New client alert!

To say I am thrilled to be working with Jenine Panagiotakos at Many Hats is an understatement. I have known Jenine for over two years now and it’s been exciting to watch her business grow from a seed of an idea to a full-blown operation. I will be providing Many Hats with monthly services that includes creating company newsletters, social media posts, copy for marketing materials and online promotion, and submissions for grants and awards.

What is Many Hats, you ask? It’s is a shared workspace, overlooking the Bedford Basin, offering entrepreneurs an accessible, affordable place to work while encouraging a healthy work-life balance. They offer private office space for Resident Members, shared workspace for Visiting Members, a studio and boardroom for rent, plus workshops and classes that are open to the public year-round. As a Visiting Member myself, I can attest to the many benefits that make Many Hats a fantastic place to be.

Ebooks

Ever since my friend Ricky Goodall at Elevated Academy suggested I write an ebook, I see them everywhere I turn – there are ebooks for every topic – even ebooks about writing ebooks.

As a writer, it’s exciting to explore the creative and informative world of digital publishing. Not just because I’m thinking about writing an ebook myself (stay tuned, 2018) but also because I’m helping other writers edit and proofread their ebooks. And THAT is a lot of fun. All of those hours I spent as a teacher marking papers, checking for grammar and spelling mistakes – I may have cursed my students at times but I’m thanking every one of them now.

When the words are on the pages (or should I say screen) where they need to be, I will be sure to post the link to the first digital publication I have the pleasure to be part of. The more I read the more I think everybody can write an ebook! Best of all, now you know somebody who can help you write yours. đŸ˜‰

My friend Jennifer Faulkner wrote this ebook with her boss and our friend, Kyle Racki. Kyle owns a company called Proposify and Jennifer works there as the head of content. They are both brilliant and their ebook The Full Scale Agency is too.

Mentorships rule

Music Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and development of music in our province. One of the ways they support our community and our economy is to offer investment for initiatives like artist development, business development and travel, live performance, marketing and – my favourite – mentorships.

I’ve had the good fortune to write many successful mentorship grants that lead to new music and new business being created. Early-on in her career, Ria Mae mentored with Rose Cousins; Jon Mckiel mentored with producer and engineer, Diego Medina at Old Confidence Lodge; and Nicole Ariana moved to Toronto for her mentorship with Tom Kemp at The Feldman Agency. My mentorship with Sheri Jones at Jones & Co. fuelled my career, and then I mentored Grace Russell on her journey to becoming a music publicist.

Whether it’s through a program like Music Nova Scotia Investment or an informal working relationship between an experienced and emerging professional, mentorships create new learning opportunities and best of all, new networks and connections among friends and colleagues within creative industries.

Full disclosure: I am a member of the board of directors for Music Nova Scotia – seven years and counting!

Nova Scotia Music Week

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Conference season is upon us and that means discovering new music and sharing new ideas about music business.

This past weekend I attended Nova Scotia Music Week and was blown away by the talent in our province, once again; there are too many stand-out shows to name. Except … I did see Quake Matthews for the first time in several years. His new song “Confessions” with Neon Dreams is destined for radio and will no doubt see his star rise even higher. One more mention, Alana Yorke, who beautifully combines lush synth arrangements with her steady, provoking voice to create an ethereal sound that stays with you long after the lights dim. I can’t wait to see her next live show.

The Women in Music conference was a great success. My friend and colleague Stephanie Purcell and I gave a candid keynote that was an absolute highlight. I was inspired by women like Heather Gibson, Executive Producer from the National Arts Centre and Henca Maduro, who operates New Skool Rules in Germany, because of their ambition to succeed in the music business, among many other women who took part in the conference.

I’m looking forward to next year’s rendition of NSMW, and until then, I’ve got my eyes set on ECMA in May 2018. Halifax, look out! It’s going to be a time.

#HPX25

This past week I attended Halifax Pop Explosion Music Festival & Conference as a fan and for the first time as a volunteer with their Accessibility and Safety Krew. HPX is close to my heart and this year (my 10th year and the festival’s 25th year) did not disappoint.

I saw Lido Pimienta‘s presentation at the Halifax Central Library, performances by Ms. Banks, Thrillah, and Jay Mayne at Reflections; Patrick Watson, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Yukon Blonde, and Dance Movie at the Forum MPC; Bambii at The Marquee; and Jon Mckiel at The Seahorse. And that’s only a small part of all the activities that took place.

The talent came through, the industry came out, it felt like the city was abuzz with music everywhere. Thank you HPX for all that you do, for artists, our community, and of course, the fans – just like me! And our friend Josh White here, crowdsurfing at an HPX show. Party on people!

Photo by Halifax Pop Explosion

Side Door

At ECMA in Saint John this year I met with an inspiring entrepreneur named Laura Simpson. As a creative industry professional who operates not one but three organizations, working with and getting to learn from Laura these past six months has been one of my greatest gifts.

Which leads me to Side Door.

“Side Door is a curated digital booking and ticketing platform, used to create micro-concerts in homes and other private venues. The company is a partnership between Laura and two-time JUNO Award winning Canadian artist Dan Mangan. As a website and an app, Side Door is primed to disrupt the traditional music industry’s touring model for artists, live performances, and fan experiences.”

That’s the pitch, what do you think?

To me, Side Door is this cool tech company that makes intimate shows in interesting places for audiences who really want to see artists perform – happen.

You can read all about Side Door and join their network as an artist, host or a fan here. Then you’ll get their newsletter, too! Because it’s fun to watch a company grow.

Here’s a photo of Laura and Dan. See? Fun!

Katie Goodz

This week on Tuesday I had the greatest pleasure meeting up with my friend and former colleague Katie Goodz at New Scotland Yard Emporium for a coffee. We sat outside on this particular hot, sunny day and talked about our friends and family, our work and our businesses. Katie is an incredibly talented, funny, thoughtful, bright, inspiring designer and I couldn’t get enough of catching up with her and all that she’s been up to. For brand packages, logos, website design, or if you just like looking at great creative images, be sure to look her up at katiegoodz.com.

Coffee meetings are highly recommended.

Design by Katie Goodz for Planet Paws.

Exciting times

This week I re-launched my business from behind-the-scenes to a bigger audience. I’m blown away by the feedback I received, the new people who I have met, and my friends and colleagues who I’m talking to about their plans for new initiatives and business development projects. These are exciting times.

In other non-business news, I have to give a shout-out to Tanya Keough who is turning 35 today. She is one of my biggest supporters and inspirations in life and I wish her all the happiness on her birthday. Keep rockin’ it, sister!

Free Will

“The imminent future will be a favorable time for refurbished models and revived originals. They are likely to be more fun and interesting the second time around.” – Free Will Astrology, Leo horoscope for week of September 14

Photo by NASA Johnson

Here’s a tip or five

As a grant writer I often meet with people to talk about funding and investment programs. I get asked a lot of questions about what programs are available, how to apply, and everything in between. To help prepare you for funding and investment, these are my top five tips:

1. Give yourself lots of time. It can take two weeks or two months to put together a plan and the actual application process can be lengthy.

2. The right fit. Read the eligibility requirements and any other information available to make sure your project meets the program’s mandate.

3. Talk to the program officer. Contact the person in charge of administering the program to discuss your project with them, and ask for their feedback on your ideas.

4. Perspective. It may feel awkward but it is standard to write a grant from the third person point of view.

5. Be honest. Always tell the truth; be honest about where you are in your career, where you want to be, and how the funds you receive will help you get there.

These tips are meant to strengthen your plan, your project, and your potential for funding and investment. I’m always happy to talk about grant writing, contact me over email to get in touch!