Canta Arya is committed to sharing its music with those less fortunate. This academic year will include participation in Culture Days at the Bader,  December concerts at Chalmers, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and KGH as well as a series of concerts at Providence Manor. Each year Canta Arya performances raise funds for organizations such as the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Voices for Africa, Martha’s Table and music training programs in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Sharing the firm belief that music performed with others for others is a step to bringing harmony to the world, the Canta Arya team nurtures musical community through its recitals, concerts and workshops.

About Our Teachers


Karen-Michele Kimmett

Karen-Michele Kimmett is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Ithaca College (Master of Music). She co-founded and directed the Institute Musical Suzuki Paris in Paris, France. In 1986, Ms. Kimmett studied with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan.  An Honorary Member of the European Suzuki Association, she is a Teacher Trainer for the ESA (European Suzuki Association) and the SAA (Suzuki Association of the Americas)  and has taught in numerous European countries as, well as the United States, St. Barthélemey and South Africa. She has served on the Board of the ESA and is currently a member of the SAA Violin Committee.  Artistic Director of Canta Arya School for Strings in Kingston, ON, Ms. Kimmett continues to do workshops and teacher development in North America, France and South Africa, including courses at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. Ms. Kimmett has been a member of the Kingston Arts Advocacy Committee and a volunteer at the Kingston Humane Society.  An avid gardener,  Ms. Kimmett, is also a serious winter sports enthusiast .

Venetia Gauthier

Venetia Gauthier began her music studies in Kingston with various local violin teachers including Denny Williams, Gisele Dalbec and Kenneth Perkins and went on to win a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music in the U.K. She was a full time member of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra and has taught for Canta Arya for the last four years. Venetia has taken extensive SAA teacher training with Ed Sprunger and Karen-Michele Kimmett. Her other great passion is art history in which she holds a Masters Degree and has been published. In her former life in London she was a Specialist in British Pictures at the auction house, Christie’s. Venetia is the mother of two beautiful young boys.

Being a teacher with Canta Arya has brought with it innumerable benefits including almost daily exchange of teaching ideas and support with exceptional colleagues, a very high standard of student playing (due in large part to weekly group classes) as well as the opportunity to be part of an exciting and stimulating musical learning environment. I feel extremely privileged to be a part of this community. — Venetia G.

Deborah Ann McFarlane

Deborah was born in Montreal, Quebec but grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. She attended Ottawa Teachers’ College with a music specialist option and at 19, was hired by the Ottawa School Board to establish a school strings programme. Post marriage and children, she studied music at Queen’s University and later on, received a MA in social theory. At the same time, she worked with Denise Williams in the Kingston Suzuki School. Together, they enjoyed summer studies with, amongst others, Lorraine Fink and John Kendall, some of the Suzuki pioneers in North America.

Deborah was a member of the Kingston Symphony for 15 years until she moved to Beaconsfield, Quebec in 1990. There, she established and directed Suzuki Beaurepaire, a large West Island studio, for over 20 years.

Upon returning to the Kingston area four years ago, Deborah was delighted to be invited to join the inspiring teaching team of Karen and Venetia and the Canta Arya school. She was both surprised and thrilled to find herself teaching “grand-students!” Deborah is the mother of three professional musicians and grandmother to four wonderful children. Her interests include gardening, dog breeding, knitting, spinning, rug hooking and of course, reading.