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About the Incubator

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Pathwaves was created in response to the observation that musicians were not at the decision making table as digital technologies were evolving, and were subsequently not benefiting equitably from this digital transformation of the industry. To create the opportunity to have their voices and perspectives in the mix, musicians needed to have opportunities to increase their digital literacy.

The Pathwaves Digital Literacy Incubator supported 18 musicians from across Canada/Turtle Island to harness opportunities of the digital era. It aimed to consider technologies for positive disruption to empower Canadian and Indigenous musicians through digital literacy and support the digital innovation of individual musicians.

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

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The Pathwaves Incubator Program


The KickOff Conference


United musicians, tech professionals, and music industry professionals for three days of cross-pollinating dialogue in a virtual laboratory. The conference delved 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. They were introduced to forces shaping music creation and business in today’s digital world, to inspire musicians to conceive and consider new ways to explore and share their art through digital tools. The conference was designed as a co-learning environment led by guides and mentors, facilitated through interactive exercises.


The Learning Engine


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


The Learning Exchange

MARCH 2022

Convened participants once more to share their results and learnings, which led to the creation of an accessible repository of collaboratively-created knowledge. The exchanges provided a glimpse into how each creative individual explored the expansive range of digital tools and diverse approaches that had been touched upon during the learning journey—everything from spatial audio, Ableton plugins, effect pedals, immersive experiences, creation process, recorded music, to social media activation, integration and business planning, to a myriad of other investigations.


Legacy and Sharing

MAY 2023

While the program has been completed, findings and learnings live on with the publication and distribution of the Pathwaves Report, and the sharing of the incubator’s Horizon Scan—available to communities across the country. Documents are available for download in the Results and Outcomes section. Beginning later this year, the Pathwaves Team and Ambassadors will be presenting and facilitating workshops at conferences and events across the country. If you are interested in partnering with us, please be in touch! Find out where we'll be in the Events section.

The aim of sharing these legacy assets is to connect with communities across the country in the hope that they are inspired by the outcomes, and are compelled to continue the conversations.

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Land Acknowledgement

Pathwaves is an initiative designed to connect and reach peoples across Turtle Island which is home to many First Nations and Metis peoples, from Mi′kma′ki in the east to Haida Gwaii in the west, Dene in the north to Anishinabee nations in the south, and Inuit Nunangat which comprises the four Inuit territories. We express our gratitude to the Indigenous peoples for their stewardship of these lands from which we benefit today.

We wish to recognize that Pathwaves has been produced out of Envision Management & Production and PHI Centre’s headquarters in Tiohtià:ke, on the ancestral territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka nation. The region, sincetime immemorial, has served as a gathering place marking the area a key site of diplomacy, as well as for the exchange of culture, language, goods, and technological knowledge.

OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of theland on which we stand and create.