Nathan's Story


Nathan Chan, YONA Teaching Artist
Nathan Chan, YONA Teaching Artist

My name is Nathan Chan, and I have been a YONA Teaching Artist for the last 7 years.

Amir* was a violin student in one of my early YONA classes. Amir struggled with his anger and would often hide under his desk when he felt upset. Over the year, Amir and I worked together to find better solutions for his anger – solutions that helped him overcome his instinct to hide.

A few years down the road, I played a duet with Amir onstage at the Winspear Centre. Amir was both excited and nervous, asking question after question and peeking out at the audience in awe before the show. When it was time for our duet, Amir marched fearlessly out onstage, something he could never have done those short years ago.

I vividly remember my experiences with Amir, because seeing his personal growth was incredibly powerful. As we played together onstage, I realized this shift in Amir embodied everything the YONA program has to offer, and everything we strive to share.

Because of you, every YONA student has the opportunity to learn and grow like Amir.

This year, and in past years, there were more YONA applications than there were spots within the program – even with our new site at St. Catherine school, which opened its doors this October.

The message is clear: our communities need more YONA.

That’s where you come in.

Will you join us in supporting the next generation of YONA?


Donate Now:

Monthly Sustaining Donation One-Time Donation


After being unable to intake new students last year, we welcomed nearly 100 students to YONA this fall. Expanding the YONA program to support additional neighbourhoods has always been our priority. We are excited that this year we can reach more students and support more families.

All YONA programming is offered at no cost to families: this is possible because of people like you who support the growth and education of children in your community. This year, we are supporting more than 150 students at a total of five sites. Our goal is to serve 250 students by 2024.

With your support, we can achieve this goal.

When you donate to YONA, you give a gift greater than you could imagine. You are providing children in priority neighbourhoods with more than free music education. You are teaching them to be confident, committed, proud of their achievements, and giving them a sense of belonging.

When you support YONA, you are supporting the next generation of leaders. Please pledge to continue your support today.



With gratitude,

Nathan Chan
YONA Teaching Artist



*Amir is a psuedonym.
Donate Now:

Monthly Sustaining Donation One-Time Donation