New program aims to bring more genre diversity to the local music scene

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A new program in Ottawa aims to put more musical instruments and equipment in the hands of aspiring musicians and diverse genres.

Local nonprofit Girls + Rock Ottawa, which aims to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the music community, says access to instruments and equipment can be a major barrier to music. diversity in the music industry.

The group’s new equipment loan program, launched on Friday, attempts to solve the problem by allowing people to test the waters with an instrument before committing to it.

“[Hopefully] more people will get involved in music … by getting more representation and diversity within the music community at large, ”said Tiffanie Tri, President of Girls + Rock Ottawa.

Ottawa morning5:16Girls + Rock Ottawa Equipment Loan Program

Tiffanie Tri explains how and why GRO strives to put musical instruments and materials in the hands of more girls, women and people of diverse genders. 5:16

A more inclusive music scene

Tri says the association has around 50 guitars, electric and acoustic, and more than 20 amps under the loan program, as well as 10 keyboards, 10 drum kits, mixers and audio recording equipment.

For a fee, aspiring musicians can rent up to three items for one month at a time. The program also allows for band membership, which can include up to four people and up to 12 articles per month.

Equipment can be loaned to the Shenkman Arts Center in Orleans and the Nepean Creative Arts Center.

Membership plans are cheaper than traditional equipment rentals in order to make music more accessible, according to Tri.

The Shenkman Arts Center in Orleans is one of two places where people can borrow musical instruments and equipment. (Provided by Tiffanie Tri)

Online course

In addition to the equipment loan program, the nonprofit also has an online music education platform that will launch in the coming weeks. It will include instrument tutorials for bass, guitar, drums, and keyboards.

“These tutorials were created with professional musicians who identify as gender diverse in Ottawa,” says Tri.

“You should be able to write a song at the end.”

The tutorials are intended for beginners and aim to provide them with the basic skills to get started.

Music for the pandemic

She says the pandemic has led many people to appreciate the benefits of music.

“I think everyone noticed that having some form of outlet for self-expression and creativity was so important during the lockdown.”

Thanks to people who emptied their homes during the pandemic, Tri says it has received a bonanza in donations from people seeking to repatriate unused instruments.

These donations from community members have allowed Girls + Rock Ottawa to exponentially grow their collection.


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