PhemPhat Entertainment Group are the producers of the Honey Jam artist development program. Honey Jam works with young emerging Canadian female artists of all cultures and all genres of music. They provide mentoring, educational, performance and networking opportunities as well as organizing impactful experiences and interactive learning sessions, songwriting camps, industry workshops, mentor cafes and more. We spoke with Ebonnie Rowe, Founder and Executive Director of PhemPhat Entertainment Group, to find out more about them.
Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.
We work with young emerging Canadian female artists of all cultures and all genres of music. We provide mentoring, educational, performance and networking opportunities and organize impactful experiences and interactive learning sessions, songwriting camps, industry workshops, mentor cafe’s etc. Here is a link to our 2022 highlights to give you an idea of our activities. We also support and promote our alums years, even decades after they took part in the program. It’s a welcoming, supportive sisterhood and a safe space for young women to not only learn about the
industry but also to be vulnerable, and to build self-esteem and long-lasting relationships.
What problem does it aim to solve?
Lack of representation, diversity, safe spaces, developmental and performance opportunities for young female emerging artists of varied cultural backgrounds and genres of music.
When did you start/join it?
What made you want to get involved?
I find it fulfilling to work with young creatives and I thought I could make a difference in the problems stated above.
What was the situation like when you started?
Not a lot of platforms/opportunities for female artists, rampant sexual harassment, racism, sexism, lack of respect and being taken seriously.
How has it changed since?
So when we started that was almost 30 years ago! So for the artists, a lot has changed even just with the advent of social media – the ultimate platform for individuals to basically have their own channel to get their views, music, out to the world.
There are so many different programs and organizations now that support emerging artists. Everyone is so much more aware of inequities. However, a lot of those things still remain and will likely be with us for some time. When it comes to human behaviour negative conduct is impossible to eradicate. I don’t have any illusions about that. But what has changed is that there is much more support, more people working to change those things, everyone is much more aware and the majority are in agreement that certain behaviours are wrong, are willing to call people out, and challenge the status quo. There are also more intentional actions from those with privilege and access to be inclusive and share opportunities.
What more needs to be done?
We all need to work together to continue to raise awareness and work to change attitudes and get those with power to be open to increasing access for marginalized groups.
How can our readers help?
In terms of a more inclusive and equitable social climate for all of us, do what they can in their daily lives within their circle of friends, workplace, etc. In terms of support for our artist development program, they can follow us on socials and come out when we have public events, and support the artists they see us promoting whose music resonates with them.
Do you have any events coming up?
A lot of the events we do are developmental programmes for the current cohort of artists. The main public event that we do is the concert on August 17 at TD Music Hall.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
YWCA Programs for Women and Girls! In one organization they address so many needs of women and children in the city, province, country and around the world!