Sitting down with Girls Rock Saskatoon!
We're so pumped to collaborate with Girls Rock Saskatoon via our Sweet Goodness program! Let's learn more about them!
Can you tell us about your organization? Your history and what your current mandate is?
Girls Rock Saskatoon is part of a global network of Girls Rock Camps that strive to create safer spaces where girls, women, trans, two-spirit, and gender expansive youth and adults can have opportunities for growth, learning, social justice education, and healthy relationships through role modeling, shared leadership, and alternatives to gendered socialization.
We do this based on the Girls Rock Camp model - youth learn an instrument, create a band, write a song, design a logo, and then perform in a camper showcase at the end of the week! We held our first youth camp in 2014 and were able to expand to include a long weekend version of our camp for adults in the form of All Grown Up. The pandemic affected us greatly, like so many people and organizations, and we are still recovering and striving to not just come back better than before but adapt and evolve!
Who do you typically support? How many folks come through your program annually?
We directly support trans and cis girls and women, two spirit, and gender expansive youth and adults through our camp programming, but we strive to support the wider community in Saskatoon and beyond. This year our programming is serving 35 youth in our August camp, but the numbers range from year to year.
There's a lot of need in our community and people might not understand why the arts are important too. Can you speak to that?
We know that music is a powerful tool for people to express themselves individually and collectively, to create community, and to explore, create, and have fun! We believe that the arts are the ideal vehicle to connect with one another and challenge the status quo, as they have done in so many ways throughout history.
Can you tell us about a success story (however you define success)?
Every time a youth shares joy and pride in what they have accomplished at camp we consider a great success. If we can provide a safe space for youth to explore who they are and how they feel, we are succeeding. Our goal is not to create professional musicians, though we have happily witnessed some youth and adults pursue this path, it is to foster community and empower individuals through collective action.
What are your goals for 2023?
Currently our goal for 2023 is having the best youth camp possible this August, providing a safe, enriching, fun experience for all those involved - for the youth, our volunteers, and their wider communities.
How can folks support you? Financial donations, volunteering, or in some other way?
We are a completely volunteer run organization, and our capacity to provide programming is solely dependent on the time and energy of volunteers and the donations of our community. We will be holding our board AGM and creating new committees this fall and would love to increase our people power! We also accept direct donations year round, and love to work with local businesses and organizations in all sorts of collaborative ways!
2024 will be Girls Rock Saskatoon's 10 year anniversary and we are aiming for a big year - we want to return to two weeks of youth camp, bring back our All Grown Up camp for grown ups, and hopefully some fun events! We have ambitious plans and would love folks to follow us on social media, check out our website, and don't be shy to reach out if they are interested in getting involved and supporting this vision!