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Musicians without Borders’ Laura Hassler to Deliver Keynote at CMW Global Forum

Musicians without Borders’ Laura Hassler to Deliver Keynote at CMW Global Forum



Laura Hassler, Founder and Director of Musicians without Borders, a global organization that uses music to bridge divides, connect communities and heal the wounds of war, will be the keynote speaker at the Global Forum Networking Breakfast at Canadian Music Week.

The 2016 Global Forum, sponsored by Music Canada, will celebrate and recognize individuals and organizations in the music community who are using music to make the world a better place. The event, which also features a panel discussion, takes place on Friday, May 6 at the Sheraton Centre and is by invitation only.

“As the music community continues to focus on adapting to an evolving digital environment, this year’s Global Forum will take stock of the amazing power of music to unite us all and be a force for good,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Laura Hassler and the panelists at this year’s Global Forum demonstrate every day that music has the ability to heal, console, inspire, ignite and connect.” “We’re thrilled to have Laura Hassler at this year’s Global Forum,” added CMW President Neill Dixon. “The work that she and her organization is doing is of great importance to the global community.”

Laura Hassler and Musicians Without Borders

Laura Hassler grew up in a multicultural, artistic community in New York, a child of parents working in the international peace and nonviolence movement. Active from an early age in the US civil rights and peace movements, she studied cultural anthropology and music at Swarthmore College, combining academics with activism and music.

During the 1970s, Hassler worked for a succession of peace-related causes and organizations. She moved to the Netherlands in 1977, where she developed a career as a musician, linking music to social causes, and specializing in cultural diversity in the arts.

Part of a large network of socially conscious musicians, Hassler mobilized this network to launchMusicians without Borders in 1999. Today, the organization has become one of the world’s pioneers in the use of music to bridge divides, build community and heal the wounds of war.

Based in the Netherlands, Musicians without Borders is a global network of musicians and music lovers who work with local musicians and organizations to design community music projects that help people deal with the trauma, fear and isolation that result from war. The organization currently has projects in Palestine, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Tanzania, Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In addition to serving as Director of Musicians without Borders, Hassler sings with one of the organization’s musical ambassadors, Fearless Rose.

Panel Discussion

Following her keynote address, Hassler will take part in a panel discussion with representatives of three other organizations that use music in innovative ways to make the world a better place. The panel, moderated by journalist Nancy Wilson, includes:

  • Andre Le Roux, Managing Director of South Africa’s SAMRO Foundation, the largest private contributor to music development in the Southern African region, supporting almost 50 community-based music schools and providing scholarships for music studies overseas;
  • Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of the National Music Centre in Calgary, which reaches music lovers through education, exhibitions, incubation and performance; and
  • Lee Whitmore, Vice President, Education Outreach and Social Entrepreneurship at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he leads Berklee City Music, a program that enables youth from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, socially and emotionally through the study of contemporary music.



The Global Forum brings together 250 top music professionals from around the world as well as leaders from entertainment, business, academia and law, to consider some of the more challenging issues facing the creative industries. Over the past decade, the Global Forum has covered topics ranging from Brand Sponsored Piracy, Internet Governance, and The Survival of the Creative Class.



Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada, namely Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.


For further information:
Quentin Burgess, Music Canada
(416) 967-7272 x106
Now in it’s 34th year, Canadian Music Week is recognized as one of the premiere entertainment events in North America focusing on the business of music. The Canadian Music Week festival spans 7 nights of performances, with hundreds of showcasing bands at more than 40 live music venues in downtown Toronto. All convention functions take place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto.

For all media inquiries contact


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