Job Title: Owner and operator, Noiselab Industries and the ARTery
Why She’s a Top 40: For using her musical talents to help others develop theirs at a new art venue and studio
In the late 1990s, while Lori Gawryluik was honing her skills as a burgeoning sound engineer, she noticed a disturbing trend in Edmonton’s music scene: all the up-and-comers were leaving town. It seemed to her that as soon as musicians became serious about furthering their careers, they’d pack their bags and instruments to head for larger metropolises like Toronto or Vancouver, and, she says, especially Montreal.
Gawryluik had worked hard to put down roots in Edmonton and had no intention of leaving. As she puts it, “If you want to stay in town, you make your own fun.” So she busied herself at CJSR as a volunteer DJ, eventually becoming the production manager and chief engineer. There, she recorded live bands and released 66 albums of local music.
But Gawryluik still saw a disconnect with interest in Edmonton’s music community and the national scene. Right around 2005, a revival in the local scene began to take off, but there were few venues and recording spaces available to harness that talent.
Her homegrown solution: turn her large, second-floor apartment in a rundown Jasper Avenue building into a shared rehearsal and recording space. The new studio was christened Studio E, and the music co-op became the Boyle Street Performing Arts Society. Soon after, Gawryluik began recording rising artists such as Corb Lund and Shout Out Out Out Out. “I’d never say I made their careers,” Gawryluik says modestly. “We just helped expose them to more people.”
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When the lower floor below Studio E came up for rent two years ago, Gawryluik jumped at the opportunity to take her dream one step further. She transformed the neglected space into an arts venue named The ARTery, which hosts local independent artists in music, art, design, food and fashion.
Gawryluik now owns and operates both Studio E and The ARTery as part of Noiselab Industries, and her calendar is full. The ARTery participates in such eclectic arts festivals as The Works, Nextfest and the Edmonton Poetry Festival, provides gallery and runway space for local artists and designers, and hosts Rapid Fire Theatre’s monthly improv, Theatresports.
Gawryluik also deepened her inner-city commitment as music and studio director with iHuman Youth Society, where she mentored at-risk youth in music production for five years, and gave a platform to their voices with four studio albums. Yes, Gawryluik is still making her own fun – and enhancing Edmonton’s arts and inner city community at the same time.