Young musicians have an inspiring opportunity in Toronto.
Young Inspirations is a grassroots music competition founded and operated by Humber College journalism graduate Jessica Paiva and her team. The event lets musicians under 30 audition for a chance to perform in front of judges and win prizes.
“What we do is promote independent musicians strictly in the younger age range and we host yearly shows and give them a chance to perform in front of an audience and get a chance to win great prizes as well,” said Paiva.
Paiva is backed up by a hand-picked team to bring opportunity to the masses. This includes her long-time friend and fellow Humber College journalism graduate Olivia Roger.
Roger is the executive director and is responsible for finding sponsors and suitable venues.
“I am so surprised, especially within Toronto, how many companies, large and small, want to support our musicians, they want to advertise our event, they want to send people to come to our event and mostly they want to give us prizes that will help young musicians,” Roger said.
One sponsor this year is Studio K, which is located at Runnymede Rd. and Bloor St. The studio offers singing, piano and music theory lessons to people of all ages.
Katharine Toyne, owner of Studio K, will be one of the judges of this year’s competition.
“I was actually searching for opportunities for my students to perform and I came across the Facebook page for Young Inspirations and I thought ‘this looks like a great organization’ because I’ve found that there’s a real lack of possibilities for advancement for young students who are looking for a singing career in Toronto,” Toyne said.
Augusta Campoli, a 16-year-old country singer who is classically trained and performed at Carnegie Hall, won last year’s contest.
She is currently travelling between Toronto and Nashville to work on a six song EP due out in May.
“I met a lot of people through Young Inspirations that inspired me to keep going,” she said.
First place will win 10 hours of recording sessions at Noble Studios, second place gets an hour of engagement with Coalition Studios and third gets to make a music video with Current Sessions.
Young Inspirations is holding auditions May 9 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at 664 Landsdowne Ave. and the competition will be on July 18.