2022 speakers

Darrin Addison

Lightning Talks

Darin J. Addison has been a fixture in the London, Ontario music scene for over 25 years. He has worked with a number of local musicians as well community arts organizations Radio Western, Forest City London Music Awards (FCLMA), Aeolian Hall, and the Home County Music & Art Festival. Most recently, Darin has been working as a Program Coordinator for the Festivals Retreat segment of this year's FMO conference.

Nicole Auger

Lightning Talks

Add textNicole is Métis, of Haudenosaunee, Nisga’a, and French ancestry. Her family has lived on Vancouver Island for six generations as grateful visitors on unceded Lekwungen Territory and she has been proud to live and work in Tkaronto for the past five years as a musician, educator, and consultant. Nicole has worked as a Project Consultant with the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) over the past two years and as Project Manager for the CLMA’s recently-launched national study, “Closing the Gap: Impact and Representation of Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour Live Music Workers in Canada.” She is currently the Manager of Programming and Community Engagement at the International Indigenous Music Summit and is also proud to be supporting the development of the national Indigenous Music Office. She holds a Master of Arts in Music and an MBA with a specialization in arts, media, and entertainment management.

Sam Baardman

Slow Touring, Eco-songwriting and other Acts of Environmental Activism

Friday, Oct 14 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

Sam Baardman is a singer-songwriter and visual artist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His music reflects a searching, inquisitive spirit, expressing compelling truths about our deepest questions and our most difficult challenges. A prevalent theme in Sam’s music has been environmentalism and the need to restore ecological balance in the world. He has penned songs about climate change, the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, the degradation of Lake Winnipeg, and other pressing issues, without being didactic or preachy. Environmentalism has been a focus of Sam’s visual art as well. As a fine art photographer, he is a co-founder of the River on the Run Artist Collective, a group of visual artists and poets working together since 2006 to address the global water crisis. Working in collaboration with biologists and climate scientists, their art investigates the increasingly fragile relationship between humans and their habitats. Sam is currently preparing to work on a new project collaborating with research scientists in the Global Water Futures Program.

Glenn Baillie

Lightning Talks

Glen Baillie runs the free concert series Summer Sunset Sounds on Sunday nights in July and August on the Rotary Community Stage in Grand Bend, Ontario. The shows have run since 2014 and are a pass the hat and sponsor supported series. Typically involve headliner and support act who both perform their own material. No cover bands, ever.

Daniel Bellegarde

Creating New Opportunities for Black Folk Artists

Saturday, Oct 15 - 3:30-4:30PM, Suite 400

Daniel Bellegarde has occupied the music scene as a freelance percussionist since 1984. He has participated in numerous tours in Quebec and internationally. In studio or in live performance, he has worked with several artists from different countries like Lokua Kanza, Beethova Oba, Francisco, Tanya Saint-Val, Marcos Valle, Mino Cinélu, Bet.e and Stef, Lorraine Klaassen, Wesli, Ernesto Dabo, Maxime Leforestier, Zachary Richard, Michel Rivard, Daniel Bélanger among others.He can be heard on more than 50 albums as a studio musician and on a dozen long and short film soundtracks including Black Soul and Un Dimanche à Kigali. The Canadian Recording Association awarded him a Gold Record for his work on Daniel Bélanger's album "Quatre saisons dans le désordre." His diverse career led him to return to the music that rocked his childhood, the music from Haiti and the French West Indies. Inspired by the writings of his grandfather on the history of Haiti and by his fascination with traditional music, the percussionist produced his first album Anba Tonèl (under the arbor). Winner of the Global Music Award in 2018 (USA), the album was nominated at the Canadian Folk Music Awards 2018 and the Independent Music Awards 2019 (USA). A graduate of the University of Montreal in sociology and communication, Daniel organizes Caribbean percussion workshops in schools for primary and secondary students classes. He also prepares interactive and therapeutic percussion sessions for people on the autism spectrum in several specialized community centers. He has studied with several music therapists including Bill Matney from the United States at the University of Ottawa on the therapeutic applications of percussion and its impact. In 2018, he was the spokesperson for the Quebec Intellectual Disability Week for the Laval region.

Cat Bird

Lightning Talks

Since 2019 I have been Director of Business Development at Linus Entertainment. Linus is the home of Canadian outstanding record labels Stony Plain, True North, Children’s Group and Borealis Records. As the Head of the Marketing Department, I lead a team to publicize and promote recordings around the world.As Linus Entertainment also runs the administration of IDLA (Independent Distribution & Licensing Agency) I coordinate an international playlist promotion initiative for established recording artists and independent labels that ensures Canadian music is listened to on streaming platforms in all global markets.

