SOUND EXCHANGE 204: Manitoba Students Launch Local Music Collection at The Park Theatre

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Elessar Thiessen
Killbeat Music
MOSMA | Mid-Ocean School of Media Arts
Park Theatre
The Middle Coast

Whether you're a musician, an aspiring producer, or have dreams of running your own indie label, hands-on experience is vital to exploring a career in the music business. Seventeen 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 Careers in the Arts 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 industry pros Erick Casselman (The Park Theatre), Jared Falk (Killbeat Music), Erin Lebar (Winnipeg Free Press), Stephen Carroll (Manitoba Film & Music), the staff at Mid Ocean School of Media Arts, and more.    

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 Sound Exchange 204.

Available to stream at, the digital compilation features an eclectic collection of 12 songs from up-and-coming young local talent, including contributions from The Middle Coast, Elessar Thiessen, Ashley Bieniarz, and more. 

The project will be released at a free event on May 9 at The Park Theatre with performances from compilation contributors The Honour, The 204, and Orlando Gloom.  

ACI’s Careers in the Arts mentorship program is made possible with the support of the Province of Manitoba.

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