The Folk Music Ontario Developing Artist Program takes place concurrently with the Folk Music Ontario annual conference. The program is open to residents of Canada between ages 18 and 25, who are chosen for their interest, ability and experience.  

Many established and respected artists have taken part in this program over the years. Past participants include Kaia Kater, Emily Gilbarts, Campbell Woods, Housewife (formerly Moscow Apt.), Annie Sumi, The Lifers, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, & Arianna Gillis. Past mentors include Julian Taylor, Amanda Rheaume, Janice Jo Lee, Irish Mythen, AHI, Leonard Sumner, The Good Lovelies, Lynn Miles and many more. 

The program provides young folk/roots performers with an excellent opportunity to shadow an established artist, to experience hands-on learning at the workshops and master classes, and to integrate into this tightly knit musical community. Chosen applicants will receive a complimentary registration to the 2022 conference.  

Participants are teamed with established artists for one on one mentorship and professional development training beginning four weeks before the Folk Music Ontario Conference. These activities will culminate in a showcase performance at the conference.     

- One-on-One mentorship meetings 
- Online Orientation/Meet & Greet with all DAP participants & mentors 
- Online Professional Development Workshops 
- Conference & Showcase Preparation 

- Attending special Conference orientation on Thursday Evening 
- Participating in workshops and panels 
- Performing in Developing Artist Showcase on Saturday afternoon in which the  performers each perform a 15-minute set accompanied by their mentors. 

Participants are also encouraged to watch and observe official and spotlight showcases on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as the networking events that take place Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Conference. 


    We are looking for Developing Artist Program participants who are: 
    - Residents of Canada
    - Between the ages of 18-25
    - Comfortable with performing in front of an audience 
    - Interested in improving their live performance skills in a hands-on showcase experience 
    - Ready for and/or interested in learning more about the music industry 
    - Already composing and interested in learning more about developing original compositions 
    - Interested in learning more about the business side of being a performing artist/musician 

    Selected Developing Artist Program participants should: 
    - Commit to attending all online and on-site Developing Artist Program scheduled activities 
    - Connect with their mentor in the weeks before the conference 
    - Establish their own individual schedule of activities 
    - Be aware of expectations for the program as well as the showcase performance 
    - Prepare and practice two to four songs (15 minutes of material) to perform in the showcase 
    - Come to the conference well rested 
    - Bring writing material for taking notes, a refillable water bottle, snacks for the hotel room 
    - Work hard, play hard, sleep little, attend as much of the conference as they can stay awake for
    - Network with other Developing Artist Program participants and conference delegates 
    - Be prepared to promote themselves - prepare promotional materials 
    - Make their own arrangements for accommodation – at the conference preferred rate  
    - Have access to a CREDIT CARD for checking into the hotel (hotel policy) 
    - Purchase their own meals (some meals will be provided on site)



    THURSDAY EVENING – Developing Artist Program orientation session – we will introduce the participants and mentors to the group, familiarize the group with the schedule and expectations for the weekend, and give a brief overview of the conference. This will be followed by a round-robin-style song circle – bring instruments! 

    FRIDAY – business-oriented workshop(s), one-on-one sessions with mentors during which participants will work on preparing a showcase performance. The remaining time on Friday is to be scheduled by participant and mentor prior to the conference  

    SATURDAY – business-oriented workshop(s), one-on-one sessions with mentors, Developing Artist Showcase  

    FRIDAY & SATURDAY EVENINGS – attend the Official Showcases  

    SUNDAY MORNING – Developing Artist Program wrap-up session and check-out, Awards Gala

    Taylor Mitchell Bursary

    In 2010, in memory of her daughter, Canadian songwriter Taylor Mitchell, Emily Mitchell established the Folk Music Ontario Taylor Mitchell Bursary for participants in the Developing Artist Program. The renewed intention of the bursary is to provide a means for applicants whose circumstances might not otherwise permit them to attend to overcome any obstacles that might prevent them from attending. 

    Annually, one performer will be chosen to receive up to $500 towards costs associated with attending the conference and participating in the Developing Artist Program. Applicants wishing to be considered for the bursary must be nominated for the bursary by a teacher/community member/mentor, in light of the goals of the bursary program. The recipient is determined according to need by a group of musical mentors who knew and loved Taylor.


    Applications can be submitted by individuals, festivals or venues from across Ontario. Applicants will be considered through a juried process administered by Folk Music Ontario.  

    Please prepare the following, submitted via the online application form:  
    - Description (up to 500 words) of your musical interests and expertise: include any pertinent information including years of experience, type and level of training, musical genres you are involved and/or interested in, instruments you play, and any other information which you deem relevant to your musical interests and goals; 
    - Your reason(s) for interest in the Developing Artist Program; 
    - Description of what you are looking for in a mentor;  
    - Your tech requirements for the showcase (whether you need a vocal mic, a DI, line or mic for your instrument, etc.); 
    - Links to your music (does not need to be professionally recorded); 
    - Video link(s) to performances on Youtube, your website, etc.; 

    If you have any questions, please contact Joel Elliott, Operations Manager, at office@folkmusicontario.ca or call the office at 1-866-292-6233 or 613-560-5997. 

    Deadline for applications: Monday, July 25th, 2022 - 5:00pm EST