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HomeArtsOshawa Music Week a launching pad for local musicians

Oshawa Music Week a launching pad for local musicians

For 24 years, Oshawa Music Week has served as a platform for emerging talent, transforming the local music scene into a vibrant showcase of diverse sounds and innovative talents, according to the event organizer​.

This year’s event was held from April 2 to 6, drawing a diverse lineup of musicians and music industry professionals to Durham College.

The event also serves as an experiential learning opportunity for students in the Music Business Management program.

A man wearing a black hoodie with blue writing and a lanyard stands in front of a door. Behind him, is the Chronicle newsroom.
Tony Sutherland at the Pit in Durham College's Oshawa campus. He is a professor and one of the organizers of Oshawa Music Week. Photo credit: Megan Foster

Tony Sutherland, a professor at Durham College who organized the event with his class of Music Business Management students, said for years, the event has helped “elevate artists and community members to higher levels.”

He cites Dizzy, an Oshawa band, as an example of the event’s success. He said the band gained significant recognition and toured globally, showcasing the potential of Oshawa Music Week.

As for students, Sutherland said the experience has helped many to break into the industry. He mentioned Thao Nghiem, an international student from Vietnam who worked on the event in 2018. He said Nghiem helped bring the event up a “number of notches”.

According to Sutherland, Nghiem took her experience and insights back to Vietnam.

“She created a template and decided that she was going to run Vietnam Music Week,” Sutherland said, noting this happened during COVID in 2020. The Vietnam Music Week is now in its fourth year.

“She’s now teaching people in Vietnam about the structure of the music industry based on what she came to Canada to learn,” Sutherland said.

Spike Universe, a performer at Oshawa Music Week and a second-year student in the Music Business Management program, said the event helped him to network and promote his music.

“Since I’ve been making music for a while, getting the right connection is what I’m looking [for] right now,” he said. During the event Spike also worked as one of the student organizers.

Barry Waite, the executive dean of the Media, Art, and Design faculty, said the Oshawa Music Week is one of the most important events organized by faculty. He said the event demonstrates the college’s leadership in the community and is one way the college continues to support the music industry in Oshawa and the Durham region.