An Update to Our Vision

During this period of isolation and contemplation, Looking at the Stars‘ management team have been reviewing our Mission and Vision statements in an effort to more clearly communicate our purpose. One outcome of this review is a decision to retire the Oscar Wild quote from 1892 that we’ve been using to express our Vision and update it with a relevant quote from Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, poet Joseph Brodsky, from his acceptance speech in 1987. (Click to view PDF.)

It may be too late for the world, but for the individual there always remains a chance.

~ Joseph Brodsky, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm 1987

This quote amplifies our focus on society’s prisoners, to whom we bring a glimmer of hope and encouragement that life can give them another chance.

As we approach our fifth anniversary…

Commemorative medallion received from CSC Commissioner Anne Kelly to acknowledge our contributions to the federal prison system’s rehabilitation efforts.

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Looking at the Stars Foundation, we are compelled to take stock of the work we have done in this relatively brief time.  As we pivoted from presenting our classical music gifts to seniors’ homes and long-term care facilities to delivering world-class classical music recitals to prison audiences, we have gifted 39 classical music concerts to more than 3,500 prisoners in Canadian federal institutions.

Looking at the Stars Foundation founder, Dmitri Kanovich, with CSC Commissioner Anne Kelly.

Recently our contributions to the rehabilitation of federal prison populations were acknowledged by Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Commissioner Anne Kelly. We are in regular contact with CSC staff and our audience, and we are planning to continue our program this Fall. Please stay tuned as these opportunities develop. We look forward to continuing our Mission to affirm the humanity of prisoners and bring hope to those who may not have much.

To receive occasional e-mail updates about our activities, use the Contact Form provided and be sure to check the newsletter subscription option there.

Maestro Gidon Kremer appointed Honorary President of Looking at the Stars Foundation

News Release - Gidon Kremer appointed Honorary President (Final - Feb. 20 2020)

[VIDEO] Maestro Gidon Kremer at Pacific Institution Abbotsford BC

“Music is something that spreads positive emotions. I think music is something that can give warmth to everyone in trouble, in prison or not in prison,” said 72-year-old Kremer. “I’m happy to have been here.”

CBC Reporter: “Next time If someone asks you to play in a prison?”

Kremer: “I would go immediately….”

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in partnership with Looking at the Stars supports Maestro Gidon Kremer performance

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) published a press release about their support of Maestro Gidon Kremer’s performance at Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre in Abbostford, BC; Looking At The Stars first musical gift of 2020.

In their press release they provide this enthusiastic quote from Maestro Kremer himself:

“I am honored to support Looking at the Stars and its wonderful and important work with my performance at Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre. By performing works by Bach and Weinberg in the circumstances and surroundings of a prison, I will do my small part to bring humanity and art into the inmates’ everyday life. I am sure it will be a unique and special performance for me and hopefully an inspiring event for the audience,” said violinist, Gidon Kremer.

To read the complete release, please click here.

NEW! Our Donation Shop is LIVE!

We’ve just launched our new Donation Shop, offering an incentive to generous donors to acquire images of the paintings created during our interactive musical events.

Each pack of 10 cards with envelopes is a gift with your $100.00 donation. The images were painted by S. Gordon Harwood, our Artist in Residence, at music events presented at correctional institutions, produced in real time during the performance and donated to each institution’s Inmate Committee upon our departure.

Take a moment to view these wonderful works of art by browsing through the collection.

Remember that your donations qualify for a tax receipt.

CBC’s Michael Enright provides exceptional coverage of our recent Millhaven event

On October 11, 2019, Looking at the Stars presented a piano trio at Millhaven Maximum Security Institution. It was our third visit to Millhaven and the FIRST to be recorded by a major media outlet. CBC Radio One The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright created an extraordinary recording of the event, including interviews with Millhaven’s Warden and some insightful commentary from inmates.

CBC has also posted Michael Enright’s personal essay on his experience here. (Click to open in a new tab)

We are sincerely grateful for Michael’s attention to our work and very impressed with the technical abilities of his sound crew, who recorded this classical music event in Millhaven’s gymnasium to produce a recording of amazing quality!

Please share this post with your friends and family. It is an excellent summary of everything Looking at the Stars is about! Donations to our work are gratefully received at https://lookingatthestars.org/donate/

Tune in to CBC Radio One The Sunday Edition 2019/11/10 at 11am

Have you ever been inside a maximum security prison?

Join us on Sunday, November 10 at 11am.

CBC Radio One The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright presents a recording of
our recent classical music gift to inmates at CSC Millhaven Maximum Security Institution.

This was (and is) an historic event.

This is our THIRD event at Millhaven Maximum Security Institution and the FIRST time a major media organization records such an event for public presentation. Please don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience our work.

2019 Fall Fundraising UPDATE