Anne Marie Brugger

What's The Story? Uncovering the 'lede' in your bio and press releases

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 1:30-2:30pm, Suite 200

Fluently bilingual, Anne-Marie Brugger is an Ottawa-based local arts reporter, radio broadcaster and public speaker. A seasoned strategic communications professional, she has been part of Ottawa’s music landscape for over 20 years. Anne-Marie has produced and hosted a weekly radio program on CHUO 89.1FM since 2003. She can also be heard on CKCU 93.1 FM. A prolific writer, she has covered Juno Awards and interviewed the likes of Carole Pope, Orville Peck, Billy Talent, Our Lady Peace to name a few. She has supported emerging Canadian bands and witnessed their careers ascend while tirelessly contributing to her community in various capacities such as serving as Director of several boards including the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, the Ottawa Arts Council, CHUO, and the Ottawa Folk Festival.

Mélanie Brulée

Folk My Life: Finding work/life balance in the music industry

Friday, Oct. 14 - 3-4PM, Suite 200

Melanie Brulée is an award-winning Franco-Ontarian artist, community leader, and mental health advocate born and raised in Cornwall Ontario. While her musical journey began busking on the streets of Australia, she now embodies multiple facets of the arts sector, taking a step away from the stage to amplify the music industry's underrepresented voice as the new executive director at the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC). In addition to years of performing and touring, Melanie has worked as a consultant, mentor, booking and PR agent, as well as a radio promoter for Indigenous artists. Her passion for collaboration and advocacy has led her to initiate numerous projects including founding a women-led collective of songwriters, fundraising for mental health organizations, and developing youth workshops on songwriting and self-confidence. In her work as a dynamic organizer and facilitator, Melanie’s purpose is to unite and uplift the communities she serves.

Sebastian Buccioni

Developing Audiences in the European/UK Market

Friday, Oct. 14 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

After volunteering and falling in love with Estonian Music Week (EMW), Sebastian Buccioni became its first Executive Director. After successfully programming its first ever digital seasonin 2020, Buccioni was formally invited to add the artistic direction of the festival to his portfolio. Despite the challenges of the pandemic Buccioni successfully organized EMWs first hybrid music festival in 2021, connecting performers on two stages 6700 km apart in real-time through the power of live-stream. Buccioni takes a collaborative approach to programming, working with community groups to deliver meaningful content. Expanding EMW beyond programming, Buccioni is the driving force behind EMW's involvement in music import/export between Canada and Estonia. While active as a musician Buccioni was known for his work as a Hammond Organist and Keyboardist recording, touring and promoting the Julian Taylor Band, the Out of Towners and Chameleon Project. His compositional work has earned him a FACTOR and Canada Council for the Arts grant. Buccioni holds a BFA with specialization in music from York University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management from Queen’s. Buccioni is the president of the board with Toronto Operetta Theatre.

Siarra Burke-Smith

Lightning Talks

Siarra Burke-Smith is a recent graduate from the Acting for the Theatre program at Concordia University, in Montreal and is fluent in French. With a love for live entertainment and supporting Canadian talent, Siarra has always been curious about the business behind the stage, lights, and camera. This interest led Siarra to working with ADVANCE, Canada's Black Music Business Collective, as the Operations Assistant where she connects, advocates and provides new opportunities for the betterment of Black professionals across the music scene. On the other side, working directly with artists by creating education and performance opportunities, she was previously a part of the nonprofit, R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) team. Siarra is happy to be a part of the change where everyone can thrive together across the entertainment industry.

Jonathan Campbell

Lightning Talks

Before joining Small World Music, which presents and works with equity-deserving communities onstage and behind the scenes, Jonathan Campbell worked at and with many of Toronto’s major cultural institutions in communications, outreach, and programming. He ran the Toronto branch of secret-concert producers Sofar Sounds, and was an APAP Leadership Fellow. From 2000-2010, he lived in Beijing, actively bridging East and West via the city’s nascent music scene/biz performing, writing – for international media and in his book, Red Rock: The Long Strange March of Chinese Rock and Roll, which was published in 2011 – promoting, and more. At SWM, he contributes to live events, the eMERGEnce artist-development program, international showcase/conference Global Toronto, the Going Global outbound and international collaboration project, and more.

Liv Cazzola

Slow Touring, Eco-songwriting and other Acts of Environmental Activism

Friday, Oct 14 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

Liv Cazzola (Tragedy Ann, The Lifers) is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, educator, and earth advocate from Guelph, Ontario. Environmental activism is infused in her songwriting, audience engagement, and decisions made at home and on the road. Liv is a founding member of the Canadian chapter of Music Declares Emergency.

