Meet with a Mentor! We offer confidential, specific career consultations to artists and music professionals. SaskMusic members* can meet with our skilled staff and mentors through this program to discuss career plans, marketing strategies, touring, songwriting and copyright, funding and grant applications, exporting, industry trends, or any other relevant music topics.
Our mentors are versed in a range of expertise and perspectives. At the present time, consultations can be conducted via phone or video chat, or (where both parties are in Regina) in the SaskMusic office.
Tips for a successful consult
- Prioritize your questions, challenges and/or goals.
- Look through our mentors' descriptions to see who would be the best fit to discuss your priorities with.
(Tip: hit Cmd-F on Apple or Ctrl-F on PC and enter a search word such as 'grant' to search for that word in a mentor bio.)
- Select up to 3 mentors at a time. You can book additional consults in the future, but we suggest completing a consult or two first and then deciding what your next set of questions will be.
- Come to your consult prepared with specific questions or things you'd like to discuss to make the most of your time with the mentor.
- Come with an open mind and be ready to consider any suggestions that the mentor may make.
- Consults must be booked by SaskMusic. We ask you not to contact mentors directly to request appointments, even for follow-up consults. Mentor time is tracked and compensated by SaskMusic.
- Program Participation
- Members who cancel or fail to attend a consult with less than 24 hours notice twice may have their ability to participate in this program suspended for 6 months. If your participation is reinstated and you no-show for an additional time, we may permanently cancel your access to this program. Our mentors' time is valuable.
- Post-consult feedback is collected from both mentor and member. Members who receive significantly negative feedback from two mentors may have their ability to participate in this program suspended for 12 months. If your participation is reinstated and you receive significantly negative feedback a further time, we may permanently cancel your access to this program. We expect both mentors and members to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully.
- Members who are suspended from this program for the above reasons are not eligible for a membership refund.
Questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-800-347-0676.
*To become a SaskMusic member, visit our Join page.
John Antoniuk is a singer/songwriter whose music draws a diverse range of comparisons - from Teenage Fanclub and Weezer, to Ryan Adams and Neil Young. In 2003 John released the “Side A” EP, which quickly garnered him attention as a songwriter and saw him sharing the stage with artists like Ron Sexsmith and Hayden. "13"(2008) was the first full-length release under the Smokekiller moniker, and featured "Out There" which was selected as a National Finalist in the 2009 RadioStar Songwriting Competition. In 2012 John released "Always With You", an eponymous tribute to his late mom, and was named “Best Solo Artist” in a Planet S reader’s poll. The International Songwriting Competition has recognized John as a semifinalist 3 years in a row; in 2013 for “Chicago” from the album “Always With You”, in 2014 for “End Of The World”, and in 2015 for "The Way Home" both from the album “Jen & John.”
John and his wife, Jen Lane, are self-managed and recently started their own record label, Poor Kitty Records. Jen and John tour steadily and continue to write and record both separately and together. John has also provided mentorship and consultation to established and emerging artists from Saskatchewan including members of the Deep Dark Woods, Close Talker, The Pistolwhips, We Were Lovers, Gunner & Smith, Zachary Lucky, Christian Kongawi, Acronyms, and Young Benjamins.
John joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: touring, administration, grant writing, artist self-management, songwriting, and developing a business strategy within an artistic career.
Melanie Berglund, aka Belle Plaine, is a singer/songwriter based in Regina. Her musical background includes 12 years of classical vocal training, jazz/contemporary music study at Grant MacEwan College, and a history of live performance reaching back to her childhood. Berglund’s music embodies traditional country and folk music while never fitting squarely into one category. Her album Malice, Mercy, Grief + Wrath earned a 2020 JUNO nomination and drew accolades from Rolling Stone. It was awarded Album of the Year at the 2018 Sask Music Awards and Belle was nominated for Roots Solo Artist at the 2019 WCMAs. She has collaborated on multiple occasions with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, most recently in February 2020 when she performed in the RSO’s Pops Series with the symphony at the Conexus Arts Centre.
Berglund has been a full-time and self-managed musician since 2010. She’s toured in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. She’s a successful recipient of funding from FACTOR, the SOCAN Foundation, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and Creative Saskatchewan. She’s served as a juror for the JUNOs, WCMAs, FACTOR and Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Melanie joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: grant applications, recording, project management, touring, self-booking and self-management.
Marvin Tontiwachwuthikul Chan, also known by his stage alter-ego, Merv xx Gotti, is the singer of Canadian hip-hop/R&B duo, Samurai Champs. He is also the Artistic Director of Canadian music startup, Trifecta Sound Co.
For the past seven years, Marvin has built creative communities, curating impactful experiences for artists internationally. This work served as action research for his Master's of Applied Science, which was recognized by CBC's Future 40 and TD Bank's Creative Entrepreneurship Incubator, featured on VICE, and presented at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences.
With Samurai Champs, Merv xx Gotti has toured internationally, performing in festivals such as SXSW (Austin, TX), Music Matters Live (Singapore), NXNE (Toronto, ON), The Great Escape (Brighton, UK), Reeperbahn (Hamburg, GE), Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), and many more. Samurai Champs' has also received notable honours, such as multiple WCMA nominations for R&B Artist of the Year, as well as winning the SMAs Hip Hop Artist of the Year.
Covid's halt on live experiences led Marvin's focus to the blockchain space. He currently focuses on the integration of NFTs, DeFi, and Web3 into creative industries. In particular, he explores the tokenization and ownership of music and creative assets through decentralized platforms.
He also currently facilitates four monthly Trifecta Sound radio shows, hosted by Trifecta's artist and DJ roster, through Toronto's premier internet radio station, ISO Radio. Tune in to ISO.fm, every Saturday at 6PM EST to hear the sounds of Trifecta.
Marvin joins the Career Tracks Program to provide consultation and advice regarding: community building, live events and performance, music export and international showcasing, NFTs, Web3, and creative decentralization.
20 years after the release of his first album, Factor Chandelier has created Time Invested II, a nostalgic and energetic compilation reminiscent of how his music career started. With the intent of creating something inspiring for a younger self, the producer collaborated with his heroes, long-time friends and contemporaries to create a work of 16 songs. Time Invested II features a mix of artists that include tour mates, frequent collaborators and friends with whom Factor Chandelier shares undeniable creative bonds. The release of the album aligns with his 40th birthday and somehow still feels like this might just be the beginning.
After some challenges during the pandemic including a studio flood and cancelled tours, Factor Chandelier drew inspiration from the support of fans, family and friends to get back into the studio. Factor used this new energy to continue evolving his music with hints of sounds pulled from his vast catalogue to create his most expansive production to date. Time Invested II weaves sonically through genres while remaining rooted in hip hop, leading to moments of down tempo and trip-hop amidst electronic soundscapes and hard, underground beats. Factor Chandelier has been able to creatively evolve his sound with the ever-changing musical climate, showcasing originality, diversity and one-of-a-kind production.
Factor Chandelier's production has garnered international acclaim from Hip-Hop DX, Pop Matters, RESPECT Magazine, Exclaim! and Vice; Factor Chandelier was named Hip Hop Artist of the Year at the WCMA and 2x SMAs. He has collaborated with Myka 9 from Freestyle Fellowship, Open Mike Eagle, Eligh, Sunspot Jonz and Luckiam of the Living Legends, Ceschi, Moka Only, Evil Ebenezer, AWOL One with Xzibit, Tha Liks, Aesop Rock, Buck 65, Ahmad, Abstract Rude and countless others. His music has been heard in movies and advertisements including Cadillac, Oakley (Action Bronson narration), Adidas, i-D, Gopro, Volcom, MTV, Wolfcop(2) and many more. From his commercial work to the records he crafts for artists, Factor Chandelier’s production combines smooth melodic moods with live instruments over seemingly effortless arrangements and immaculate drums to create a distinct sound. His work and signature sound have earned him a reputation as one of underground music’s favorite producers.
Factor joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: recording, touring, self management, indie labels, and music production.
Equally at home behind a grand piano or a recording console, Arun Chaturvedi is an award winning Producer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist, and Mixer.
He has worked with a diverse roster of artists and songwriters including legends like Lamont Dozier, and Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, as well as contemporary artists like The Tenors, Jim Brickman and long time collaborator Luke McMaster.
The classically trained pianist is also an in demand composer for Film and Television whose credits include hit TV shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, General Hospital, PJ Masks, Degrassi and many more.
Arun currently serves as president of The Songwriters Association of Canada.
Arun joins the Career Tracks Program to offer advice and assistance on: The creative and business aspects of Songwriting, Music Production and writing for Film and Television, as well as revenue streams for music creators, including royalties, syncs, licensing and placements.
Vanessa develops customized social marketing plans and strategies for musicians and brands across multiple online platforms. With over 15 years of experience in the music business, Vanessa built her career in hospitality, branding, and social media, starting her career working for festivals like NXNE, CMW, and Indie Week, which took her to Ireland to produce the European side of the Indie Week festival during the 2013 season. She joined The Marketing Store team in 2010 working with clients such as Nissan, Infiniti, and McDonald's on branding, CRM, and localized opportunities for growth.
In addition to her work in Marketing, Vanessa co-founded both show promotion collectives Big Things Productions and People Put Out Productions (2012-2016). She also acted as the booker at The Rivoli in Toronto 2012-2014. Vanessa joined the Coalition Music management team in 2013 to create, curate content for, provide educational tools, and report on digital marketing strategies for Coalition Music’s roster of artists as well as their TEMPO Charity and Canada’s Music Incubator.
Noticing a void in assistance for independent artists, Vanessa stepped down in her position of five years in music management as head of Digital Strategy for Coalition Music to start her new Digital Services Agency, Reach, in 2018. Vanessa has represented digital and marketing for many notable organizations such as Anthem Entertainment (formerly Ole) on their rebrand, feminist festival Venus Fest’s second year, New Constellations Indigenous New Wave tour, Sound of Music Festival, LA Times at TIFF, Animal Crossing, Oglivy, WWF Canada, Notifi, Megan Nash, Iskwe, Brooklyn Doran, Digging Roots, Kaiya Gamble, Mariya Stokes, and more. She is currently the Community Management Social Media Lead for Shoppers Drug Mart across Canada.
Vanessa joins the Career Tracks to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: social media, content planning, content strategy, social strategy, marketing, marketing strategy for albums, tours, festivals, singles, labels, other artistic projects both indie and major, paid advertising across socials, higher level media buying (radio/TV/print) with lowest budget at $5 and highest at $100k monthly, overall project management and career consulting.
Regina, SK / Vancouver, BC
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.
Mike joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance on a wide spectrum of questions including: tour booking, artist management, marketing and promotion, album release strategy, label services, funding applications and international showcasing.
Mississauga, ON / Nashville, TN
Songwriter and producer Robyn Dell'Unto is dedicated to helping artists achieve their creative goals. Her distinctive artist-relations style and interconnected approach to songwriting and production has resulted in over 100 commercial cuts since 2013 including SOCAN #1 I See Gold for Good Lovelies, recent Canadian pop radio add DCMO for LU KALA, Cause You Did for Willa and I Don’t Sleep for Emma Lamontagne, as well as recent singles for Emma-Lee, Jadea Kelly, Virago, Rosie & the Riveters, Stacey Kay, Leah Daniels and more. Originally from Toronto, she is currently based in Nashville with her photographer husband and two cats.
As a solo artist, Dell'Unto's songs have been featured in 50+ television episodes, films and commercial campaigns including Wynonna Earp, Being Erica, Kim's Convenience, Degrassi, Harriet The Spy, Time Freak (staring Sophie Turner) and campaigns for Smart Set and Zara. Singles from her self-produced 2017 record Beaconsfield remain in heavy rotation on CBC national programs. Her 2014 record Little Lines was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award and her 2010 debut single Just A Bird (Orange Lounge/Universal Music) spent 35 weeks in the Top 10 on South Africa’s Algoa FM.
Dell'Unto founded A Song Of My Own songwriting workshops for kids (formerly offered in Toronto District School Board and Montessori schools) as well as Logic X production workshops for women.
Robyn joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions concerning: anything related to music industry navigation including artist development, branding, licensing, co-writing, production, networking, fundraising, radio promotions and mental health.
Having fronted bands since she was fifteen years old, Elsa Gebremichael has many years of experience in the Saskatchewan and Canadian music scene and continues to grow as a self-managed musician, singer, songwriter, producer and performer. She's currently developing and releasing music from her solo project, WILD BLACK. Elsa has toured throughout Europe and North America, showcased at festivals such as SXSW, NXNE, Sasktel Jazz Festival, and has opened for notable acts such as Tegan and Sara and Janelle Monae with previous acts. She has secured music license syncs to TV, film and radio and was nominated for a WCMA for Pop Recording of the Year.
Elsa is an experienced grant-writer and has successfully secured funding from many major organizations. She has experience in co-recording, producing, and mixing albums, tour booking and publicity, poster and website design, social media management, and directing/producing music videos and photo shoots. She volunteers as an organizer, mentor and instructor with Girls Rock Camp Saskatoon. Fostering inclusiveness and increasing representation of women, people of colour, queer, non-binary and trans folks in the Canadian music scene is super important to Elsa and she strives to make growth and change happen where this representation is lacking.
Elsa joins the Career Tracks Program to offer advice and assistance on: grant-writing, tour booking, producing, self-management, poster and web design, and music videos.
Corner Brook, NFL
Nigel Jenkins is a graduate of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, with a Certificate in Entertainment Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. Nigel is an artist manager and record label owner based in Steady Brook, NL. Through his company, Laughing Heart Music, Nigel has worked with artists like Classified, The Lytics, Anthony OKS, Ben Caplan, Hillsburn and many others as a manager, label owner, and consultant. Nigel is the Chair for the Board of Directors for Music NL. He was nominated for the 2021 Music NL awards for Industry Professional of the Year and Outstanding Company of the Year, and the 2019 East Coast Music Award for Artist Manager of the Year.
Nigel joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: booking and touring, national and international showcasing, grant writing, self-management, album release planning, marketing, business plan development, campus radio, and publicity.
Lorena is a longtime staff member of SaskMusic and seen many phases of the music industry. Currently Communications & Operations Manager for SaskMusic, former coordinator of the Flatland Music Festival (which ran for 10 years) and many other live events and workshops, and an artist/songwriter/freelance musician herself, she specializes in helping artists with their overall marketing strategies and business plans. She also addresses questions regarding songwriting, including demo critiques; live performance; and more. She is well-versed in social media strategies, design and publicity, and enjoys nearly every genre of music, with a special fondness for a well-crafted hook. She has sat on juries for numerous major funders and awards shows in Canada and volunteered for numerous music orgs and boards.
Lorena is a professional singer/songwriter and musician, having performed as a freelance side player in jazz, rock, pop and country bands in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, on everything from army bases to gala awards shows. She has also toured with her own original alt/pop/country music, receiving pop chart airplay and garnering prime time TV performance spots in adult contemporary/pop.
Lorena joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions concerning: grant applications, songwriting, and marketing.
Kaelen Klypak received his Arts and Entertainment Management Diploma from Capilano University in North Vancouver and now resides in Saskatoon as the Program Manager for SaskMusic. He manages the export and professional development of Saskatchewan Music Industry Individuals.
Kaelen has been actively involved in the Canadian music industry for the past 20 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.
Kaelen joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance on a wide spectrum of questions including: grant applications, music publishing, touring, international showcasing, marketing, and self management.
Adrienne LaBelle is the Project Coordinator at Mint Records and a musician. She has been involved in the Vancouver music community since 2007 as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, recording artist, and performer. She has played in several projects over the years, including Aunts & Uncles, Movieland, Cult Babies, Supermoon, Energy Slime, Jay Arner and most recently, Garbage Dreams.
A self-proclaimed road-dog, she has toured extensively since 2011 in North America, Europe, and Japan, and has showcased at acclaimed festivals such as the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Rifflandia, SappyFest, Halifax Pop Explosion, Pop Montreal, Sled Island, and SXSW.
She has spent many years volunteering in the music industry, and served on the Board of Directors for the Safe Amplification Site Society from 2012-2015, which included running an all ages venue. She has worked casually over the years as a show promoter in Vancouver, and has booked several successful DIY tours in North America. She currently sits on the jury for Music BC's travel grant program as well as FACTOR's Juried Sound Recording and Artist Development grant programs.
Adrienne started working as an intern at Mint Records in 2015 in between tours, and in early 2018 settled into a full-time position as Project Coordinator at the label. Her role is dynamic, and can range from grant writing, tour booking, A&R, radio tracking, event organizing, PR, and all the many other things that may come up in the span of a day at a small but busy label. Her next move is to venture into the world of podcasting, with a few new projects on the horizon.
