The Remix\Rework Project: Research Portfolio

For 3408 HUM Dynamic of Cultural Change.

Research Portfolio
The Remix\Rework Project


The Remix Project is a non-for-profit youth program that acts as an incubator for youth 16-22 in the Toronto Area. Established in September 2006 the cultural, economic and social impact has already exceeded expectations. Young people aspiring to start careers in the urban arts sector drive the program by developing personal plans for success over six month period. As a model of successful “at-risk” youth and adults partner and are given the tools and experience needed to change their own direction.

This is an established and admirable company so the change in the community is already evident with their sixth semesters already in progress. The idea is to take those steps and create a festival based around those who have graduated from that The Remix Project and showcase their talents in a three day festival.

As students showcase original material there will be a strong focus on those who inspired them to create those works. Remixing and reworking past greatness, helping visitors understand the past (the inspiration), the present (the festival) and the future (the artist)

The Remix Project is:

  • A priority project of the Mayor’s Community Safety Panel
  • A United Nations Habitat Programme award winner for Excellence in Community Safety and Crime Prevention
  • A founding member of the Grassroots Youth Collaborative
  • A mentor to several young, growing, important community organizations and youth-led social projects
  • A cultural and life skills incubator working with some of the city’s most undeserved and vulnerable youth
  • A documented and proven success (Click Me)

TV and Newspaper Articles

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

The Remix Project

Toronto is so multicultural that it pulls its  inspiration from all over the world. Diversity can be Toronto’s greatest strengthen and strongest adversary. Many of our elders have instilled a pride for our countries of origins, unfortunately at times that includes prejudices that they have endured and grown up to teach us. It is organizations like The Remix Project that has turned to these “at risk youths” to erase the judgments that may follow. Something as simple as a postal code can dictate the life our society says you have to live. So a festival embracing differences as well as commonalities I feel is much needed to help change opinions of characterizations many of these graduates have.

With this festival Understand where were going, by embracing where we’ve been” is a statement that will literally power the festival for its three day incarnation. As the days pass each event will flow into the following day. The music of day one, will be the ambiance of day two’s art, which will be available for purchase at the market on day three. So quite literal the events of the past are being embraced in the near future.

As each day progresses it builds on top of the last creating a microcosm of passion. I say passion because for some graduates this is their only shot to get out their thoughts, feelings and talents in an environment that able them to do so, and with a festival celebrating those talents, passion is a word that only scratches the surface.

Music, art and business are things we can all share without fear of colour, creed or religion and this three day festival will embrace that. But more than that this is a great opportunity for those graduates to build on what has already been a great semester. This festival WILL be run, produced, and designed by the graduates as their final projects.

The Remix Project Staff

remix application form

The Rework Festival

Location 1 (dundas square)

Remix Friday (Rework The Concert)

Recording Arts Graduates In:

For these graduates their involvement is one of a soundtrack to the festival, as every festival has at least one commonality, music. One could argue that these specific graduates have the most important job, because the theme of Understand where were going, by embracing where we’ve been” can be portrayed effectively through music. An art form that has constantly seen a change, a movement, a campaign to evolve from where it first originated.

As these students have spent half the year cultivating their own sound, now have a body of work ready to be showcased. Their individual graduation project is to in essence pay homage to those that have inspired them to create their music.

This may also be the hardest to organize because of the scale of how many previous artist may have influenced one graduate. But one can imagine art music, popular music, traditional music & regional music will all have had an influence on each graduate.

One has to very careful of the works of art, music and likeness used as royalties and established artists may not appreciate the use of their work.

In addition to showcasing their personal portfolios graduates of each department will:

  • Recording Artists (create a performance of original and remixed work)
  • Recording Engineering (A body of music not only for the artist but for the entire event)
  • Mixing Engineering (produce music that can be sold, and create CDs mp3’s)
  • Music Production (oversee all acts and music performances that will go on over the festival)

Current students in The Remix Project semester will be used as working staff for the festival, as well as working staff to help facilitate the graduates vision.

Recording Artist Graduates of the Remix Project

Yonge-Dundas Square – Here is where the Recording Arts graduates will showcase their Remix\Rework project.

As part of its ‘revitalization’ project an entire block was demolished of commercial buildings to make space for the public in 2002. This square has been used for music concerts, film screenings and other public events.

Location

Borders on the north by Dundas Street, on the east by Victoria Street and Yonge Street on the west. A former street, named Dundas Square and previously Wilton Street forms the southern boundary.

