March Break & Summer Camp registration – online!

March Break online registration begins: December 10 2018 9:00am 
(Program information is posted now.)

Summer Camp online registration begins: February 1 2019 9:00am
(Program information will be posted January 15 2019)

Starting this year, registration for March Break and Summer Camps will be online using the Amilia system.  We have been using Amilia for our aquatic programs since the Summer 2018 session and have been quite happy with it. Our members have mentioned that they like the ease of use of the platform. In order to get set for registration, you will need to set up an account on the Amilia system and add your child(ren) as participants in your account. (Note: If you have already set up your Amilia account for aquatic registration, you do not need to set up an additional account!  It is the same system!) Setting up the account before registration day will allow you to become familiar with the system, give you time to contact us with questions, and register for programs quickly on registration day.  

Need help? 

You may also come into the Club (arrange a time with us) to use our computer lab to set up your account if you would like in-person assistance.  If you would like to use our computer lab on the first day of registration, please let us know so that we can arrange to have a staff available to help you.

Complete instructions for setting up a new account in the Amilia system.

I am having trouble setting up my account.

Please call the Club for assistance with setting up your account.   We are happy to help – although will likely be unable to do so on the first day of  registration as our phone lines are typically quite busy on that day.   

Can I register by phone, email or in person?

Not at first. In order to fill programs in the order that we receive registrations, we need all participants to register using the online system.

For summer camp programs: We will begin accepting in-person registrations two weeks after registration opens.  However, keep in mind that this gives other participants a full two weeks to register for a camp that you might want.

Go to online registration. 
 

The people of St. Alban’s: Meet Uniqueka!

Uniqueka Wilson is an integral part of St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club’s  recording studio program. Uniqueka has worked for St. Alban’s for 5 years in the role of sound engineer. She has a passion for music and for the industry and believes that her passion for music came from her grandfather. Her grandfather was a music teacher in the Bronx, New York and was an accomplished trombone player, playing with famous people like Bob Marley. Over the years, Uniqueka has learned more about this amazing man and has come to realize that her passion for music comes naturally.

How did you first get involved in sound engineering?

I first became involved in the field when I found myself in-between careers and my brother invited me to join him in a recording session. I enjoyed it so much and found a studio in New York City that was offering a six month program for sound engineers. I enrolled in the program and lived with my aunt in New Jersey while I attended the program. I then returned to Toronto and enrolled in the Remix Project.

What do you enjoy most about this field and your role as an engineer? What do you find most challenging?

I enjoy being a part of the moment, when the artist is recording in the booth  in a vulnerable state, and helping them get the sound out right with perfect tone, pitch and expression.

The thing I find most challenging is when you’re working on a mix and getting each sound in its right space.

What do you find rewarding about this field?

I enjoy when I can deliver what the artist desires and they say, ‘you understood and delivered what I was trying to relay in my music.”

Do you ever write and record your own music – how does this make you feel?

Recently I started writing my own music and it feels really good. This helps me understand the artists I work with, even more. 

Have you gotten any recognition or awards for your work?

NOT YET!!!  

(Editor’s note: Although we don’t have a specific award to give her, we recognize the amazing contribution Uniqueka makes to our Club and the young artists she works with! Her work with musicians yields brilliant results but more importantly, she empowers youth to feel confident and connected to their community. If there was an award for awesomeness, she would definitely deserve it.)

What has been your coolest accomplishment in this field and in life?

In the field, that fact that I’m in this amazing field and I can still do what I love. I had no idea where this would lead me.

In life, my most valuable accomplishment is my faith in Christ and the fact that he has given me the opportunity to be a part of St. Alban’s and the sound studio where I have had the opportunity to develop and expand the studio. Being here at St. Alban’s has given me the chance and freedom to grow as a person and an engineer.

Board Meeting Notification

Boys and Girls Clubs logo

All current Club members are invited to attend our next Board of Directors meeting to address a slight change to our bylaws that impacts our eligibility for funding from the City of Toronto.

Meeting Date: November 7 2018  at 7pm
Location: Administrative office –  1278 St. Clair Avenue West Unit 5, M6B 1E9

The people of St. Alban’s: Meet Marta!

Meet Marta, a Raise the Grade mentor volunteer! Marta has been a mentor for the Raise the Grade program for almost two years. She started out as an amazing placement student working with our youth in programs such as Raise the Grade, Youth Compass, Sole Sisters and is overall a great spirit in our community!

