Host & Producer of The Imposter // Canadaland
Toronto, ON

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Aliya Pabani is a multidisciplinary artist and host/producer of Canadaland's arts and culture podcast The Imposter. Now in its second season, The Imposter casts a wide net, from candid interviews with artists like Tanya Tagaq and Lido Pimienta, to the story of a psychic who predicts the future creations of artists over Skype, to a two-part episode about a Moog pioneer from the Maritimes.

This season features a series of episodes that explore the poetics and politics of comedy through Aliya's quest to become a viable stand up comedian by the season's end. The Imposter was named one of the best podcasts of 2017 on CBC's Podcast Playlist and on Constant Listener, who has previously called it "one of the finest, most compulsively listenable shows in the world of podcasts today."


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Cultural Funding Officer // City of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON

Born in NYC, Adrija McVicar studied classical voice and piano at the Conservatoire de musique Sainte-Croix (Montreal), at the Manhattan School of Music, and at Carleton University in Ottawa where she received her Bachelor degree in 2000. During her career, Adrija has worked in the cultural field for not-for-profit arts and festival organizations in artistic programming, event planning, fundraising and volunteer coordination. She has served as a juror on assessment committees, has experience in grant writing and jury facilitation.

Since starting at the City of Ottawa in 2010, Adrija has worked in arts administration for the Cultural Funding Support Section and currently holds (amongst others) the music portfolio. Adrija can speak to City of Ottawa Grants that are available to professional artists via the Arts Funding Program and the Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists. In her spare time, Adrija volunteers as Choir Director for "Arija" - an Ottawa-based Lithuanian Chamber Vocal Ensemble.



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Founder & Producer // Venusfest
Toronto, ON

Aerin Fogel is a Toronto-based musician, promoter, and producer. In 2017 she founded Venus Fest, a music festival celebrating feminism in the arts, and has since launched a monthly Venus Fest series. Aerin has dedicated her work in the Toronto community to creating safer, freer, and more integrated spaces where people can start to come together around music in a new way.

Aerin played previously in The Bitters with Ben Cook (Fucked Up/Young Guv/Bad Actors Records) and recently launched her new music project, Queen Of Swords. She also works in Toronto as a professional astrologer.

Executive Director // Folk Music Ontario
Ottawa, ON

Alka joined Folk Music Ontario as the Executive Director in 2013. Prior to that, she worked as the Interim Executive Director at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and spent many years as the Senior Manager of Operations with the Toronto International Film Festival. Alka has also worked at CBC Radio as the Associate Producer for Outfront, and in campus/community radio in Ottawa, Guelph and Toronto.

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A&R // Saddle Creek
Los Angeles, USA

Amber is an A&R at Saddle Creek Records where she’s in the midst of expanding their roster with exciting new talent, and opening their second office outside of Omaha in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. As a former A&R at ANTI- Records, she signed Japandroids, Cass McCombs, The Drums, Delicate Steve, Girlpool, Los Angeles Police Department, Prism Tats, Andy Shauf, Un Blonde, Cameron Avery, Xenia Rubinos, Doe Paoro and more. 




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Label Manager // Partisan Records
Brooklyn, USA

Andy Hsueh started working at Partisan in 2011. In his time there, he has worked with artists including Deer Tick, Sylvan Esso, Cigarettes After Sex, The Black Angels, Craig Finn, Torres and many others. He began his career in music working at EMI/Astralwerks/Caroline for several years, and then at The Orchard before moving to Partisan.




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Creative Producer // VEVO
New York City, USA

Before joining Vevo's Original Content team, Anupa was Canada editor at The FADER. For over a decade she's worked as a music and culture critic reporting on Toronto's rap, R&B, and dance music scenes for local, national, and international publications such as NOW Magazine, The Globe & Mail, SPIN, The Guardian, and more.

Throughout these various roles, her objective has always been to platform music that reflects the diversity of the Canadian experience.




A&R Director / Creative Services // Third Side Music
Montreal, QC

Brontë is the A&R Director at independent music publisher Third Side Music, where she has been responsible for signing artists like Blonde Redhead, Sofi Tukker, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Cross Record. Brontë has also acted as a Managing Music Editor at EARMILK and a Music Consultant at Instinct Entertainment, among other roles.


