About Us

June 10th, 2010

Music for health

Who We Are

Vigour Projects is an organization dedicated to exploring and pursuing the positive impact that music can have on the health of individuals and communities. Our projects bring together cutting-edge medical research and artistic expression toward a goal of community health and development.

The Music-Health Connection

While most people are aware that music has an affect on happiness, few people realize the multitude of ways in which music can benefit our health and even foster community development.

We have come to see our health in a fragmented way, separating physical, mental and emotional health, and individual and community health.  Vigour Projects is a leader in reuniting these elements through a series of projects that explore, promote and educate people about the symbiotic relationship between musical expression and the health of individuals and communities.

Our Vision

Vigour Projects envisions a society where music and musical expression are understood and appreciated not only for their value as an art form, but also for their critical role in our health.

Our Mission

Vigour Projects’ mission is to actively improve health through music.  Our primary focus is on finding opportunities to work together with charities dealing with specific health issues.  Our secondary focus is on raising awareness of the role that music can play in individual and community health, so that people will begin to think about health in a new way.

We pursue our mission by implementing projects that leverage current research on the connection between music and health toward a goal that benefits people and communities.

Our Work

Vigour Projects plans, organizes, implements and evaluates a range of projects targeted toward the improvement of health.  This variety in our projects and partnerships serves to showcase the level of diversity in the capacity of music for healing.

Each project targets a specific health issue (a disease, disability or community health matter), with music playing a key role in every initiative and event.  The musical component can be a form of therapy, a means of raising funds to benefit a particular cause, or a way of bringing folks together in support of a community.

We collaborate with different charities and foundations and the scope of each initiative will depend on the needs of our partner organizations. A project will generally consist of a few main components: a music-based objective (e.g., song composition, music performance, music-technology application), multimedia (e.g., film documentary), research and development, and knowledge translation activities (e.g., through our website and live events).  Some of these components will serve to generate funds for the partnering charity (i.e. song downloads, event donations).

The Founder

David Alter, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. David Alter is a cardiologist and researcher in Toronto, Canada. He is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, the Research Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program and a Scientist at Toronto Rehab and an Adjunct Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michaels’ Hospital. Dr. Alter is an Associate Professor with the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His cross appointments include Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Alter’s research interests extend across many disciplines, including social behavioural engagement for population health interventions, chronic vascular disease management, cardiovascular health services and outcomes research. Dr. Alter has over 100 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, many of which have been published in leading medical journals (e.g., New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medical Association). He has also received over $17,000,000 in peer-reviewed funding as principal and/or co-investigator. Dr. Alter is also a singer-songwriter and has written over 700 songs, some of which have placed as finalists or semi-finalists in international award competitions (i.e., the U.K. Songwriting contest). He has received radio-play in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and in many countries throughout Europe with such songs as “Legend in the world (Jesse James)”, “Take me home”, and “I’m rolling in it”. Dr. Alter is the Founder and President of Vigour Projects, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of populations through music. Dr. Alter is also the Chief Scientific Director of InterxVent Canada. Dr. Alter is a Career Investigator with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

In the News

Interview on CIUT 89.5 FM – August 18th, 2010

Toronto Exclusive

North by East West (NxEW)

The Annex Gleaner – Sept. 3rd, 2010

SOCAN News

Number 9 Audio Group News

Ring Around the City

Rave On Studio Blog – Posted July 19th

Cosmo Music in the Community

Live Interview with Dr. Alter and Aaliah Michaela on Liquid Lunch at ThatChannel.com

Live Interview with Dr. Alter and Adrian Anantawan on Lynk PR “Live” at ThatChannel.com

History

Vigour Projects was originally founded in 2007 as Vigour Records, an online record label that generated funds for health-related charities through the sale of music downloads. Vigour Records provided musicians with an opportunity to support a specific health cause by allowing 50% of their music revenue to be donated directly to a health-related charity.

In early 2010, Vigour Records narrowed its focus and decided the best way to mark this fairly uncharted territory was to become a music project-based organization, in which music supports each project directly, rather than simply being used to generate funds for each partnering charity. Thus, the name changed from Vigour Records to Vigour Projects.

Our Research

Learn more.

Board of Directors

Darius Bagli, Physician and Musician

Mark Weinstock, Physician and Musician

Edwin Gailits, Documentary Filmmaker

Documentary filmmaker Edwin Gailits began his association with David Alter during the inception period of Vigour Records. David approached Edwin with the idea that whatever Vigour was or would become, getting the Vigour message out required a multiple-media approach. Film would need to figure into the way its message would be delivered. Edwin’s enthusiastic interest to be involved has resulted in both his participation in, and documentation of, many of the various stages of Vigour’s evolution and development.

Edwin’s life-long passion for music and his taste for bringing together multiple disciplines, in this case music and medicine, was a natural fit. Edwin began his career as a professional still photographer and then gravitated to theatre, where, for almost a decade, he produced and directed numerous classics theatre productions. Since the mid 1990s he has been producing, directing, filming and editing films in a broad range of subject areas. He has profiled the work of a Shibori fabric artist, examined the relationship between satellite data imagery, mathematics and watercolour painting, and has a produced a series of hybrid educational/fiction films that explored mathematics. He produced a health care documentary that, largely seen through the lens of practice variations, looks at some of the underlying structural problems within the USA health care system. More recently he has been working on a feature length documentary film on salsa dance competition and culture. To learn more about his current film work go to: http://www.coldnightshotsalsa.com

Charity Partner

Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario

Key Partners

MaRS Social Innovation Generation

Number 9 Audio

Lynk Promotions

Rave On Studio

Media: VIGOUR

Events, Fundraising, and Partnerships Questions: VIGOUR

If you are passionate about the connection between health and music, email m.osullivan1990@gmail.com to find out how you can become involved in one of our projects.