Award recognizing positive community impact given to local entrepreneur

MONTREAL, QC (November 9, 2020) – After much deliberation, YES Employment +
Entrepreneurship, a charitable non-profit that provides resources, tools and strategies to
improve employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for Quebecers, has awarded this
year’s Iris Unger Recognition Award to Christopher Ma, founder of the School of Music
The Iris Unger Recognition Award recognizes artists and entrepreneurs whose project best
reflects the values that Iris Unger, YES’ former Executive Director, instilled during her 18 years
at YES: dedication and passion, success through hard work, and a true commitment to making
a difference in the community. 
Christopher Ma clearly reflects all of these values, founding the School of Music Montreal six
years ago with a mission to provide free musical education in a safe and supporting
environment to children at risk. Christopher saw the benefits a program like this can bring
through his own participation in the Sarah McLachlan School of Music’s programs in his youth.
“The program isn’t about finding music virtuosos – it’s about fostering bonds between kids and
mentors in a safe space, through music,” Ma states.

Christopher Ma, seen at front right, with teachers and students from the School of Music Montreal

This is something that rings true to the award’s namesake herself. “How wonderful to be able to
pay it forward to an organization that not only is looking at the musical side but also, in a greater
context, at mentorship and using the arts in a broader sense,” says Iris Unger.

Currently in the application process for charity status, Christopher is working with a YES
Business Coach to help move his organization from grassroots to growth. The SOMM is actively
working to expand and partner with more schools, while also collecting a stockpile of
instruments that can be loaned out to students for use.

To find out more about the School of Music Montreal, visit

About YES Employment + Entrepreneurship:
As a not-for-profit organization, YES enriches the community by providing English-language
support services to help Quebecers find employment, and start and grow businesses.
We help people start successful careers – for themselves, and for our community.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Kathy Slotsve
Director of Communications &
Stakeholder Engagement
514-878-9788 ext. 337
[email protected]

Aki Tchitacov
Executive Director
514-878-9788 ext. 301
[email protected]