Jason Schreurs from Camosun College’s Nexus Newspaper interviewed us for their latest issue – read all about it here!
Local woman brings Girls Rock camp to Victoria
June 30, 2014 by Jason Schreurs, managing editor
When Geraldine Bulosan saw a documentary film called Girls Rock!, about a camp in Portland that teaches young girls how to form a band and write a song together, she knew she wanted to do a similar camp in Victoria.
After communicating with the international Girls Rock Camp Alliance and volunteering for a camp in Vancouver, Bulosan formed the Girls Rock Camp Victoria non-profit society last summer and is preparing for the first local camp July 21-26 at Larsen Music.
“Seeing the kids create a song in five days is an amazing process” says Bulosan. “It was interesting to see the group of kids I was working with in Vancouver develop over the course of the week as they were working on their song. And you’re really there to just provide an adult presence, all of the creativity and development of the song comes from them.”
A former music director and women’s radio collective coordinator at UVic’s CFUV Radio, Bulosan’s background is in vocal work, having been a choir member during her early schooling and more recently a member of a Victoria feminist punk rock choir and other local choir projects.
“The documentary film is how I first heard about these type of camps and it really inspired me to do a camp here in town,” says Bulosan. “We’re just looking to get girls more interested in playing music, or even just being interested in the technical side of things, like mixing sound or working their own music gear.”
Billed as a “feminist-based camp,” Girls Rock Victoria is a week-long program featuring female instructors and workshop facilitators. During the camp, girls aged 8-18 will be given instruction on songwriting, instrument care and technical knowledge, as well as awareness of how women are portrayed in music industry and in mainstream culture.
“I guess the question is ‘Why a girls rock camp?’” says Bulosan, “and it’s because it gives girls the opportunity to play music without having to worry about boys being around, and also seeing women mentor them in playing instruments and teaching them. Because when you look at the music industry, it’s pretty top-heavy with guys, and whenever there are women musicians or an all-women band, it’s always noted, but there are so many bands out there that are all-guys, and that’s never really an issue.”
Once the girls have had a chance to learn what being in a band and writing a song is all about, they will then perform their songs at a special concert in front of a live audience at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
And when they walk out of rock camp, Bulosan hopes the girls will have newfound confidence in playing music and in themselves.
“I hope that they have a really good time and come away realizing that they’re capable of a lot more than they thought they were,” she says. “I know a lot of them will be nervous going in, but if you give those girls the opportunities and they’ll be able to do some amazing stuff.”
A special screening of the documentary film Girls Rock! takes place on July 3 at 7 pm at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss St.). Admission is free or by donation and seating is limited.
Thanks, Jason! We’re totally psyched to kick off our camp countdown with a free screening of “Girls Rock!” with AGGV!