Montreal non-profit Sincop8ed Noize Foundation keeping musicians connected.

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Workshop with Eric Alper

The Montreal-based non-profit Sincop8ed Noize Foundation wraps up its last workshop while continuing to keep musicians connected.

With the world held in check by a pandemic, supporting itself as a musician (but not only) has become increasingly difficult; and never as now the relationship with others who live the same experience has become preparatory to artistic survival. Luckily for us, there are numerous entities across the globe that function as places of exchanges, learning, developing, collaboration that made possible (artistic) life through these tough almost 2 years. The Sincop8ed Noize Foundation is one of these “sanctuaries”.  It is a Montréal based non-profit organization, led by Alessia Priolo that makes use of a team of talented music industry professionals. Indeed, the mission of this foundation is that of supporting, promoting and developing Canada’s emerging musicians through events and educational activities. Montreal Rocks had the pleasure in 2019 to interview Alessia about her background and projects.  And now, at the dawn of the Sincop8ed Noize’s latest activity for the year, we decided to ask Alessia about the Rockalypse Workshops, “an event series created to empower artists by providing free access to music business knowledge”. This series saw great names instructing and interacting with the audience such as Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, Marcela Rada, The Damn Truth (Music Industry Q&A), Shevaughn Battle (FACTOR Canada), Katie Seline, Eric Alper, Josh Trager (Music Industry Q&A).

MTLRocks:  When were the Rockalypse Workshops conceived and what’s their mission?

Alessia: The Foundation’s Rockalypse Music Workshops began in April of 2019. We wanted to empower artists by providing them access to music business knowledge – this is the mission. We had access to music industry professionals eager to share their knowledge, and a community of artists who wanted to learn, so we created a platform for them to be able to do that. This was thanks to the Rockalypse Showcase, which allowed us to build a community and work with many emerging artists and industry professionals. Hence where the name of the workshops comes from – it is an extension of the Showcase. In addition, we wanted to make the events very accessible to artists, ideally at a very low cost, or free to attend. 

Workshop with Josh Trager

MTLRocks: To whom the workshops are addressed?

Alessia: Canadian emerging artists of all genres who are independent and who are looking to learn more about the music business, so they can better manage their music careers and make smarter decisions. The music business is so complex that it can be very overwhelming for any artist who is just starting off. So we break it down into specific topics at our workshops, and focus on each one, based on the artists’ needs. 

MTLRocks: Let’s talk about the 2021 edition. What differed from the past ones?

Alessia: The 2021 edition was fully virtual, due to Covid. We embraced the virtual format and became better at it. It allowed us to reach artists not just in Montreal, but across Canada and the globe – gaining international reach. 

MTLRocks: What was the biggest challenge this year and the greatest achievement so far?

Alessia: Virtual events fatigue is real. At the beginning of the pandemic, virtual events were more of a novelty, so it was easier to attract and engage with an audience. However, as the volume of virtual events on the web increased, it has become increasingly difficult to attract and engage with a virtual audience, so we had to remain creative and deliver amazing content, consistently. In terms of greatest achievement, our workshops are part of the reason why the Sincop8ed Noize Foundation was selected as one of the 2021 Top-Rated Nonprofits by GreatNonprofits. We are very proud to be among a distinguished few to receive this community endorsement. 

MTLRocks: In your personal experience, what’s the biggest difference between hosting a workshop in person and online?

Alessia: I think each has their own pros and cons. We are not in any way trying to replace in-person networking and interaction, that is just not possible. However, with online, our speakers and audience could be located anywhere in the world, so location no longer becomes an obstacle, and this is a huge advantage. Also, just because an event is held virtually, it does not mean it requires less work, resources, or a lower budget to produce. If anything, we have seen quite the opposite. And of course, virtual platforms come with their own set of challenges – but it’s been great to experiment with different event formats, so we can figure out what works best for our audience. 

MTLRocks: Will you be back to the in-person mode?

Alessia: Maybe in the future, when Covid allows it. Perhaps a format where some events are held in-person, and others remain virtual, so we can have the best of both worlds. We host the in-person events at the Long & McQuade Montreal North store, they have a great clinic space which is perfect for our workshops, and they have let us use it. Long & McQuade has been supporting our workshops since the beginning, we are very grateful. 

MTL Rocks: What was this year’s audience feedback?

Alessia: We have received a lot of great feedback on the virtual format, topics, and speaker selection so far. We are extremely happy that artists and industry pros see our workshops as a great platform to connect and share knowledge. 

MTL Rocks: Will there be a new series in 2022?

Alessia: We are looking to bring the workshops back, closer to the end of 2022/early 2023. Of course, we have to secure the funding first, in order to make this possible. We’d like to give a shoutout to FACTOR Canada, for making our 2021 series possible. 

MTL Rocks: and in general, what are the future projects the foundation is working on?

Alessia: We are working on a VR concert series called Immerse MTL. We already did a pilot show in August of 2021, which turned out to be a success. We hope to do more hybrid VR concerts in 2022 and explore the potential of immersive technologies to enhance the virtual, live concert experience. Virtual events are here to stay, so we want to be ready to take them to the next level. 

Follow the foundation and its activities at sincop8ednoize.org

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