Emily Haines of Metric performs at the Ottawa Bluesfest on July 13.

Known as a troublemaker back in seventh grade, Emily Haines spent hours in the principal’s office. The ultimate punishment for her rebellious ways? Listening to music ‘ lots of it.

“My principal would play me music, Beatles records, and say: ‘Is this what you’re into?’” said Haines, who heads up the popular Canadian band Metric.

“He arranged for me to prepare an audition for the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and that’s where I really feel like that was the beginning of my life.”

Now Haines wants to help others in the same way.

Along with the host of OLN’s Survivorman, Les Stroud, and Free the Children co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, Haines will mentor three winning contestants of the Room for Thought contest launched by American Express Canada.

It’s all about unique ideas that give back to the community, and must fit into one of the three categories of music, community, and travel and adventure.

The three mentors will help contest winners execute and bring their ideas to life.

“It’s not about people who want to do some big idea and get rich, it’s about people who want to express their ideas and creativity and actually utilize it in ways that affect the society in a good way,” said Stroud.

Room for Thought promotes the importance of mentorship, which Stroud said isn’t practised enough these days.

“I think it’s a great way to enlighten or illuminate the concept of mentorship itself. I think it’s amazing how few people are actually mentored and how many of us are afraid to ask,” he said. “This is an awesome concept, to achieve dreams through mentorship.”

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