Lethbridge girls have been learning how to rock for the past five years with a little help from Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp.
For a week, girls aged 17 and under are put together in bands, learn an instrument, learn how to write songs, create merchandise, rehearse and perform together at the end of the week.
The fifth annual camp takes place at The Gate, July 24-28, with the band showcase on July 29.
This year’s camp is the biggest yet, which comes as a pleasant surprise to organizer Silvana Campus.
“This year is our biggest ever; we have 31 campers. In previous years we have had around 20,” enthused Campus.
“This year we are getting sisters whose big sisters have been here in pervious years,“ she continued, adding more campers means they will be able to form eight different bands, who will be guided by around 20 volunteers helping throughout the week in various capacities from instructing to helping haul gear.
“Some will be volunteering a full day, others will be volunteering for a half day,” she said, noting volunteers include some familiar faces from local bands including Aaron Trozzo, Rebecca McHugh and Hope Madison of local band Wint, Bailey Horton from new local band Sad Mango, Jackson Tiefenbach of the Ruby Plumes and J Blissette and Bente Hansen, who, among many other projects, performs with New West Theatre.
While Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp has been here for five years, the organization started in Portland, Oregon, 17 years ago and has since expanded to 100 camps worldwide.
The campers will take part in several workshops during the morning including a new workshop about gear, merch, movement and other aspects of the music business including a songwriting workshop on Monday. They will rehearse with their bands in the afternoons. Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp have partnered again with the YWCA for the T-shirt silk-screening workshop
During lunch the campers will be serenaded by local artists including Rabbyt, Jolene Draper and Seattle-based lo-fi band Ground Sloth Orchestra who have a gig during the week. Lethbridge Girls Rock thank Plum and Tops Pizza and natural food store Purple Carrot for providing lunch for the campers. CKXU as well as Sound Barrier and Blueprint are also helping out the campers.
“We have a volunteer mentoring program this year. We have a couple of former campers who will be paired with a volunteer. So I’m looking forward to that,” she said.
“One camper is still old enough to be part of the camp, but wanted to be part of the camp in another capacity,” she continued.
“Some of the campers have been with us for all five years and have brought their sisters this year, so that’s pretty exciting.”
“I get so excited to see how they get excited about rehearsals,” she said.