ROSALYN DENNETT

Folk is Who? What? When? (re)defining 'Folk' as a genre

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Rosalyn is the Executive Director of Folk Music Ontario. She excels as a community organizer and is passionate about helping folks build sustainable careers in the music industry. In 2016 Rosalyn co-founded the music company Stump Media, and in 2020 she co-founded The Arts Hub and Smiths Falls Music. Rosalyn worked for 5 years as the Outreach and Communications Coordinator for the Canadian Federation of Musicians, helping musicians navigate contracts and agreements, and advocating for stability in the literal 'gig economy'. Rosalyn enjoyed working for OntarioMusicLive.ca as Data Manager through an initiative of Music Canada, working to promote tourism and growth in Ontario's live music sector through outreach and development. During this time she also worked with the Canadian Live Music Association assisting in member data. Rosalyn spent 12 years as an internationally successful touring and recording artist, as a founding member of the band Oh My Darling. Rosalyn has been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Album "Oh My Darling" and "Sweet Nostalgia" and has released 3 highly acclaimed full length albums that have all reached the top of the Roots/Folk charts across Canada and Europe.DK).

Cindy Doire

Folk My Life: Finding work/life balance in the music industry

Friday, Oct. 14 - 3-4PM, Suite 200

Cindy is a registered psychotherapist (qualifying), a certified trauma-informed yoga teacher (RYT 500), a somatic body-mind centering coach, and an award-winning singer/songwriter. As a therapist, teacher, artist, and coach, she embraces how different every day and every moment is, and she allows the flow direction to come from the here-and-now. The journey is never linear, and it looks different for everyone; embracing individuality and the complexity of each person is essential.

Cindy will be facilitating group discussions in the Wellness Suite on Friday and Saturday of the FMO Conference.

Angelique Francis

Creating New Opportunities for Black Folk Artists

Saturday, Oct 14 - 3:30-4:30PM, Suite 400

Angelique Francis is a versatile and exceptionally gifted musician. This multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, multi-genre singer songwriter and composer has wowed audiences across the globe with her electrifying performances, instrumental abilities and powerful textured vocals. Angelique has shared the stage/opened for a large roster of well-known musicians such as Gary Clark Jr, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Keb’ Mo’, Jimmy Vivino, Beth Hart, Tom Cochran, Burton Cummings, Sugar Ray and the list goes on. Born and raised in Ottawa Canada, Angelique is a naturally gifted musician, who first took to the stage at age 7 and at 13 years old she made her American national television debut on the Oprah Network, for writing and composing an original theme song for the Gayle King show. By age 13 she was proficient in playing other instruments such as the acoustic guitar, upright Bass, electric guitar and electric bass. By age 14 she was playing at music festivals across North America opening for a variety of acts such as Beth Hart, Trooper and Shameka Copeland. Angelique’s soulful Smoky vocals and instrumental techniques are reminiscent of a bygone era, but with a unique and modern sensibility. Over the past few years Angelique Francis has established herself as a bona fide star on the Canadian Blues, Soul, Jazz and Folk scene. In March of 2022 she released her most recent album “Long River”. This highly sought-after musician hosted the 2022 Maple Blues awards and was a feature act at the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea festival (Miami to Jamaica), Grolsch Blues Festival (Germany), Sighisoara Blues Festival (Romania), Massey Hall, Montreal Jazz Festival, Mariposa Folk Fest, Calgary Folk fest and the list goes on.

Kim Fry

Slow Touring, Eco-songwriting and other Acts of Environmental Activism

Friday, Oct 14 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

Kim Fry lives in Kjipuktuk/Halifax in Mi'kma'ki. She works for the Ecology Action Centre, is a co-founder and board member for Music Declares Emergency Canada and works supporting and promoting emerging musicians. Kim lived in Tkaronto (Toronto) for 27 years where she was an elementary school teacher, union activist, climate justice activist and storyteller. When she has time, Kim is working on a novel about the climate emergency.

Ian Garrett

Slow Touring, Eco-songwriting and other Acts of Environmental Activism

Friday, Oct 14 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

Ian Garrett is a designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture. He is the director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University, where he is Graduate Program Director for Theatre and Performance Studies. He is also producer for Toasterlab, a mixed reality performance collective. He maintains a design practice focused on ecology, accessible technologies and scenography.