Adrienne joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: DIY touring, showcasing, grant writing, and A&R.
Brittney got her start in the non-profit arts industry working as the Front of House Manager for The Globe Theatre. Here she got experience in stage management, live performance, volunteer coordination and staff management. She joined the team at SaskMusic in 2014 out of their Regina office. As the Program & Education Coordinator, she manages all educational programming, including the Workshop Series, Career Tracks mentorship program, Careers in Music youth information program, and Very Prairie, an annual three day music conference now in its fifth year.
Brittney sits as a board member and organizer of Girls Rock Camp Regina (GRR) and has won a YWCA Women of Distinction award for her volunteer work with the group. 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 industry 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.
Brittney joins the Career Tracks program to offer advice and assistance on: funding applications, showcase and conference prep, event planning, and navigating career paths within the music industry.
Melissa MacMaster, has gained valuable business management experience from her previous roles working in Atlantic Canada’s entrepreneurial eco-system and start-up community for over 7 years where youth entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, and also co-founding the Global Youth Innovation Network in Benin, West Africa. Transferring her high caliber business skill set to the music industry, Melissa successfully launched 902Hiphop operating as an artist management and music licensing and sync company.
Melissa joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions concerning: the Canadian hip-hop industry, artist management, music licensing and sync placements, and building international partnerships in the U.S and Europe.
Lenore Maier is a multi-instrumentalist; she plays drums and sings in Saskatoon surf pop band The Garrys where she has performed alongside notable acts such as The Sadies, Elliott Brood and La Luz. She also produces ambient electronic works as Ursa and has worked in the realms of film score composition and live theatre sound design. She is the co-founder of Grey Records, a small cassette label based in Saskatoon. She has toured across Canada and the UK and has booked several tours for her own bands and others on Grey Records. She is an organizer with Girls Rock Saskatoon and is the founder of FEMFEST! (2017-2019) and Festival Director of The Manitou Boogaloo (2018-present). She has juried several music festivals and has been a FACTOR juror since 2014. Lenore holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan.
Lenore joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: grant applications, national and international showcasing, recording, touring, running a small record label, self-booking and self-management.
Kate began her career in 2006 while finishing her Marketing degree at the U of S. Soon after convocation, she focused on artist management along with marketing and publicity for musicians. A few years into her career in the music business, Kate was offered a coveted fashion internship at ELLE magazine. While at the magazine, she worked on photo shoots, pitched story and page ideas, wrote articles and interviewed celebrities, and learned the ropes of working at a major fashion magazine. After working at ELLE, Kate developed her niche as a wardrobe stylist and brand consultant, allowing her to combine her love of fashion, music and marketing. She has since been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award and her placement and client list includes Warner Music Canada, Live Nation, Canadian Country Music Association, ELLE magazine, Globe & Mail, National Post, Food Network, CityTV, CTV and more. No matter the project, Kate’s goal is to help others create and convey their unique, authentic brand and to help them consistently communicate that brand.
Kate joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: wardrobe styling for tours/media/photo shoots/video shoots, and establishing wardrobe guidelines for solo artists and bands.
Matt Maw (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation) is the Director & Lead Artist Manager at Red Music Rising. Matt brings over 10 years of multi-faceted music industry experience to RMR, along with a passion for artist development and a mission to amplify Canada's Indigenous artists on the global stage. Throughout his career, Matt has worked with some of Canada's most celebrated artists, Indigenous and otherwise, including Tanya Tagaq, William Prince, Riit, Jeremy Dutcher, Broken Social Scene, and BANNERS, among others. A graduate of the Harris Institute for the Arts, Matt has previously worked alongside organizations including Arts & Crafts Productions, Six Shooter Records and New Constellations.
Matt joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions concerning: grant writing, artist management, self-management, & team building.
Tyson McShane (band leader/chief songwriter for Slow Down Molasses) grew up in Prince Albert, a town where there was precisely one all-ages punk rock concert a year (and it usually ended in a mini-riot). After moving to the ‘big city’ of Saskatoon for University, McShane became immersed in the city’s thriving music and art scene, playing in bands, promoting shows, and hyping the local scene every step of the way. With his band Slow Down Molasses, Tyson has released three albums and two EPs (with another album on the way in September 2016), toured Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands, playing shows at some of the most exciting new music festivals happening (End of the Road, Sled Island, Reeperbahn, Incubate, SXSW, CMJ, NXNE, Nouvelle Prague, The Great Escape, Liverpool SoundCity etc.)
