleagues. The inmates’ responses were extremely positive. Following the music performance, they invited the musicians and volunteers to the chapel and treated all of us with cookies and tea. Conversations were struck, questions were raised and answered, and emotions were shared. Hope and optimism filled the air.

Looking at the Stars Founder, Dmitri Kanovich, Keynote speaker at Restorative Justice Week

Dmitri delivered a successful keynote address to a group of about 25 inmates, gathered in the chapel at BCI Minimum Security as part of Correctional Service Canada’s Restorative Justice Week programme. The group engaged in a lively and candid conversation together with chaplains Douglas Parrett and Bruce Aitken. Real stories were shared; concerns and hopes were discussed. Fences and barriers between all present were dismantled. Seeds of faith, hope and optimism were planted.