When did you join Raise the Grade and what made you choose to be a volunteer mentor?
I joined officially in January 2018 and had the pleasure of doing my placement at St. Alban’s prior and got to see how the program worked. I like the idea that it is a one-on-one mentorship experience with the youth. You are able to witness their growth and accomplishments throughout the year and it is a nice feeling know that you were able to mentor them during it all.

What is your favourite thing about the Raise the Grade program?
Being able to see the growth of the youth by the end of the school year and how happy they are with their accomplishments!

How do you like to relax especially when dealing with stress?
Throwing on a pair of running shoes, putting on a great 90’s playlist and taking a run around the city!

Sweet or Savoury? Favourite Snack?
100% Savoury! Chips are my weakness!

Dream travel destination?
Definitely Thailand. I love having the opportunity to experience different cultures and the country looks beautiful. I also LOVE Thai cuisine.

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
Never give up on what makes you happy. With hard work and determination, you can achieve anything…even if it takes a couple of tries and failures to get there!


The people of St. Alban’s: Meet Alessia!

Get to know one of our STARS After School program staff members, Alessia Lalli.

How long have you been at St. Alban’s? 
I’ve been at St. Alban’s for 3 years! I started off as a placement student for my third year of university where I participated in the STARS Program and the youth program Sistahood. Once I completed my placement, I was hired to work at the satellite site, Regal Road. Since then, I have moved back to the main site where I have worked with Group 5/6 and Group 3 as well as worked summer camp 2016 and 2018.

What age group do you currently work with?
Grade 4! (9-10 year olds)

What is your favorite thing about working with St. Albans?
My favourite thing about working with St. Alban’s is the family atmosphere. Working with the same staff and kids every day makes it very easy for you all to get to know each other and bond quickly. Plus, the kids are super fun, energetic, and unpredictable and the staff are super friendly and always there for you.

Do you have any secret talents?
I can binge watch a TV series embarrassingly fast.

If you had a super power, what would it be and why?
Teleportation! You no longer have to worry about traffic or commuting.

If you could spend one day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?
If I could spend one day in someone else’s shoes, it would be Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day because I have always wanted to be in a band and tour.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
Caring, spontaneous, optimistic

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher because I enjoyed helping my younger brother and sister with their homework (and yet, I never wanted to do my own).

Are you an Early Bird or Late Owl?
I’m 100% a late owl

The people of St. Alban’s: Meet Annika

Annika Forman recently won second place in our Song Writing Competition.  She performed her winning track, “Brave New World“, at St. Alban’s Street Jam 2.0. 

How did you find out about the Inc Sound Studio program and St. Alban’s? What were your impressions when you first got here?
I went to St. Alban’s many times throughout my childhood. I went to daycare, summer camp, swimming, skateboarding amongst other things and have always loved the community that St. Alban’s fosters.
I found out about the Inc Sound Studio program because Jo’el Douglas guest lectured in my Equity Studies course at University of Toronto where he talked about the history of hip-hop and rap music. After the lecture I went up to him, thanked him, and said I write rap music and sent him a link of my track, “Brave New World“. Once he had had a listen he told me more about the program and that’s how I came to know of it. My impression of Inc Sound Studio program was a really positive one. I really liked the artists in the program, the staff, and the space itself.

What sparked your interest in music? How did you get started writing your own material?
My interest in music started from a very young age. I was always singing growing up in my house. My mom is a great singer and would always sing lullabies to me and my brother. Growing up there was always a lot of music in the house. As well, being Jewish, we would sing on Shabbat every Friday night and at synagogue as music is a big part of the culture. When I was about six I started taking Suzuki violin lessons and did that until I was twelve. From there I slowly became less interested in the violin and picked up the guitar – which I continue to play to this day. I started writing my own material when I was about 16. My guitar teacher at the time told me about a woman named Robyn Dell’Unto who had this company called “A Song of my Own” that helped artists write and record original songs. I got into contact with her and we wrote a song together. She then applied for a FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Recordings) grant on my behalf and upon receiving it I was able to pay for a producer to help me record my first single “Brave New World“.

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the world around me. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true. I am very politically and socially aware and try to be involved in social justice initiatives as much as I can. I also want to make sure that my music is authentic and that I’m actually saying what I feel and am not trying to fit into a mold of party anthems and all the other music one often hears on the radio. “Brave New World” came about from deciding to write a song about something I cared about and had meaning to me. The inspiration for the song was to use a predominantly male musical platform – rap music – and all the historically derogatory ways in which it puts down women through its lyric and I was going to flip it on its head. I was going to use that same kind of medium but use it as a female empowerment song as oppose to how it has often historically degraded women.

