U-TurnPD Community Spotlight: Donna Linklater
Published: February 1, 2024

Donna Linklater: U-Tunes Instructor, Early Childhood Music and Outreach Wellness Programming at Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art

How did you get started with the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts (MCMA) Music Equals program?

I started working at MCMA last January with Music Equals. I applied about a year after moving back to Winnipeg from Toronto, where I was involved in a number of community-based music projects.

What classes are you leading through U-Turn Parkinson’s partnership with the MCMA? What are you most looking forward to about leading a program for individuals living with Parkinson’s disease?

I will be leading the U-Tunes Parkinson’s Program and I am most looking forward to being able to share my love of singing with those living with Parkinson’s disease.

What is your background? What got you so involved in music?

I was born in Winnipeg and spent my childhood in several towns in northern Manitoba, moving back to Winnipeg for high school. My mother was a music teacher, and with her support and encouragement, I discovered my love of singing and performing. I studied music at Brandon University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music with a major in applied voice.

After graduation, I moved to Toronto with my spouse Paul, where I worked as a music therapist’s assistant, taught early childhood music, and wrote, recorded, and performed songs in the indie music circuit. I also worked as a group facilitator for the Canadian Mental Health Association, where I incorporated music and self-care strategies for adults with lived experience in the mental healthcare system.

Just before the pandemic, I returned to school at George Brown College to complete my early childhood education diploma. I then transferred to Toronto Metropolitan University, where I am now wrapping up a BA in their online Disability Studies program.

Fun Facts About Donna:

  • I love snails!
  • My favourite season is winter (good thing I moved back to Winnipeg, haha!)
  • I adore all genres of music.

Want to join Donna at U-Tunes? Join us in-person or online!

This program is offered in-person every Tuesday at 1pm (525 Beresford Ave) and online on Thursdays at 1pm. Click the buttons below to sign up for class or create an account. U-Tunes is free and spouses, friends or family members are welcome!