Whether you're a musician, a budding producer, or have dreams of running your own indie label, hands-on experience is vital to exploring a career in the music business. Ten local high school students have been doing just that and now they're ready to share what they've learned with music fans.
Manitoba Music and ACI Manitoba teamed up once again to run a program aimed at Manitoba youth interested in careers in the music industry. Over the span of three months, the Youth Mentorship Program provided 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 mentor sessions facilitated by local industry professionals covering different aspects of the business, from touring to releasing records to marketing and publicity. Coordinated by Derek Kun of rock act Burnthe8track, the sessions featured the expertise of artist entrepreneurs Andrina Turenne (Chic Gamine), Bobby Desjarlais (Attica Riots), JP Hoe, Keri Latimer (Leaf Rapids), and industry pros Erick Casselman (The Park Theatre), Jared Falk (Killbeat Music), Lauren Swan (Big Fun Festival / West End Cultural Centre), Tyler Sneesby (The Good Will), and the staff at Mid Ocean School of Media Arts.
While the mentor sessions helped the students learn firsthand about working in the industry, they also had a chance to develop their practical skills with a marketing project. Coordinated, programmed, marketed, and promoted by the students themselves, the project includes a collection of tracks from young independent Manitoba artists, dubbed Music for Miles.
Available to stream at manitobamusic.com/music4miles, the digital compilation features an eclectic collection of 10 songs from up-and-coming young local talent, including contributions from indie blues duo The New Wild, folk family band The Janzen Boys, blues/soul rocker Luke Jacob, hard rock band Five Hundred Pound Furnace, alt-pop act Paisley, and singer/songwriters Nic Dyson, Brittany Ruml, Logan Mckillop, Lana Winterhalt, and Catarina Arbour.
The project will be released at a free event on May 6 at The Park Theatre with performances from Five Hundred Pound Furnace, Luke Jacob, and Brittany Ruml. Another group of students, participants in ACI's youth mentorship group with the Winnipeg Folk Festival focusing on stage management and sound, will be running the show behind the scenes.