What would you tell a young child who is interested in making their own music? What advice would you give them?
I would tell them they should go for it! I’m trying to think of the things that held me back as a kid. One of the things was the feeling that music will not get me anywhere – which I still feel! – but I try to ignore that feeling as much as possible and follow my passion. I also found and find that it’s hard for me to find inspiration. What I would say is the times where you struggle in your life is often the most inspiring times and you can use those times as fuel to write a good song. So the times when you feel like you’re at your lowest is actually the best place to be in to write a song and be inspired. So what I would tell a young person is – find that inspiration and then don’t be afraid to put out stuff that’s not already out there! Something I’m trying to remember to do myself is not to put out stuff just because it’s going to make you look good or it’s going to make you sound good. Put out stuff that’s authentic and real and that you would be okay with your children or future children hearing, something that you would be proud of and stand behind and something you feel strongly about. Don’t just put it out because it makes you sound cool or you think people will like it, put it out because there is truth in what you’re saying and you feel like people should hear it.

Besides music, what are your interests and what do you like to do in your spare time?
Besides music, I’m a huge sports fan. I play soccer and have been playing soccer since I was in elementary school. I love just being physically active in any way that I can. I’m also in school full-time studying sociology – which takes up a lot of my time but outside of school and sports I like to listen to music and hang out with friends.

The People of St. Alban’s: Meet Alana

Meet Alana, a youth arts member at our main clubhouse. Alana joined our club about two years ago and is an active participant in our Inc Sound Studio program.

What is the best part of being a member here at St. Alban’s?

I love that there’s a well structured team behind all the programming. I appreciate the fact that there’s always someone with an answer. St. Alban’s has a great way of providing a safe space to create and at the same time providing platforms to present your creativity.

How long have you been singing and recording your music?

I’ve literally been singing all my life, but as for recording, I started at the age of 14.

Tell us a bit about yourself (including other hobbies/interests outside of music)…

I’m outdoorsy, I enjoy seclusion just as much as good company, and I like to colour.

What inspires your music?

I get inspired when I can imagine a situation and can’t reference a song that is already out there. I enjoy creating what I’m longing to hear right then in that moment.

How has St. Alban’s helped you in achieving your musical goals?

I’d say the greatest help has been the consistency. Outside of St. Alban’s I’ve had to depend on the availability of others, but here there’s a schedule and that kind of consistency has definitely supported my flow of creativity.

What are your hopes and goals for the future?

God-willing I’ll not only successfully reach my generation with my music, but my life itself will be impactful. I want to be eye-opening to previous generations, to lead my generation, and to inspire the next generation. Not just through music alone but in various industries and aspects of life.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I just released my first song “Contemplations” which was recorded at St. Alban’s.

Listen to Alana’s song, “Contemplations”, here. 

Power of the Purse – Thank you!

Thank you so much to everyone who supported our Power of the Purse fundraiser which took place at 99 Sudbury on Tuesday May 15th. The event featured a (not so) silent auction including designer handbags, clothing, sports memorabilia and gift certificates.  The gourmet catering was delicious and everyone enjoyed some refreshments, learning about the arts programs at St. Alban’s and the (mostly) friendly competition at the auction table.

Highlights from the evening included hearing from speakers Serena Nudel, former St. Alban’s Arts Coordinator, and Kayla Wallace, who will be designing the new arts and crafts room. We also enjoyed watching the live painting by artist Tanisha Clarke.

Including the Power of the Purse event, we have raised $13,600 so far!  We have just over $35,000 to go to meet our goal for renovating our arts and crafts room into a space that is accessible for all age groups and provides a space for creativity and imagination.  Interested in helping us reach our goal? Donate online today! 

Special thanks to our many sponsors:

Loblaws
Fiesta Farms
Faema
Alex and Jennifer Beauregard
HKO Design
TD Bank- Bathurst and Bloor
Insomnia
Tridel
Nike
Bateman’s Bikes
Snapdragon Designs– Pam Willcocks
Gap- Old Navy- and Banana Republic
Maria Almedia
Lindt Chocolates
Satisfaction Spa
Phipps Bakery
Happy Bakery
Uniqueka Wilson
Mayday Malone’s
Denise Lewis
Kat Bonnell
Donna Taniguchi
Natalia LaFortune
Bees Are Life