Waterfront music hub keeps beat bumping for vulnerable youth

A new music hub for vulnerable youth keeps the beat bumping on the eastern Toronto waterfront.

The Remix Project moves into new space in Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts development in 2018

The Remix Project, a Toronto-based non-profit program that mentors vulnerable youth through music, photography and graphic design, is moving into a new home next year. (The Remix Project)

A new music hub for vulnerable youth keeps the beat bumping on the eastern Toronto waterfront. 

The city has committed $200,000 to help the Remix Project — a Toronto-based non-profit organization that mentors marginalized youth through music, photography and graphic design — expand its programming at a new location in 2018. 

"Support for The Remix Project is a vital element of our city's Music Strategy through the positive role it plays for youth who are interested in building their careers in creative industries," said Mayor John Tory in a news release. 

"With new facilities, Remix will be able to expand its programming and have an even greater impact, while acting as the catalyst for a new music hub in a vibrant part of our city."  

The Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts development, at Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis Street, serves as a "Creative Industries Hub" and is home to a laundry list of neighbours, such as the head offices of Artscape, Manifesto and teaching space for OCAD and George Brown College.

Developers released this photo depicting their 'City of the Arts' plans in East Bayfront. (Daniels Corporation)

The Remix Project will set up shop next year on the fifth floor of the east condo tower, which is built on the former home of the Guvernment, a beloved dance music nightclub and one of Toronto's two main performance venues that shut down in 2015.

Coun. Josh Colle, chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council, said the history of the site "aligns with the long-term goals" of the city's Music Strategy, that was adopted last February following a flurry of venue closures that were caused by soaring rental prices and zoning and safety bylaw violations. 

The Remix Project started 18 years ago

The Remix Project acts as a bridge between talented youth from under-served communities in Toronto and the creative industries they're trying to enter.

The initiative started 18 years ago and is the brainchild of co-founders Derek "Drex" Jancar — who has directed Drake's OVO Fest in the past and worked with recording artists like Majid Jordan — Gavin Sheppard and Kehinde Bah.

A group of the Remix Project participants from class 13.0. (The Remix Project/Instagram)

Last year, DVSN, a music production duo including Remix recording arts program leader Daniel Daley, was signed to OVO Sound. Students have also received music training from hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar and Canadian hip-hop artist Kardinal Offishall. 

The Remix Project is "grateful for the opportunity ... to join this incredible new community on the waterfront surrounded by like-minded organizations," said Jancar, noting the new space will help them extend their reach. 

"We look forward to the long-term growth and sustainability of Remix in the years to come."

The total cost for The Remix Project's new home and operational growth is estimated at $1.47 million.