Entertainment Lawyer // Edwards PC, Creative Law
Ottawa, CA

Byron Pascoe provides legal services to Music, Film, TV, New Media, Gaming and other creative clients. Byron works with musicians and music companies across Canada, including to assist with drafting and reviewing agreements such as record label, publishing, distribution, producer, remixer, band and management agreements.

Byron co-founded and co-manages the Ottawa Independent Music Business series, along with partners at Capital Rehearsal Studios and the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition. The series provides free monthly music business workshops to the capital’s music community. Byron also contributes the legal column to Ottawa's music publication, Ottawa Beat.


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Staff Writer // Exclaim! Media
Toronto, ON

Calum Slingerland is a Staff Writer (and sometimes photographer) at Exclaim! Media, Canada's foremost source of news and information on the best in emerging new music. Born and raised in Ottawa, he began writing, shooting video and podcasting about music from the nation’s capital and beyond through personal site Music Notes before moving to Toronto in 2014.

Calum also produces a week-in-review segment for !earshot20, a nationally syndicated campus/community radio program available through the National Campus and Community Radio Association and broadcast from CFMH-FM in Saint John, New Brunswick. Calum's written and visual work has also been published by VICE, Banger Films, the Ottawa Citizen, Potholes in My Blog and more.

In his spare time, you can find him rolling through Toronto's streets on two wheels or meticulously alphabetizing his record collection.


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Videographer & Photographer // colinmedley.com
Toronto, ON

Colin Medley is a photographer and video director who has spent the past 15 years entrenched in the Canadian underground music scene, and has worked closely with some of the country’s most beloved and acclaimed artists, including Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls, The Weather Station, and Partner. He currently lives in Toronto, where he is also a co-organizer of the Long Winter music and art festival.




President, Artist Manager & Consultant // CLK Creative Works
Toronto, ON

David “Click” Cox started his career as a member of the MMVA winning and JUNO nominated group, The Maximum Definitive. Created reputation for his promotional and marketing efforts working closely with concert promotions company REMG. Soon after, he started his career working with BMG Music Canada and then worked at Universal Music Canada as A&R.

During his time with Universal, David founded the Stylus Awards to celebrate the Canadian urban music talents and recognition of DJs. After 8 years with Universal, he created his own entertainment company, CLK Creative Works. Today, CLK is responsible for managing an eclectic roster of highly skilled and experienced artists including SATE, King Reign, DJ Agile, Raz Fresco and Jigsaw. Along with management, David teaches music business at Metalworks and The Remix Project.


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Owner // Canvas Media
Toronto, ON

David Tysowksi is a University of Saskatchewan graduate who has worked in the music industry for over 20 years. Starting in music retail at A&B Sound in Calgary, David then moved to Warner Music Canada for over 11 years where he served in multiple roles (Regional Marketing, Promotion, National Marketing Manager). In 2007 David joined Arts&Crafts, a Toronto-based independent label and artist services company, where he worked as the Director of National Promotion, overseeing projects in Canada and the United States.

David started his own PR company, Canvas Media, in January 2012, which allowed him to work with independent labels such as Dine Alone, Arts&Crafts, Royal Mountain, Paper Bag, Light Organ, eOne, Sonic Unyon, Cadence Music Group, Dare To Care and Pheromone.

Artists currently represented by Canvas Media include City and Colour, The Lumineers, Broken Social Scene, Alvvays, Wintersleep, Tokyo Police Club, Japandroids, Dan Mangan, Hollerado, Danko Jones, Jimmy Eat World, Rural Alberta Advantage, Royal Canoe, Weaves and Yukon Blonde. Canvas Media services focus primarily on radio promotion, but also include video promotion and publicity.


Photographer // Brooklyn Vegan
New York City, USA

Dominick Mastrangelo is a freelance photographer (and sometimes writer) based in New York City. He's covered concerts and festivals across North America since 2008 for the likes of Spotify and SpinMedia. He was a regular contributor to the popular blog BrooklynVegan for several years. His work has appeared in a multitude of print and online publications including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Rockin' On (Japan), Modern Drummer and New York magazine.


