Space in works to aid young musos

Timaru Youth Collective founder Jared Pratt wants to give South Canterbury youth more musical...
Timaru Youth Collective founder Jared Pratt wants to give South Canterbury youth more musical opportunities. PHOTOS: CONNOR HALEY
A new creative space is in the works with the goal to amplify musical opportunities for South Canterbury youth.

Looking to expand on its new facility, which opened in February, the Timaru Youth Collective is now looking to create a fully operational live performance space at its George St location.

The space will include a stage, instruments and gear, a PA system and lights.

Timaru Youth Collective founder and keen drummer Jared Pratt said the latest project was a way to give young musicians a place to cut their teeth and hone their craft.

"I was lucky when I was younger that there were lots of places for young people to play.

"That’s what kept me interested in music because I wasn’t a musician who just wanted to play at home on my own, I wanted to get out in the world and do gigs. That’s how you get good and it’s all about having fun with your mates and playing in front of your peers.

"Now that we have the facilities to be able to provide that, I’m pretty pumped.

"I just want to make a place where young people can come and perform in front of their mates and who knows? They could go on to be great musicians in New Zealand."

He said he was passionate about providing more creative opportunities in the region.

"There is plenty of opportunity in sport but in Timaru we have so many creative kids around and not just in music but art, dance and drama.

"What I’ve seen is that they just disappear once school finishes. There’s not really a breeding ground here.

"Anything we can do to help foster that is worth it."

He said he hoped to begin work on the project next month.

The new space will feature a stage, lights, instruments and a PA system.
The new space will feature a stage, lights, instruments and a PA system.
"It shouldn’t take too long but when you work off a volunteer basis it can take a wee bit longer which is, of course, fine.

"We really want to involve young people in the process ... so hopefully we might have some students from Ara [Institute of Canterbury] come in and help with building the stage.

"I don’t think it will be a huge cost, especially if Bunnings come on board with the timber. It’s been great to see people wanting to chip in."

Creating the performance space was only the tip of the iceberg, he said.

"I always dream big but you know we could end up doing a creative arts school or get tutors in, there’s a ton of stuff.

"I think from now starting to meet adult musos around, they’d be right in behind trying to help young people to crack on."

Mr Pratt had been relishing the new space so far.

"It’s been awesome. We’re just doing stuff as we go which is cool. We’ve had lots of good feedback from young people and their families.

"We’ve got an Aoraki Pasifika group using it every Friday night for their dance; Parent to Parent have been coming and taking the place over once a month and they just love it.

"There’s definitely more community groups now coming in to use the space which is really cool to see because it is a multi-purpose space."

He was thankful for all the support the collective had received since it started one year ago.

"I’m really appreciative of the community who has supported us and everyone who has got in behind us from local businesses to individuals who have given us things and helped us out.

"It’s really nice to know that what just started out as a good idea has taken traction and we just look forward to carrying on."