Sarah Greene

What's The Story? Uncovering the 'lede' in your bio and press releases

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

Sarah Greene is a songwriter, writer, and arts administrator. She got her start in campus-community radio at CIUT 89.5 FM (hosting Roadrunner), studied journalism at King’s College in Halifax and wrote for Halifax’s The Coast. Upon returning to Toronto, she became a longtime regular contributor to NOW Magazine’s music section, and was the Wood, Wires & Whiskey editor for Exclaim! from 2014-2018. She served on the Polaris Prize Jury from 2015 - 2019. She now books Tranzac, a not-for-profit venue and arts incubator in Toronto, and as a bio writer has helped numerous artists answer the question, “What’s the Story”?

Steafan Hannigan

Live Sound from Scratch

Friday, Oct. 14 - 10-11AM, Coffee House Stage

Steafan is a touring Technical Director for show like Menopause the Musical , Goldirocks, Reds in the Hood, Beanstock. He is also the Sound designer for Shape of Home, Currently at Crow’s Theatre Toronto, 4th Line Theatre, Rob Ford the Musical, Beauty and the Beast. He is a live audio engineer with credits such as Just For Laughs Montreal ,The Junos, Polky, Medusa, Mariposa, the Fretless, George Crotty , Sultans of String, Kevin Fox, Chris Langan weekend, Oireachtas Canada and at venues all across Canada. Steafan is also a performer, working with Come from Away, Loreena McKennitt, AfroCelts, Band ofHope Sin E, Lammas, Clan Hannigan.

Ebba Hellsten

Developing Audiences in the European/UK Market

Friday, Oct. 14 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Ebba Hellsten is the producer of the annual indoor Norrköping's Folk Music Festival. For the rest of the year she is central to the folk music scene in Östergötland. She’s part of several non profit organizations that work to keep Swedish folk music relevant. She’s also a fiddler and teacher, a leader of young musicians and organizers. She is one of the many passionate individuals who keeps the music industry in Sweden alive.

Janice Jo Lee

Folk is Who? What? When? (re)defining 'Folk' as a genre

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Janice Jo Lee (she/they) aka Sing Hey, is a contemporary folk artist of Korean settler ancestry. She is a folk-soul singer-songwriter, composer-sound designer, band leader, spoken word poet, actor, playwright, speaker and facilitator based in Tkaronto. Lee is a hard femme, queer, radical, comedian, truth-teller and satirist. On stage they create looping landscapes with their voice, guitar, trumpet and Korean janggu drum. Lee is a hard femme queer radical and on stage is known for being disarmingly hilarious, off-the-cuff and fearlessly honest. Lee's work explores gender justice, antiracism, friendship, community, ancestry and the Earth. Lee combines their literature, music and theatre background with their political activism to create art that engages through truth, comedy, lyricism and power. Genres and artistic disciplines do not limit them as a storyteller. They aim to think critically about how art functions within contexts of contemporary movements and community.

Andrew Karis

Lightning Talks

For the past 10 years, Andrew has worked to ensure performers access their neighbouring rights royalties and understand what rights and royalties are available to them in Canada and around the world. His brings past music industry experience working with unions, in music supervision, event planning and performance to his current role at ACTRA RACS. He also very much appreciates tips on great new music to listen to!

Tamara Kater

Developing Audiences in the European/UK Market

Friday, Oct. 14 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

A passionate music enthusiast, Tamara has worked in arts management and community outreach for more than twenty years. Within the folk music world, Tamara has worn the hat of agent, artist manager, board member and festival executive director. In 2015, she founded Mavens Music, a full-service management company specializing in building internationally focused careers for folk, roots, and Americana artists. Her client roster includes: Corin Raymond, Kaia Kater and Lonesome Ace Stringband. She has participated as a panelist, showcase producer and mentor at Folk Alliance International, AmericanaFest, NERFA, APAP and the East Coast Music Week. In 2021, she founded the CreekSong Festival, a one-day outdoor event taking place on the banks of the Big Otter Creek in Vienna, Ontario.

Ryan Kemp

Lightning Talks

Artistic Director, Peterborough Folk Festival

Add text

Cameron Kennedy

SOCAN Songwriting Masterclass

Sunday, Oct. 16 - 11AM-12PM, Suite 300

Cameron Kennedy is the Director of Creative for SOCAN and is responsible for strengthening SOCAN's repertoire by developing and implementing the organizations creative strategies. This includes spearheading the negotiations of high-earning members, developing, and maintaining the member benefits and educational efforts. Prior to joining SOCAN he had more than 10 years of expertise in the music and entertainment world. He was most recently a partner of one-twenty-eight, a Toronto-based talent booking, cause marketing and CSR agency. As an Artist Relations and Partnerships specialist, Cameron curated musical talent and entertainment for arena events worldwide. He has also served as Music Supervisor at the City of Toronto responsible for discovering local, national, and international talent, while developing and curating music programs and policies.

