County students among winners of CBC’s Canadian Music Class Challenge

GUELPH – Local students are receiving national recognition for their recent rendition of Sloan’s 2001 song If It Feels Good Do It.   

The Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute (GCVI) music class’ recording and video was selected as one of the 13 first place winners of CBC’s Canadian Music Class Challenge on Dec. 13. 

The class, with 24 students in Grades 9 to 12, placed first in the category “Top Non-live-off-the-floor Performance.”

Hundreds of teachers and thousands of students from across Canada participated in the competition, presented in partnership with MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity. 

Winners will receive a plaque and $1,000 gift card for new instruments, but the GCVI class opted not to keep its prize, choosing instead to donate it to a local community centre or school. 

“We are very fortunate to have a very good music program,” said teacher Lane Osborne, so the class decided to give the gift card to musicians more in need.

For Grade 10 student and Erin resident Maya Moreau, the best prize is the recognition.

“It’s really cool to see how when we put in that much effort, we get this return, or acknowledgement that we did good,” said Moreau. 

“It took a lot of time but I think in the end it paid off,” added Grade 12 student and Elora resident Lucy Gouthro.

The performance 

The winning performance begins with a shout-out to GCVI students and alumni: “This song is dedicated to you! ‘Cause this song is for people who know what GC is about!” 

Next comes an instrumental introduction, followed by Moreau and Gouthro kicking off the vocals. 

Throughout the video students pull a myriad of pranks on principal James Cako, who plays himself. 

Osborne said Cako was a “very good sport,” but struggled to maintain a serious composure. 

“He couldn’t stop smiling,” Moreau said with a laugh. “He was really the star of the video, not us.”

Though some adults were involved, the students had full creative freedom – “Osborne wasn’t allowed to help us,” Gouthro said. 

“The students came up with the whole (musical) arrangement,” Osborne said.  

Students also brainstormed things they’d usually not be allowed to do in school, Moreau added, and picked which ones to include.

They ended up tearing apart a rule book, riding skateboards, bikes and scooters down the halls and decorating the school with silly string, plastic wrap, a mass of balloons, and moustaches on portraits of important people. 

Moreau said her favourite prank was the balloons, but blowing them up was hard work – and so was the cleanup. 

“They put on ear protectors and went to town,” Osborne said, popping each balloon and then cleaning up every little piece of plastic. 

Maya Moreau, left and Lucy Gouthro recreating one of the pranks in their class’ winning music video. Photo by Robin George


The process

Gouthro said it was fun to work together with the class to produce a music video and record a song, especially without a teacher telling them what to do.

The whole process was completed in less than three weeks, with almost 100 hands on deck, Osborne said.

About 30 people had primary roles in recording and producing the audio and video, and many more volunteered to act as extras during filming. 

The video was filmed by recent GCVI graduates Fin Janleigh and Alex Ly, who Osborne, Moreau and Gouthro agree were great to work with. 

Nik Tjelios from Monastereo recording studio in Guelph recorded the vocals. It was Moreau’s first experience with professional recording, and she said it was her favourite part of the process. When listening back to the vocals she could tell instantly what to change, Moreau said. 

Though the students went into the recording process with a clear plan, Osborne said they thought of additional components while recording and improvised on the fly, as often happens during professional music production. 

Osborne said a challenge was how enthusiastically everyone wanted to be involved in each of the many pranks. 


“Everyone wanted to do everything,” Moreau recalled with a chuckle, but they had to figure out how to limit each prank to a few students. 

Moreau said recording the video’s concert scene was exhausting but really fun: two hours of constantly singing, dancing and jumping.

Sometimes they’d take two minute breaks from filming, she said, and “we’d all just collapse.” 

So in the scene with students falling asleep in various places around the school, the fatigue is more than just an act. 

Future careers

Moreau and Gouthro are not yet sure whether they want to pursue careers in the music industry, but Gouthro said she definitely plans to do something in the arts – it’s just hard to figure out what. 

“I love everything in arts,” she said. “This project taught me a lot about process.”

She noted she learned producing art involves “hours and hours of doing something over,” so you need a high degree of patience to succeed.

‘Absolutely flabbergasted’

When Gouthro saw the video for the first time she thought “Oh my gosh it looks so good!” 

And she’s not the only one. 

CBC producer and contest judge Jasmine Denham said “l am absolutely flabbergasted every single time I watch this video. 

“I am astounded at the quality of the band performance, the audio recording, the acting, and the music video production! 

“Everything about this entry is professional level and I would nominate this video for a video award if I could! Bravo.”

With almost 10,000 views on Youtube, GCVI’s submission is the most viewed video from this year’s Canadian Music Class Challenge.

It has been shared on  Sloan’s official Instagram, as well as by Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield, MPP Mike Schreiner and Mayor Cam Guthrie.

To watch and listen to GCVI’s cover of If It Feels Good Do It visit