Meet SAM

Strategic Arts Management (SAM) is a non-profit organisation that provides professional services like mentoring, management, administrative, and other resources to artists and arts organizations. The best part about SAM is that they offer these services at affordable, subsidised rates through a network of skilled consultants. And, big news – I have joined their roster as a new SAM consultant!

What this means for me is new opportunities to work with a wide range of clients in different arts disciplines. What this means for you is the opportunity to work with me at a subsidised rate. I like to think my fees are friendly, but this will allow my clients to potentially hire me at a reduced rate once they are a SAM client too.

If you’re interested in SAM, check out their website or email me to find out more!

Granted Podcast

I have had many jobs in the creative industries, most consistently of which has been as a grant writer. It’s a job I love but it’s not something I get to share with many people. I write a grant, my client sees it, the jury sees it (whoever they are), and then it goes into an external hard drive and everyone moves on.

What happened over the years is that I began to see how funding was impacting my clients. There are sad stories and happy stories, and every kind of story in between. Some artists get funding and it allows them to do things they only ever dreamed. Some artists do not, and it can be soul-crushing (not to mention, a financial nightmare).

With all of this knowledge and experience, I approached my friend and producer John Mullane about doing a podcast about funding in the arts. He liked the idea so much he agreed to co-produce it with me, and I could not be more thrilled.

Fast-forward six months later, we’re preparing to launch our first episode of Granted and I’m excited for you all to hear what we’ve been working on. Check out my page for Granted Podcast, a new episode will be released starting June 27 (today!) until August 29.

I can’t promise that listening will get your grants approved, but I can promise that you will learn a lot from our guests that will make you think differently about funding.

Super Rich

Rich Aucoin is hard to describe. He is a music maker, fun creator, and a generously kind human being. He is known for his life-affirming live shows, where audiences participate in transcendental group flow, singing choruses with strangers amongst falling confetti. He pushes you, but he pushes himself even harder.

I had the greatest pleasure working with Rich to support his new album Release, which is released today. As is true for many of his recordings, the list of collaborators is very long; a credit to his mastery and the kind of guy he is.

Check out his website and get ready to ride.

Fun news

I have been working with Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald for nearly two years as a grant writer, marketing manager for their South Haven album release, and, as of two months ago, their artist manager. It’s an exciting time and there’s lots to look forward to. Speaking of which, there’s even more fun news to share!

Ben and Anita released a new music video for their rousing rendition of the traditional Gaelic song “Alasdair nan Stòp”. The song is the second single from their record and is performed by Ben, Anita, and guitarist Zakk Cormier. The music video is produced by Darcy Campbell and his team at NovaStream Productions and takes place at their studio in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation in Sydney, Cape Breton.

Ben, Anita, and Zakk are busy preparing for their performances at East Coast Music Week in Charlottetown from May 1-5. I’ll be there too! Their showcase is on the ECMA Trinity Sessions Warner Roots stage at Trinity Church on Saturday, May 4, and they’re performing at the ECMA Celtic Brunch on May 5 at the PEI Brewing Company along with Vishtèn and Còig. Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald are nominated for the newly minted ECMA Award for Gaelic Artist of the Year, and their album South Haven is nominated for the ECMA Award Instrumental Recording of the Year.

Exciting times indeed!

March madness

It’s hard to believe it’s April already, the month of March went by so quickly. I’m all for hibernating in the winter but I’m also looking forward to warmer temperatures (eventually…).

For the past four weeks, I had the greatest pleasure of working for the Canadian Cancer Society on a project that helps people who are affected by cancer find local resources in their community. It’s called the Community Services Locator, and anyone in Canada can visit the website to search for resources in their area, like wigs, prothesis, support groups, healthy lifestyle supports, and more.

My goal was to add 200 new services in Atlantic Canada. With national listings for YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Children’s Wish Foundation, The Compassionate Friends of Canada; and regional listings for Pharmasave, Rodd Hotels & Resorts, and Loblaws Dietitians, a total of 359 new services were added to the Community Services Locator. I need to give a special shout-out to Adele MacLean of PRx Consulting who brought me this project, helped me with research, and mentored me along the way. Needless to say, at the end of March, I was in desperate need of groceries and clean laundry, but I was thrilled with the results of our work.

If you or someone you know is affected by cancer and is in need of support, services or resources, please share this link: http://csl.cancer.ca

And, if you or someone you know provides a service for people affected by cancer, you can add the service directly to the Community Services Locator here: http://csl.cancer.ca/Add

Making it Easley

Being the festival manager for Halifax Jazz Festival in 2018 was an absolute thrill. Not only did I learn a lot about what it takes to make an event of that size happen, I had the pleasure of watching dozens of talented jazz musicians perform on the Waterfront Stage every afternoon and night.