Steve Kenney

Lightning Talks

Steve Kenny is an artist manager and co-founder of Traverse Music. With experience on stages, at soundboards, and behind management desks, he brings in-depth industry knowledge and a comprehensive set of skills to cover every aspect of an artist's career. He has helped countless artists shape their career vision and create a framework for how to succeed by finding a sustainable career model that works for them.

Treasa Levasseur

Folk is Who? What? When? (re)defining 'Folk' as a genre

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Treasa Levasseur is currently the Program and Community Engagement Manager at Folk Alliance International, as well as a JUNO-nominated songwriter and seasoned sideperson. As passionate about community building as she is about music, Treasa also works as an artist educator with many organizations including Theatre Aquarius, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and is grateful for all the learning she did as the coordinator of FMO's Developing Artist Program from 2014 - 2019. Treasa has recently been activated by the words of Margaret Killjoy: 'what if we replaced gatekeepers with ushers and helped people find where they belong?'

Dan Mangan

SOCAN Songwriting Masterclass

Sunday, Oct. 16 - 11AM-12PM, Suite 300

Dan Mangan is a two-time JUNO Award-winning and two-time Polaris Music Prize-nominated musician and songwriter. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two sons. Mangan has toured extensively in North America, Europe & Australia. He has played Glastonbury & Jimmy Kimmel Live, collaborated with David Grohl, sold out Massey Hall and scored acclaimed soundtracks for television (Netflix, AMC) and feature films. In 2017, he co-founded Side Door, a community marketplace platform for the arts that seeks to democratize and decentralize the entertainment industry by allowing non-traditional spaces to be venues. Mangan’s 6th album, ‘Being Somewhere’, arrives in October 2022. Produced by Drew Brown (Radiohead, Beck), the album unfurls like an overdue conversation with a dear friend. It’s a combative plea for mercy from a manic world and its effects on the psyche. Forging sonics well beyond the tropes of modern folk music, the album features a global cadre of top tier musicians including Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms for Peace), Jason Falkner (Beck, St. Vincent), Thomas Bartlett (The National, Taylor Swift), Dave Okumu (Arlo Parks, Adele) Mary Lattimore (Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten), & Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew

Arthur McGregor

Fair Trade Music in the Gig Economy

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 2:30-3:30PM, Windsor Club

Arthur McGregor ran the Ottawa Folklore Centre for 38 years. He was a founding director of the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Arthur is recipient of the Estelle Klein (FMO) and the Unsung Hero (CFMA) awards. He is currently Canadian Vice-President of AF M Local 1000 and artistic director of the Upper Canada Folk Festival.

David McPherson

What's The Story? Uncovering the 'lede' in your bio and press releases

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

David McPherson is the author of Massey Hall (2021) and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History. A regular contributor to the Toronto Star and SOCAN's Words & Music, over the course of his 25 years as a music journalist, David has written for a wide variety of publications, including: GRAMMY.COM, the Globe and Mail, No Depression, American Songwriter and Acoustic Guitar. Currently, he serves on the Polaris Prize jury and is also a judge for the Canadian Folk Music Awards. As president and chief creative officer of McPherson Communications, David helps clients get the words right. The writer lives with his wife and two children in Waterloo, Ontario. Follow him @mcphersoncomm

Max Merrifield

Lightning Talks

Max Merrifield is the Artistic Director of Northern Lights Festival Boréal, Canada's longest consecutively-running music fest, based in Sudbury, ON. The festival presents an eclectic core of folk, world, indie; plus rock, hip-hop, pop, and beyond. He has been in this position since 2016, serving as the organization's Executive Director between 2013 and 2020, and first starting employment with the organization in 2011. Merrifield currently works full-time as an Initiatives Officer for FedNor, the federal government's economic development organization for Northern Ontario. He holds a B.A. from Laurentian University in Political Science. Under the Northern Lights banner, he founded the Bloom festival in 2019, a multi-venue, winter festival with a strong emphasis on cultural and musical diversity. His involvement in the music & arts scene also manifests itself in his work as a hip-hop artist, DJ, producer (Max Moon), independent concert promoter and contracted consultant, working on numerous other festivals and events.

