PRESS RELEASE: Make Music Matter Founder and CEO Darcy Ataman to receive Order of Manitoba



Make Music Matter Founder and CEO Darcy Ataman to receive Order of Manitoba

Winnipeg-born music producer and humanitarian recognized for creation of innovative music therapy program


TORONTO, Canada – May 12, 2022 – It was announced today that Make Music Matter founder and CEO Darcy Ataman will be awarded the Order of Manitoba for his dedication to enriching the lives of vulnerable populations in conflict and post-conflict zones. 

The Order of Manitoba recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and exceptional achievements in their respective fields. Established in 1999, it is the province’s highest honour. 

As an innovator, Ataman attributes his success to simply not giving up, no matter the challenges faced. His tenacity is what made it possible to develop the Healing in Harmony therapy model alongside Nobel laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege at Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

“Establishing trust and building relationships within the communities we serve is critical. The only reason I have been successful is because extremely vulnerable people are essentially allowing me into their home and letting us be of service to them. It’s a completely symbiotic relationship,” Ataman says.

Various research studies have demonstrated the significant positive impact Healing in Harmony has had on the mental health of trauma survivors. It’s this data and interactions with participants in the field that keep him going.

He explains, “In one session I asked the women how they thought I perceived them, and one of them stood up to say, ‘I used to think you saw us as completely worthless human beings because we had been raped, but now I think you see us as artists.’”

To date, the Healing in Harmony program has directly benefited more than 8,500 participants worldwide. Ataman is actively working with partners to bring the model to Indigenous communities in Canada and address the generational trauma they have endured. 

Ataman is a passionate advocate of the power of the arts to heal, and regularly speaks at local, national, and international events. He also co-founded A4A Records and Publishing with Grammy-winning producer David Bottrill, a label and publishing company that supports musicians in the most impoverished areas.


About Make Music Matter

Make Music Matter helps to empower marginalized voices with its innovative music therapy program Healing in Harmony. Initially designed for trauma survivors in conflict and post-conflict zones, it has been clinically proven to reduce PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

From survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo to young Syrian refugees with disabilities (and soon, survivors of generational trauma in Indigenous communities in Canada), Healing in Harmony has helped transform the lives of over 8500 individuals in eight countries worldwide.

Participants emerge with a renewed sense of agency and self-worth. Their original songs are professionally produced and serve as advocacy tools to promote their rights and combat stigma. The music is released globally on all major streaming platforms through A4A Records, with distribution through Warner Music Canada. A ground-breaking new publishing model helps to ensure that all royalties from the songs are sent back to the artists and their communities, regardless of socio-economic circumstances.


For further information and to arrange an interview with Darcy Ataman, please contact:

Rebecca Purver, Media and Communications Manager

rebecca (at) makemusicmatter (dot) org


Darcy Ataman – Hi-res headshot available here


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