The Remix Project

The Remix Project was created in order to help level the playing field for young people from disadvantaged, marginalized and under served communities. Our programs and services serve youth who are trying to enter into the creative industries or further their formal education; The Remix Project provides top-notch alternative, creative, educational programs, facilitators and facilities. Our mission is to help refine the raw talents of young people from across the GTA in order to help them find success as participants define it and on their own terms. The Remix Project’s vision is to become an internationally recognized destination for recruiters from post-secondary institutions and corporations looking for fresh and exciting young talent and leaders.

Our Impact Why We Exist

The heart of The Remix Project’s model is a self-driven curriculum, which encompasses different streams of programming including Recording Arts, Creative Arts, The Art of Photography, The Art of Business, and The City Life Film stream. Youth are selected for the program through a competitive application process, which takes talent, motivation and need into consideration.

Remix is set-up to prepare young people for success in arts and entertainment industries. With a self-driven curriculum, the program is tailored to each individual's end goal or what we call “thesis projects” as well as their personal schedule and to their learning style.

The program leader and the participant then build realistic and manageable nine-month plans for the successful completion of their thesis project. This might include: recording and then preparing their first professional demo and press kit, creating a production reel to shop to potential buyers, preparing a photography portfolio to apply to post secondary education, shooting a short film and submitting it to film festivals around the world, launching a PR company, blog or fashion line, or one of the hundreds of other ideas our brilliant young people have.

It is the mission of The Remix Project to try and find a suitable mentor in the participant’s field of study/work that can serve as a sounding board for ideas, lend a constructively critical eye and share stories of success and challenges.

Workshop topics include Branding, Marketing, Financial Literacy, Success, Grant Writing and Business Ethics. In these workshops, industry professionals share their successes and challenges they have experienced in their journey to the top. Some guest speakers include Riggs Morales from Shady Records, Mac Maine from Young Money, Jamie Hector from the wire, Just Blaze, TD Canada Trust, 1 Love T.O., Herman and Audrey, Factor, Ontario Arts Council and many more.

 

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

Started in the fall of 2006, The Remix Project is a program designed to help youth develop their careers in the urban culture industries. We draw on the support of Toronto's own cultural industries and institutions to provide our participants with all of the knowledge, skills and resources they need to be successful.

In breaking down the history of the project one has to look back to the year 2000, when a small youth program was started in South Etobicoke called Inner City Visions. Gavin Sheppard, a teenager at the time, started the project with the help of the local community health centre, the Lakeshore Area Multi Service Project, or LAMP. Offering after school programming in their space, local kids would come out for freestyle sessions - DJ workshops, b-boy/b-girl battles, and for those learning the ropes and trying to get into the game, roundtable discussions with industry professionals.

Accolades and Accomplishments

  • Awarded top 3 youth programs in the world for urban safety by United Nations UN Habitat 2009
  • Awarded most innovative youth program in the GTA by the City of Toronto 2005
  • Sat on the Mayor's Community Safety panel from 2006-2010
  • Awarded the Toronto Arts Foundation "Arts for Youth" award in 2015
  • Awarded the Toronto Foundation's "Vita Ideas" award in 2016
  • Remix has 10 full-time staff
  • Remix has 200 dedicated volunteers

Our Programs How We Do It

Remix General Programming

  • Creative Arts: Graphic Design, Web Design, Illustration, Photoghaphy, Videography
  • Recording Arts: Production, Engineering, Singing, Song-writing, Instrumentation, etc.
  • Art of Business: Entrepreneurship and the study of an industry

Funding and Program Partners

United Way, Trillium Foundation, TD Bank, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, City of Toronto, Socan Foundation, Flow 93.5, Sony Music Canada, EMI, Toronto Community Housing, Virgin Unite, Slaight Family Foundation.

Program Impact

In terms of a lasting impact, we project the results of this program will help to create a more diverse and skilled workforce in Toronto’s thriving cultural and creative industries. With each successful placement of a young person in the creative or cultural economy, we make it that much easier for the next young person to be taken seriously and given a chance.

There are 3 goals that the participants of The Remix Program work towards:

Attachment to Education: Young people from the program have the ability to earn credits towards their high school diploma. Those who are interested in post-secondary education have the ability to apply for a scholarship to one of our post-secondary educational partners.

Attachment to Industry / Employment: Young people from the program have the opportunity to earn an internship in the industry of their choice. When they graduate from Remix, they can also apply to become a Remix Projects employee, which is our social enterprise alumni stream.

Entrepreneurship: Young people are supported in the research and application process of capital grants and loans to support their ventures.

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

“The arts and culture sector contributes $9 billion annually to the Toronto Region’s GDP” combined with “The youth unemployment rate in the Toronto Region was 22.3% above the national average in 2010.”

(Toronto's Vital Signs® 2011)

There is a massive area for growth here. Especially now as the city is going through an urban arts renaissance and the world’s eyes are turned on Toronto thanks to statesmen and women such as Drake, k’naan, Melanie Fiona, Kardinal etc. But it’s really not about just (or even a majority) about the entertainers. There are entire industries desperately needed here in the city developing and a demand for Toronto’s creativity worldwide.

