And the winners are…

HUGE congratulations to all the Music Nova Scotia award winners, nominees, and showcasing artists this weekend at Nova Scotia Music Week!

I’m really proud of my clients this year for all their success. Big shout-outs to Keonté Beals for winning African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year; two-time award winners PINEO & LOEB for DJ of the Year and Electronic Artist of the Year; Maxim Cormier, who won Acadian/Francophone Artist of the Year; Jazz Recording of the Year award winners The Easley Quartet; and – speaking of jazz – the Halifax Jazz Festival took home Event of the Year and our senior program manager, Andrew Jackson, won Promoter of the Year.

Special mention to CKDU 88.1 FM for winning Radio Station of the Year. Granted is broadcast on CKDU on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. and features four industry professionals this season who also won awards: Stephanie Purcell at Vox Management Agency for Booking Agent of the Year, Sarah Jamer for Industry Professional of the Year, Laura Simpson and Sarah Jamer for The Syrup Factory‘s Company of the Year, and Tara Thorne for Media Professional of the Year.

So many reasons to celebrate! Above all else, we’re lucky live in a place with such great talent.

Check out Stephen Cooke’s recap of the awards in The Chronicle Herald. You just might discover your next favourite artist!

No, thank YOU, PINEO & LOEB

“we just got accepted for the grant! Yayyyy 🙂 Thanks again!”
“Yay we are so happy! Thank you again for your amazing work”

These messages arrived in my inbox from the multi-talented electronic group PINEO & LOEB, and needless to say, it made my week.

Jarred Ross-Loeb and Mitchell Pineo are two of the hardest working artists I know. Together they blur genre boundaries, uniting electronic dance, hip-hop, and rock fans. With chart topping remixes, international festival bookings, support from commercial and CBC radio, and placements on multiple major network television series, PINEO & LOEB combine pure party fun with artistic heights.

In September, I was lucky enough to work with them on a funding application to support marketing and promotion for their next album. I can’t tell you the details, but I can say that I’m excited for their new music and I’m confident PINEO & LOEB will reach even bigger heights with their new release.

Until then, check out their latest single “Circles” ft. Kayo from their current record LIFEBLOOD and get ready to bounce!

Captured by the camera

When I first met Gabe Roy, I was inspired by his ideas and his eagerness to be an entrepreneur. As a new MSVU grad, he was keen to work in his field of public relations and marketing. I could relate! I too graduated from MSVU and dreamed of working in an advertising agency.

Fast forward to a year later and Gabe is working in his field while pursuing his greatest passion – video production. His new venture, Zest Media Productions, is a full-service video production company working with clients to create a lasting connection with their audience through video.

I’m super impressed with the live concert and event videos that Gabe and his team are creating. So much so that I’ve put him in touch with a few artist friends and clients in hopes of sparking a collaboration! Check out the video below for a taste of Zest Media.

Keepin’ up with Keonté

Music Nova Scotia partnered with Casino Nova Scotia to present their Artist in Residence (AIR) Program again this year. The program provides one lucky artist or band with $20,000 in funding to assist with developing their career through recording, marketing, and live performance opportunities.

When Keonté Beals contacted me to help him with his submission, I was excited for the opportunity. Keonté is a soulful singer and writes songs straight from the heart, taking fans back to the early 90’s era of Boyz II Men, Toni Braxton, and Whitney Houston; when R&B/Pop singles dominated the airwaves for the first time.

We started Keonté’s submission by updating his biography to better describe his smooth R&B/pop sound and highlight his career achievements. We updated his lyric sheets and links for his new music and got to work on his career development plan. Keonté had a clear vision for the goals he wanted to achieve and together we created a critical path and described in detail his objectives for recording, marketing, and touring his new upcoming album.

Keonté successfully made it to the final round of the Casino Nova Scotia AIR Program, where he performed in front of a live audience just last night. Although he wasn’t selected by the judges as the winner (congratulations, MAJE!), Keonté gave 110% on stage and made a ton of new fans.

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), then it goes into my external hard drive and we move on with the plan.

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 of. 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 an educational and entertaining 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:

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:

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. 😉