Youth Open Mic Night #1

We had a great turn out for our first open mic night at the Library on Thursday November 10. Folks from the Youth Social Justice Group shared their mission and vision, Josh Ritchie was our gracious MC and resident musician and pizza finally arrived 🙂

Feedback from participants and their adults was overwhelmingly positive, and being in community with others while sharing some fun, friendship, and music made for great evening.

The Big Sound in partnership with the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library will be hosting more Open Mic Nights through the June 2023 on a monthly basis. Open to youth 13-17, to share their musical interests and talents, and create a space to dig into the incredible social justice and change work happening locally here in Grey Bruce Counties.

There is no cost to participants, and dinner is served. Adults connected to the youth participants are welcome though not required. Join us next month to learn more! We will be hosting Open Mic #2 on Thursday December 1 from 5:30-7:30pm. Registration is not required.

Music & Movement Begins!

Our core program, Music & Movement begins this week for the 2022-23 school year. Hosted by Hillcrest Elementary School in Owen Sound, our after school program is open to children aged 5-9 years old. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the program this year, and we are happy to have so many excited families involved, and many more on our waitlist.

This speaks to one of the core values of The Big Sound- music for all, regardless of background. We are working hard behind the scenes to find ways to serve more children and their families in Grey Bruce, as the waitlist for our program shows- The Big Sound is doing good work in our community, and folks want to be a part of it!

This fall and winter, students will be exploring percussion and pitched percussion instruments with Gael Mulvaney-Courtois and volunteers. Look for opportunities to hear these young musicians in concert before the end of the school year!

Interested in learning more about how to get involved with The Big Sound? Reach out to us at to connect and find out about all of the ways volunteers help to support social change through music.

Open Mic Nights for GB Youth 13-17yrs

We proud to announce the kick off of a new project, Yours, Mine Ours, in partnership with the Owen Sound Public Library and the Georgian Bay Folk Society!

Thanks to the support of the recent Kids Can Play community grant stream from the Community Foundation of Grey Bruce, we are hosting a series of open mic nights and weekend workshops in the Owen Sound Library auditorium starting Thursday November 10.

This project is designed to offer a space for youth musicians (both aspiring and practicing) to come together in a collaborative space facilitated and hosted by young adult musicians connected to the GB Folk Society. These open mic nights and workshops are open to all Grey Bruce youth aged 13-17 years old. Adults connected to the youth are welcome but not required, this is not open to the general public.

We encourage folks to sign up, bring their own equipment if available, there will be some instruments available for use at the events.

More information about workshops will be available at the Open Mic Nights, with the first workshop being held on Saturday November 19. More information on this and other workshops to follow shortly.

One of the goals of this project is to entrust much of the leadership and decision making about the open mic and workshops into the hands of the youth involved, from ensuring a positive, safe environment, to collaborate with each other and local social justice organizations/movements to bridge the gaps between the youth and the issues they are concerned about using music as a tool for community building and engagement.

Monthly Open Mic Structure

5:00pm- auditorium opens, registration and set up/sign up

5:30pm- dinner and presentation from local social justice group

6:00pm- open mic begins

8:00pm- clean up/close

Monthly Open Mic Dates 2022-2023

Thursday November 10

Thursday December 1

Thursday January 12

Thursday January 25

Thursday February 9

Thursday March 9

Thursday April 6

Thursday May 11

Thursday June 8

To learn more or ask questions, please reach out to us at

El Sistema Grey Bruce (The Big Sound) Launches Pilot Program at Hillcrest Elementary School

The Big Sound – El Sistema Grey Bruce set to Launch This Fall

A new after school music program is coming to Grey-Bruce

For Immediate Release

September 10, 2018   

Owen Sound: Inspired by a program developed in Venezuela in the mid 1970s, a local volunteer Board of Directors is announcing plans to launch a new and exciting after-school program this fall, for children in Grey Bruce. The Big Sound – El Sistema Grey Bruce (“The Big Sound”) will feature musical instruction, social development and of course fun!

“Our goal is to create opportunities for children who, for various reasons, are often excluded from extra-curricular musical activities, such as playing in an ensemble or orchestra,” said Board Chair David McLeish. “We want to replicate the success of other El Sistema programs operating in Canada and internationally and support vulnerable families while improving the self-esteem, academic performance, and a sense of inclusion for their children.”

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