The feelings I had seeing them play reminded me of when I first started working in the music industry. Live music was so new to me. At shows my senses would be filled with wonder and excitement, not knowing what was coming next. I hadn’t experienced that “new” feeling in a long time. I’m grateful for these jazz musicians for renewing my sense of purpose and fuelling my energy each day, and for showing me that it’s never too late to begin listening to jazz music.

Tom Easley is easily one of our most cherished jazz musicians in Canada. His tall stature and warm smile imbue a sense of calm and steadiness, making his quick wit even more funny. For those of you who are new to jazz (like I am), Tom’s new album The Starting Point vs. The Steep Decline with his band The EQ is an excellent place to start. It’s available now on your favourite streaming sites like Spotify, and to purchase online.

And, if you sign up for Tom’s newsletter, you’ll be the first to know where to get your tickets or festival pass to see The EQ perform live. I can promise you won’t be disappointed – no matter how much or how little you know about jazz. 😉

Do I know you?

While working in the music and arts community in the East Coast, you get to meet a lot of interesting people who are full of ideas for things they want to make and do. I meet with many different types of artists and industry professionals to talk about my services, and I have found people hire me for many different reasons. If you find yourself among these people, you might like to hire me too!

Developing artists
We all know that music business has changed dramatically over the last decade, but the old practice still very much remains that artists need to wait to be chosen by a record label or artist manager to take their career to the next level. Developing artists hire me because I provide many of the same services that a label or manager does – from creating big-picture plans for new music releases, to organizing small details for grant applications – but without the wait.

Pick me, pick me!

Export-ready artists and industry professionals
These people have a growing music business that constantly demands their attention. They feel confident in their ability to do all the things, however, for both financial reasons and better time management, it makes sense for them to hire me so they can focus on what they do best.

Totally.

Exporting artists and industry professionals
For artists and industry professionals who are doing business internationally, it doesn’t always mean they have every piece in place behind the scenes. They may work with an agent, but not a manager; a manager, but not a label. Whether it’s advancing their tour in Europe or writing a marketing plan for their next business venture, they need an experienced professional to manage it, to better manage all they have going on.

Where to next?

Teams
Management teams, record labels, festivals, and other arts organizations hire me on contract to fulfill different roles, provide support for specific initiatives, or for one-off projects. My mission, as always, is to collaborate with creative people to make a big impact in our creative industries, and doing that as a team makes it pretty special.

Crushing it.

Art-ventures
The dreamers, the wanderers, the go-go-goers, the I-just-want-to-have-fun-ners. Art-venture seekers come in all shapes and sizes: Sometimes I get a phone call from someone with an idea or maybe just an email with a link. It’s about a TV show, a film, or an exhibition. It could be about a mentorship, a music video, or a camp for young people to go to and write songs. These clients of mine are a constant source of surprise and inspiration. And if you’re reading this post, you probably find yourself among these people too.

Go for it!

Then and now

Last year in January, I wrote a short post about how excited I was that a few of my clients – Reeny Smith, T. Thomason, and Ben Caplan – were releasing new music in 2018. I knew they had some killer tunes and I was looking forward to seeing how their careers would change because of them.

Reeny Smith, she’s a triple-threat, with singing, songwriting, and instrumental skills for days. She released her first full-length album called WWIII Strength Courage Love on June 14, 2018 and created quite a buzz among fans and industry alike. Reeny already received one Music Nova Scotia Award and three nominations for her efforts, including SOCAN Songwriter of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, and Music Video of the Year for her snappy first single, “Good Girl Swag”.

T. Thomason’s start to 2019 is one for the books. He’s just announced he’s going to be on CTV’s The Launch, which airs beginning January 30. If I had to pick just one, my favourite new song T. released in 2018 is “Loser”. Click to stream, and get ready to dance.

Ben Caplan hit it out of the park in 2018. His album and theatre show, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, is a smashing success. I’ll let the image below give you a small idea of what that looks like:

Like I said, simply smashing.

What will 2019 bring? I hope for even more success for these artists and all the singers, songwriters, and musicians who are making new music this year. I can’t wait to hear it!

Building vibrant communities

Eee! I’ve been waiting to share this story for many months now. It’s a story about a man named Adam Lordon and he’s the Mayor of Miramichi. He’s also a talented TV producer, having worked at MTV Canada, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and The Marilyn Denis Show. Adam faced a great loss early-on in his career when his mother Nancy died of cancer. His community of friends and family in Miramichi were there to support him, and he’s giving back to his community today in ways he never would have imagined.

Adam Lordon with his Mom, Nancy Lordon, on the Marilyn Denis Show.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Adam for Saint Mary’s University alumni magazine, Maroon and White, back in March. After getting to know him, from his small-town beginnings to Saint Mary’s and beyond, I was left feeling humbled and inspired. At only 32-years-old, Adam is an amazing role model and leader, and I hope when you read his story that you will feel inspired too.