Thunderclaw – award winning recording artist

Thunderclaw, winner of last year’s song writing competition at St. Alban’s.

“The St. Albans INC Studio has allowed me the space to focus on developing my craft and sound along with mastery of handling studio time management and efficiency, enabling me to finish projects much faster than when I started.

My advice to new participants coming to the Studio is that the studio is brimming with and surrounded by resources and connections that are very valuable. And very experienced engineers that have a lot of advice; be sure to make use of these assets as they are all there to help you move forward as an artist, expand your skill sets and become more experienced in whatever ventures you take on.”

~Thunderclaw

Meet two of our INC Studio Engineers:

JO’EL:

Jo’el has been with the INC Sound Studio for 4 years. He started his musical journey from a young age when his mother, a gospel singer recorded, produced, and pressed her own vinyl in Jamaica. Jo’el has worked with notable local and international artists including Shaggy, Kardinal Offishall, and Drake’s producer Shebib 40/40. 

Combining his love of music production and education, he has helped incorporate alternative features to the INC program including Beatmaking and “Bar Count” sessions for participants to expand into different facets of the music industry.

“Youth should have access to education and resources that can help shape their skill sets and create sustainable careers.”  ~Jo’el Douglas


GETCH:

Garjanah graduated from TREBAS Institute and began doing freelance work for Sheridan College animation students, and for underground Toronto artists. Garjanah believes that St. Alban’s INC Studio is a great place for youth to jump start their musical creativity. 

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel 

Teniyah Mills – lover of macaroni pie and dinosaur bones!

Teniyah Mills, 8, one of our best customers at the Jane and Finch Grandravine site’s lunch and after school programs.

“I love the food, it is so yummy!”

Teniyah’s favourite hot lunches are beef tacos, macaroni pie and chicken caesar wraps.  Her favourite afternoon snacks are chicken taquitos and grilled cheese sandwiches.

“I also love my friends. I made a lot of new friends at the Club, that are now my friends at school. I also love the staff.  Ms. Keanna cooks yummy foods and Ms. Micaela, Ms. Christina and Ms. Shaquela give me lots of hugs, teach me new words, crafts and all the new dance moves.”

Teniyah loves arts and crafts, she enjoys splat painting and drawing pictures of her Daddy in heaven as well as her family. Teniyah loves to dance and has great rhythm. She aspires to be apart of our Artistically Out Spoken (AOS) dance team when she is of age and perform at STOMP (a dance competition). Teniyah especially loves outdoor activities and looks forward to NIKE’s monthly visits with us.

I want to be a doctor when I grow up!
When Melanie and Jason visit us on Tuesday afternoons from the ROM, they taught us about bones. Then we went on a trip to the ROM and they showed us old bones and dinosaur bones. I knew then, that I wanted to be a doctor and fix bones. I wanted to fix dinosaur bones, but they don’t exist anymore, so I will heal and fix people and people bones.


Olivia and Ava enjoying the EarlyON drop in program!

Chona and her children Olivia (3) and Ava (16 months) playing in the EarlyON Family Resource program. 

Chona has been attending the EarlyON Family Resource program at St. Alban’s for three years, ever since the birth of her first child, Olivia.  Olivia and her younger sister, Ava, love the free play time, the ride on toys, and they especially love the Story & Song Circle (Tuesdays & Fridays).  They have met friends here that they see outside the program. 

Chona enjoys connecting with other moms, sharing information and discussing the joys and challenges of raising two kids who are so close together in age! 

The free EarlyON program runs Monday-Friday from 9:30am-12:30pm and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm.

March Break & Summer Camp registration – online!

March Break online registration: Open now.

Summer Camp online registration begins: February 1 2019 9:00am

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