“The Remix Project is an arts, cultural and life skills incubator serving young people across the GTA but located right in the heart of Toronto. Remix works to help some of the most gifted but vulnerable young people in the city to realize their own creative and business-minded potential while working to strengthen Toronto, Canada’s burgeoning creative industry.”
This is an amazing and important program that started up in October 2006, and since that time, it has helped close to 120 youths from all walks of life in the GTA achieve their goals.
“The Remix Project is a youth program that acts as an incubator for youth in the Toronto Area. Young people aspiring to start careers in the urban arts sector drive the program by developing personal plans for success over six months. We help these entrepreneurs by providing:
- A knowledgeable and supportive staff team, ready to guide youth through the process of recording an album, starting a business, or becoming a professional artist.
- A 4,800 sq. ft. facility, with a full recording studio, business development centre, visual art lab, video editing suite & more.
- A range of mentors, who are professionals currently working within the industry, with a range of experiences, to work one on one with youth to provide guidance and feedback in greater detail.
- Regular workshops that bring in industry professionals to talk about their experiences, and give practical steps to maintaining a successful business.
The Remix Project is open Monday to Friday from 3 to 9pm. It goes for six months, and then we take in new youth, like a semester at school. But the schedule is up to you completely. So let’s say you want to start your own business in say, promoting shows and parties, or producing a monthly DVD series on hip-hop in urban toronto. Or even becoming a journalist. First we’d ask you where you want to be in six months. Then together we’d work together to develop a plan of action to get you to the goal that you decide is best for you.
Once that’s done, you can come in and work on your plan whenever you need to. We’ve got computers if you need them, and sample business plans, marketing plans, grant applications etc. for you to use. Every few weeks we have a special guest come in and do a workshop for everyone. We’ve had workshops on understanding credit, street marketing, publicity and PR, writing industry grants, record labels 101, starting a magazine, breaking into major radio and more.
Depending on where you need help, or more advice, we’ll set you up with an industry mentor. Usually these folks are in the industry that you’re trying to get into, and they meet with you at minimum every two weeks (where applicable). A mentor can do simple things like providing constructive feedback on what you’re doing and how to improve your plan, or possibly (not always) open doors for you, introducing you to people you can do business with, or even find employment with. A couple of our youth have gotten hired by their mentors to do short term contract type stuff.
So as you can see, the program is driven by you, and we’ll do our best to help guide you along and provide the things you need. You come in whenever you need to, but we ask that you try to make it out here for at least 7 hours a week, so we don’t lose track of where you’re at.
Lastly, we have a couple pieces that are still developing, but should you want to take advantage of, they’re waiting for you. At the end of your six months with us, if you want to go to school, we have a solid partnership with Humber College’s Media Arts program and can offer one year scholarships to our participants. We’ve helped youth write successful grant proposals. You should only apply if you’re in between the ages of 16-22.”
This has helped the likes of our friend Will (aka. “Photo Will”) and the gifted Karla ‘hustlegrl’ Moy. Despite all the success, their funding is beginning to end and on August 31 2009, their lease for their office ends as it is being torn down for a condo. They are having a benefit event on Thursday June 11 2009 at Circa, entitled: “Give Money, Make Change” to raise money for this extremely important program that the GTA has benefited from.
This program is not only essential to better mentor our youth, but it is vital for Toronto’s urban and lifestyle industries, as it injects new blood into our communities.
And if you are on Facebook, their Benefit Event page for more info: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=83745510543&ref=ts