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Six String Nation

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Jowi Taylor’s Six String Nation multimedia presentation affords schools and communities a truly unique opportunity to explore Canadian history, geography, diversity, music and more through a one-of-a-kind project. 



Since the debut of Voyageur – a guitar literally built from 64 pieces of history and heritage representing different cultures, communities and characters from every province and territory of Canada – on Parliament Hill on Canada Day 2006, Jowi has given the presentation in all kinds of educational settings from grade school, middle school and high school assemblies right through to graduate student seminars, ESL classes, parent-teacher gatherings and professional development workshops and conferences for teachers in many parts of Canada.

We’ve presented to school groups as part of visits to the National Music Centre in Calgary, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and other institutional settings.

We’ve helped to design a Collaborative Learning Resource package for the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat and we were even asked to create a semester- long Canadian Studies course based on the project for George Brown College in Toronto. Independent of Six String Nation, teachers, principals and publishers have built everything from social studies curriculum guides to ESL workbook exercises to textbook math problems based on the project – all with our full endorsement and encouragement. While there is a customized and abbreviated version of the presentation for very young children from

JK to grade 3 or 4 (there is a fair bit of interactivity in the presentation for that age group and they certainly enjoy the pictures and the music aspect of the presentation), in terms of educational impact it seems the project is best suited to students grade 5 and up for whom many of the issues and topic areas presented in the guitar are emerging within the curriculum. The available resource guide will help you find curriculum links appropriate for your students.

The presentation takes a total of about 65 minutes and includes an opportunity (we call it the “Performance Pocket”) for a couple of students (or students and staff) to perform for the school on Canada’s most famous guitar. Presenter and project creator Jowi Taylor is certified and background checked through the Ontario Education Services Corporation and the Toronto Police Services and has also cleared RCMP background checks for his work on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He is represented in Ontario through Mariposa In the Schools.

Standard rate is $850 plus HST and a transportation allowance. Outside of downtown Toronto, this allowance typically covers a rental car, gas and any necessary parking charges. If multiple schools in a given community wish to collaborate, there is a scale of discounts that goes down to $550 per school with up to two presentations per day over two or more days. Air fares and accommodation will also apply for certain bookings.  There are a variety of models or examples of communities that have booked in this way and we’re happy to provide details for you to customize a collaborative booking for your school community. Bilingual presentations are available at additional cost as are official Six String Nation portrait sessions. Please contact us for details. 


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Toronto, Ontario-wide, Canada-wide
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“Jowi Taylor was a guest speaker at a professional Retreat we held in January 2010 for 15 professionals (lawyers, accountants, management consultants, private equity investors, etc.) and a family of investors ranging in age from 20 through 65. Jowi's presentation was inspiring, educational, professional and entertaining. His passion for Canada and this project was so apparent that all participants became keenly engaged and excited by it. He got top marks on our feedback form and I do not hesitate in recommending him as a speaker.”

  Mary Mullens, President, Family Capital Corp.


“Jowi Taylor's "Six String Nation" project is poignant and unique blend of music and Canadian history, possessing an ability to touch lives in powerful ways that I have witnessed first-hand in both school and corporate settings. Musicians and colleagues literally gasp as the building blocks of the story are shared, while school children stand in quiet amazement as the guitar is placed in their hands. Rare is the opportunity to actually touch history; I will personally never forget the moment I held the guitar for the first time: ‘Is this  really  a piece of Paul Henderson's stick?’”

  Paul McCabe, President, Roland Canada Corp.


The 120 Senior Canadian Forces Officers taking part in the Strategic Studies course had all read the list of the historical components of the Six String Nation guitar in advance, but they had no idea what to expect when Jowi arrived in person and began to tell the story of bringing these pieces together for this extraordinary instrument. There was an audible gasp from the crowd as he brought Voyageur out of the case and not a dry eye in the house as a fellow officer played an iconic Canadian tune. Those who search for what it is to be Canadian will find it here. It is not only the rest of the world that needs "a little more Canada". All Canadians should meet and experience both Jowi and Voyageur.”

  LCol Susan Beharriell O.M.M., CD, Canadian Forces College


“The Six String Nation Guitar is without a doubt one of Canada's national treasures; a work of art that speaks to the eyes, the heart, the soul, and of course, to the ears when the strings are given their turn. I have seen Jowi present the story of Voyageur more than once, and each time something different grabs my interest and imagination. I have seen many people, from toddlers to older folks, from corporate reps to college students, respond to the guitar in many ways, all of them with appreciation and respect. Everyone in Canada and beyond should meet Jowi and Voyageur and be enchanted”.

 Marni Thornton, Professor, Music Business Management, Durham College


“Jowi, I can't thank you enough for sharing your Six String Nation presentation with our entire school. Students, staff and parents were spellbound. I shared the experience with my family Saturday morning over breakfast and they had the same reaction. Without a doubt, Friday's assembly stands as one of the proudest moments for me in my career as a principal and I can tell you that students and staff who were drawn to the stage at the end of your presentation were just as enthralled as I was." 

Barry Bickerton, Principal, Hillcrest High School, Ottawa


“May be the best presentation I have ever seen.”

Simon Whitfield, Triathlete, Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist


“The National Capital Commission was excited to support the Six String Nation project at its genesis because it was such a compelling idea - to embody the essence, spirit, history and character of a huge and diverse country in a single musical object. Jowi's concept resonates with our own public programming mission at the NCC and we have continued to invite him back to Canada Day celebrations in the capital as well as to other events and workshops from time to time. He has proven to be an excellent animator, host and story-teller. He speaks compellingly about the evolution of his project and, in conjunction with the extraordinary footage and photographs he has gathered, he elicits powerful emotional responses from audiences. With his wide knowledge of Canada, and through the specific histories vested in the Six String Nation guitar itself, he makes people feel and identify with Canada's vast national story at a very personal level.”

 Dr. Mark Kristmanson, CEO
National Capital Commission/Commission de la capitale nationale, Ottawa


"The Six String Nation Guitar is not only built from different narratives, but also creates a new story about Canada every time it's picked up. Recognizing this immediately, the authors and audience of the International Festival of Authors lined up to see and hold the guitar, eager not to miss this great opportunity to contribute their own verse." 

 Jen Tindall, Artistic Associate, International Festival of Authors


“Jowi Taylor has created one of Canada's newest national treasures. His profound and visionary presentation takes his audiences on a voyage that invites us to recall our nation's proudest and also most poignant moments. His love for the music, stories and people he has encountered travelling this country is infectious and his message matters: We are living history, connected to one another and this land. Taylor inspires us, offering all Canadians membership in a new, modern tribe: that of the Six String Nation.”

Peter MacLeod, Principal, MASS LBP Consulting


“During his recent visit, staff and students were awed and inspired by Jowi Taylor’s story of the Six String Nation guitar. We were emotionally captivated by the remarkable journey of a concept that became “Voyageur”. Jowi’s sincere narrative and poignant pictures brilliantly shared Canadian history in a way that helped us understand and embrace our identity. Our students were thrilled to hear the guitar come to life as it was played by students, staff and musician Paul O’Brien and everyone in the assembly crowded to have his or her photo taken with “Voyageur” at the end of the presentation. Every Canadian should hear this story and hold this guitar!”

Brent Kelly, Principal, Gordon Head Middle School, Victoria.


"Jowi brought the Six String Nation guitar to the Parkdale Activity & Recreation Centre and put on a very informative presentation and hands-on opportunity for people to play that amazing instrument. It was one of the best fund-raising activities we've ever had at PARC. Thanks, Jowi." 

Hazel Jackson, Board of Directors, PARC