Meet the Staff
Below are our full time staff.
Additionally, we have a dedicated bookkeeper (thank you, Prairie Sky Bookkeeping!); a casual/part-time research assistant who helps with populating our Events Calendar and things such as video editing; and a rotation of approximately 30 Career Tracks mentors who are scheduled for appointments as booking requests arrive.
We enlist the services of lawyer Kurt Dahl of Murphy & Company for our Legal Services program and Mintz & Wallace for our audit.
We greatly appreciate the help of these folks, as well as our Board, volunteers, and (from time to time) interns.
Michael brings to SaskMusic a diverse range of experience in the music industry, including tour booking, artist management, marketing and promotion, and sponsorship management. Dawson spent five years serving as the Artistic Director of the Culture Exchange, where he booked and/or promoted over 400 concerts a year, before moving on to become the talent buyer for a number of venues in Western Canada. He is also the Artistic Director of the Gateway Music Festival. Dawson brings to this position a wealth of hands-on industry experience. As the current lyricist and multi-instrumentalist with Library Voices, Michael has performed at countless national and international events including Liverpool Sound City, SXSW, NXNE, Pop Montreal, CMW, Ottawa Blues Fest, Virgin Music Fest, Edgefest, and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Library Voices was named the 2012 Sirius XM “Alternative Artists of the Year” and has been nominated for four Western Canadian Music Awards and six CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards. Dawson also previously owned and operated Young Soul Records, part of the EMI Associated Labels Division, releasing more than a dozen albums by Saskatchewan-based artists, and has participated in numerous juries including FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) and the Lieutenant-Governor Awards.
Communications & Operations Manager
Lorena has worked in various roles at SaskMusic, and loves helping to promote the awesome music of our province and helping members navigate this often-confusing industry. She's had experience in a variety of things, from programming lineups and coordinating large-scale conferences and events, to running juries, licensing initiatives, advertising campaigns, economic studies and more, in addition to participating on numerous boards and committees. She currently oversees our association communications, marketing initiatives and office operations. Prior to SaskMusic, she studied classical piano, then keyboards at Professional Musicians’ College, toured across Canada, the U.S. and internationally, backing up numerous artists as a freelance keyboard player/vocalist in addition to releasing her own albums; and also worked in advertising, layout and web design. She’s proud mama to a creative little girl.
Kaelen received his Arts and Entertainment Management Diploma from Capilano University in North Vancouver and now resides in Saskatoon. He manages the export and professional development programs for SaskMusic. Kaelen has been actively involved in the Canadian music industry for the past 18 years as a musician, manager, production manager, promoter, and running his own music publishing company. He is now back as an artist with his latest synth based project, June Thrasher. He is also a jury member for various music organizations and sits on numerous cultural boards including co-director of the Derek Bachman Foundation and the 2020 JUNOs Host Committee.
Program & Education Coordinator
Brittney got her start in the non-profit arts industry when she was working as the Front of House Manager for The Globe Theatre. Here she got experience in stage management, volunteer coordination and staff management. Although she loved working in the theatre world, the music industry was where she knew she belonged. When the opportunity to join SaskMusic came up she jumped at it. She started out as the Administrative Assistant in the Regina office and was then promoted to Program & Education Coordinator, which is the position she fills now. Brittney holds a Business Human Resources Certificate and Diploma, which have provided many skills she's able to put to use in her diverse roles within the music industry. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Girls Rock Camp Regina (GRR), where she's also a member of the organizational committee and acting volunteer chair. She recently stepped back from the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) after serving for 6 years. She’s an active juror for many organizations including FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), The Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA's), the JUNO Awards and Music PEI Awards, to name a few.
Ben grew up working within the Regina music community and is excited to keep developing his skills and supporting Saskatchewan artists in his position at SaskMusic. Ben first got his start working in the industry as producer and volunteer host at 91.3FM CJTR Regina Community Radio over fifteen years ago, and still hosts two radio shows at Regina Community Radio today. Ben was also involved on the Community Radio Board of Directors for eight years (2013 to 2020) in various capacities including President and was honoured to receive the "Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2020 from the station. His commitment to music continued within the halls of the University of Regina where he enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Studies Masters Program with a focus on live performance. While attending the university, Ben was also Research Assistant at the Interactive Media & Performances Labs, teaching workshops and hosting community hours for those who wanted to learn how to make electronic music, scratch records, or record. Ben has been a turntablist for over fifteen years and hosts DJ nights in Regina, some video game Twitch streaming, old skool Games Workshop fan, as well as DJing a number of events in and around Regina as part of the duo 2Beats.
Program and Administrative Assistant
Shawn is an active member of the Saskatchewan music scene with his group The Karpinka Brothers, who have toured from coast to coast in North America, including showcasing at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, and multiple performances at the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival. They've achieved acclaimed press and chart success on campus and community radio across Canada and the U.S., releasing four studio albums over 10+ years, the most recent produced by Howard Bilerman (Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire) at his legendary Hotel2Tango studio in Montréal. Shawn is often found at local shows, cheering on friends at the top of his lungs. He is passionate about helping musicians, and his advice has been featured in Canadian Musician magazine. He has also been an MC many times at the Gateway and Ness Creek music festivals. He has worked closely with some of the top publicists in the music industry, and he has always been thankful for the lessons that he learned from his first mentor, Derek Bachman at SaskMusic.
Photo: Matt Smith
Indigenous Music Coordinator
Office: Casual Contract
Darwin Roy had completed a project-specific contract with us in March 2021 and has kindly agreed to continue with us on a casual contract basis, assisting with various programs as needed.
Darwin Roy was raised by his grandparents in Northern Saskatchewan where they lived a hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering lifestyle. Darwin is a proud speaker of the Cree language who has made a career working in public relations for the resource industry, the education sector, and for First Nations. He has a Graduate degree in Educational Administration from the University of Saskatchewan. Darwin has been very active in the Indigenous music scene throughout his career. Darwin has a passion for music and feeds that passion with his involvement with his personal singing ventures or with the group he has played with for most of his life - “Just The Boyz” or “JTB”. In 2005 JTB was nominated for Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for Best Country Album. He has been a part of the Voices of the North Show, a showcase of Indigenous talent during the Prince Albert Winter Festival, since 1998. Darwin continues to play music for the people locally in Saskatoon or somewhere down that long highway.