Zainab Muse

Creating New Opportunities for Black Folk Artists

Saturday, Oct 15 - 3:30-4:30PM, Suite 400

Zainab Muse is an award-winning entrepreneur, design strategist, author and filmmaker. She is the founder & CEO of Creatorland Inc.Her work primarily focuses on using media and design to advance equitable and inclusive practices through innovation and community engagement strategies.In 2017, she became a board of director for RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, one of the top rated outdoor music festivals in North America, where she currently leads as the President of the board and the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. As a result of her cross-disciplinary work, she has been recognized as one of the 'Top 10 Shifters' in Ottawa, awarded 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by the Women in Communications and Technology, along with being recognized as a 'Woman Entrepreneur Icon' by Startup Canada and the Coca Cola Foundation, and as one of the 'Women Who Lead' in Ottawa, a campaign by Elevate International. In 2022, she was selected as a fellow of the Netflix - BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, and a fellow of the Black Screen Office (BSO) and Directors Guild of Canada (DDGC)'s Black Women Directors Accelerator.

Joni NehRita

Folk My Life: Finding work/life balance in the music industry

Friday, Oct. 14 - 3-4PM, Suite 200

Joni NehRita is singer/songwriter, producer, arranger and music educator. Her music blends soul, jazz & Afro-Latin/Caribbean rhythms while exploring themes of social justice, equity & cultivating compassion & imagination. Additionally, she is regularly a keynote speaker, panelist and workshop facilitator for topics including improvisation as a practice, anti-oppression & songwriting. Photo credit: Hilary Gauld.

Allison Outhit

Lightning Talks

Allison Outhit has worked for over 30 years in administration, licensing, and international business development in the film/TV and music industries. She was previously VP Operations at FACTOR, Canada’s largest and most impactful music funding organization, where she initiated steps toward equity and inclusion by prioritizing diversity of staff and jury members, creating programs for outreach and community development, and securing budgets to invest in projects by and for those communities. Allison founded the Alliance for Equity in the Music Industry to raise awareness of systemic discrimination and to advocate for equity in the governance and policy that drives the Canadian music industry. In 2019, she was honoured with the Brian Chater Industry Award, given by the Canadian Independent Music Association in recognition of a transformative commitment to Canadian music. A former recording and touring artist, Allison holds a law degree and a professional designation as a Canadian Certified Inclusion Practitioner from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. As a consultant, facilitator, and speaker, Allison is known for her compassionate commitment to promoting independent creatives and advocating for industry, policy, and social change.

Byron Pascoe

Lightning Talks

“Byron Pascoe is an entertainment lawyer and partner with Edwards Creative Law. Byron focuses on music law and works with recording artists, producers, managers, music service businesses and festivals. Before law school, he was a television and new media producer. Based in Ottawa, Byron works with clients across Canada. In Ottawa, he organizes the monthly music professional development series Independent Music Business. He is also a board member of CityFolk, MEGAPHONO; is active with the national network of legal clinics for the arts; and was awarded the Impact Award at the inaugural Ottawa Music Awards.”

Neil Pearson

Developing Audiences in the European/UK Market

Friday, Oct. 14, 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Neil is an artist manager, artist-development specialist, and project manager working in the UK and internationally, with a particular interest in singer/songwriter, folk, and the wider roots genres. He manages John Smith and Rachel Baiman, and has worked freelance with a range of artists, including Rose Cousins, The Small Glories, Julian Taylor and more on projects including UK development, album release cycles, and career development.In addition to this he programs the UK suite at Folk Alliance.

Sarah Porter

Lightning Talks

Sarah is the owner of Porter Music Management, based in Ottawa, Ontario. She has a roster of folk/blues/roots artists from both Canada and based internationally who she represents in both management and agency capacity. Her business primarily focuses on strategic planning for artist's career growth. She helps artists become the CEOs of their own companies and reach the success they want!

Cheryl Prashker

Lightning Talks

Cheryl Prashker studied classical percussion at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she was born and raised. She has toured Canada, U.S. Europe and Russia. She spent many years in NY City honing her skills playing everything from rock, to Middle Eatern music and accompanied many artists. She now tours with Eric Andersen and her own band, The Celtic Roots group RUNA. She lived in Philadelphia for 15 years and helped to run the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA). She now lives in Ontario and since 2018 has been the Artistic Director and General Manager for the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and College in Goderich, Ontario where she first attended as an artist in 2011.

Stefanie Purificati

Fair Trade Music in the Gig Economy

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 2:30-3:30PM, Windsor Club

Stefanie Purificati began her career as an agent in 2010 and recently helped open the Toronto office for APA Canada. She is a music industry veteran who got her start as the in-house talent buyer at the Drake Hotel. Her current roster includes iskwē, Shawnee Kish, Skye Wallace, Digging Roots, Riit, drag superstars Mo Heart and Tynomi Banks and many more. A highly active member of the community, Stefanie has sat on the Board of Directors for the Country Music Association of Ontario, worked for the Polaris Music Prize for a decade, and is a frequent panelist at conferences like Canadian Music Week, Breakout West, Halifax Pop Explosion, Line Check (Milan, Italy), Canadian Country Music Week and many more.

