10 at 10 showcase originally stood for 10 artists at 10 pm for 10 minutes.
We’ve since outgrown this simple descriptor. More on this later, but for now lets take care of some house keeping guidelines.
The official name and correct spelling of 10 at 10 is 10 at 10 Music & Culture.
It’s not 10×10, 10, 10@10, or 10 by 10.
it’s, 10 at 10.
The 10 at 10 showcase was created to provide a home for hiphop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Our definition for hiphop was always more than just rap music, but rather, hiphop culture encompasses r&b/soul, reggae, afrobeats, dancers, djs, beatboxers and fashion and more. We wanted 10 at 10 to be a place where artists could develop their craft, find new peers, and build a real fan base. 10 artists at 10pm for 10 minutes was a simple concept that ushered in an era of efficiency, quality and positive community building.
Under it all, 10 at 10 exists to champion counter culture in Canada. Alberta, especially Western Canada lacked major ground level opportunities for hiphop/r&b music and culture lifestyle. Even worse, the challenges of systemic racism and false stigmas associated with violence unfairly made these kind of opportunities even more rare. Prior to the era of effective social media music marketing platforms, artists in Calgary didn’t have the opportunity to connect with like-minded creatives, dancers and music makers. However, Beni Johnson (MC), Ryan Serquina (MC), Ricca Razor Sharp (MC), Rocky Mejia (DJ/Bboy) and soon after, Rico Drummond (DJ) made an effort to provide space for counter culture to take shape.
The first official 10 at 10 showcase took place at UBU Lounge, Thursday September 11th 2011. Over the next 23 months, empty hallways would fill with artistic treatments from painters across the city such as Baddguy Ry Ry. Clothing vendors such as Legal Hustle Clothing and 6Streets would also reside in our atrium as well.
During this time period, the 10 at 10 showcase remained free of charge in order to give the public uninhibited access to the culture. Patrons and artists alike were encouraged to dress as freely as they could. In an era of strict dress codes at venues across the city, and mistreatment from doormen because of how big your group of friends of colour were – this offered the opportunity to truly express yourself.
What began as an intimate monthly rap night evolved into a community of rappers, singers, dancers, djs, producers, painters, poets, fashion designers, small businesses, creatives and art enthusiasts enjoying hiphop, reggae, afrobeat, jazz, soul and r&b music. What was once a room capped at 200 people, blossomed into a room of 500 at Commonwealth Bar & Stage.
A bigger stage and bigger dance floor meant bigger performances. Now full dance crews were able to explore their routines. Painters were able to live paint during performances. Artists from all over the country were inquiring for time slots and several artists were able to touch the stage repeatedly due to an increase in work load. The city’s lust for hiphop was growing, and we had inspire the momentum necessary to do so.
10 at 10 Showcase Recap videos
Since we can’t go through all 80+ showcases, here are some notable recap videos over the years!