Sudbury

Low enrolment propels Cambrian to suspend admissions to incoming class of music performance program

Sudbury students looking to enrol in a post secondary music program won't have a local option this fall.

Spokesperson says enrolment has been declining for several years

Cambrian College say the September 2021 intake for its Music Performance program is closed, but second- and third-year students will be able to finish their studies. (Mihai Mihalache/Shutterstock)

Sudbury students looking to enrol in a post secondary music program won't have a local option this fall.

Cambrian College has suspended admissions to its music performance program for the fall semester and Laurentian University's music program is also being discontinued.

College spokesperson Dan Lessard says Cambrian's decision is unrelated to the situation at Laurentian. He says the college made the decision because only 10 students had enrolled for the first-year class.

He notes enrolment has been declining for several years, partly because there's less of a focus on the arts in elementary and secondary schools.

"It's made it more difficult for arts programs to to foster and attract students. If you don't have students who are taking music in elementary school or in high school, it's going to make it that much more difficult for them to view that as a viable career option by the time they get to post secondary," Lessard said.

"I think what we're seeing is challenges facing music programs everywhere, of which Cambrian is the latest example."

Lessard adds that cancelling the first-year class for the upcoming school year does not necessarily mean an end to the program — and the college hopes to be able to recruit enough students for classes in the future. Current students going into their second or third year will not be affected.

"We want to now work with our faculty and the program leadership to figure out how we can reinvigorate that program, to get more students interested so that they do enrol, and get that number up to a point where we can start a new cycle," he said.

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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