With three institutions of higher learning in the city, Oshawa benefits from an annual influx of students alive with aspirations and the exuberance of hope. It is a yearly boost of dreamers, with practical outcomes such as Oshawa Music Week (OMW), which launches today.
Students of the Music Business Management Program at Durham College create OMW. Everyone wants to be a rockstar, but it takes a village, not just a song, to make that happen. The MBM program teaches the infrastructure behind the star; artist management, event execution, marketing, networking, revenue creation, tour booking, contract draft and negotiation, all the non-sexy but still exciting elements of the music industry. Because of the program, many working in the music industry are very familiar with Oshawa as they had to create, manage, market, and complete the annual Oshawa Music Week requirements.
At one point, the events took place on campus, but over the years, has evolved, working with venues in the music district of the Downtown and around the city.
This year, the program’s 23rd is no different. The events roll out across the week, culminating on Saturday with a Drag Brunch followed by an 'If I Were a Movie Dance Party' at the Biltmore Theatre and a Nu Music Summit in the Global Classroom at the College with artist manager Dan Hand, music supervisor Cody Partridge (who recently won four awards at the 2023 Canadian Sync Awards), and two-time OMA winner Delon Om.
Other events include a lip-syncing contest Tuesday at Fionn McCools, Genre Swap: Legends at the Oshawa and District Shrine Club, Wednesday; on Thursday, EDM Recharge at Durham College and Songs Revealed at the Shrine Club, and on Friday, an intimate acoustic night at Cork and Bean, a metal night at the General and a hip hop showcase at the Diesel Room, all located downtown.
How fortunate we are to have such a series created by students here in our city, supporting venues and doing the heavy lifting of sustaining and creating our music scene in some ways. And Durham College has been doing this for over two decades!
While many grads take these skills back to their hometown music scenes worldwide, many stay in the area. But as the Canadian industry is centred around Toronto, many grads end up there. However, with the option of remote work and a burgeoning music scene here in Oshawa, there is now an opportunity to woo these grads to set up their own businesses here and tap into this talent pool which finds its source right here right now as some rock star once sang.
Durham College could partner with Economic Development, the Spark Centre and landlords to take
over some empty buildings for much-needed rehearsal spaces and offices, and equipment storage to
have grads hired by the City’s Event Planning department to find funding for those who want to set
up festivals and other outdoor events, and to work with hotels to have an overnight artist accommodation and with housing developers to include artist housing.
Anyway, I digress, but these kids excite me, and I share their enthusiasm and thank them for choosing Oshawa. Their success is our success.
Also here in Shwarock City this week, on Friday, April 7, at the Wee Pub, we have Deuce, and at the Atria there is Hollywood Zoo, a tribute to the 80s. On Saturday, April 8, Something From Nothing - a tribute to the Foo Fighters.
Sue and Kevin play the matinee Friday at Simcoe Blues and Jazz. The Frank Z Band plays the Saturday matinee and Horsfall, with guests Sundown Social Club do the evening entertaining.