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Marketing & Project Manager // Sleepless Records & The Hand Recordings
Toronto, ON

Esra Firatli is the current Marketing and Project Manager of Toronto-based labels Sleepless Records and The Hand Recordings. The labels are home to July Talk, Kandle, Programm, Shade, and Sunshine & The Blue Moon, and are developing artists and bands for 2018 releases to be announced shortly.




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Co-founder // Balaclava Records
São Paulo, Brazil

Fernando Dotta is co-founder of Brazilian indie record label and booking agency Balaclava Records. The company was founded in March 2012 by Fernando and Rafael Farah, both musicians in the band Single Parents.

Balaclava is responsible for distribution, booking, promotion, licensing, press, executive production and career management. The roster has more than 40 artists and have licensed from labels such as Stones Throw, Merge Records, Barsuk, Captured Tracks, Sinderlyn, Kanine Records, Polyvinyl and K Recs. As a booking agency, Balaclava has booked the following acts in the past years: Mac DeMarco, Shabazz Palaces, Tycho, Real Estate, Yuck, Sebadoh, Swervedriver, Mac McCaughan, Mild High Club, TOPS, Jonathan Toubin, Crocodiles, Allah-Las, Yonatan Gat, The Shivas, and Trails and Ways.

Since 2015, Balaclava has promoted its own music festival Balaclava Fest, and created Sacola Alternativa, a free music fair dedicated to independent record labels and promoters, including workshops, panels, documentaries and showcases.  

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Artist Management and Business Development // Bonsound
Montreal, QC

Gourmet Délice is the co-owner and co-founder of Bonsound, a Montreal-based, management, booking and record company which represents artists such as Malajube, Champion, Radio Radio, Groenland, Lisa LeBlanc, DeadObies, and Safia Nolin. Bonsound also runs Bonsound Promo and Bonsound Concerts.




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Agent // Paquin Artists Agency
Toronto, ON

Winnipeg born, Toronto based, Grant Paley has spent the past 20+ years entrenched in the music scene – as both artist and agent.

Joining Paquin Artists Agency Division in 2009, Grant represents a diverse roster of artists in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. He’s worked directly with such artists as Too Many Zooz, Delhi 2 Dublin, Chali 2na, the Funk Hunters, DJ Shub, Royal Canoe, SkiiTour, Fred Penner, Megative, The Elwins, Louise Burns, the Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, Old Man Luedecke, Shred Kelly and Terra Lightfoot.

Before making the transition to full-time agent, he toured extensively under the alias RPG, and most notably as part of multi-WCMA winning band Moses Mayes.

Grant also lends his expertise to several music programs by acting as mentor & speaker to emerging artists & conferences around the world. He has sat on juries for FACTOR, the Canada Council for the Arts, CARAS, WCMA/BreakOutWest and Manitoba Film & Music.

Independent Promoter
Reykjavik, Iceland

Grimur Atlason is an independent promoter in Iceland. He was the director of Iceland Airwaves Festival for 8 years, and has been involved in the music industry since 1985, when he began playing in bands and promoting shows.

He has worked with thousands of artist over the years. Amongst them are: Sonic Youth, Anohni, Björk, Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey, Of Monsters and Men, Hot Chip, Caribou, Sigur Rós, Robyn, Jon Hopkins, Ásgeir, The War on Drugs, Beach House, Kraftwerk, John Grant, FM Belfast, Haim, and many others.



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North American Product Manager // Warp Records
New York City, USA

Hannah Silk Champagne has been working in music for nearly 10 years, and on the label side for 6. Having previously worked with a variety of artists at indie labels Sacred Bones and Captured Tracks, she is now the North American Product Manager at Warp Records.





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Writer & Editor
Toronto, ON

Helen Spitzer is a Toronto-based writer and editor. She was a music critic during the halcyon days of 2000-2011 and served on the Grand Jury for the inaugural Polaris Prize in 2006. She has written for many now-defunct print and internet publications, as well as Exclaim!, NUVO and the Toronto Star. She has two children: a bass player and a drummer.

