Recently we shared our Acceptd Summer Guide, which includes information on internships, programs, camps, careers in the arts, and study abroad opportunities. If you've considered this educational adventure, but don't want to be more than a short flight from home, Canada is a beautiful place to consider. Most Canadian provinces speak English, and the local culture will offer you something different and unique. FYI: a passport is required to travel into Canada. For passport information, click here.
While the first Canadian cities to mind may be Toronto, or maybe Vancouver, there are lots of other gems hidden across our vast neighbor to the North. To learn more about careers in the arts and what it's like working in the arts in Canada, we spoke with Elaine Pond, Volunteer and Youth Engagement Coordinator at MusicNL. This musical mission is located in St John's, Newfoundland, Canada.
Acceptd: Thanks for talking with us today! Why do you love the arts?
Elaine Pond: I came out of the womb loving the arts! I come from a very musical place in Canada, and I started playing music at about age eight. I lost interest in playing music by the time I was about 17, but I’ve been an avid collector and music enthusiast since I was a kid. It's like can't get enough of "new to me" sound and music, from all over the world, and from all different genres!
Acceptd: Can you describe what it is that you do?
Elaine Pond: At my job, I am responsible for organizing all youth events. I do everything from arrange open mics, to workshops, to talent shows. It’s all for youth under the age of 19, and it gives them a place to go to work on their musical talent, and to meet like-minded friends. It also helps boost their confidence and self esteem, and lets them work on their creativity. I find it extremely fulfilling and nothing gives me more joy than hearing these kids write and perform their own music.
Acceptd: What was your path to get here, and was it the “traditional path” for this field?
Elaine Pond: I've just always been involved in anything musical, whether it be collecting music, seeing shows, or exploring the internet to find new sound. My partner is a musician, and many friends of mine are musicians also. It’s always been a huge part of my life, so I guess the job kind of found me, in ways.
Acceptd: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Elaine Pond: An architect. I always loved art and design.
Acceptd: Did you ever expect this would be your job?
Elaine Pond: It’s not surprising to me at all that I ended up working at this job. I find it to be a very natural form of employment, and learning the industry from the inside has been fantastic.
Acceptd: Can you speak to risk vs reward when it comes to pursuing a career in the arts?
Elaine Pond: I feel that if you have a passion for anything in the arts, you have to go for it. You do not need to be a doctor, or lawyer, or a suit wearing, office type to be successful! Success is different for everybody. If you're in a role work-wise, where you feel like you're making a difference, then for me, that's success in it’s own.
Acceptd: If you feel comfortable responding to this, are you able to financially live comfortably from this role?
Elaine Pond: Sure! I own my own home, travel, live well, and want for nothing. It’s totally possible to make a living working in the arts!
Acceptd: Who was the most influential person on your career?
Elaine Pond: Robert Hunt. He was a former boss of mine that really honed in on my skills, and taught me how to use them effectively. He never gave up on me, and was the funniest person ever. I miss working for him every day.
Acceptd: What is your proudest achievement?
Elaine Pond: Staying sane in a sometimes bad economic climate, and never giving up on myself, or my talents. At the age of 36, I finally know my worth.
Acceptd: What advice do you have for young artists?
Elaine Pond: Stick with your talent. Keep at it, and strive to be the best you can. Be innovative. Stick out from the crowd. Know that you're cool. Dont give up easily. Love yourself, and be proud of your talents.
Follow along with Elaine and MusicNL on Twitter at @_MusicNL_ .