Our Team

Chelsea Mackinnon began her music and health journey within the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. It was during her undergraduate degree when she created the Fountains of Uke program, which acted as the foundation for IMHope. Chelsea completed her Master’s degree in the Music and Health Sciences program at the University of Toronto, where she learned about the many biological effects of music engagement and studied the role of music in the health care system. Chelsea is a respected researcher and has received numerous awards at various conferences for her scientific investigations. Chelsea is currently a sessional instructor at McMaster University, where she teaches an interdisciplinary course called “Music, Health and the Community,” and supervises a number of student research projects. She is the Research Lead at the Room 217 Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to incorporating music into healthcare settings. Chelsea passionately advocates for the integration of communities through music and is thrilled to work towards this goal with her co-founder Brad, as well as the rest of the talented IMHope team. She recently received the Hamilton Young Woman of Distinction Award for her work in the Hamilton community. Chelsea is currently pursuing her Masters of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship degree at Queen’s University.

Bradley Haalboom graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University where he majored in Psychology. After graduating, he began working at McMaster University where he developed a passion for working with children, creating recreational programming for McMaster’s summer camp Sport Fitness School. It was there at McMaster where he first met the IMHope co-founder: lifeguard Chelsea. Brad went on to complete a diploma in Recreation Therapy from Mohawk College and began working as a Recreation Therapist within the community at various long-term care homes and adult day programs. It was during this time that he was able to see the positive impact that both music, and intergenerational programs had on the residents and more specifically on their health. If only there was a way he could combine the two of them together… 

ONE YEAR LATER Brad was able to combine his passion for working with children, as well as seniors and became a founding member of IMHope. He is excited to be a part of something whose goal is to create a more cohesive community by bringing generations together, through the many benefits that music has to offer.  

Dilshan Pieris is a Masters student in the Health Science Education program at McMaster University. Driven by his passion for healthcare, humanities, education, and intergenerational programming, he joined IMHope as the Education & Research Lead. While Dilshan plays a key role delivering community visits, he is also heavily involved in IMHope’s research endeavours, which aim to advance the intergenerational field and provide an evidence base to guide other practitioners. In addition to his involvement with IMHope, Dilshan is pursuing a career in medicine and health sciences pedagogy. Overall, he is a strong supporter of the symbiosis between art and healthcare, which is evident in his choice of hobbies: playing covers and original music, writing poetry and short stories, sketching, and painting.

Paolo David is a graduate of the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University and has been playing music since the age of 4. His work with music and the elderly has allowed him to appreciate the multi-faceted definition of health and the power of music, most notably the meaningful connections it creates. Paolo is involved in the research arm of IMHope, where he works to translate knowledge of the effects of intergenerational programming through publications in scholarly journals as well as conference presentations. Currently, Paolo works as a piano teacher and Unit Coordinator in the ICU at his local hospital. Paolo hopes to one day incorporate music in the field of medicine.

Matthew McArthur is currently finishing up his fourth year of the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster, specializing in Global Health. His academic work has focused on understanding health from a community-based lens, including work with Peace Studies and research into refugee and newcomer health best practices in Canada. He has also taken a leadership role on a variety of on-campus initiatives including founding the McMaster Model UN Conference and founding a student committee on pedagogy and issues of public concern. An avid runner, Matt also trains and competes as a member of the varsity cross country and track team. In his spare time, he loves to play, write, and listen to music. Delivering programming with IMHope has been one of his most rewarding and exciting experiences yet, developing his interest in health, community, and music with meaningful experience and connections in the community.

Jenna Schlorff, a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program at McMaster University, became involved with the Fountains of Uke program in her final year at McMaster. Jenna is invested in the program and believes in its mission. As a result, she is now the study coordinator of the Hamilton Intergenerational Music Program Evaluation study. Her passion for the arts and working with children also manifested in her involvement in the McMaster Arts for Children club. Jenna was involved throughout her time at McMaster, and acted as Treasurer and Vice President when the club won the Social Justice Club of the Year award two years in a row. When she’s not making music on instruments or with her voice, you can find her travelling, paper crafting, and step dancing. She is currently working in a dispensary of a pharmacy and is planning to pursue a career in the healthcare field.

Brandon Ruan is currently in his 3rd year of the Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours Program at McMaster University and has been involved with the Fountains of Uke program since September 2017. Brandon’s involvement with the Fountains of Uke program stems from his desire to connect with the community through his musical talents.  Since the age of four, Brandon dedicated his time into refining his skills as a violinist and further studied music in the Arts York Program. During his senior year in secondary school, Brandon received an Outstanding Volunteering Achievement from the House of Commons for his hundreds of hours invested with Marquee Theatrical Productions in Newmarket. Continuing passion for music, Brandon is currently the concertmaster of the McMaster Chamber Orchestra. Outside of his musical activities, he is currently pursuing a career in medicine.

Michael Coates recently graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Music from McMaster University. It was during his 3rd and 4th years that he got involved with the Fountains of Uke program. Michael is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Education at Western University, where he seeks to become a certified junior/intermediate teacher. Michael plays a wide variety of musical instruments, focusing primarily on piano and percussion throughout school. He is also an avid sports fan, and enjoys, cooking, chess, and arranging music