Executive Director // Halifax Pop Explosion
Halifax, NS

James has a love for music that flows through his veins! Currently working as executive director of the Halifax Pop Explosion, James is also a founder of the east coast label Forward Music Group and a long time concert promoter. As a professional, James has poured every ounce of energy he has into the East Coast music community, bringing a fresh perspective with tried and true results.

HPX (Halifax Pop Explosion) is an international music festival and conference that presents 150 bands in 20 venues over 4 days to over 30,000 fans and industry delegates from around the world. HPX 2018 takes place October 17-20.


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Label manager & Marketing // Bonsound
Montreal, QC

Jason is the label manager at Bonsound. He mainly overlooks tour marketing, distribution & release strategies. He has worked at Musicor records, he was a booker at Montreal venue Les Foufounes Electriques and started out by running his own punk rock record label when he was 17 called New Romance for Kids.

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Management & Booking // Sicario Music
Mexico City, Mexico

Graduated from the School of Music of National University (UNAM), he has more than 10 years of experience in Mexican music industry. He’s been part of major different projects supporting indie music within Mexico.

As an independent producer and manager, he’s developed more than 50 artistic careers from rock to world beat, electronic music and pop.One of his major principles is supporting Mexican talent internationally no matter its music genre: “ I do believe not all music must express a huge roots approach. On the contrary, it’s more interesting and exciting that music feeds itself from a world wide perspective.”

Nowadays, he’s the Director of Management and Booking in independent Mexican label, Sicario Music. Being part of Sicario Group, this enterprise works around entertainment business in Mexico with different platforms; including 3 nights clubs, 2 concerts venues and one music festival, Ceremonia. Sicario label enhances emerging Mexican talent that experiment and propose new music textures.

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Co-founder // Subbacultcha
Amsterdam, NL

Kasper-Jan Raeman is the co-founder of Subbacultcha Belgium, an independent network for new music and arts. With its unique formula of a membership, a curated agenda & magazine and an editorial website, Subbacultcha creates and owns a comfortable niche within the Belgian alternative music & arts scene. Subbacultcha caters to a both local and international crowd.




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Director of National Publicity // ANTI- Records
Los Angeles, USA

Kelly Kettering is currently head of national publicity at ANTI- Records in Los Angeles, the label home of Tom Waits, Neko Case, Wilco, Ben Harper, Japandroids and many more. Prior to that she was director of publicity at ATO Records in New York City where she led press campaigns for the Drive-By Truckers, Primus and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard among others.

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DJ & Music Historian // Voluntary in Nature
Vancouver, BC

Kevin Howes (aka Sipreano) is a music historian, writer, DJ, artist, and Grammy-nominated producer of settler/immigrant heritage, humbly and respectfully working out of the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Contributing to and influencing the Canadian music industry since the mid-1990s, Howes has collaborated with Seattle and Los Angeles-based reissue label Light In The Attic Records over the last 14 years on an extensive list of internationally celebrated archival projects: Native North America series, Jamaica-Toronto series, Doug Randle-Songs For The New Industrial State, Rodriguez-Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, Thin Lizzy-s/tShades Of A Blue OrphanageVagabonds Of The Western World, and Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love: Motown’s Mowest Story are some key examples of his vision, realized through decades of research, travel, connection, collaboration, and celebration (on stages and stereos worldwide). 

Howes is currently launching Voluntary In Nature to further his calling of organically bridging cultures, generations, and eras of technology, both at home and across the universe.

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Licensing & Publishing // Six Shooter Records
Toronto, ON

Six Shooter is a label, artist management, and festival production company based in Toronto & Nashville. As Head of Licensing & Publishing, Kim Temple pursues music placement opportunities in film & television, digital content and the commercial industry. She also creates new opportunities for clients in the world of songwriting collaborations in Toronto & Los Angeles. With 20+ years of experience in Canada’s music industry her varied background includes touring internationally as a professional drummer, as well as managing international royalty collections for film & TV composers, artists and publishers. She is a Juno-nominated musician. Six Shooter’s roster includes: The Strumbellas, Tanya Tagaq, The Deep Dark Woods, Whitehorse, The Wet Secrets, Ensign Broderick, Sam Outlaw, Whitney Rose, Amelia Curran, NQ Arbuckle, C and C Surf Factory, and more.

