Probiotic Soundsystem’s mandate is to inspire, empower and engage the youth of Metro Vancouver and to provide opportunities that facilitate supportive relationships among them.

Youth are in need of mentorship opportunities as well as positive, inspiring and inexpensive music events to gather at. Our review of recent literature indicates that participation in extracurricular activities is, in effect, essential in order to develop the full potential of youth.

View Literature Review

“This approach places youth in community and neighbourhood programs including, among others, mentoring, arts and recreation, volunteer and service activities, and work preparation and transition. When youth are placed at the centre of community life, they can interact with caring adults both within and outside their families, acquire a sense of identity and security, and learn the skills, values, expectations, behavioural norms, and principles necessary for healthy adulthood (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). Organized, constructive pursuits provide youth with opportunities to develop specific skills, become part of a community, belong to a valued group, develop a network of peer and adult social support, and overcome challenges. These attributes are predicted to promote school participation and achievement, further academic and occupational success, and prevent the development of risky behaviours” (Eccles, Barber, Stone, & Hunt, 2003).

However, for extracurricular programs to attract and maintain youth participants, they must provide activities within a safe environment that both youth desire and parents support.

“Engagement is a key component of youth participation (Weiss, Little, & Bouffard, 2005) and is necessary for the development of initiative (Larson, 2000). Young adolescents identify being motivated by the opportunity to do something fun, to learn about new things, to acquire new friends and to be with their friends. Being able to participate in activities involving dance, music, mentoring, and computers were among the top five activities selected by both youth and parents as desirable for extracurricular youth participation” (Sanderson & Richards, 2010).

Probiotic Soundsystem’s vision is to produce regular, youth-focused electronic dance music events at various venues around Metro Vancouver with a few larger, outdoor daytime events in the summer.

These twice-monthly or weekly events will embrace the following core values:

Safety

Inclusivity

Accessibility

Meaningfulness

Respect

High production value

Positivity

Thoughtfulness of music selection

Thoughtfulness of performances

Gutsy creativity

And of course: FUN

The DJs, music producers, lighting designers, VJs and dancers performing at these events will be youth (13-18) who are each under the mentorship of a paid adult mentor. There will be a formal mentorship program where the youth and mentor pairs each meet to work on their respective arts and prepare for upcoming performances. Ideally there will be a dedicated facility decked out with equipment where the meetings will happen.

Currently, we are gaining experience and building relationships by offering professional audio visual services to youth events already taking place in Vancouver. Our main partners are Night Hoops, Power of Hope, QMUNITY, Streetrich and Parkgate Community Services Society.

For more insightful thoughts on youth engagement in Vancouver, please see “A Seat at the Table” by the McCreary Centre Society.