Facts on Yonge Dundas Square

  • 1998 Yonge Street Regeneration Project of residents, The McGill Granby Association, Downtown Yonge Business and Resident Association and the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, an association of local businesses.
  • Designed by Brown & Storey Architects
  • Yonge-Dundas Square is operated as a commercial venture, with a separate Board of Management.
  • The intersection is claimed by some to be the busiest intersection in Canada, with over 56 million people each year passing through this intersection.
  • It is sometimes nicknamed as Toronto’s Times Square, as development is cited as modelling New York’s Times Square, Tokyo’s Shibuya district and London’s Piccadilly Circus. With its canyon of billboards and animated advertising screens.
  • The square is actually on a slight incline, to evoke a theatrical stage.
  • The surface of Yonge-Dundas Square is not level, because it is sloped upward as the surface goes away from Yonge Street.
  • The centrepiece of the square is the array of fountains designed by Dan Euser of water architecture.
  • In 1999 Canadian Architect magazine, Award of Excellence for significant building in the design stage: recognized as an outstanding example of contemporary architecture.

Quote

“Peak performers see the ability to manage change as a necessity in fulfilling their missions”Charles Garfield quotes


Community

For these graduates their sounds will be emerged in the community, with Dundas being one of Toronto’s most visited areas will be largely heard. Being what was described as a mini Times Square, Dundas Square has its share of ‘distractions’ that can be utilized for these graduates.

For the community this is a great way to kick off a three day event,  in the heart of Toronto’s most busiest intersections. This is also a chance to see how cohesively these performers are on stage in front and with the community. Street performers, video screens, fountains all are established fixtures in this populace.






Location 2 (Royal Ontario Museum)

Remix Saturday (Rework The Exhibition)

Creative Arts Graduates In:

For these graduates their involvement takes place well before the weeks before the festivals as they are the ones designing, and creating the theme of the festival, flyers, posters and electronic art all must have a specific feel to the each event.

Visuals often set the tone for festivals, these are the first images you see even before the event begins. So it is up to these graduates to put the right statement out in the community first. Setting the tone of what the public can expect will determine the participation from the audience, so this role is vital.

So much so that the visual must say a lot about The Remix Project:

  1. That it is successful in its mission of turning “at risks” to community members,
  2. That the work delivered is professional and original,
  3. That this is a festival a program worth investing time, money and patients in and
  4. That the results are proven, that these graduates are the future we need.

All while striving to hold the festivals message in tact: Understand where were going, by embracing where we’ve been” through visuals.

In addition to showcasing their personal portfolios graduates of each department will:

  • Graphic Design (Overall theme and design scheme of the Rework Festival)
  • Illustration (Design the posters, flyers, banners and business cards)
  • Digital Photography (Photograph all performers, staff and venues, before and during the festival)
  • Web Design (Create all the social networking sites, updates and website for the festival)
  • Video (Interview all behind the scenes, performances, staff and festival highlights)

Current students in The Remix Project semester will be used as working staff for the festival, as well as working staff to help facilitate the graduates vision.

Creative Graduates of the Remix Project

Royal Ontario Museum -Here is where the Creative Arts graduates will showcase their Remix\Rework project.

Canada’s largest museum of world culture and natural history with 40 galleries with more than six million items it is the fifth largest museum in North America. With art from Africa, Asia, Europe and Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) helps solidify Toronto’s multiculturalism.


Location

The museum is located at the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road, north of Queen’s Park and on the east side of Philosopher’s Walk in the University of Toronto.

Facts on Royal Ontario Museum

  • Opened at 3 p.m. on March 14, 1914, by the Governor General of Canada the museum’s original building was designed by Toronto architects Frank Darling and John A. Pearson
  • When the museum’s site was first chosen, it was still at the edge of Toronto’s built-up area and far from the city’s business district.
  • The location was selected mainly for its proximity to the University of Toronto.
  • Originally, there were five major galleries at the ROM, one each for the fields of archaeology, geology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology.
  • There are now two main categories of galleries present in the ROM: the Natural History Galleries and the World Culture Galleries.
  • The first expansion saw the construction of the wing fronting onto Queen’s Park. Opened on October 12, 1933, it included the museum’s elaborate art deco
  • The original building and the 1933 expansion have been listed as heritage buildings of Toronto since 1973.
  • In September, it received an Award of Excellence by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario.

Quote

“We are similar to a museum. My function is to present old masterpieces in modern frames.” Rudolf Bing


Community

For art lovers this is a chance to see where the art form is heading, when properly motivated. This is even a chance to purchase art from graduates before they reach a masters level.