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Executive Director // Canadian Federation of Musicians 
Toronto, ON

Liana White is the Executive Director of the Canadian Federation of Musicians. White has worked for the CFM [then AFM Canada] since 1996. White is involved in many aspects of the union’s operations, from lobbying and negotiating on behalf of musicians to mentoring them.

Atop those functions, White has provided cross border related services to musicians for over 20 years, and has become recognized within the music industry as a leading authority on the legal requirements for musicians performing in the United States and Canada as temporary workers.

White’s vast artist-immigration experience is often relied upon by mainstream media and the Canadian music industry. Highlighting only some of White’s recognition, her articles have been featured in Canadian Musician, International Musician and Songwriters magazines; she has been interviewed by CBC Radio, Global TV and for CIRRA’s educational series: The New Indie [volumes II and III]. White has also conducted many workshops and panels for many industry associations and conferences from coast to coast across Canada.

Co-Owner / A&R / Retail Sales // Kanine Records
Brooklyn, USA

Based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY since 2000, Lio has worked in countless areas of the music business -- from time spent at small indie record stores (Rebel Rebel, Rough Trade), to running club nights for 15 years in the NYC (booking bands, djing, promoting), managing bands, A&R and Sales at multiple indie labels (Mexican Summer, Kanine Records), and working in physical and digital distribution (Alternative Distribution Alliance).

His greatest feat so far has been running and maintaining the healthy environment at Kanine Records for the past 12 years. Through releasing numerous debut albums from indie greats like Grizzly Bear, Chairlift, Surfer Blood, Braids, and many more, Kanine Records has helped cultivate a true environment of music love. Some of their latest releases include WEAVES, Beverly, Fear of Men, Hockey Dad, Weeping Icon, Pearl Charles, Pinact, and many more.


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Agent // Paradigm Talent Agency
Los Angeles, USA

I’d rather be at the beach.







Program Consultant // Ontario Music Fund
Toronto, ON

Mark is a program consultant for the Ontario Music Fund (OMF) at the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Mark has been working within the OMF since the program’s inaugural launch in 2013. The OMF is a program that is aimed at strengthening and stimulating growth in Ontario’s music sector. It is designed to drive activity and investment, and to support Ontario’s music companies and organizations in expanding their economic and cultural footprints within Canada and around the world.

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Information Services Officer // Ontario Arts Council
Toronto, ON

Maya Bedward is a filmmaker, arts educator and community-engaged artist from Toronto, ON. She is also the Information Services Coordinator at the Ontario Arts Council, where she helps artists and arts professionals navigate OAC’s many funding programs.

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Freelance Writer
Boston, USA

Maura has written about music and culture for 20 years, with pieces published in The New York Times, Time, The Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone, among others. She is also an adjunct instructor in the journalism department at Boston College, where she teach two classes: Writing About Popular Music and Journalism and New Media. She was a founding editor of the music blog Idolator and served as the music editor at The Village Voice.

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Associate Editor // A.Side
Toronto, ON

Melissa Vincent is a writer, editor and community organizer from Toronto. Her work focuses largely on unraveling narratives about music in a social context. She is currently the Associate Editor of A.Side. As a freelance writer, she has contributed articles to Pitchfork, The Fader, The Globe and Mail, Billboard and others, often writing about the intersections between art, culture and politics with a particular focus on music and race. She currently sits on the editorial board for Between the Lines Publishing. 




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Author // The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip
Toronto, ON

Michael Barclay is the author of the upcoming book The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip. He worked at Maclean's, CBC's Brave New Waves and Exclaim! magazine, and is co-author of the 2001 book Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-95.





