Introducing--The Canadian Bureau for the Advancement of Music
In 1919 the Canadian Bureau for the Advancement of Music (CBAM) was started as a non-profit organization to establish and develop a high school band program. To help support that program CBAM started piano classes in the elementary schools a few years later, (1922).
The two principals in 1919 were General Sir Arthur Currie GC and Sir Henry Beatty KC. The CBAM has been active in the field of music ever since.
A Mr JA Fullerton of the Canadian Music Trades Journal was unanimously elected as Secretary- Treasurer and Director of CBAM. A sub-committee drafted a plan of control now known as the CBAM Constitution and By-Laws.
To financially assist the CBAM the “Canadian Piano and Organ Manufacturers Association” was asked to collect fifty cents on each piano plate sold, and as it was successful it moved later to one dollar per plate.
In 1921 Mr JS Atkinson was appointed as Secretary and Manager of the CBAM. He attempted to spread the gospel of music and promoted the idea that music is not a luxury.
Support for the Bureau was offered in 1921 by the CNE and CBAM became established there and introduced Music Day at the CNE in 1922.
In 1922 the CNE Pageant Chorus was introduced that grew to 2000 voices in later years. Piano classes were started in earnest that year.
As the piano classes grew from 1922 to 1929 it was decided to add violin. The cost of each lesson was 25 cents per pupil. The classes were to be conducted at no expense to all School Boards and classes were held during school time and after school hours. The CBAM formed a course to instruct interested music teachers in the methods of class teaching.
The CBAM then branched out to take in Western Canada and the Maritime Provinces.
Following the death of JS Atkinson in 1953 the office of Managing Director was held by Mr Richard Edmunds from 1953 to 1968 and by Col CO Hunt from 1968 to 1993. Both Mr. Edmunds and Col. Hunt held both CNE and CBAM positions.
With the retirement of Col Hunt the CBAM became under the control of the CBAM Board of Directors with the CNE still the landlord.
The CNE asked the Bureau to vacate the CNE grounds in 2011 and the staff first moved the office to a home in Toronto and then split the office to a home in Knowlton, Quebec, and Rodney, Western Ontario. We have now moved the office back to Toronto. 40 Wynford Drive, Suite 300A.
On reaching high school many of our piano class students continue the study of music through participation in school bands, orchestras, or choirs. Some have moved to private piano instruction.
Opposition to the school program was received from private music teachers who were afraid it would decrease their student enrolment. The result was completely the opposite. Private teachers soon benefited from the increased flow of students the program provided.
The CBAM became incorporated in 1962. In January of 1979 the CBAM was registered as a Charity under the status of ‘advancement of education’ (music). As mentioned the CBAM is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and operates in accordance with the Federal and Provincial Non-Profit Corporations.
Acts of Canada. Charity number 85466521