Aboriginal Program


“In places like Wikwemikong where 1 in 4 youth are living below the poverty line, there are very few job opportunities. The Music Business course is a way for kids to take their musical interests and talents and create self-employment, which in turn leads to breaking the cycle of poverty in our communities.”
– Jason Thibault, Head of Business, ‘The Music Business’ teacher, Wasse Abin High School

“The Music Business” in First Nations’ High Schools

TEMPO works with Wasse Abin High School (Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island,) and Nbisiing Secondary School (Nipissing First Nation, North Bay,) to deliver ‘The Music Business’ course to Aboriginal students. The course is primarily delivered from the hosting high school, but features multiple visits from music industry professionals, successful artists and artist entrepreneurs, songwriters, and TEMPO instructors.

Aboriginal students also benefit from a trip to Toronto where they are hosted at the TEMPO facility. They have an opportunity to explore a functioning music business workplace, record their original songs in a professional studio, and work with industry experts on musical performance, workplace professionalism and songwriting.

The delivery of ‘The Music Business’ for Aboriginal students also features an added element: Students organize a community concert/day festival experience called Rezfest. The event is:

– Organized by students with help from instructors and industry professionals.
– A practical opportunity for students to apply the knowledge they have learned throughout the course in areas such as marketing, performance, branding, songwriting, production etc.
– An occasion for students to showcase what they have learned to their peers and members of the community.

In 2014, the Wasse Abin, Wikwemikong Rezfest sold out the local arena, drawing an audience of more than 400 community members.

For more information on offering “The Music Business” at your First Nations’ school, please contact vel.omazic@tempoeducates.com.

Success Stories

Taking this music program, it really helped me open up my creative side and it helped me be more confident in myself in performing and in general so I’m not so shy anymore. It helped me a lot.

Moirah Shawana, Student, Wasse Abin High School

Any time students are involved with special events and projects like RezFest, they’re going to be taking away essential skills that can be transferred into any kind of work environment as well as their daily lives.

Duke Peltier, Chief, Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve