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Music

Rock Camp for Girls Montreal 2011: Showcase this Saturday

Posted by Margot / July 27, 2011

20100727_RCFG_2011_2.jpgYou might think that you know of every up-and-coming/underground band in Montreal, but think again: there are six brand new bands making their debut this Saturday at the Ukranian Federation. What's more, some of these artists are as young as 10 years old. The best part? You're invited.

Rock Camp for Girls Montreal is a mid-summer week-long camp in which campers form bands, write their own songs, learn a bit about rock and roll, and put on a showcase concert at the end of the week. Some of the campers have never picked up their instrument before Monday morning, and most of them have never met each other. This year, 34 campers aged 10-16 make up the 6 latest and greatest groups to come out of the Montreal music scene.

In its third year, Rock Camp for Girls is headed by the coordinating team of Aidan Jeffery, Carina Foran, and Jenn Duffin. Their Montreal version of the camp is based on the models of successful projects like Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and the original Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Oregon. The week is entirely supported by a group of volunteers who act as instrument instructors, band coaches, workshop leaders, and technical support, all of whom help to show the kids how awesome it can be to make music. In fact, many of them are in bands themselves, representing such musical projects as Bent By Elephants, No Nature, Ledges, Blast, Slippery Rabbits, and Echo Beatty, among others.

Lunchtime provides the campers with a break from making their own music, but it showcases some of the fine talent coming out of female performers on Montreal's stages, including performances by members of Braids, Lederhosen Lucil, Fleetwood Sack, North, My Love, and former campers' performances, as well.

20100727_RCFG_2011_1.jpgLederhosen Lucil gets the campers moving at lunchtime

Volunteers from around town also come in to give workshops, such as an afternoon of exploring gender by the good folks at Project 10, or a body movin' workshop by a former Nyata Nyata member. Through their experience, campers come to learn about where they might fit into the music scene as they grow up. The camp creates "a space where girls discover and express their talents, and become leaders in creating their own kind of cultural production through music."

A childhood mecca, say you? An absolute paradise of experiential musical proportions? You're not far off -- when I went to see the showcase concert last July, I left the Ukrainian Federation with a wide smile on my face, one that didn't go away for days. It's what I had always hoped for as a kid; a place where I, as a girl, could go rock out and not be weighed down by a mostly-male-dominated space. It was seriously the best hour of music I had experienced in a long time (and I've seen some high quality shows in the past year.)

20100727_RCFG_2011_3.jpgIt's not on the grid, but both campers and volunteers are known to break into unscheduled dance parties

Of course, you can be a part of the magic, too, and earn yourself that mile-wide smile. Check out the Rock Camp for Girls Montreal final showcase, this Saturday, July 30, at the Ukrainian Federation. Not only will you go home with the conviction that the world isn't all that bad, but you'll have seen the next Emily Haines or Merrill Garbus in her first show.

Rock Camp for Girls Montreal
Showcase Concert
5pm, doors at 4:30
Ukrainian Federation
5213 Rue Hutchison
$10 suggested donation

Photos by Lainie Basman

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