We're excited to kick off the first episode in a series titled ‘The Art of Booking’ where we speak with Artistic Directors of music festivals from across Canada. In this week's episode, we chat to Kerry Clarke, the Artistic Director behind the renowned Calgary Folk Festival and its winter counterpart, Block Heater.
Kerry walks us through her process of curating the festival lineup and shares insights into how she crafts captivating rosters each year — shedding light on what it takes for artists to secure a spot. Additionally, Kerry provides valuable advice on catching the attention of Artistic Directors at both conferences and through pitch emails.
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Community radio was Kerry’s entry into the independent music world 36 years ago. She’s artistic and marketing director of the 44 year ‘post-folk’ Calgary Folk Music Festival, the winter Block Heater festival and an off-season concert series. She spent some time on the skins in an all-female lo-fi band decades ago, is on several non-profit arts boards, has served on many arts juries, is a proud part of WRAD (western roots artistic directors) and NApresenters, co-founded Rwanda’s KigaliUp festival, and produces/hosts weekly CKUA and CJSW radio programs when she’s not traveling to conferences and festivals to see music from a vast range of genres.