WECC - Winner of the Community Excellence Award at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards
Tune In Music Mentorship
This after-school drop-in program offers free music instruction on the guitar, bass, drums, voice and keyboards. The program is our most popular and continues to grow. In the last year Tune In has expanded from 8 week blocks to running from Mid-September to Mid-May (with short breaks for the holidays and Spring Break), providing two hours of instruction and mentorship twice a week. Students who participate are also provided with a healthy snack. We’ve also introduced a workshop series into the program in order to give more advanced students some focused training and instruction in areas like songwriting, live performance, and group collaboration.
Play & Record: Rock Camp
Play & Record is an intensive week long summer music camp project that the WECC debuted under the vision of Lindsey White and Jessica Dressler in 2013, and have since made a permanent part of our summer programming. It is a natural extension of the Tune In program, building on the musical skills developed over the year and applying them in new and creative ways.
With the help of two instructors (In the past, Lindsey White, Matt Epp, Jolene Higgins and more) and two workshop facilitators (past includes Scott Nolan, Bobby Desjarlais, Gerry Atwell & Vince Andrushko) Play & Record engages up to 15 youth, providing focused instruction on types of musical compositions, songwriting and recording. Groups of 3 to 5 youth form bands, write a new original song, and record their composition with a professional sound engineer on professional recording equipment. Participants are provided with transportation to and from the WECC, a healthy morning snack, and lunch each day. The week after the camp we host a release party for their recordings, performances from their instructors and others, and a fun party for the participants and their family. This past year we partnered with Interstellar Rodeo who have generously donated tickets for participants and their family.
*(NEW) Seniors Singalong and Concert Series
This past year, The WECC embarked on a pilot project with Lion’s Manor (a senior’s assisted living facility at the corner of Portage and Maryland) to provide a three month long series of weekly sing-alongs with local musicians and residents, as well as a monthly concert at their facility. It’s been a rousing success, averaging between 40 and 60 attendees each week, so we’ve decided to make it a permanent part of our ongoing programming. This year, the sing-alongs will be running bi-weekly, with every third week dedicated to a concert performance by a local artist.
Seniors are an underserved section of the population when it comes to the arts, and it’s extremely gratifying to see the joy on the faces of the participants of this program.
*(NEW) Improv Camp
During Spring Break 2016, The WECC began a two day improv comedy camp in conjunction with Jonathan Kornelsen and Parking Lots Improv Troupe. This workshop provides youth with instruction in the basics of improv comedy, stage experience, and the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience. The camp will run for two eight hour days over Spring Break, with a wrap-up performance on the evening of the last day. Our future aim is to have a week-long Improv camp as part of our summer programming.
*(NEW) Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Started in 2016, The WECC presents a free weekly lunchtime summer concert series Called “Musical Notes and Lunch Totes” at Saigon Park (corner of Spence and Ellice) from July 14th until September 8th. Performers from this past year included Bobby Desjarlais, Cassidy Mann, Richard Inman, Scott Nolan & William Price, Ila Barker, and Nation of Two among others. This series provides the WECC, artists, and members of the community the opportunity to connect to each other in a very direct way.
Hands-on Arts Workshops
Six half-day workshops will provide an opportunity for youth to interact with professional musicians in hands-on arts based workshops. Professional artists develop the workshops and we work with community partners to identify what would be a good fit for their group based on age, interests and demographics. Workshops in the past have included: songwriting, rhythm and movement, and flamenco dance.