Published on March 19, 2024

Amplify 10-year Anniversary Album Now Available

Amplify, the City’s youth arts development program, hit a major milestone in 2023: their 10-year anniversary. And to celebrate a decade of supporting, encouraging and elevating the work of young artists in our community, they wanted to do something special.

“Recording this album was one of the most joyful and impactful projects Amplify has done,” said Kathleen Bell, Amplify’s City liaison and coordinator. “I’m so grateful to have been sitting in the recording booth to watch all these talented young artists create these beautiful tracks.”

“Amplify is steered by a working committee of youth,” said Bell. “And we begin each year with a big brainstorming session. There’s always lots of great ideas, but when 10-year anniversary album was written down, it generated palpable excitement around the room.”

After much discussion, the Amplify Advisory Committee landed on the idea of selecting one artist to represent each of the 10 years of Amplify. While some members of the committee took on the challenge of applying for the Edmonton Community Foundation's Young Edmonton Grant to fund the project, others went through a list of over 166 musicians that have participated in the program and narrowed it down to 10 singer-songwriters or groups that were at the point in their artistic journey where they were writing original work and ready to record.

“We have a deep well of musical talent in our community and it was incredibly hard to narrow the list down,” said Bell. “This album represents a small fraction of the overall artists that participated in the program — between musicians, poets, dancers, film makers and visual artists, there’s been thousands. But I hope this serves has a fun walk down memory lane for all our Amplify alumni.”

Each act only had two-to-three hours to record their song, but the finished product is rich, warm and deeply felt. From pop-ballads like “Again” by Jenn Nguyen, whose soaring vocals weave a heart-breaking tale told at an aching piano, to road-weary folk songs like “Sage” by Mya Hill and Jake Coyes, whose earthy lyrics and meandering guitar have an infectious groove that will keep you pushing repeat, the album is replete with exceptional songwriting.

“Amplify is all about providing opportunities for artists to grow and learn,” explained Bell. “To help them reach the ‘next level,’ in a way where they feel comfortable asking questions and walking away from the experience with as much knowledge as possible. Most of the artists on the album had never stepped into a professional studio before, so it was a crash course in recording and each artist absolutely thrived. The atmosphere was electric.” 

The album includes the work of Andrea Shipka, Stephen Badry, Kaylin Kowalyshyn, Ange Moulaison-Doucette, Sydney Bourbeau, Mya Hill, Jake Coyes, Jenn Nguyen, Jake Souch, Revera, Grace Forestier, and Colin, Evan and Liz Salcedo.

“I always say that putting your art out into the world is an incredible act of bravery — to share what you think and feel, especially as a youth, really takes courage. But it also takes a kind and caring audience, and the community of St. Albert has been that kind and caring audience for the last 10 year. Hopefully residents give the album a listen and feel a sense of pride, knowing this kind of talent was fostered in our city.”

Listen to the album now on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Last edited: March 21, 2024