Our Teaching Team

Venetia Gauthier

A Suzuki student herself, Venetia Gauthier began her music studies in Kingston. She studied with various local violin teachers including Denny Williams, Gisele Dalbec and Kenneth Perkins, attending Suzuki Summer Institutes as well as the prestigious Indiana String Academy. Venetia also studied with Helen Brunner in England and toured North America with the London Suzuki Group. She went on to win a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music in the U.K.

She has been a member of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra first violin section for over 25 years and has played with many local ensembles, including Melos, Orchestra Kingston and the Kingston Baroque Consort.
Currently a Co-Director, Venetia has taught for over 18 years in Canta Arya School for Strings, as well at Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute and various workshops. Venetia is an Editor of the bilingual Suzuki Music/Musique Canada Association E-Newsletter and has completed extensive teacher training through the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She also holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Queen’s University, Kingston.

Her other great passion is the History of Art, in which she holds a Master’s 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 boys, both of whom are violinists in Canta Arya.


Julia McFarlane

Known for her sensitive and engaging playing, violinist/violist Julia McFarlane is equally at home as a performer and educator. Born in Kingston, Julia began her violin studies at the age of five. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performance from McGill University and a Master’s degree from the Peabody Institute of Music, having studied with Mauricio Fuks, Yehonatan Berick, and Herbert Greenberg.

Currently, Julia is principal second violin of the Kingston Symphony and a member of the Isabel String Quartet. From 2000-2003, Julia was principal second violin of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. She held the position of concertmaster of the NYCO Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2017 and is in demand as a free-lance violinist throughout Ontario.

As a registered teacher with the Suzuki Associations of the Americas and Ontario, Julia has been teaching violin for 35 years having taught with the Kingston Suzuki program, Beaurepaire Suzuki Strings (Montreal), the Saskatoon Suzuki Strings Program, The Royal Conservatory Community School and Etobicoke Suzuki Music. She has also been asked to be guest clinician at numerous workshops. Julia is currently co-director of Canta Arya School for Strings and she is mom to two Suzuki violinists!


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). Ithaca, NY. In 1985 she joined the faculty of the Institut Suzuki in Lyon, France, and from 1990-2001 co-founded and directed the Institut Musical Suzuki Paris in Paris, France. In 1986, Ms. Kimmett studied with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan. A teacher trainer for both the SAA and the ESA, Ms. Kimmett has taught workshops in numerous European countries well as in Morocco, Canada, the United States, St. Barthélemey as well as long term teacher training courses in South Africa and Zimbabwe. A former board member of the ESA, Vice-President of the FMSF (Fédération Method Suzuki en France) and former Artistic Director Canta Arya School for Strings in Kingston, ON, Ms. Kimmett is currently a member of the SAA Violin Committee and a founding member of the Suzuki Music/Musique Canada Committee. Many of her former students have continued their university music studies in both Canadian and European universities.

In 2016 her Canta Arya students participated in the Performance Ensemble of Canada five city tour of China. As part of her lifelong interest in building community through music outreach programs, Ms. Kimmett is the Director of the innovative Providence Manor/ Canta Arya intergenerational music program which was featured in the 2020 documentary: ‘Resonance: Music Across the Ages’.

An Honorary Member of the European Suzuki Association, Ms. Kimmett was a key note speaker at the 2015 Universality of Music Forum in Basel, Switzerland and has been featured in the ‘Ask the Expert’ column of the magazine ‘The Strad.’

In addition to being a hiker, winter sports enthusiast and gardener, Ms. Kimmett has been a member of the Kingston Arts Advocacy Committee and a volunteer at the Kingston Humane Society and the Town of Greater Napanee Cultural Committee.


“Being part of Kingston’s only Suzuki team of teachers has meant that together in 2021/2022 we offered our families regular recitals, a summer concert series at Providence Manor, masterclasses, weekly virtual and live group classes, participation in the Queen’s Orchestra, Kingston Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Kiwanis Music Festival, music in the parks…

Teaching together – while apart – has allowed us to share the gift of music with our dedicated young musicians, their families, Providence Manor, and the greater Kingston community; a gift that will last a lifetime.”

– Julia, Karen-Michele, & Venetia