Outside of his time with Slow Down Molasses, Tyson has played and records with sludge-pop fuzz merchants Jeans Boots and weirdo noise-niks The Eyebats, co-curated Saskatoon’s newest music festival MoSoFest, and secretly/not-so-secretly holds down day job as a City Planner/Urban Designer.
Tyson joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: recording, touring, songwriting, and international showcasing.
Erik Mehlsen is a songwriter, performer, label-owner, gear-hauler, theory-teacher, merch-seller, what-it-takes jack of all trades who has tried nearly every music-related job at least once. With several hundred performances and festivals across Europe, USA, UK, and Canada, a number of JUNO and WCMA awards, four published books, a songwriting app, and a diverse publishing catalogue, Erik has quietly amassed an impressive music resume.
Spending less time touring in recent years has meant his focus has shifted more to mentorship, label work, and music production. He currently runs Sharp 5 Records, is a partner in Wrist Shot Records and Books, teaches private lessons, and has spent several stints teaching in remote communities in Saskatchewan's north.
Erik joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: artist-residencies, live music production, running music workshops, songwriting, running an indie label, international touring, how to sideman, mental health in music, how to band-lead, success in college radio, private lessons, band agreements, royalty collection.
Hayley Muir is a Calgary-based broadcaster, musician and artistic director. She is currently the Music DIrector at CJSW 90.9 FM, Calgary's only campus and community radio station. Hayley is also a co-founder of and the Artistic Director for Femme Wave Feminist Arts Festival, and is a member of feminist punk band The Shiverettes. Hayley has been involved in the music and arts scene in Calgary for over ten years and has been a broadcaster at both CJSW and CKUA, Alberta's Radio Network. She is currently the host of Soul Food on CJSW Friday mornings 7-10am. Hayley has also worked in publishing as a designer at BeatRoute Magazine, and has extensive experience in marketing, advertising, and the non-profit sector.
Hayley joins the Career Tracks Program to offer advice and assistance on: Public & Community Radio, including distribution, promotion and interview skills, Print Media, Marketing, publicity, press releases, bios, and EPKs.
Alexis Normand's jazz-folk music in French and English has been recognized across the country to critical acclaim. Recently named Francophone Artist of the Year by the Western Canadian Music Awards, her list of nominations also includes the Canadian Folk Music Award and a Lieutenant Governor's Arts Award in Saskatchewan.
In addition to being an accomplished singer-songwriter, she is a multi-instrumentalist and was a member of the internationally-touring folk trio, Rosie & the Riveters. Their last release, Ms. Behave, peaked at #3 on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 and was featured in publications such as Billboard Magazine and Rolling Stone.
Alexis has been a full-time independent artist since 2009 and takes her business to heart, crafting everything from release strategies, to marketing plans and grant applications with careful attention. She has received grant support from anglophone and francophone funding bodies to help bring both her solo projects, as well as those she undertook with Rosie & the Riveters, to fruition. This includes creating projects, recording albums/EPs/demos, marketing initiatives (radio tracking, music videos, publicity, online advertising, etc.), touring (across Canada and the U.S.) as well as domestic and international showcase opportunities like Folk Alliance International, Americana Music Fest and Reeperbahn. Alexis has been on juries for the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Canada Council for the Arts and Musicaction. She has also served on the board of directors for Folk Music Canada, the Conseil culturel fransaskois and l'Alliance nationale de l'industrie musicale (ANIM).
Alexis joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: grant applications, project management, touring, self-booking, self-management/career planning, marketing plans, recording and francophone music industry knowledge.
Orion Paradis is a Saskatchewan music producer who works out of his own recording studio, SoulSound (which shares a building & inspiration with its sister studio, FadaDance). As a producer & engineer, Orion is very active in Regina's local community of bands, recording with artists such as Ava Wild, Beach Body, Natural Sympathies, The Wonts, Wolf Willow, Megan Nash, Etienne Fletcher, Library Voices, The Dead South, Belle Plaine, Kacy & Clayton, The Extroverts & Snake River. Orion has a lot of knowledge of the music business in Saskatchewan - from creating albums, to performing heavily remixed DJ sets, to production work for dance and theatre companies, he has navigated a wide swath of musical exploration.
