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For many years, Barbara Jean Clark, winner of the 2006 A.D. Dunton Alumni Award of Distinction, has dedicated herself to improving music programs for youth in Ottawa and Canada.
She began her career in 1956 as an elementary school teacher and, in 1965, became a music consultant with the Ottawa Board of Education, a post she held until her retirement from formal teaching in 1990.
After her retirement she continued to conduct the Central Children’s Choir of Ottawa and the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir which she had founded in 1982.
For the past 10 years she has served as artistic director of Unisong, a festival of choirs from each province and territory in Canada which celebrates Canadian music, sung by Canadians on Canada Day in the national capital. She has also been artistic director of the Niagara International Music Festival and the Canterbury International Music Festival in England. She has conducted workshops and music camps throughout Canada, in the United States, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland.
In addition she is a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra Association as Youth Liaison, organizing pre-concert activities for the Young People’s Concerts. A member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, this summer marks her 40th year directing choirs of Ottawa youth.
Clark has received numerous accolades – including the country’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada – as evidence of her outstanding commitment to her field. In November 2006, Carleton awarded her the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.