204 Unlocked

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Ezi Margolis
Mitchell Makoons
Olivia Lunny
Prairie Lakes
Stephanie Pinette
Sun Gaze
Trenton Burton

Aspiring Music Industry Professionals Curate Showcase May 10 at The Park Theatre & Streaming Playlist Featuring Up-and-Coming Manitoba Talent

Mentorship and real-world experience is a critical stage for anyone exploring a career in the music business, whether you’re a musician, an aspiring producer, or have dreams of running your own indie label or promoting shows. Seventeen local high school students, in a collective dubbed 204 Unlocked, have been building knowledge and skills on their way to becoming the next generation of music industry talent in Manitoba.

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 Manitoba Music with experienced local event producer Andrea Burgoyne, the sessions featured the expertise of industry pros Alan Greyeyes (Aboriginal Music Week / Manitoba Music), Alexa Dirks (Begonia), Carlos Vela (Mid Ocean School of Media Arts), Erin Lebar (Winnipeg Free Press), Jane Puchniak (Pipe & Hate Music Group), Jared Falk (Killbeat Music), Julien Desaulniers (Festival du Voyageur), Mike Falk (Jazz Winnipeg / Head In The Sand), Stephen Carroll (Manitoba Film & Music), and Stu Anderson (Mighty Cypress Talent).

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 concert and collection of tracks from young independent Manitoba artists.

Available to stream at manitobamusic.com/204unlocked, the playlist features an eclectic collection of songs from up-and-coming young local talent, including contributions from singer/songwriter Olivia Lunny, CBC Searchlight finalist Erika Fowler, prairie poet Cole Moreau (aka Prairie Lakes), R&B vocalist ERA, Mitchell Mozdzen, folk artist Stephanie Pinette, ambient indie-popster Trenton Burton, psych-rock act Sun Gaze, and more.

204 Unlocked take over The Park Theatre to launch the project at an all ages show on May 10. Artists hitting the stage include playlist contributors Cole Moreau, ERA, Erika Fowler, G!nger, and Olivia Lunny.

The 204 Unlocked group will connect with another one of ACI Manitoba’s Careers in the Arts Mentorship Program groups that have been learning about sound and event production with the Winnipeg Folk Festival. The Winnipeg Folk Festival has a number of opportunities to help foster a strong and vibrant scene, including music classes, mentorship opportunities in schools, and initiatives geared at developing young artists, like the Stingray Young Performers Program. 

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

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