[The Anglican (Diocese of Toronto, Anglican Church of Canada)] A project that has taken shape at Grace Church, Markham, Ontario, during the pandemic is helping to create connections within the church community and beyond. Parkway Studio, a music studio set up in the church building, has become a space for youth to belong and a place where Markham musicians can rehearse locally.
The idea was sparked when Aaron Dumpala, Grace’s music director, identified a need in Markham that he felt the parish could meet. “I realized it’s a little strange that there’s such a big musical community in Markham and Stouffville, but still we have to gravitate to Toronto for rehearsal studios,” he says. “I thought, ‘We’ve got a bit of space at the church, so why don’t we create a hub where musicians can meet?'”
He also hoped to find a way for youth to use their creative talents in the church. “I did see a bit of a disconnect with the younger demographic,” he says. “As much as I love my community, I was seeing that huge intergenerational gap.”