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Jan and David Buley win CBA for Education

Sudbury Living Magazine April 12, 2017 Students, Sudbury's Stories, Uncategorized No Comments

 

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The Buleys arrived in Sudbury 10 years ago as Laurentian University professors: David in music and theology; Jan in literacies and drama at the School of Education. Both are respected teachers whose positive energy impacts students and the community.

 

 

By Judi Straughan

When Googling the term “dynamic duo,” Batman and Robin are the first to pop up. Sudbury’s dynamic duo, Jan and David Buley don’t wear masks or capes but their impact on Sudbury has made them education superheroes. The Buleys won the 2017 Community Builders Award for Education.

The Buleys arrived in Sudbury 10 years ago as Laurentian University professors: David in music and theology; Jan in literacies and drama at the School of Education. Both are respected teachers whose positive energy impacts students and the community.

Jan, who is “addicted to storytelling, poetry, singing and making the world a better place for those who are silenced,” annually travels with her husband and 10 education students to coastal Ecuador. There, they share in first-hand global teaching opportunities.

Even though their influence is international, Sudbury has been the focus of the couple’s work for the past decade.

For six years, Jan has worked with the Greater Sudbury Police Service Inclusion Team (2010) and as a lead bridging the School of Education and the GSPS (2014). With topics such as mental health, gender identification and cyberbullying, she has helped the police service make a positive impression. Jan has been on the boards of Better Beginnings Better Futures, Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA) and the Sudbury YMCA and has been involved with CARE (Caring and Respect Everywhere) at the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth (SACY), where, each week, she encouraged youth to tell their stories through monologues, art and music.

Recently, she brought together young visual artists and dancers from Sudbury Secondary School with Sudbury Symphony Orchestra’s percussionist Ian Gibson. Visual artists painted and dancers improvised to his rhythms.

It is particularly through music, the environment and passion for First Nations that David and Jan share their work. Both feel privileged to have sung with a local drumming circle, partnering with the amazing teachers, staff and students at Lakeview School, M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island. David is the founding director of Sudbury’s Ariadne Women’s Chamber Choir (2007) which later transformed into the mixed voice ensemble Octatonic Decadence (2010). Jan performs while David sings with and directs this award-winning group.

In 2011, Sudbury again became part of the Guinness Book of World Records as David led his Ariadne Women’s Choir in an intriguing repertoire two kilometres underground.

When Octatonic Decadence sang a benefit for Sudbury Project Hope to “provide support for [Syrian] refugees to resettle” in the city, poet laureate Kim Fahner said their performance passed her “can’t feel my hands” test when she couldn’t feel her arms or legs. “I have never heard such a beautiful layering of voices.”

David, the 2016 winner of the Joan Mantle Music Trust Community Award, established the Young Sudbury Singers in 2007, an award-winning choir of children and youth who help to raise money for the Sudbury Food Bank and the Lions Club Christmas Telethon. In December, the choir performed their 10th anniversary concert, A Charlie Brown Christmas, with the Jerry Granelli Trio. Watch for the choir performing June 3 with the symphony as part of the Canada 150 celebration.

As Ralph McIntosh, the former arts education co-ordinator for the Rainbow District School Board, says, “David Buley has had a positive impact on music in the community, promotes lifelong music education and serves as an inspiration to others.”

David and Jan joined voices for the Lunches with Lakes concert series at the Living with Lakes Centre. Early birds enjoyed a treat this past Canada Day when David organized a veritable army of vocalists and musicians to perform at dawn, outside Living with Lakes. Soprano Brooke Dufton was floating in a canoe as she sang.

Jan and David have impacted our community immeasurably. They seem to be everywhere, even on YouTube as they perform We are the Beavers for a wilderness music summer project with R. Murray Schafer and 60 other artists.

Sadly, this dynamic duo are pulling up stakes as they move to begin new positions in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University, St. John’s, N.L.

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