Sam Rayner

Lightning Talks

Raised in the East Coast, Sam Rayner has been in the music scene for over nine years as an artist and industry professional. He moved to Toronto in pursuit of more experience and later began working for True North Records, concentrating in Digital Assets and A&R. Sam joined the CIMA & MusicOntario team in 2016 as Membership Services Coordinator where he oversees day-to-day membership relations. Sam also serves as FACTOR’s Regional Educational Coordinator (REC).

Ebonnie Rowe

Lightning Talks

Jam concert and programme for young female artists of all cultures and musical genres that provides promotional, mentoring, networking, educational and performance opportunities. The initiative started in 1995 and they celebrated their 25 year milestone in 2020. Artists such as Grammy Award winners Nelly Furtado and Melanie Fiona, along with Juno winners Kellylee Evans and Jully Black and Polaris winner Haviah Mighty and many others performed early in their careers. Rowe has organized impactful experiences for the artists such as songwriting camps, industry workshops, mentor cafe's, tickets to major artist concerts, opportunities to attend the Polaris, Juno and Grammy Awards, and sessions to learn from major artists such as Jessie Reyez, Marsha Ambrosius, Destiny's Child original member LeToya Luckett, Elle Varner, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae and more. She has also created through Honey Jam a welcoming, supportive sisterhood and a safe space for young women to be vulnerable, to learn, to build self esteem and long-lasting relationships. It is for her a passion project.

Anna Ruddick

Folk My Life: Finding work/life balance in the music industry

Friday, Oct. 14 - 3-4PM, Suite 200

Anna Ruddick is a graduate of McGill university’s Jazz Performance program and postgraduate studies in Arts Administration and Cultural Management at Humber College. In her young career, Anna has risen to become one of the most in-demand and versatile bassists in Canada. She has performed on more than fifty studio albums spanning across many genres- a discography that includes multiple Juno award nominations and wins. In addition to her session work, Anna has performed live and toured with a who’s-who of Canadian and international artists notably City and Colour, Randy Bachman, Fefe Dobson, Erin Costelo, and Ian Blurton’s quartet Future Now. After over a decade as a full-time working musician, Anna is passionate about advocating for the financial and emotional wellbeing of Canadian Music Industry workers and has been working with The Unison Fund, Canada’s Music Charity since 2020, as Manager of Industry Relations.

Hilary Saunders

What's The Story? Uncovering the 'lede' in your bio and press releases

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 1:30-2:30PM, Suite 200

Hilary Saunders is the managing editor at No Depression, the leading source for roots music journalism, and her previous work has appeared in Paste, ESPN, Next City, The Jewish Daily Forward, and more. She’s a proud member of the National Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists, an alumna of the University of Miami and University of Liverpool, and a unironic believer that rock and roll can save the world.

Tara Shannon

Folk My Life: Finding work/life balance in the music industry

Friday, Oct. 14 - 3-4PM, Suite 200

With over 20 years of diverse experience, Tara Shannon brings her creative talent, teaching insight and hands on approach to the table. Her training and experience as a recording artist, songwriter, sound engineer, producer and label founder brings patient understanding of the road ahead for every artist/writer she works with. Her business experience and entrepreneurial skill set from building companies from the ground up are valuable assets for those seeking long standing careers in the music industry. An artist herself, Tara is able to connect with the developing artist from a place of empathy, compassion and honest understanding.

Candace Shaw

Fair Trade Music in the Gig Economy

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 2:30-3:30PM, Windsor Club

Candace Shaw is a Feminist, Cultural Producer, and Activist who has been a fixture on the Canadian music scene for almost thirty years. She was the long-time Artistic Director for the Peterborough Folk Festival, Chair of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and Booker for the Music City Summer Series in The Distillery District, Toronto, amongst other roles.She is a thoughtful, engaging, and provocative commentator and advocate for women, the arts, and arts workers’ rights, and in 2019 was a candidate in the Federal election. Candace is the founder of Secret Frequency.ca, a not-for-profit advocacy and education organization working with under-represented people in the Canadian music industry.

