Panels, Workshops and Peer Sessions


No Music On a Dead Planet

11AM - 12PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

2023 will be known as the climate tipping point year. In March 2023, the IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) sixth assessment report outlined that Climate change isn’t a problem for the future but a crisis happening right now, including extreme weather events already negatively affecting communities and ecosystems worldwide. The need for Immediate Ambitious Climate Leadership from every corner of the globe and from every industry and sector is urgently needed. Musicians have a unique ability to reach people's hearts and inspire change. This panel will look at the role of music in addressing the climate emergency from making art to practical solutions around touring and merch. 

Peter Zwarich 
Kim Fry 

Meet the ADs

11AM - 12PM, Suite 300, 3rd Floor

Have you been wondering what it takes to get hired to play some festivals? Or are they even reading your brilliant and funny bio? Or just how many submissions festivals get and do they even book anyone from those unsolicited submissions anyways? Come meet some A.D's from some large well-known and smaller lesser-known festivals and maybe they'll answer some of these mysterious questions of the festival universe. 

Devin Latimer, Trout Forrest Music Festival
Kerry Clarke, Calgary Folk Festival
Max Merrifield, Northern Lights Festival Boréal
Michelle Shaevitz, Mission Folk Festival

Music Educators Peer Session

11:30AM - 12:30PM, Suite 400, 3rd Floor 

A gathering of music educators, from those that teach in classrooms, camps, workshops, private lessons, universities, masterclasses, and all the other many settings in which musicians influence and change the worlds of those around them. This is a place to share your stories, insights, challenges, and successes from the educator's perspective. 

Anne Lederman

Sync & Licensing: Where Does 'Folk' Fit in Film?

FOLK IN FILM FEST - 12PM - 1PM, Windsor Club, Mezzanine Level 

Does Folk music get placed or 'synced' in Film and Television programming? Join our panel of sync experts, discussing the process of getting your music licensed; how to set up your catalogue for success, and the who, where, when, and how to pitch to a music supervisor!

Michelle Allman-Esdaille 
Sean Mulligan 
Michael Perlmutter

2SLGBTQIA+: Queer Peer Session

12pm - 1pm, Suite 300, 3rd Floor

This session is a safe space for folks in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to support one another, and share stresses and successes.

Gareth Auden-Hole

Your Guide to Grant Writing

1PM - 2PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

We've put together a crackerjack group of grant-writers and grant officers, to discuss best practices, some do's and don'ts, and offer personalized advice for folks that need a guide through the many grant processes and portals. Bring your questions, a laptop, or some printed copy, if you'd like personalized feedback from the experts! 

Ward Dilse, Ontario Creates 
Sebastian Cook, the Grant Guru 
Tamara Kater 
Max Merrifield 
Emma Lamontagne

Folk Agents Peer Session


This session is to discuss issues and relevant topics with your fellow Agents working in the Folk music space.  

Nicole Rochefort

AUTHENTICITY: Creativity and Branding: Rejection as Inspiration

1PM - 2PM, Wellness Suite 1816

If I sell myself, do I lose myself? How do we draw the lines between authenticity and branding in the music industry?

Black Artists and Music Industry Peer Session

1PM - 2PM, Prime Minister's Suite, Room 2216

A continuation of the conversation started at the 2022 Creating New Opportunities for Black Folk Artists session, This peer discussion is a space for Black artists and music industry professionals to gather and share some of the challenges and successes of working in folk markets in Canada and abroad. This will be a peer-led discussion, with the aim to support one another as we navigate our lives in the music industry. 

Julian Taylor

Folk Tracks: Learn to use Ableton Live

FOLK IN FILM FEST - 1:30pm - 2:30pm, Windsor Club, Mezzanine Level 

From film composition to live performances, folk musicians are increasingly incorporating "tracks" and technology like Ableton into their craft. This session will cover the basics of how to use Ableton Live. Ableton Live is a "fast, fluid and flexible software for music creation and performance. It comes with effects, instruments, sounds and all kinds of creative features". This is a hands-on workshop, so we recommend singing up for a free trial of Abelton Live prior to the event: 

Workshop Leader
Shawn Chiki

Navigating the music industry as neurodivergent

2:30PM - 3:30PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

This peer session is a space for neurodivergent folks to gather and share some challenges, tips, and tools, as we navigate our lives in the music industry. This will be a casual discussion, in a supportive environment. Feel free to bring your own stims, or stims to share! 

Saskia Tomkins

Bandleader Hacks Peer Session

2:30PM - 3:30PM, Suite 400, 3rd Floor 

A candid and safe conversation about the challenges and questions that affect bandleaders and how we can move more smoothly through our tours, including tour hacks, per diem or not per diem, musician salaries and how to come home with money after paying everybody else. 

Shakura S’Aida

Workshop: Film Scoring

FOLK IN FILM FEST - 3PM - 4PM, Windsor Club, Mezzanine Level 

Join us for a workshop on how to score music for film, with the talented Bob Wiseman! 

Workshop Leader
Bob Wiseman

SCARCITY: Toxic Comparisons: Virtual Joy vs Personal Stress

3PM - 4PM, Wellness Suite 1816

A scarcity mindset erodes self-esteem and creativity. How might we prioritize artistic growth and well-being amidst unreal standards and expectations?

How to Make a Living as an Artist Without Destroying the World (or Yourself)

11AM - 12PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

Physical and social changes to our environment influence the work that artists create and the world where they transmit it. Our panelists will discuss the many facets of our surroundings that impact each of us: our natural environment, elections, social movements, financial viability, and personal health and self-care, in a frank and personal discussion of their experiences navigating eco-anxiety, and sustainability within their lives and their respective music careers. 

