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Darcy Ataman

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As an artist and founder and CEO of Make Music Matter, Darcy Ataman has dedicated his work to bringing an alternate form of music therapy to survivors of conflict and trauma. He developed the innovative Healing in Harmony music therapy program in partnership with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege and continues to scale the innovation that has served over 15,000 individuals in 9 countries around the world including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Guinea, South Africa, Turkey/Syria and Peru.

Most recently, Ataman has worked closely with Indigenous leaders in Canada to further develop the unique model of therapy and help address generational trauma. The latest Healing in Harmony partnerships include projects with Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto, and Kehewin Native Dance Theatre in Kehewin Cree Nation, Alberta.

Ataman graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has worked internationally as a music producer, collaborating with countless artists such as Levon Helm and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s production company, resulting in several Juno nominations. In 2019, Ataman co-founded A4A Records and Publishing with legendary producer David Bottrill, creating a groundbreaking publishing model for artists living in extreme poverty and conflict zones. Ataman spearheaded Artists for Sudan and Artists for Iran with Bottrill, re-imagining U2’s classic “Sunday Bloody Sunday” with legends such as Jim Cuddy, Neil Sanderson from Three Days Grace, Cone McCaslin from Sum 41, Serena Ryder, Corey Hart and Emmanuel Jal, etc.

As a music and video producer by trade, Ataman continues to collaborate with creatives around the world, including a partnership with celebrated producer and photographer Platon and The Peoples Portfolio, for whom he completed the score for the documentary film My Body is Not a Weapon

In February 2023, as an artist Ataman unveiled the short film Ukrainian Artists Unitedat the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The project he co-created with photographer Jason Willheim showcases 11 artists in Lviv and their experience living through war in collaboration with Canadian artists such as members of Billy Talent, the Trews, Julian Taylor, Hill Kourkoutis, Julian Taylor, Broken Social Scene and Adrian X (Drake). The launch event on the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion would become the most successful exhibit launch in the museums history.

Ataman was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross in July 2020 by the Governor General of Canada for his outstanding humanitarian work. In July 2022, he received the Order of Manitoba for his dedication to enrich the lives of vulnerable populations in conflict and post-conflict zones. Ataman was awarded the Platinum Jubilee Medal for Manitoba in April 2023 in recognition of his contribution to the province. He was also awarded in January of 2024 the Ruth Roberts Award for Heroes for Children by World Vision Canada.

A contributor the Huffington Post and other publications, Ataman also has been a guest lecturer at Oxford, the University of Winnipeg, and a range of international events, speaking to the long-lasting impact of music and its ability to re-stitch the soul.


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