The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L’académie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l’enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. CARAS’ mandate is comprised of four key pillars: Educate through our music education charity MusiCounts programs and initiatives, Develop emerging artists through mentorship and development programs, Celebrate Canadian artists with year-round JUNO Awards showcasing, and Honour music industry icons through the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
CARAS was formed in 1975 to oversee the annual JUNO Awards ceremony. CARAS has since become the umbrella not-for-profit organization for The JUNO Awards, the national music education charity, MusiCounts, and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Before CARAS, the winners of the JUNO Awards were selected by RPM readers, but with the creation of the Academy, voting was now exclusive to CARAS members in the Canadian music industry. Within one year of its inception, CARAS boasted over six-hundred members and took over the administration of the awards system created by founders Grealis and Klees. CARAS has been an integral part of the Canadian music industry with a mandate to promote and celebrate Canadian music and artists.
In 1989, CARAS began awarding annual scholarships to exceptional graduates enrolled in post-secondary music industry programs. In 1997 CARAS created the Band Aid grant program and MusiCan (now MusiCounts), and began giving instrument grants to schools in-need. Subsequently, MusiCounts launched an Teacher of the Year Award, an instrument grant program for community organizations, a MusiCounts Ambassador award, and a new scholarship program.Since 1997, MusiCounts has awarded over $13,000,000 in support of music education in Canada. These funds have benefitted over 1,200 schools and communities, supported over 400 post-secondary music program graduates, and honoured 14 extraordinary music teachers and four MusiCounts ambassadors.
CARAS’ dedication to the growth and enrichment of the Canadian music industry led to the development of The Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class. In 2015, CARAS teamed up with Slaight Music to create the premier artist development program in Canada. The Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class serves as a bridge between the two key pillars of CARAS: music education through MusiCounts and the celebration and promotion of excellence through The JUNO Awards. This program fills the gap between them by providing the crucial tools to help new and emerging artists become “JUNO-ready”.