Tucked away in downtown Winnipeg, in the basement of the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, is a group of youth who are immersed in a creative environment. This environment is an alternative to what they are used to in their daily lives: gangs, drugs and an at-risk lifestyle.
The youth who participate in the Just TV program at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre have something to say. And the work they complete coming out of the program proves that.
SCENE spoke with Addison Sandy, who runs the Hip Hop Academy and Just TV and JR Just TV program at the centre. Addison helped the JR Just TV performers create the above music video.
Who is the JR Just TV program aimed at?
JR Just TV is aimed at inner city youth ages 9 - 15 who have an interest in learning, and being a part of, the process of making a song and video.
Did the kids write this song?
The youth brainstormed ideas of what their common interest were, and decided on writing a song about dancing. The youth had assistance from staff with writing the song, but the content of the song came from the youth.
Who are these boys?
These boys reside in the West Broadway area and have been attending the youth program at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre for some time. They are talented young individuals who have had an interest in the Just TV program since the beginning; We see them trying to sneak downstairs during program nights on a regular basis, wanting to become involved. JR Just TV was the perfect opportunity for these youth to show off their talent and have some fun.
How did they feel about making this song and video?
This group was involved with the production of the project from day one. They wanted to help any way they could, and were very excited to get the song started. These boys were very interactive and willing to do whatever was asked of them. I remember after the youth viewed their video for the first time, one said "Is this really happening?!" He was in complete awe.
Did other members of the Just TV program help make this video?
Yes. Two youth who have a lengthly involvement with Just TV have been hired to help facilitate the JR Just TV program. They were involved with the songwriting, music production and video editing for the entire project.