A Fredericton initiative is hoping to curb gender disparity in the music scene by inviting young women to join in New Brunswick’s first ever Girls Rock Camp.
Coordinated by the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, the camp is being held August 21st to 25th for girls ages 11-18 at The Ville in Fredericton. Campers will be mentored entirely by women who are local musicians and music industry professionals and who, together, will offer campers a broad introduction to the world of music.
Camp director Eva George stands by the importance of giving girls their own space for expression. “In my own personal experience the space changes when it’s girls only. They express themselves more freely when the space belongs to them,” she says.
“Also, when you look around at the music industry those spaces are dominated by men usually […]. It is no secret that boys and men already have their spaces. This camp is an opportunity to show the next generation that there are some pretty kick-butt women shaping and influencing the music scene.”
Girls Rock Camp will provide a space for its campers intended to help them feel included and like they matter as individuals. Helping them build self-esteem and find their personal voices is of high importance in the camp. This space is also a judgement-free zone and a place to promote self-expression.
Some core values of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance include creating personal and social change, expanding opportunities for girls and women, fighting sexism, and celebrating diversity. The camp also aims to foster integrity, honesty, respect, sharing, cooperation, and collaboration.
Gender aside, giving adolescents an outlet for personal expression is very important to the camp organizers. “It is so important for young people to connect to something that helps them express themselves. It’s hard to navigate all the changes young people experience growing up, so finding whatever means of creative expression works for them, whether it’s music or art or theatre, is key,” Eva adds.
In 2007, the first camp of what is now the Girls Rock Camp Alliance was held in Portland, Oregon. Since then, camps under this initiative are being held all over the world, including places like Sweden and the UK.
All campers will receive instrument instruction, form a band, write an original song, and play a show. The girls will be able to showcase their talent in a performance at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre and the end of the week.
Though you can’t put a price on the value of music, the cost for the camp is $100 and covers the cost of snacks, the use of equipment, rental fees and one ticket to the showcase. And the best part is, no previous musical experience is required!
Signing up for the Girls Rock Camp can be done here.