Manitoba Music and ACI Manitoba Launch Youth Mentorship Program

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In February 2009, Manitoba Music and the Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba (ACI Manitoba) launched a new program aimed at Manitoba youth interested in careers in the music industry. Over the span of three months, the Youth Mentorship Program provided a dozen students from various southern Manitoba high schools with a chance to expand their knowledge of the industry and develop their own music business skills.

Students participated in a series of workshops facilitated by local industry professionals covering different aspects of the music business, from touring to releasing records to marketing and publicity. The impressive list of mentors included: Neil Cameron (Private Ear Recording), Amelia Curran (Outside Music), Adam Hannibal (Balanced Records), Grant Johnson (live sound engineer), Todd Jordan (Paquin Entertainment), Dominic Lloyd (West End Cultural Centre), Melissa Martin (Canstar News), Grant Paley (Paquin Entertainment / Moses Mayes), John Paul Peters (Private Ear Recording), and Mandy Wallman (West End Cultural Centre).

The workshops helped to develop the students’ practical skills, put to the test with an ambitious CD compilation project. Coordinated, marketed, and promoted by the students themselves, the album features tracks from 13 independent Manitoba artists and is branded under the name Transit Collective. The group was eager to use the project to support up-and-coming independent musicians, including several of their high-school aged peers. Artists contributing their music to the project include: The Electromatics, The Ripperz, Oldfolks Home, John Blackwood and the Housewives, Devon Bate, Radiation, The Paps, The Playing Cards, Flying Fox and The Hunter Gatherers, Ingrid Gatin, Effect and Cause, FAME, and Codename: The Sharks.

To launch the CD, the students have organized a release concert with Transit Collective acts The Ripperz, The Playing Cards, and Effect and Cause. Held at the Park Theatre on May 24, tickets for the all ages show will be available at the door for $3. All proceeds from the door and CD sales will be donated to the Spence Neighborhood Association.

"The program has offered these 12 participants, who are all passionate about music, a well-rounded and realistic look at the music industry," says program coordinator Nicky Mehta, of Juno Award-winning group, The Wailin’ Jennys. "The mentor sessions with industry professionals, and the hands-on project, have given them a unique understanding of the business that really isn’t available to them elsewhere.”

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