Speakers & Performers

Neurologic Music Therapy – Dr. Corene Hurt-Thaut
Corene Hurt-Thaut is internationally recognized for her clinical expertise in the evidence based practice of Neurologic Music Therapy. Her work includes a diverse range of clinical populations including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Hurt-Thaut is the co-founder and Program Director for The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy since 1997, and is currently assistant professor and research associate in the Faculty of music at the University of Toronto, and associate professor at the ArtEZ School of Music - ArtEZ Conservatorium in the Netherlands.  

Participatory Arts and Dementia Care - Julian West
Professional musician (oboe) Julian West also works developing creative learning and participation projects for many organizations in England. Julian is head of Open Academy, the Royal Academy of Music’s creative learning program, where he lectures on creative music leadership, and researches best practice. He has also been invited by the Wellcome Trust to take up the 2016-2018 residences in The Hub at the Wellcome Collection. This group includes scientists, artists, clinicians, public health experts and broadcasters, and will examine and challenge perceptions of dementia through scientific and creative experimentation.

Opening Performer  Sherryl Sewepagaham
Sherryl Sewepagaham is of Cree-Dene ancestry from the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta. She is a music therapist, elementary music educator, and a contemporary hand drum singer as a solo artist and also with the 2006 Juno-nominated trio, Asani. Sherryl believes the power of rhythm and vibration of the drum can be a powerful tool in holistic healing. As a First Nations music therapist, Sherryl is currently beginning this new career path and plans to continue working with children and adults in various clinical and school settings.

Keynote Performer - Sean McCann
As a founding member of Great Big Sea, Sean McCann shot to international fame, selling millions of albums and touring the globe. Sean believes music is meant to connect, heal and make people happy. It was – but for the audience, not him. He left the band to start over. His album Help Your Self helps him deal with his issues of addiction and abuse, and his presentations inspire others seeking light though the darkness.