Participant Vignette

Thomas Bui / Age 22 / Regent Park

If all the important things in my life were to be written down, my 6 months at Remix would be highlighted. Remix for me was more than a facility for youth to learn, it became a home away from home, a family. I learned to manage my time and develop an effective work habit. My network has expanded at a faster pace than I'd ever expect since joining Remix. The youth that participate in Remix do so on their own free will and learn from their own respective fields which make learning extremely easy. The knowledge, friendships, relationships and experiences gained through Remix can only be attained through Remix. The Remix project to me was an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Since I graduated Remix I was recently employed by one of their social enterprise projects, Blackboard Marketing. I earn $30 an hour doing design work for corporate clients. I am steadily building up my portfolio of work and gaining vital experience in the process. This job has opened my eyes to a career in the branding and design world that I look forward to enjoying.

City Life Film Project

A partnership between Temple Street Productions, Team Seven Entertainment and The Remix Project is The City Life Film Project (www.citylifefilmproject.com) - a short-film program dedicated to helping young people get a leg up in the film and television industry.

The goal of City Life is to provide talented youth with the unique opportunity to tell stories from their communities and to achieve artistic excellence through filmmaking.

A rigorous selection process that includes interviews with all applicants allows our program to choose 10 finalists from a broad pool of applicants. Finalists are selected on the basis of need, artistic talent and overall work ethic and are enrolled in a curriculum that includes educational seminars, targeted mentorship and the opportunity to workshop their scripts with top industry professionals.

Following the successful completion of our finalist education program, three young filmmakers are given the unique opportunity to make a world-class short film based on an original script that they submit to the City Life Film Project. Top industry writers, directors and producers will mentor participants through every step of the filmmaking process: from the initial pitch of their project, through pre-production, on-set filming, post-production and exhibition.

Funding and Program Partners

Partners: Temple Street Productions, Astral Harold Greenberg Fund, Team Seven.

Funders: Technicolor, RBC, Corus, CFC, E Talk, John Tory, Jamie Watt, The Spoke Club, The Brian Linehan Foundation, Leslois Shaw Foundation, Cineplex, World Wide Short Film Festival, G. & M. Pratte.

Program Impact

Not only will City Life launch the careers of three exceptionally talented young filmmakers, it will inspire other youth from low income communities to strive for excellence in the arts.

City Life will achieve this impact through:

  • A Special Event Screening of the Short Films at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • International Short Film Festival Screenings, including the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival
  • Online Streaming of the Short Films
  • Television Broadcast of the Short Films
  • High School and Community Centre Tours with Screenings and Q & A’s with our Young Filmmakers
  • Continuing Education

City Life is committed to supporting the three filmmakers after the screening of their films by helping place them in internships and educational programs within the entertainment industry. Our hope is that the City Life Film Project will provide the foundation from which these talented youth can build a successful career driven by their passion for film.

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

“The arts and culture sector contributes $9 billion annually to the Toronto Region’s GDP” combined with “The youth unemployment rate in the Toronto Region was 22.3% above the national average in 2010.”

(Toronto's Vital Signs® 2011) 

There is a massive area for growth here. Especially now as the city is going through an urban arts renaissance and the world’s eyes are turned on Toronto thanks to statesmen and women such as Drake, k’naan, Melanie Fiona, Kardinal etc. But it’s really not about just (or even a majority) about the entertainers. There are entire industries desperately needed here in the city developing and a demand for Toronto’s creativity worldwide.Participant Vignette

Gebriel Deneke: A 22-year-old man born in Milan, Italy. Two months after moving to Toronto, he and his mother were reunited with his father who was an Ethiopian refugee. From the east-end of Toronto, he has spent his years between Scarborough and Durham, which has allowed him to diversify his perspective on life. His Ethiopian roots, his family struggles, and his life in Toronto have helped mold him into the laid back, thoughtful, and compassionate man he is today. Gebriel's artistic talents originated from his love for writing. Since his early teens, he has been writing everything from poetry, to Hip-Hop and R&B music. He has always loved storytelling, which explains his ambitions to venture into the world of film. Gebriel sees film as a way to bring his writing, his experience, and his visions to life, all while providing an escape and creating a voice for his generation. He finds it especially important to shed light on the issues plaguing his community such as crime, poverty, and the lack of opportunity for immigrants. Gebriel hopes to direct and write films that capture a moment in time and represent his generation, the way so many great directors have done before him.

What You Can Do

Activities a donation will support

Grants to this program will allow us to increase our outreach efforts enabling more youth from priority neighbourhoods to access Remix. Financial support to this program will also allow us to increase internships and employment opportunities for graduates of Remix.

Donation impact

With financial support Remix will be able to engage more at-risk youth and assist them with building meaningful economic  opportunities that will turn into careers with longjevity.

 

Contact

Gavin Sheppard
Co-Founder and CEO
416.583.2120 x1
Charitable Number: 822471421RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 750,000

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