Some career highlights include: 2020 Gold Certification USA / 2019 - Gold Certification Canada (The Dead South "In Hell I'll Be In Good Company"), 2019 Juno Nomination - Contemporary Roots Album of the Year (Megan Nash – Seeker), 2019 YouTube Viral – 285 million views (The Dead South - In Hell I'll Be In Good Company), 2018 - #1 Stingray Satellite Radio (Etienne Fletcher - Cherie Cheri), 2017 SaskMusic #1 Album (Megan Nash – Seeker), 2016 Nominated Recording of the Year WCMA (Library Voices - Lovish), 2013 CBC #1 National Song of the Summer (Indigo Joseph - Others), 2009 Nominated Independent Album of the Year WCMA (Library Voices – Hunting Ghosts).
Orion joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: All stages of studio music production (including pre-production, recording, mixing & mastering), delivery of recorded material to various formats (CD, Vinyl, Cassette, Streaming, etc), how to interact with a studio & how to get the most value and use a studio effectively, recording yourself (how to get the best results), small business skills (how to market yourself and land jobs in the gig economy), and live sound – how to make a stage plot and communicate your tech needs in advance of a gig/festival.
Prince Albert, SK
Donny Parenteau is a proud Metis Country Music artist & was born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Donny’s Saskatchewan Metis heritage goes all the way back to Louis Riel and the Northwest Rebellion 1885. Donny’s Grandfather was a fiddle player who supported his family by playing dances and performances all around Prince Albert & area. Donny picked up the fiddle at age 14 and his musically journey began, becoming a multi-instrumentalist -singer songwriter making him today one of the highest nominated independent acts in Canada.
Donny spent twelve years touring the world with United States Country singer Neal McCoy; recording on multi-platinum selling albums & playing on numerous shows, including performances on The Grand Ole Opry & The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Alongside McCoy, Donny has shared the stage with country music icons such as; Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, and Reba McEntire to name a few. After starting his solo career in 2003, Donny has garnered over one hundred nominations at eight major award shows, including three JUNO nominations, and his first USA nomination for “Best Country CD” at the 2014 Native American Music Awards.
Since the pandemic Donny put his focus into song writing and his Donny Parenteau School of Music teaching online classes reaching students as far as Missouri USA.
Donny joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: stage presence, booking, management, promotion, songwriting, releasing music digitally and to radio and royalties.
Earl Pereira got his rock n’ roll pedigree as a founding member of Wide Mouth Mason, who had 3 gold records, three 3 JUNO nominations and a host of other accolades and awards. He has toured the world, playing nearly 3000 shows and opening for iconic acts such as The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Guess Who, Alanis Morissette, Van Morrison, The Tragically Hip, and many more. Pereira was also named one of Canada's top bassists in Canadian Musician Magazine.
After establishing himself as one of the more entertaining musicians in Canada, Pereira began to work as a performance coach inspired from both his love for performing and watching the world renowned ‘live producer’ Tom Jackson at a workshop during Canadian Music Week in 2008. Over the past 10 years, Pereira has coached over 200 artists and bands helping drastically improve their live shows and ability to impactfully connect with audiences. Pereira has held workshops at high profile conferences such as Peak Performance Project, Song Rise Conference, and Breakout West.
Earl joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions surrounding performance coaching and live producing. Helping drastically improve an artist's ability to perform live and how to connect with an audience, overcome nerves, make more effective set lists, properly rehearse, own the stage, create magic moments, and to stand out from your peers.
Jeffrey Romanyk is a drummer, performer, instructor and session musician. He played drums and percussion on Rah Rah’s 2012 JUNO and Polaris nominated album “The Poet’s Dead” along with tens of other albums. He has also toured, performed and showcased with a myriad of Canadian artists from coast to coast, including: Rah Rah, Library Voices, Jenn Grant, Jason Plumb, Surf Dads, Rococode, In-Flight Safety, Sylvie, Nate Hilts (of the Dead South), Northern Beauties, Chris Sleightholm, and many others. Jeff brings a unique viewpoint of what it’s like to navigate the music industry from a player’s perspective. He lives with his super enchanting and intelligent girlfriend and two huge rescue dogs.
