Thursday, February 08, 2007

Scholarships Available for Canadian Youth Impacted by Multiple Sclerosis

Juno award-winning band Billy Talent makes new initiative possible

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 7, 2007) - A creative partnership between the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the drummer of one of Canada's hottest punk rock bands has resulted in a new scholarship program for youth who have MS or who have a parent with MS.

The MS Society of Canada Scholarship Program, supported by Billy Talent and Friends, launches February 6, 2007 and is accepting applications from Canadians under the age of 25 for funding toward 2007/2008 full- or part-time post-secondary education.

Early last year, Aaron Solowoniuk of Juno Award-winning Canadian punk rock band Billy Talent, publicly announced that he has lived with MS for close to a decade. He worked with the MS Society on ways to raise funds and awareness among teens and young adults directly affected by MS, resulting in the creation of the scholarship program.

"I am pleased to be part of this important new initiative to support youth who are directly affected by multiple sclerosis," says Solowoniuk. "Tens of thousands of young Canadians are impacted by this disease, whether they live with MS or one of their parents does. Being a teenager or young adult can be hard and throwing MS into the picture can make things really difficult.

"Everyone should be able to follow their dreams, regardless of the presence of MS in their lives. I am confident that the MS Society of Canada Scholarship Program, supported by Billy Talent and Friends, will help teenagers and young adults achieve the educational goals that help them fulfill those dreams."

Aaron Solowoniuk and Billy Talent have been involved in a number of fundraising initiatives in support of the MS Society of Canada Scholarship Program. Warner Music Canada has donated $50,000, based on first-week sales of the band's most recent CD, Billy Talent II. And Billy Talent, along with bands Alexisonfire and Moneen, recently performed a benefit concert in Toronto in support of the project. Tickets for the show, which sold out in eight minutes, netted an additional $20,000 for the scholarship program.

Details on scholarship criteria and application forms for scholarship funding are available for download at Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2007.

About Multiple sclerosis and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15-40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure.


Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
Stewart Wong
National Manager, Media Relations
(416) 967-3025


Warner Music Canada
Aaron Solowoniuk c/o Steve Waxman
Director, National Publicity and Video Promotions
(416) 758-1097