Cultural Ambassador Program 2020
The Cultural Ambassador Program brings music to people of all ages who might not otherwise have access to live concerts. It also provides young artists with valuable performance experience, mentorship and summer employment. The program assists the Ambassadors in performing throughout their communities wherever they are needed – e.g. seniors homes, hospitals, interpretation centres, schools and libraries. In the process the they will improve their technical and social skills as well as provide a beneficial service to their community.
Online Performances in Care Homes
During the COVID-19 pandemic our Cultural Ambassadors will be providing remote interactive musical performances to people of all ages using video conferencing and social media platforms. During these presentations residents can listen to the music, sing along with the performers and request songs. While perhaps not as effective as in-person performances, online presentations can be a great way of keeping residents active and raising their spirits until the Ambassadors can perform for them in person.
The Cultural Ambassador Program brings music to a wide range of people that rarely have the opportunity to experience live music. Some may face difficulties in communicating and be cut off from the joy and pleasure of participating and sharing with others. Our approach is to mentor young musicians in performing in their communities wherever they are needed. Ideally, our Ambassadors will visit each venue on a regular basis, getting to know their audience and interact with them on a personal level. In this way the performances have a greater beneficial impact.
A Brief History of the Cultural Ambassador Program
The Cultural Ambassador Program started in 2017 when Soundbone hired its first Ambassador with funds from Canada Summer Jobs to perform music and conduct workshops along the Kittiwake Coast. The following year we involved another organization that hired and supervised an Ambassador in another part of the Province. In 2019 we partnered with Terra Nova National Park who provides space for a mentorship program, during which we worked with four young artists to develop their performance and social skills, enabling them to perform interactively with audiences of all ages. We also expanded the Program to include other parts of the Province with three different organizations participating.
Arts and community organizations involvement
Arts and community organizations that would like to be involved in the Cultural Ambassador Program can hire young people for summer employment through Canada Summer Jobs or find other sources of funding. They should be willing supervise the Ambassadors throughout their summer employment, helping them plan their schedule and ensuring their safety. Soundbone will help screen prospective candidates, offer them training and mentorship as well as help prepare them for performing in a variety of venues.
• are between 18-30 years old
• posses a valid drivers license and have access to a vehicle (this stipulation is waived during the COVID-19 pandemic)
• have had some experience performing music in public
• have access to a computer with audio/visual capability (e.g. built-in camera and microphone) or an additional separate webcam
• enjoy meeting people of all ages and the willingness and commitment to learning new songs, techniques and skills
• have studied an instrument or voice formally, or have had considerable experience performing music in public
• have the willingness to learn and perform a variety of music. While the basis of the mentorship program is the traditional and popular music of Newfoundland and Labrador, we encourage Ambassadors to perform any type of music appropriate to the setting.
The Cultural Ambassador Program creates opportunities for young musicians to offer their skills to others while gaining performing experience. It delivers free musical concerts tailored to a wide variety of venues and the performances are available to all ages. The Program also encourages young artists to develop their social skills along with their performing abilities – qualities such as generosity of spirit, organization and flexibility. We enhance these capabilities through our mentorship and training program, while preparing them to perform in a variety of situations and for diverse age groups.
For more information please contact:
Eric West, Artistic Director
or Claudia Karrasch, General Manager
Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation Inc.
Ladle Cove, NL, Canada
The Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional music, dance and storytelling arts of Newfoundland and Labrador.