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The Remix Project: Growing Toronto’s Next Generation of Talent

TORONTO – Celebrating the 17th graduating class of the Toronto Remix Project, loved ones and industry leaders gathered at History this week to watch this year’s grads strut their stuff and receive their diplomas and awards. 

MC’d by the Extra Gravy podcast, loved ones of the grads were treated to a breath-taking show including performances and showcases from the talented grads getting ready to leave the classroom and become industry leaders.

Some alumni of The Remix Project that you may be familiar with include:

  • Jessie Reyez
  • Wondagurl
  • Rich Kidd – who is also an instructor!

We had the chance to catch up with the Director of the Recording Arts Program at the Toronto Remix Project,  Ricki Bekzadeh, to discuss what makes the Remix Project so special. 

What is The Remix Project?

“[The Remix Project] is an arts incubator and training facility that works with young people trying to get into the creative industry. Specifically in the music industry, the creative industry, and the art of business,” Bekzadeh explained.

Out of the hundreds of applications, they receive every year from talented Toronto youth, the very competitive program only accepts 50 students a semester. Offering several streams of study including recording arts and creative arts, Remix shows up for future groundbreakers in need of a little extra support with the resources they need to change the game. 

Bekzadeh shared that the program is important for many reasons. He explained that Remix strives to create a level of access for young Toronto creatives who may not otherwise have the resources to pursue their dreams. The program also provides students with field trips to different studios, ad agencies, and other professional hotspots so they can learn the ropes, network, and get their name out there.

Those interested in recording arts can take workshops in artist development, production, and audio engineering. The school offers aspiring creative artists a variety of classes in topics like visual arts and graphic design, to name a few. Those who are business inclined can delve into fields like fashion and music business, while also learning about public relations.

Bekzadeh shared that what sets Remix apart is not so much what they do, but how they do it. The director explained that over the years they’ve had hundreds of graduates pass through their doors, and faculty remember that every one of them is unique.

“Our goal is to create avenues and pipelines and nurture and develop young creatives through hard skills, soft skills, access to resources, mentorship and education,” he shared, adding that they also consider where each student is at in their individual careers.

“We look at everybody as an individual, so we pay close attention as to what their needs would be as a person first and foremost,” he continued, adding that they take the personal life, professional experience, and professional development of each candidate into consideration to ensure they’re meeting kids where they are. 

Ricki shared that they consider not only the fundamentals of what youth need to know about the industry and what they need to be successful, but also what life skills and education they would also benefit from. 

Through workshops, field trips, mentorship, and activations, students have access to the resources they need to grow in their careers and reach their goals. 

The Future of The Remix Project

Bekzadeh shared that his favourite part of the Remix Project is being surrounded by exceptionally talented, like-minded, ambitious people. 

“We meet incredible new young people who come in with a passion-based approach, and what I mean by that is they want to be at Remix and thrive at Remix,” Ricki shared, adding that the students all prioritize the program. 

Bekzadeh explained that having a room full of people with the same passions and desires provides both the students and the instructors with something special. 

When asked about the future of the program, the director shared that he hopes to see many more graduating classes of the Toronto Remix Program.

“We’re a charity so the goal is that we can continue to raise enough funding to allow this to grow and be a reflection of the needs of the program and the needs of our young people,” he shared, adding that they hope to continue providing the creative industry professionals of tomorrow with top-notch facilities, mentorship, programming, and resources.

Completely free to students, the program is designed to level the playing field for exceptionally talented young creatives who would not otherwise be able to access this level of training and education. 

To find out more, check out their website. Let’s leave some love for the trailblazers at the Remix Project, and the 17th graduation class, their flowers in the comments!



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