Jeff joins the Career Tracks Program with experience in: touring, showcasing, recording, negotiation, labels, management, booking agents, performing, auditioning and recording.
Jay Semko is known nationally and internationally as singer and bassist with multiple JUNO Award nominees and Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame members the Northern Pikes, as an award winning music composer for numerous film and TV productions, including the syndicated series, "Due South", and as one of Canada's premiere singer/songwriters, with 10 solo albums released. He has co-written and recorded with many of the best songwriters and musicians in music, has instructed songwriting at the University of Saskatchewan and been a panelist, participant, and host at many national events affiliated with SOCAN, the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), and many others.
He is a 2-time winner of the SCMA Award for Roots Album of the Year (2012 "Force of Horses" & 2015 "Flora Vista") and a 2-time Gemini Award nominee and Canadian Screen Award nominee for his work as a music composer for television ("Due South" and "Dust Up"). He has performed across North America, Japan, at SXSW, Folk Alliance International, NXNE and many other industry events. In 2020 Jay was nominated in the Western Canadian Music Awards for Spiritual Artist of the Year (his 4th WCMA nomination) in regards to his latest album "Never Sent", and in 2021 his first book,"The Poetry & Lyrics of Jay Semko", was published. He continues to tour nationally as a solo artist and with the Northern Pikes, and his songs, stories, and legendary live concerts continue to garner him recognition as one of Canada's most prolific musical talents. For more info about Jay go to www.jaysemko.com.
Jay joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: songwriting, co-writing, composing for film/television, and live performance.
St. John's, NL
Neena Sharma is an independent Grant Writer, and the Project Manager with the Toronto based record label URBNET. She has been a juror with multiple funding organizations including FACTOR and Creative Saskatchewan, and is a mentor with SaskMusic’s Career Tracks program. She has also been a nomination judge for several Canadian music award ceremonies, including the JUNO Awards. Neena is a graduate of York University and has been working in the music industry since 2016. Although born in the U.K., Neena grew up in Ajax, ON, before eventually moving to Toronto. As a teenager, she loved visiting Criminal Records on Queen St. West, and trying to get into 19+ shows.
Within her position with URBNET, she has contributed to projects that have secured WCMA and Music NL awards, and is involved with securing OMF (Ontario Creates) and FACTOR grants. She is also part of the publicity team and contributes to A&R efforts. As an independent Grant Writer, Neena has developed grants for artists and record labels applying to funding organizations across Canada. Neena is an active volunteer with the Feminist Art Collective of Toronto and was a festival coordinator for the 2020 exhibition at OCAD. She currently resides in St. John’s, Newfoundland and can usually be spotted with her little dog in tow.
Neena joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: grant applications and label administration.
Geoff Smith started his music career in 2011, when he released his first recording as Gunner & Smith. Since then, Geoff has released a number of recordings and toured Canada extensively, and more recently, the USA. He has also performed at a number of prestigious industry showcases including Folk Alliance International and NXNE. Geoff has significant experience in songwriting, band management, grant writing, tour booking, and promotion. In addition to working as a touring artist, Geoff has booked tours in Canada and the USA for a number of acts, books and promotes shows at a local venue, and is the founder of the Saskatoon Songwriter Showcase.
Geoff joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: self-booking, international showcasing, and songwriting.
Skip’s start in the music business began in the late '80s promoting punk rock shows in Regina. After attending music college, Skip ended up working record retail in Regina and Calgary for a few years before moving back to Saskatchewan to be the Universal Music Promotion Representative for Saskatchewan from 1995 to 2010. There he was responsible for promoting, marketing, securing publicity, and radio play for the entire Universal Music roster in our province, including both Canadian and International artists. Skip is now the Performing Arts Coordinator at OSAC. In this role he helps the organization and its members book over 170 performances in the province each year. Skip attends many showcase events each year including Contact East, Pacific Contact and the ECMAs and routinely sees over 100 showcases a year. This experience has given him extensive knowledge about Canada’s provincial touring networks and, specifically, Canadian arts organizations’ Showcase events.
Skip joins the Career Tracks program to provide consultation and assistance with questions including: network showcasing, artist marketing, touring, and self-management.