Challenging the Status Quo for 25 Years
By John Harris
During twenty-six years in the music industry, I witnessed most people having painfully short careers due to their lack of knowledge and inability to adapt to change. In 1989, I decided to start a private college with accelerated comprehensive programs taught by active industry leaders. The objective was to prepare the next generation for lifelong careers in music and we hoped Harris Institute would help strengthen the Canadian music industry.
We began by compressing the content of a typical 3-year college program into the first 12-month diploma programs. There are now 62 leaders teaching 60 courses in each of our one-year programs and, due to a first-of-its-kind partnership with the University of the West of Scotland, students have the option of earning an accelerated diploma, degree and Master’s Degree in 32 months with scholarships and bursaries.
In 2014, Harris was ranked “Best in Canada” with A+ for a second time, alumni won the ‘Jack Richardson Producer of the Year’ and ‘Recording Engineer of the Year’ JUNO Awards, were nominated for the "Song of the Year' Grammy Award and the 'Best Musical Score in a Motion Picture' LEO Award, and contributed to the #1 Billboard hits "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus and "Roar" by Katy Perry. Faculty members won the ‘Best Sound in a Drama’ and 'Best Sound in a Variety Program' Canadian Screen Awards and ‘The Rosalie Award’ for lifetime achievements in broadcasting. The Arts Management Program became the only college program in North America to achieve six 0% Student Loan Default Rates.
Harris Institute is achieving its original goals due to an extraordinary faculty. Students receive up to the minute training from those recognized as the best in their field. No other school has a higher percentage of award winning faculty.
The most gratifying thing about the 25th anniversary is seeing the accomplishments of graduates who are now leading in all areas of the industry and the many who have established successful companies. We set out to strengthen the Canadian music industry and our graduates are now helping to achieve that goal.
Harris Institute is recognized internationally due to innovative partnerships with organizations in Ireland, Russia, Barbados, Scotland, the United States, British Columbia and Ontario.
The college is located in a century old 15,000 square foot industrial building in Old Town Toronto designed in 1907 by Massey Hall’s architect George M. Miller. The campus includes three recording studios designed by world-renowned faculty member Martin Pilchner that feature the TEC Award winning SSL AWS console.
The Audio Production Program (APP) and Arts Management Program (AMP) start in March, July and November and cover all aspects of the industry to give graduates the flexibility for lifelong careers. Both programs feature experiential learning at an accelerated pace and culminate with students forming production and artist management companies, operating Confidential Records, coordinating international tours and presenting business plans for new music related companies to a panel of industry leaders.
The music industry is growing after years of decline and indications are it will soon experience exponential growth. We look forward to preparing those passionate about music for rewarding careers in an exciting new era.
Information Tours with President John Harris are on the first Wednesday at 6:00PM and the third Thursday at 12:30PM each month. Dates and directions are at the link below.