Kimberly Sinclair

Lightning Talks

Kimberly Sinclair is an award-winning music industry professional who manages marketing and communications for North American organizations, events, and performers. Kimberly is the founder of the Canadian multi-award winning publicity and marketing firm, Spincount. Born in Kentucky and currently living in Hampton, NB, Kimberly produces online global events and creates the underlying marketing strategies and procedures that ensure success. Kimberly currently serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Folksong Society and NERFA. She formerly served on the Music Nova Scotia Board and East Coast Music Association Board of Directors. Follow Kimberly @kimberlysinc or SPINCOUNT @spincount

Robert Singerman

Lightning Talks

Lightning TalksEntrepreneur represented & developed iconic talent (James Brown, Fela, Suzanne Vega, Gipsy Kings, R.E.M., Bad Brains, Sun Ra, Violent Femmes…); labels, (Roadrunner, Fetish). Directed North America for Europe, Brazil & France’s music export offices, set up trade missions for many countries & aids new music tech, solving music community problems. SVP International Publishing LyricFind, EVP MUSIC, Founder CAB, Partner/Board for category leading organizations, conferences (Mondo, SyncSummit) & companies Heaven11, Venue Pilot, Songtradr, speaks around globe & virtually on cutting edge issues. Main 18 year+ mission is giving music human translated, legal, subtitles; YouTube, Deezer added subtitles due to his work.

Emy Stancheva

Fair Trade Music in the Gig Economy

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 2:30-3:30PM, Windsor Club

Emy Stantcheva is Executive Director of MusicOntario, the provincial Music Industry Association (MIA) dedicated to supporting the grassroots growth of Ontario’s music sector. Since joining the organization in 2013, Emy has overseen its operations, communications, marketing, funding, policy, and programming, fulfilling the association’s mission to create opportunities for emerging artists and music entrepreneurs through professional development, advocacy, and access to resources. Coming from a slew of roles at the Canadian Independent Music Association, Emy believes strongly in the value of trade organizations to educate and empower. Under her leadership, the organization has curated and delivered more than 250 events across 37 cities, seven provinces/states, six countries and two continents in support of developing Ontario’s music community.

@musicontario

Amie Therrien

Lightning Talks

Amie Therrien is the Executive Director of MMF Canada, a non-profit organization that supports managers and self-managed artists with professional development, mentorship, and networking opportunities as well as advocating on their behalf to the government and the community at large. Prior to MMF Canada, Amie was the owner of Balsam Pier Music, an artist management and development company where she worked primarily with folk, roots, and Americana artists. She has also worked in marketing and management at Coalition Music and as the Programming Coordinator for Folk Alliance International. Amie is board president of Folk Music Ontario, a former MMF Canada board member, and an alumna of the Artist Manager Program with Canada’s Music Incubator. Based in Toronto, Amie is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, a part-time runner, kayaker, meditator, beader, and the proud owner of a Masters degree in Civil Engineering.

Morgan Toney

Folk is Who? What? When? (re)defining 'Folk' as a genre

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Music’s an almost alchemical force to Canadian Mi'kmaq fiddler and singer Morgan Toney. In just a short amount of time, Toney has invigorated both the Atlantic music communities and Mi’kmaq communities by bringing together the fiery fiddling of Cape Breton Island with the old songs of the Mi’kmaq. He calls this fusion Mi’kmaltic (Mi’kmaq + Celtic). Toney’s debut album First Flight, nominated for 3 East Coast Music Awards and a Canadian Folk Music Award, showcases this unique combination. With the immediate accolades and attention, it’s easy to forget that Morgan Toney is so new to the music, having only played the fiddle for a few years. But there’s something deeper at work here. His great-grandfather and three other great-uncles were all Mi'kmaq fiddlers of renown in the community. Morgan Toney introduced his debut album "First Flight" to the world on March 25, 2022 via Ishkōdé Records.

Chris White

Folk is Who? What? When? (re)defining 'Folk' as a genre

Saturday, Oct. 15 - 12:30-1:30PM, Windsor Club

Chris White is grateful to live as a guest on unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinaabeg land. He is a songwriter, festival and event producer, radio and video host and sing-along leader who loves connecting people to music and to one another. Chris co-founded the Ottawa Folk Festival in 1993 and programmed it for 16 years. He led the Writer's Bloc songwriting collective for many years and co-founded a number of community-based music events, including Musical Friends, The Great Canadian Song-Along, Gil's Hootenanny, Ochsfest, Folkbooth and Tree Songs. Since 2013, Chris has hosted 'Canadian Spaces' on CKCU FM, Canada's longest-running folk/roots radio program. During the pandemic, he created a live weekly video show called 'Canadian Faces' to help artists stay connected. Chris has released three albums of original songs, and explored his Black, Indigenous and European ancestry in a recording project with The Afro-Métis Nation. He leads sing-along sessions for people of all ages and abilities, and has a specific interest in helping people with dementia connect *and create* through music and rhythm.

Liana White