Surrey’s Band-Aid program for teens learning to rock

SURREY – Often when you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll get aspiring doctors, lawyers, firefighters and, every so often with the artistically-inclined dreamers, rock stars.

For youth bands getting involved with the City of Surrey’s Band-Aid program, the aspirations toward professional musicianship have stayed alive and, through mentorship and collaboration, the kids are finding out how to make it a viable option.

A bunch of young, local musicians are getting together to attend a day of workshops to make connections and learn how to further their careers on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Surrey Arts Centre.

Spearheaded by Jessica Danyk, City of Surrey healthy communities’ youth and community engagement co-ordinator, Band-Aid focuses on collaboration rather than competition among peers.

The free event on Sept. 13 is for musicians aged 13 to 21 and begins at 10:30 a.m. The day includes workshops on band management, home recording, stage presence and songwriting, all to be instructed by successful players in the music industry.

Mentors for the day include local singersongwriter T. Nile, Brad Graham from Turtle and Blue Frog Studios, Daman and Fatima Beatty from Surrey 604, Terry Armitage from Canopy Productions, as well as bands Whitehorse and Speed Control.

At the end of the Band-Aid event, all players can participate in a jam session; on Sept. 20, bands will play the Youth Fest main stage.

“We’re all just doing this stuff independently right now so it’s good to know a few things,” said Hayden Peeling, bassist of Occasionally Dropped, who will be attending the event.

Other youth music groups who attended a preliminary meeting for Band-Aid include DJ duo Deth Klown and fusion band Panic Picnic.

To register for Band-Aid, call 604-501-5100, noting registration number 4373569.

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