Jorge Raquena Ramos, Moderator 
Anna Ruddick 
Tiiu Strutt 
Luke Wallace 

Concert Presenters Roundtable

11AM - 12PM, Suite 300, 3rd Floor 
Presented by riseau sparc network

This session is for small/medium/large concert presenters to discuss issues in a friendly roundtable format 

Sandy Irvin

House Concert Presenters Roundtable

11AM - 12PM, Suite 400, 3rd Floor 

This session is for house concert presenters to discuss issues in a friendly roundtable format 

Edith McLaren

Music Managers Peer Session

Presented by Music Managers Forum 
Prime Minister’s Suite Room 2216, 11AM - 12PM 

This session is to discuss issues and relevant topics with your fellow Music Managers. 

Amie Therrien, MMF Canada

Labour Shortages for Festivals and Large Presenters

12PM - 1PM, Suite 300, 3rd Floor 
presented by the canadian live music association

This conversation will dive into one of the most talked about topics in our industry: labour shortages. Whether it is around staff, contractors or volunteers, this discussion will focus on the recruitment, retention, and succession plans needed to ensure a more sustainable live music sector. 

Presented in collaboration with Canadian Live Music Association. This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters. It is also made possible with the support of Ontario Creates.

Sergio Parra

Table Ronde des artistes et de l’industrie de la musique francophone

12:30pm - 1:30PM, Suite 400, 3rd Floor 

Cette session de pairs adresse la réalité des francophones œuvrant tant du côté "français" qu' "anglais" de la scène musicale canadienne. Il s'agit d'une table ronde informelle permettant de faciliter la discussion et de créer un espace de soutien mutuel. de solidarité, de prise de conscience des défis et de partage des succès, dans l'optique de nous aider à mieux naviguer dans le domaine de la musique. 

Cécile Doo Kingué

Booking Folks, Booking Folk

1PM - 2PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

Our panel of folks that book and folks that get booked, will guide you through the do's, don'ts, and best practices of the booking process, from first pitch, through to post-gig bliss. 

Val Denn, Moderator 
Danielle Devlin 
Ewelina Ferenc, Sweet Beets Agency

STRESS TOLERANCE: Numbing vs Relaxing: What’s the Difference

1pm to 2pm, Wellness Suite 1816

Is there undue pressure to be constantly mindful and present? 

Distinguishing between numbing as an escape, and relaxation as an act of love.

Indigenous Artists & Music Industry Peer Session

2PM - 3PM, Suite 400, 3rd Floor 

An Indigenous, peer-led session, for folks to share challenges and successes on topics like collaboration, engaging effectively with buyers and industry workers, encouraging and supporting one another, funding opportunities, and incorporating our Indigenous perspectives and culture into both the creative and business side of our art.

Jo Proulx

Know Your Rights, Find Your Royalties!

2:30PM - 3:30PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

You Gotta Fight For Your Rights... To Royalties! This Panel Of Experts Will Help You Navigate The World Of Performers' Rights Organizations (Pros) And Other Places Your Ip And Residuals May Be Hiding, To Help You Claim Your Piece Of It! 

Sherry Sinclaire, CMRRA, Moderator 
Neeta Ragoonwansi, Folk Alliance International
Joel Schwartz/Aaron Lightstone, CMCRI
Houtan Hodania, SOCAN
Burt Gidaro, Edwards Creative Law
Liana White, Canadian Federation of Musicians

IDENTITY: Curiosity and Humility: Exploring Privilege

3pm to 4pm, Wellness Suite 1816

How might our personal identities intersect with our careers?

Does diversity, complexity, and creativity provide an opportunity to expand our voice and deepen connections?

Latine Artists and Music Industry Peer Session

3:30PM - 4:30PM, Suite 400, 3rd Floor 

E Bum! De la música en español en Canadá Los creadores de música latines están haciendo cada vez más ruido. Poco a poco creciendo como escena. Ya no solamente creciendo en Toronto, Montreal y Vancouver. La comunidad latina es la demográfica que crece mas rápido en Alberta y creciendo en Manitoba. Saskatchewan y ciudades pequeñas en Ontario cada ves más rápido. Pero, que nos pueden enseñar los latines con mas experiencia en la industria? Como nos pueden preparar? Puede la música de nuestra diáspora, en un lenguaje extranjero tener impacto? Deberías crear dentro del “sonido canadiense” o arriesgarte? Y lo mas importante, como reconciliar el folk y el folklore de las voces latinas?

Tina Wroblewski 
Jorge Raquena Ramos


Artistic Directors' Peer Session

10AM - 12PM, Suite 200, 3rd Floor 

This is a gathering of Artistic Directors and buyers to discuss artists they have seen during the 2023 FMO Conference and collaborate on ways to facilitate bookings for the 2024-25 seasons.

SOCAN Songwriting Masterclass

11AM - 12PM, Suite 300, 3rd Floor 

SOCAN presents JUNO-nominee AHI, in conversation with Houtan Hodania, SOCAN Creative Executive for a special songwriting MasterClass. Join us for an interactive workshop at the 2023 Folk Music Ontario Conference where AHI will share insights on co-writing, song structure, exploring other genres, finding inspiration, and more.  Whether you’re an aspiring songwriter or an industry professional, this MasterClass offers an exclusive insider look at the craft of songwriting and creating music with impact.

Houtan Hodania, SOCAN