Want to work behind the scenes in the live music industry? Lake Cowichan will soon see a new program dedicated to training people to fill these jobs.
Thanks to a grant from Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia, this new educational program will be offered by Wideglide Entertainment Ltd., the Cowichan Valley company behind the Sunfest, Laketown Shakedown and Laketown Rock music festivals. .
“This new program will help fill a major gap in the industry by increasing the number of trained production and operations personnel available,” says Deb Beaton-Smith, Acting Executive Director of the BC Music Festival Collective. “Access to qualified personnel within the live music industry was already a significant challenge in our sector, and the exodus from the industry precipitated by the pandemic has only made the situation worse.”
Wideglide’s new program aims to fill that gap by fostering an influx of trained event workers into an industry that has been heavily damaged by the pandemic.
This new initiative has been designed by industry experts to provide comprehensive hands-on training in all aspects of event operations and productions to those interested in a career in the live music business, a press release reads. on the program.
“Many of the trained professionals relied on by music festivals like Sunfest and Laketown Shakedown are gig workers who left the industry for good during the pandemic due to a persistent lack of employment opportunities,” says Mike Hann, festival director, Sunfest, Laketown Shakedown and Laketown. Rock music festivals. “It has created a vacuum of available manpower which is negatively impacting live music organizers as they attempt to rebuild from the devastation of the past two years. This project will inject essential human capital into the field at a critical time in reconstruction.
Hann adds that “because major festivals like Sunfest and Laketown Shakedown are tourism engines for communities like Lake Cowichan that depend on out-of-town spending, it is very important to successfully re-establish these destination events so that communities can recover”.
This new event operations and production training program will take place at the Laketown Ranch.
A pilot training course, made possible through a Creative BC Music Industry Initiatives grant, will take place April 25-30. A maximum of 18 learners will be accepted into the course free of charge in return for helping Wideglide test and improve this program before turning it into a recurring annual program.
Wideglide is currently accepting applications for the April 25-30 education session online at www.laketownranch.com/education-program.
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