Caledon East, ON – Add Marilyn Field’s name to the Wikipedia list of the Town of Caledon’s Walk of Fame alongside Norman Jewison, Elmer Iseler, Robertson Davies and Farley Mowat. Marilyn Field, founder of charitable organization DAREarts was inducted into Caledon’s 17th Walk of Fame on Saturday, June 15. She joins the ranks of past recipients who have made significant contributions locally, nationally and internationally. On the stone was scribed:
Marilyn Field, M.S.M Teacher, Musician, Volunteer Executive and Visionary
Founder of DAREarts – Empowering children in all walks of life to ignite change. “The arts provoke personal discovery and dare kids to unlock their potential as leaders. Dream, believe, achieve, lead”
While Marilyn Field is nationally acclaimed as founder and president of DAREarts, her experience as a teacher and musician precede her work at DAREarts. She noticed one day in school that kids who have challenges respond to positive affirmation of their potential. She discovered that the arts are a way to the path of inner discipline and excellence in all aspects of their lives. She gave up her pay-cheque as a teacher, mortgaged her house to provide seed capitol and started a new journey that positively affected the lives of over 170,000 children in just over 17 years.
“I appreciate this huge honour to be a local Leader.” Said Field, “However, it is the duty of all of us to inspire our youth to find the leader within them that will ignite change and make our world a better place.”
The enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the Walk of Fame ceremony, hosted by Caledon Mayor Marolyn Morrison The enthusiastic crowd of supporters was piped in by Hal Graham from the Sandhill Pipe and Drum Band to a beautiful pavilion on the Trans Canada Trail. The proceedings were started off by the Town Crier Andrew Welch.
We are very proud,” said Mayor Morrison, “that our Caledon Trailway, of which this park is a part, became the very first part of the Trans Canada Trail in 1995 – and this was the FIRST pavilion built in the country. It started right here!”
Ms. Field was introduced by Wayne Baguley, president of Headwaters Arts, who spoke warmly of her work with children and as an inspiration to him and his own work. Marilyn spoke about all of the programs that DAREarts runs, including the Aboriginal program, which is making a difference in Northern Ontario Aboriginal communities. An anthem, “Spirit of the North” by the youth of Webequie First Nation was performed by Canadian singer/songwriter Cathy Elliott and Caledon singer Andie Trepanier.
Ms. Field’s work and passion took her to the Nobel Peace Prize’s 100th Anniversary in Oslo where she conducted a choir of children representing 23 countries and shared the stage with Paul McCartney and Meryl Streep. It also took her to General Rick Hillier’s junior ranger camp in northern Ontario to bring the arts to Aboriginal teens from fly-in communities. She has been awarded the Canadian Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General in 2003 and both the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals. Just a day before this honour, she addressed the graduates of the University of Toronto’s music faculty and the OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)She spoke to that convocation about the kids she has worked with over the past 17 years.
“Inspired by the arts, they dream of a life which is different from the one they have; exploring the arts, they believe in themselves and others; engaging in the arts, they work to achieve their goals; empowered by the arts, they become leaders who ignite positive change in their lives and communities.”
She served on the boards of Opera Atelier, Toronto Senior Strings, The Ontario Speech Foundation, Theatre Orangeville and the Esprit Orchestra (Chair) and Chaired a CD project committee for the Canadian Opera Company.