For graduates they can understand what it is to host and manage an art exhibit a taste of what it could be like to follow in these steps. Using the ROM’s exhibits as background artists can use there creativity to display how they’ve been influenced.

For those in the community that have never experienced either or seen anything in the Royal Ontario Museum this allows a chance to see another cultured side of Toronto.




Location 3 (Kensington market)

Remix Sunday (Rework The Market)

Business Arts Graduates In:

For these grades their involvement takes place well before the days of the festivals months of planning, they are the ones designing, producing and promoting the festival. Their roles will be that of the organizers of the event. Learning how to create the business was only the beginning, now with the skills to operate and manage these students will be the essential pillars of the Remix\Rework Festival.

Sponsorship falls heavy into these graduates’ role, looking for funding and clearing all the red tape in order to go from a backyard party to a full scale city wide event. Taking on a corporate sponsor may elevate the majority of costs for a festival and offer audiences branded giveaways. The problem though with taking an independent festival and turning it corporate is there is a strong chance of losing the message. “Understand where were going, by embracing where we’ve been” could turn into understand where your going, by buying this product, and then the whole festival loses its point. So the management has to pay close attention on which sponsor (if any) fits best.

Talking to different levels of government is necessary for any festival involving public areas and this one is no different. Permits and licenses for locations, selling food, liquor and merchandise, operating businesses, musicians and performances, photographers, and videos.

These graduates will have to take on the bulk of the the planning and organization without the bulk of the praise. This may be the hardest fact to take but its true, being behind the scenes is a selfless job but one that cannot be ignored or avoided. This could be the biggest skill harnessed or hardest lesson learned .When it comes to scheduling and organizing its those who take the extra steps to plan a precise time line will see there hard work pay off. Of course given the nature of a festival anything can and will happen, so the business graduates have to be flexible as well as firm. Its a job that requires you to contradict as well as be concrete.

In addition to showcasing their personal portfolios graduates of each department will:

  • Entrepreneurship -Will create the budges,permits and funding, as well as create a network of industry professions to invite.
  • Management -Will create the schedules, staff and organization.
  • Event Promotions -Will create the exhibits, advertising and networks.
  • Publicity/Public Relations -Will create the local, regional and national press, press conference and media relations.
  • Preparing for the entertainment and cultural industries -Oversee the festival on each day

Current students in The Remix Project semester will be used as working staff for the festival, as well as working staff to help facilitate the graduates vision.

Business Graduates of the Remix Project

Kensington Market – Here is where the Business Arts graduates will showcase their Remix\Rework project.

One of Toronto’s most multicultural and distinctive neighbourhood downtown. The well known market has become a National Historic Site in 2006, containing eclectic shops, cafes, and other attractions, it is a place that is best traveled on foot.

Location

Borders College Street (North), Spadina Avenue(East), Dundas Street West (South) and Bellevue Avenue (West)

Facts on Kensington Market

  • In the 1920s, it was known as the Jewish Market.
  • What is known as the most distinctive multicultural neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. Shops packed with goods from Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, South America and Asia.
  • Eclectic shops selling variety of meats, fish and produce.
  • Bakeries, spice and dry goods, cheese shops.
  • Wide variety of new and used clothing and discount and surplus stores.
  • Became a National Historic Site in November 2006
  • Best way to travel the market is on foot or bicycle, harder to navigate by care with the narrow roads and one way streets.
  • In recent years, the neighbourhood has seen a small explosion of upscale cafés, restaurants and clubs, replacing many of the older ethnic businesses.

Quote

“Kensington today is as much a legend as a district. The (partly) outdoor market has probably been photographed more often than any other site in Toronto.” Robert Fulford


Community

This location poses the greatest community involvement as both Remix patrons and local business can operate hand and hand. For the Remix graduates this is a perfect opportunity to see the level of business they may wish to enter. Kensington has a large variety of shops ranging from family run to franchised, from food to clothes, from vintage to futuristic. Graduates can see and understand what it takes to be successful in this environment, while still staying true to the culture and their originality.

For the marketers this allows a chance for a larger group of patrons to shop increasing the awareness of what is referred to as some of the best kept markets in Toronto. With the amount of people a festival draws in vendors can expect a large group of shoppers interested in their merchandise.

This connection of old and new, graduates and skilled businesses solidifies the theme of the festival “Understand where were going, by embracing where we’ve been.” With so many business’ local and regional, this community can easily and should just as easily become a working network for all business students. This is the time that they can enjoy their hard work and watch it pay off with a little “schmoozing” .

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