Team

 

Photo of Thompson Egbo-Egbo

Thompson Egbo-Egbo

Founder/Vice president   Thompson Egbo-Egbo is an accomplished piano artist and composer. His name is as unique as his musical journey, which had its beginnings at the Dixon Hall Music School.

He came with his family from Nigeria when he was 4, and started playing the piano at the age of 6. His aptitude and affection for the piano was immediate and permanent.

"Growing up in Regent Park," he says. "I was amazed that a group of people thought enough of us to build the Dixon Hall Music School. Right in my neighborhood children could enjoy the luxury of music lessons at a cost that was very affordable." He took piano and developed quickly. This experience made him understand the importance of the arts in the lives of children and society as a whole. It has now led him want to give back by founding the Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo Arts Foundation in the hope that children regardless of their social and economic circumstances could experience the benefits of music. Upon completion of secondary school, Egbo-Egbo studied Jazz Performance at Humber College in Toronto, Then in 2009,, through the generosity of several Torontonians he was able to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. The three years were tough even though he was on partial scholarship. He couch surfed to save money and finally received a full scholarship for his final semester., He studied electronic production and sound design and has composed music for the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre.

His involvement in music opened up many opportunities. He has been called upon to play in the presence of many dignitaries including H.R.H Prince Charles, H.R.H. Prince Edward, and H.R.H. Prince Phillip. He has performed for Quincy Jones. In 2007, he was asked to produce a medley tribute to the inductees of the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame. These inductees included Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, Oscar Peterson and Joni Mitchell. As well he is a Bronze, Silver, and Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award achiever.

Egbo-Egbo's musical Journey took him from playing the tuba across Canada with the Hannaford Street Youth Band to performing on stage at the Hackney Empire theatre in East End London with the Canadian production "Da Kink In My Hair". He toured with Canadian R&B sensation Ayah and recorded and performed with Afro-punk artist Siadah Baba Talibah.

Thompson Egbo-Egbo has consistently given back to the community that helped him achieve his goals. His Foundation is dedicated to giving children the opportunity to develop and flourish through music. He's run a program for kids in the Jane Finch area teaching composition, and not dependent on having instruments. He believes it's as important for them as it was for him – not to become stars necessarily, but to have an outlet.

He believes in the need to increase the kind of investment in social infrastructure represented by Dixon Hall School of Music. "You always make the best choice if you have a choice," he says.

Photo of Jonathan Coooper

Jonathan Cooper

President   Jonathan started working with kids at a residential summer camp 16 years ago realized that helping children was his passion. From leading trips into the wilderness of Canada to being in the classroom volunteering his time actually teaching the kids from the Evolving Through The Arts program, After meeting Thompson Egbo-Egbo 6 years ago while playing in a band together Jonny decided to get heavily involved with the Egbo arts Foundation. Jonny as he is known to his peers has a knack for making a positive connection to youth. Jonathan is also President of PolarPiece Inc. A 100% Made in Canada clothing line based in Toronto, and works with his family Construction and Investment Firm TRL/Alterra Developments.

Photo of Luke Siedleczka

Lucas Siedleczka

After spearheading a boutique paint contracting start-up 4 years ago, Lucas Siedleczka currently sits as President and Managing Director at Perfect Touch Interiors. Prior to this initiative, his diverse projects and experience included sitting as President with Lucas Anthony; an elite staffing service for the hospitality industry. In addition he has worked alongside top event planning/management firms, caters and venues across Canada and the United States. Some of the most recent affiliated projects include work for Bombardier, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Disney, Holt Renfrew, Diesel, Toronto Fashion Week and the Interior Design Show.

Photo of Carey Kurtin

Carey Kurtin

Carey has booked, secured and managed talent and events across North America, from New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Austin, Texas. While working with a wide range of organizations across many sectors, Carey has been able to successfully combine entertainment with brand values and has created events for Diesel, Playboy, the Hudson’s Bay Company, US Air Guitar as well as the Cutting Edge Music Festival. Carey has always had a passion in building the career of musicians from the ground up. Naturally, Carey saw the invaluable opportunity the Egbo Foundation offered to cultivate young musical minds and help them grow organically.