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The Pathwaves Digital Literacy Incubator

An initiative aimed at empowering Canadian musicians to make lifelong careers in music more possible and equitable.

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In this time of profound change and reflection, the Pathwaves Digital Literacy Incubator — a groundbreaking three-phase virtual development program — is seeking applications from Canadian musicians who want to help shape the future of the music industry. By empowering a diversity of musicians to harness the opportunities of the digital era, and elevating their voices as leaders, Pathwaves aim to make lifelong careers in music more possible and equitable.

Delivered virtually from January to March 2022, the Pathwaves Incubator consists of conferences, mentorship, master classes, workshops, individual work, and knowledge-exchange.

A cohort of 18 musicians reflecting the many axes of diversity in this country will be selected and paid for their participation. Together they will dive into today’s new technologies — from streaming software and VR live shows to NFTs and AI-assisted composition — with the goal of sparking new solutions-oriented thought surrounding the creation and sharing of music.

Canadian musicians working in all genres, from all geographies, of all origins, at all stages of their careers (emerging, mid-career, and established), and especially members from underrepresented communities, including, but not limited to, Black and Indigenous People, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, newcomers, and People with Disabilities, are invited to apply.

The selection committee will choose musicians with a demonstrated interest in embracing new technologies and in passing on the knowledge, skills, and insights gained to their communities once the program ends.

The application portal will be open from September 27 — October 24.

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Alongside the applications, anyone operating in Canada’s music industry is invited to take the Pathwaves Survey, a scan of the nation’s diverse perspectives on the industry, especially as they pertain to digital tools and services. The survey results will inform the issues that participants tackle during the Pathwaves Incubator and the outcomes which will be shared with the public.

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The Pathwaves Incubator Program

The KickOff Conference

January 2022

Unites musicians, tech professionals, and music industry professionals for three days of cross-pollinating dialogue in a virtual laboratory. The conference will delve into the forces shaping music creation, performance, and business in today’s digital world, while equipping musicians with the tools, knowledge, and resources to conceive trailblazing projects that reimagine the way music is made and shared in Canada and around the world.

The Learning Engine

February - March 2022

Takes musicians on a two-month guided journey to develop their projects. Participants will work in small teams with the help of mentors, and will receive master classes and workshops to spark innovative advancements in their digital literacy.

The Learning Exchange

March 2022

Convenes participants once more to share their results and learnings, leading to the creation of an accessible repository of collaboratively-created knowledge.

The Pathwaves Legacy closes the program with the publication and distribution of learnings in several media formats to creative communities across the country.

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The rapid digital transformation of today’s music industry and the new obstacles triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the challenges of musical careers, but this tumultuous time has also shown that with collective energy it's possible to turn tides. Apply now and share widely!

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Pathwaves is being produced by Envision Management & Production in partnership with the Phi Centre and OCAD University, with financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

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Envision is an artist management and cultural production company that works with boundary-breaking, musical and multidisciplinary artists, productions and organizations. Envision works with artists to conceive, develop, produce and manage musical projects, often in the realm where music intersects with film, animation, theatre, literature and technology. Recognizing the potential of meaningful collaborations, Envision builds partnerships worldwide and across sectors for the creation and sharing of works, and has produced tours on 6 continents.


OCAD U is the largest and most comprehensive art, design and media university in Canada. The Super Ordinary Lab at OCAD University looks at near to market or just-in market technologies to understand their social significance and potentialities. Broad-based trends are tracked for the purposes of meaningful innovation in technologies and ethnographic methods are deployed to understand the originating (and exploratory) cultures of production as well as potential users of these technologies.

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PHI is a multidisciplinary organization positioned at the intersection of art, film, music, design and technology. Offering a panoramic perspective of radical ideas focused on collective experience, social impact, and audience interactivity, PHI is committed to future generations of art consumption. PHI consists of the PHI Centre, PHI Studio, artist-in-residence programs, and PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art. Through eclectic programming and a strong emphasis on content creation, PHI fosters unexpected encounters between artists and audiences.

For more information, contact: Lesya Nakoneczny, Project Manager: