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Discover New Artists

Newsletter - February 2022

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Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall are best known for hosting some of the world's hottest concerts. Still, you may not know about our connection to the artist community beyond these live events through our Artist Development and Education & Outreach programs.

This month we highlight the incredible Toronto singer/songwriter, actor, and activist, Shakura S'Aida, who sat down with us recently to share her thoughts on the revitalized Massey Hall and the importance of the work that we do here together.

You've attended a couple of shows since the reopening. What did you love about seeing the revitalized Massey Hall?
I loved it. I love everything about it, and what I also love is going out to the outside foyer and seeing the history displays and the stained glass windows! I love seeing people looking up and looking at the ceiling. You know I am really glad that it was done, and I can’t wait to have more and more and more shows in there. I really can’t.

What does the Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall Artist Development program mean to you?
It means the world to me. Knowing that I am a part of something that (is) going to continue to support me has kept me grounded. It has kept me moving forward, has kept me motivated, has kept me inspired. And I wish everyone would know the support (Massey Hall offers to artists). I wish everyone would know what it feels like not to be afraid (as an artist) because that's how I felt after all this time. I finally feel unafraid. It means the world to me.

What type of projects or events have you and the Education & Outreach teams worked on together during this time?
One of the things that I'm most excited about, other than being on stage, is being a part of the Education & Outreach program. I love working with kids. I really do. I love giving them knowledge, but I also love the knowledge I get from them. The great thing that I have been able to do is (be a part of the Call & Response program, where I led) a protest song workshop. (The kids) write protest songs and talk about what they believe in. I help them cement that into a foundation that allows them to move forward as a good person and make good connections in communities.

If you know any students who would like to join The Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall, 10-week Call & Response online youth leadership workshop starting next month, the application for the new session has JUST been uploaded here.