Saskatchewan participating in Folk Alliance International: “Folk Unlocked”

Saskatchewan participating in Folk Alliance International: “Folk Unlocked”

Online February 22-26/2021

by SaskMusic

February 5, 2021 in SaskMusic News

Folk Alliance Jeffery StrakerFolk Alliance Last Birds

SaskMusic is pleased to be presenting two Saskatchewan artists for Folk Alliance’s digital conference and showcasing platform: Folk Unlocked, taking place February 22-26/2021.

In a partnership under the banner of BreakOut West, artists from Manitoba Music, Alberta Music, Music BC and SaskMusic will be presented in an exceptional filmed concert compilation showcasing Western Canada’s top emerging folk/roots artists. For the past decade+, SaskMusic has attended Folk Alliance’s annual conference along with presenting our showcasing artists in person for the thousands of event buyers and industry personnel in attendance.

Saskatchewan’s Jeffery Straker and Last Birds were filmed last month especially for this 2021 event by SaskMusic, using local music spaces and technical crew. In addition to having their performances presented to Folk Alliance delegates, these and many other Saskatchewan artists will ‘attend’ the Folk Unlocked conference and keynote sessions, participate in one-on-one meetings, and take advantage of virtual networking opportunities throughout the event. Folk Unlocked will provide the opportunity to share ideas, network, and celebrate traditional music and dance. Attendees are booking agents, radio programmers, artists, festival bookers, labels, and many others from around the world engaged in the folk, roots, and international music industries. The two artists were selected by an industry jury following a general call for submissions distributed to SaskMusic members.

Over the past year, SaskMusic has responded to the changing landscape for export marketing of our artists, and is continuing to work not only on export initiatives and assistance to our artists, but has been engaged extensively in advocacy for and awareness of the extreme challenges facing the local and national music industry due to the pandemic. We commend Folk Alliance on its inclusive 2021 adapted approach and look forward to a productive event.

BreakOut West Showcase:
Monday February 22, 3:30PM CST

Additional Sask showcases:

Last Birds
Tues Feb 23, 8:30 PM CST
Thurs Feb 25, 8:30 AM CST (yes, that is a morning spot)

Jeffery Straker
Tues Feb 23, 7:00pm CST

How to Watch:

Public access to the showcases can be registered for at:

Music industry members can register for the conference at:  

This year’s virtual event is being offered for a pay-what-you’re-able-to pricing structure. SaskMusic encourages those in the folk/roots genres to take advantage of this unusual opportunity to participate in the international event at no-to-low cost.

Jeffrey Straker

Jeffery Straker grew up taking piano lessons in small-town Saskatchewan and has gone on to perform over 100 shows per year across Canada, Europe and Latin America. The rootsy-storytelling of his songs has the power to transport a listener-out onto a lake in Canada’s North or to the main street of a prairie town. A clever lyricist, his energetic piano-based song writing is a reminder of the power of a singer/songwriter accompanying himself on the keyboard. Straker just received a Saskatchewan Music Award for Roots/Folk Artist of the Year (

Last Birds

Last Birds is a Folk Americana duo consisting of the husband and wife songwriting team, Lindsay Arnold and Mike Davis. They follow up their success with the folk group Hook & Nail, including a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year in 2020. Over the past two years, Mike and Lindsay have been writing songs together that focus on close vocal harmonies and interwoven acoustic guitars, taking advantage of the musical intimacy possible in a spouse duo. Keeping the instrumentation minimal, their songs hearken to the early days of country folk music while exploring dilemmas of the modern world. The result is a sound consistently described by listeners as ‘mesmerizing’ (

About Folk Unlocked

Folk Unlocked: Connection, Discovery, Inspiration, is a 4-day event for the entire international folk community to come together for panels, workshops, showcases, affinity and peer group meetings, exhibit spaces, networking, and mentorship. This is a year for innovation and creativity, and our goal is to create a space for community building and career development for everyone from the comfort and safety of their own home.

About Folk Alliance International

Since 1989, Folk Alliance® has served as the headquarters for Folk Music and Dance. With over 2800 members worldwide and an annual conference that is one of the five largest music conferences in North America, Folk Alliance continues to grow and mature while providing a unique range of member services to their community. Over the years, their community has grown to include record companies, publishers, presenters, agents, managers, music support services, manufacturers and artists that work in the folk world. Folk Alliance has five regional affiliates that provide the grass roots efforts in their respective markets. Folk Alliance International exists to foster and promote traditional, contemporary, and multicultural folk music and dance and related performing arts ( 

About SaskMusic

SaskMusic is a non-profit association that stimulates growth and development in the commercial music industry of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada through leadership, promotion, training, advocacy and partnership. We offer programming including career consultations, workshops, marketing, artist listings, export assistance, networking opportunities and much more. We represent the four components of our industry: creative, interpretive, technical and administrative. Our artists and music professionals hail from across Saskatchewan, and produce music in every genre you can imagine. We are a source of information and resources for both the public, and the music industry.