Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Calgary Police Service supports youth development through sport and the arts

The Calgary Police Service and Hockey Calgary continue to bring our national sport into the lives of youth who are newcomers to our country or from diverse communities and have not had the opportunity to be exposed to hockey.

This cutting-edge initiative, dubbed the Hockey Calgary/Calgary Police Service Power Play Program, garnered national media attention as it is a unique way to connect with youth and foster positive interactions with police.

In anticipation of expanding in the city, the CPS is creating a video highlighting the program in order to reach more youth who may not have had the opportunity to hear about it otherwise.

The video will be distributed to youth service providers and youth, for the purposes of recruiting young people to the program.

Constable Rayn Boyko, of the Community and Youth Services Section of CPS, came up with the idea to find local musicians from our diverse communities and give them an opportunity to showcase their music in the video.

On this year’s International Day to End Racism, Cst. Boyko attended the Breaking Down Racism Unity Jam (Monday, March 22, 2010), made possible by the City of Calgary, Urban Youth Works, The Centre for Newcomers, Boys & Girls Club, The Alberta Association For Multicultural Education and PATCH.

“I heard two musicians there who had collaborated to compose a song just for the Unity Jam,” says Boyko.

Ishag Ahmed and Leora Raivich are the hip hop artists who caught her attention as being very positive and having an inspirational sound.

Ishag Ahmed is an 18-year-old immigrant from Sudan, who plays the congas and raps. He is a Grade 11 student who has been totally blind since he was 9 years-of-age. (Ahmed also speaks Arabic)

Leora Raivich is a 29-year-old vocal instructor originally from Canada, proudly representing her Jewish roots.

She has been accepted into the Master’s program at the University of Calgary for music.

Cst. Boyko gave them an opportunity to write a song that would inspire youth and connect communities for the Power Play Program video.

Legacy Music, a foundation that provides musical instruction and instruments to youth at risk, got involved and paid for studio time for these artists to facilitate the production and recording of their music.

In a short amount of time, Ahmed and Raivich wrote a song, called “Something New,” which is now featured in the video.

Kuba Suttles, Artistic Director of Bowtown Music, produced the song in a short amount of time.

Hockey Calgary also issued each musician a $200 honorarium for their efforts.

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