Music has always been in his genes, but this summer he decided to make a career for himself. Matthew Ballagh created On Track Studios as part of the Summer Company program, funded by the Province of Ontario.  Operating out of his family home just north of Wingham, Matthew built a 3- room recording studio in their large garage for individuals or bands to come record their music.

Matthew mixing tracks in his studio.“I have clients of all ages,” Matthew said. Earlier this week he had a woman record some music for her children. Matthew said he was very impressed: “She’s been playing the piano for 70 years!” Later in the week, a young woman came in to record herself singing cover songs. Matthew said he’ll add himself playing the guitar later, another service he provides to clients.

“I can add drums or guitar for people if they want”, Matthew added casually. No big deal. He learned to play the guitar five years ago and plays mostly by ear. His music career started much earlier though, when he learned to play the fiddle at five years old. “Everyone in my family plays the fiddle, but the guitar is my favourite instrument”, Matthew added. Not only can he add instruments into people’s recordings, he can create unique jingles for businesses too. He exhibits incredible talent for a 17 year-old.

Matthew’s whole family is musical, and he heard about the Summer Company program from his sister who used the same garage to start a dance studio a few years ago. Now, she offers dance and fitness classes out of Studio 410 in Teeswater. Like his sister, Matthew plans to continue his business beyond the program end date in September. “This will be my job now,” Matthew stated. “We’ve invested a lot into the startup of the business, but I plan to run it for years to come.”

One of three sound-proof recording rooms.As part of the program, each student receives $1500 in May to put towards their startup costs. Then at the end of the program, students have the opportunity to receive another $1500 if they’ve met all of the program requirements. In addition to the startup capital, the goal of the Summer Company program is to provide students (15-29 years of age) with the training and mentorship they need to run a business.

Many continue with their businesses for years to come and become mentors for young entrepreneurs years later. Others learn that running a business just isn’t for them; it takes a lot of hard work and commitment—especially in the beginning. In either case, students walk away with business training, mentors, a network of supportive local community members, and awesome job experience for their resumes. Employers love to see the Summer Company on resumes because the program requires a certain level of initiative, responsibility, creativity, and problem solving skills.

Matthew exudes those traits tenfold and will indefinitely thrive with his business. Book your appointment now before he’s famous! or (519) 357-7450.