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Director // NRMAL
Mexico City, Mexico

Moni Saldaña is the director of NRMAL, a global platform for emerging arts and a celebration of global counterculture. Since 2010 they organise festival NRMAL in Mexico, having booked over 400 acts from 25 different countries. It's become one of the most important platforms for the development of new talent in Mexico and the rest of the world. With an eclectic musical selection combine with gastronomy, art and workshops, NRMAL has reached a unique experience in constant growth.

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Music Supervisor // Instinct Entertainment
Toronto, CA

Natalie is a Music Supervisor at Instinct Entertainment in Toronto, and member of the Guild of Music Supervisors, Canada. Her recent supervision credits include the television series Good Witch (Hallmark Channel), upcoming feature film Love Jacked, documentary film On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Papi, and more.

Her credits as Music Coordinator include the upcoming full length documentary Cool Daddy, We Forgot to Break Up, Degrassi: Next Class (Netflix/Family Channel), the National Music Centre in Calgary, SOCAN, and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.



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Founder & Director // Farewell Transmission PR
London, England

After spending three years at leading independent UK radio and TV promotions company Out Promotion, where he worked on campaigns for the likes of New Order, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten, The Barr Brothers and Wilco, Nick set up Farewell Transmission PR in 2016 with a view to building up a fresh roster of his own.

He looks after a diverse range of artists including Andy Shauf (ANTI-), Superchunk (Merge), Tennis (Mutually Detrimental), Born Ruffians (Paper Bag), Angelo De Augustine (Asthmatic Kitty) and Ought (Merge).



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A&R Coordinator // Sub Pop
Seattle, USA

Nick Duncan is the A&R Coordinator at Seattle-based indie label Sub Pop records, where he has been responsible for signing artists like LVL UP and Frankie Cosmos. Before joining the A&R staff two years ago, Nick oversaw college and non-commercial radio promotions for the label.

Nick is a Seattle native and got his start in music as the music director at KUGS FM in Bellingham, WA before joining the Sub Pop family as an intern in 2013.


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Program Coordinator // Ontario Music Fund
Toronto, ON

Noah is a program coordinator for the Ontario Music Fund which is aimed at strengthening and stimulating growth in Ontario’s music companies and supporting this growing sector. He joined the team in fall of 2014 and is the primary contact for 2 OMF streams, Music Company Development and Music Industry Development. He has worked in the music industry since 2010, and prior to the OMF he was a member of the digital sales team at Universal Music.

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Program Officer // Canada Council for the Arts
Ottawa, ON

Noël Habel is a member of the Sioux Valley Dakota First Nation in southern Manitoba. He is a graduate from the University of Ottawa with a bachelor’s degree in music and arts administration. Noel has performed over the past 15 years playing drums & percussion for several bands such as Micheal B, FunkYard, Longhouse, Brad Henry, Kathleen Edwards, Eric Vani, Lil’ Wolf, Weaselhead, and most notably with the Juno nominated group 7th Fire.

His work as an electro-acoustic composer can be heard in the Museum of Civilization’s First Peoples Hall, where he collaborated to bring contemporary Aboriginal soundscapes to the ambience of the exhibit. For the past ten years Noel has been working at the Canada Council for the Arts managing several multi-disciplinary grant programs as a program officer.

Founder + Band-Mom // Locamotive
Los Angeles, USA

Phoebe Smolin fell into the music industry by accident. A music nerd from Los Angeles, she had her humble beginnings sneaking into shows at the Roxy and booking her own in the backyards of whoever’s parents weren’t home.

For the last five years, she’s been working professionally in the music industry, project managing at labels and doing publicity independently with a focus on Latin American and Latinx musicians in the U.S. She founded Locamotive two years ago, which specializes in creative PR campaigns, international management, festival curation, and many other things- designed to help artists, regardless of language, navigate and slay an industry that at times can be terrifyingly inaccesible. Using tried and tested cross-cultural strategies, partnerships with renowned labels, brands, festivals, and other creatives, Phoebe and Locamotive work to make it less difficult to hear the good stuff. 



Owner // Saddle Creek
Los Angeles, USA

Robb Nansel is the owner of Omaha and Los Angeles-based indie record label Saddle Creek. Known for releasing seminal albums by a close-knit family of influential artists like Bright Eyes, Cursive, and The Faint, the label is now fostering a new generation of like-minded artists such as Hop Along, Big Thief and Sam Evian, who encapsulate the same spirit and propensity for authentic songwriting.

