Cultural Mus-aic

(Krista Murray / The Quill)

Last Tuesday Parmela Attariwala, a well distinguished music Professor, presented part one of three of her public lectures for BU’s new Institute of Research in Music and the Community. Professor Attariwala is an expert on multiculturalism in the arts and is spending the semester at BU as the Stanley Knowles Distinguished Visiting Professor. Each of these lectures are free to attend and offer an interesting perspective into how the music world works and is truly an eye opening experience. I would highly recommend music and non music students alike be present at these lectures if only to have the chance to learn about how art is affected by a community and vice versa.

This first part of her lecture was entitled “The Effects of Multiculturalism on Publicly Funded Canadian Music,” and took place at 8:00pm in the R.D. Bell Hall of the Music building. The lecture took about an hour and a half and was expected to be the densest, largely focused around the background for her next two lectures. Dr. Attariwala covered a huge portion of Canadian history, going from the UN declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to the Multiculturalism Act of 1988. Touching on the major events within this 40 year period, Parmela explains just how today’s multi-cultural backgrounds have influenced Canada and whether its enough or needs improvement. She has been considered by Dr. Carrabre, Director of the IRMC, to be one of the most thoughtful commentators on public policy and how it impacts the types of music we get to hear. Dr. Attariwala touched on many topics including the cultivation of artistic ideas in Canada, the relationship between Canadian Taxpayers and Canadian Artists, and the promotion of Equity between such a diverse artistic world.

Dr. Attarwala will be giving her next lecture on the 7th of February and the one after that on March 21st. She is leading a authority on Canadian Cultural policy and the Dean of Music, Greg Gatien seems very honoured to have her here. He has said that Dr. Attariwala’s teaching, research, performances, and lectures should provide significant opportunities to evolve Brandon’s musical community and curriculum.

On behalf of The Quill, I would like to welcome Professor Attariwala to Brandon, and wish her the best of luck in her research and next lectures. For those looking for more information on Dr. Attariwala you can check out her website at

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 19, January 24, 2017.