On Friday May 31st, 2019 Stages Canada will officially launch the Jamaica collaboration for the brand in beautiful Ocho Rios. Stages has been one of Canada’s premier artist development platforms since 2015. The team of Stages alongside sponsors VIBE 105FM and Fresh Start 4 Youth Services have been gearing up for this moment for years.
Over the years Stages has been a Launchpad and showcase model for over 200 upcoming artists, groups and bands who had the interest in learning how to better present and connect with audiences from the nuanced mentorship of established artists and musicians with whom the up and comers also get to share a stage. This has meant that with each installment of Stages there were moments of awe such as the awe-inspiring young talents from its sub-brand All Ages Stages and great talents to model such as Juno Winners; Exco Levi, Blessed, Kafinal, Elaine Lil’ Bit Shepherd, Kirk Diamond and more headlining the stage throughout the years. As the brand expanded Stages launched out to “the road” that is, literally taking the brand and artists on tour. After two successful Canadian tours, dubbed the TOM tours for their impact in the Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal markets, and numerous individual artists success stories later it is now time to expand on the global stage.
STAGES started with an authentic and dynamic reggae band and artists in fact the most active and instrumental artist mentors over the years came from the genre as well and it was very noticeable that wherever reggae goes other urban genres also gathered. As the platform expanded the Stages model was able to encapsulate numerous other genres but the team could not ignore the pull reggae had. So where better to launch this global platform that in the land of reggae! As Stages CEO Carrie Mullings best explains; “we were always getting requests from emerging artists in Jamaica to expand our platform there and as a team we knew that there would be more than reggae in store from an island which can produce a Bob Marley and a Grace Jones”. With great impetus and the knowledge of the dynamics in store Stages Canada is excited for this launch.
Partnering with Stages Canada is Fresh Start 4 Youth Services Inc. (FS4YS); an organization headed by Rodcliff Chung, which is a residential treatment program working with complex youth 12 years and older to help them build lasting relationships and supports toward reaching their full potential. FS4YS strongly advocates for approaches such as music therapy and the power of music in general to allow open expression and even spark a healing process. As Chung puts it “Stages Canada falls in line with our mission”.
The softly spoken rumor is that Jamaica is very ready for a platform like STAGES which can make the obvious connections for local artists with an international brand in a foreign market as well as assist artists in honing their skills for the next level outcome in their careers. Join us in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at the event to be hosted by Owen “Blakka” Ellis and Queen Jojo at the awesome venue which allows us to combine the sounds of instruments with the sounds of the sea- Margaritaville. This launch will bring all the elements of STAGES to the forefront and allow attendees to get the full sense of what will be in store when the brand meets Jamaica and its talents.