Nansel is also the co-owner of Omaha music venue Slowdown, a 750 capacity club opened in 2007 that remains a regular stop for many touring artists.



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Artistic Director // Arboretum Music Festival
Ottawa, ON

Rolf Klausener is the founding Creative Director of Arboretum Festival, and singer-songwriter of experimental-pop project The Acorn. He is also the Communications and Marketing Officer for the National Arts Centre's NAC Presents concert series, and has worked as a freelance graphic designer, music reporter for CBC Radio, and program director for CHUO 89.1 FM. He continues to work tirelessly as a champion of art and culture.

Founder & President // Envision Management & Production
Montreal, QC

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Ryhna Thompson has been the Founder and President of many businesses in the cultural and creative industries. Under the banner of her company Envision Management & Production, now celebrating 15 years, she develops, manages and produces boundary-breaking musical and multi-disciplinary artists, productions and organizations. She has worked with cutting edge, internationally recognized artists such as Kid Koala, Amon Tobin, Bell Orchestre, Esmerine, FOXTROTT, and many others.

Ryhna works with artists to to conceive, produce and manage projects in music as well as in the realm where music intersects with film, animation, theatre, literature and interactivity - and in the context of long-term careers. She helps artists define their goals, to create an infrastructure within which an authentic artistic vision can be nurtured, realized and protected, and works to ensure that they are stakeholders in their success.

Recent projects include Kid Koala’s Nufonia Must Fall, a graphic novel animated in real-time, on-stage by a team of 12 puppeteers, musicians and crew, accompanied by a live soundtrack. Now in its 4th year of touring it has been performed on 5 continents; Floor Kids™, created by JonJon, and for which Ryhna serves as Senior Producer, is video game featuring music by Kid Koala is out now on Nintendo Switch™.


Membership Services Coordinator // CIMA
Toronto, ON

Raised in the East Coast, Sam has been in the music scene for over seven years as an artist and industry professional, and through these musical endeavours, he has grown to love the mechanics of the evolving industry.

He moved to Toronto in pursuit of more experience, and began working for True North Records, where he worked in digital assets and A&R. Sam joined the CIMA & MusicOntario staff in 2016 as Membership Services Coordinator, where he oversees day-to-day membership relations as well as the CIMA 20/40 independent music charts and Road Gold Certification.



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Writer // Line of Best Fit
Bristol, England

Sammy Maine is a freelance writer based in Bristol, England, specialising in music and popular culture. Her work has been published in the likes of NME, The Guardian, BUST, The Line of Best Fit, Noisey and The Quietus.

Sammy is also the managing editor of specialist music website Gold Flake Paint. When she's not writing about her favourite new releases, you can find her DJing at her pop music club night in Dalston, London, or joining bands on tour to manage their merch.

Program & Marketing Coordinator // CIMA
Toronto, ON

Sarah grew up in a small town in Scotland before moving to Canada in 2015. She has a degree in Commercial Music (Music Business) from the University of the West of Scotland, and experience in administration, project coordination, event planning, and marketing within the arts and entertainment industry. Sarah worked for Entertainment One, and University Settlement Community Music School before joining the CIMA team in May 2017.

Sarah started as the Administrative Coordinator, and has since grown into the new position of Program & Marketing Coordinator, where she oversees the marketing strategies, professional development programming, and Awards Gala for CIMA & MusicOntario. Sarah is a passionate music fan, and is proud to support the independent music community through her work.

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Head of Creative, West Coast // Bank Robber MusicRough Trade Publishing
Los Angeles, USA

Sarah Smith is Head of Creative, West Coast for Bank Robber Music, a licensing company that represents the catalogs of a number of independent labels (such as Mute, Merge, Barsuk, DFA, Drag City, Thrill Jockey, Numero Group among others) for film, tv, and commercial placements.

She is also Head of Creative, West Coast for sister company Rough Trade Publishing, a boutique music publisher that represents over 300 artists including The War On Drugs, Grizzly Bear, Future Islands, Against Me!, Minor Threat, Fugazi, and Superchunk. Prior to her positions at BRM and RTP, Sarah spent 7 years in artist management, working with clients including The National, Spoon, The Decemberists, and Okkervil River.

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Label Manager & Co-Founder // Sleepless Records & The Hand Recordings
Toronto, ON

Based in Toronto, ON, Scott Waring is the Label Manager and Co-founder of Sleepless Records, and The Hand Recordings. Sleepless Records was founded in 2012 by partners Alexandre Bonenfant and Scott Waring with the goal of nurturing and developing emerging talent with the intention of creating lasting careers. The label is currently home to acts July Talk, Kandle, Programm, Shade­, Sunshine & The Blue Moon and with a handful of releases coming your way this year.

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Managing Director // Arboretum Music Festival
Ottawa, ON

Stéfanie has been the Managing Director of Ottawa’s Arboretum Festival since 2012. An infallible producer and communications professional, Stéfanie has worked extensively for the Federal Government and the not-for-profit sector in media relations and conference management. From 2010 to 2013, Stéfanie was the music director at the now-defunct Raw Sugar Cafe, one of Ottawa’s most beloved small-capacity venues.

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Founder & Executive Director // Polaris Music Prize
Toronto, ON

Steve Jordan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Polaris Music Prize, a not-for-profit organization that honours the Canadian album of the year each September with a cash prize of $50,000. The nominees and winner are selected entirely by a panel of music journalists and critics from coast to coast.

Past winners have been Lido Pimienta, Kaytranada, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tanya Tagaq, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Arcade Fire, Feist, Owen Pallett, Patrick Watson, Caribou, Karkwa and Fucked Up. Each winner has received immediate and substantial career boosts both at home and abroad.

Prior to starting Polaris in 2006, he has served as an A&R executive with Warner Music Canada and True North Records. He has worked with musicians and artists from a variety of musical genres in a variety of roles. Prior to his 10 years experience in the record industry Steve was a broadcaster, journalist, promoter, activist and mediocre TV personality in Kingston, Ontario.


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Creative Director @ Sappyfest // Co-founder @ You've Changed Records
Toronto, ON

Steven Lambke is a dedicated worker in independent culture. He is a member of The Constantines and maintains an ongoing solo project.  He runs You've Changed Records, the label he founded with Daniel Romano in 2009, overseeing releases from Partner, Nap Eyes, Shotgun Jimmie, Jon Mckiel and many others. In 2017 he was named the Creative Director of Sappyfest in Sackville, NB.

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A&R & Digital Marketing Coordinator // ANTI- Records
Los Angeles, USA

Tadia Musgrave is currently one of two in the A&R position at ANTI- Records, the label home of Tom Waits, Neko Case, Wilco, Japandroids, Girlpool and many more. Getting her start as an intern for the label, she was initially hired as independent retail sales coordinator before moving up to A&R last year.


Office Coordinator & Outreach Assistant // FACTOR
Toronto, ON

Tia Gordon is a creator and writer. After ventures in journalism, broadcasting and public relations that concentrated on Toronto’s ever-growing hip hop culture, Tia joined FACTOR during Summer ‘16 as the Office Coordinator. She took on the role of Outreach Assistant in 2017 to create more space in the Canadian music industry for all genres. Tia enjoys getting all the adlibs right while rapping her favourite songs and welcomes unsolicited mixtapes to her email.




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Journalist // Kreative Kontrol
Guelph, ON

Noted Canadian broadcaster, music journalist, and radio producer Vish Khanna filled a niche in podcast culture in 2013, creating one of the earliest long-form interview podcasts that mingled subversive musicians with brilliant authors, comedians, community builders, and other vital people from around the world.

Kreative Kontrol has subsequently been featured in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, A.V. Club, SPIN, NME, Exclaim!, CBC Radio, and many more for deeply fascinating conversations and documentaries about music, politics, and pop culture. One-on-one in a studio, park, living room, or restaurant, or staged live before an audience, a Kreative Kontrol conversation is always rewarding for Vish's guests and their followers.