Board of Directors

Folk Music Ontario’s Board of Directors is a dedicated and enthusiastic group of thirteen volunteers, elected democratically by the membership via advanced balloting during the fall and at the annual conference in October. Directors serve a three-year term. The Executive Committee is elected by the directors, and each position on the Executive Committee is held for one year.

2016-17 FMO Board

2016-17 FMO Board
Back row: Preetam Sengupta, Jani Lauzon, Jan Cody, Kathy Partridge, Rachel Barreca, Sage Paul
Front row: Dave Cool, Darin Addison, Alex Sinclair, Amie Therrien
Missing: James Keelaghan, Max Merrifield, Liz Scott

2017 Board Elections

Of the Board’s current members, four directors are completing their terms this fall. New directors will be elected by the membership at the October conference in Mississauga. This year, there are eight excellent candidates who are willing to step in. Please take a moment to get to know them before the big vote!

Trish Bolechowsky

After becoming increasingly involved in the local music scene, Trish Bolechowsky initially became a music manager at the request of an artist. She went on to work with several emerging folk artists through RedLeaf Music, which she founded in Ottawa in early 2014. Along with offering stand-alone career consultations, Trish is the artist manager for Ali McCormick and for the group Outside I’m a Giant. Trish presents and supports both weekly and monthly local music series via RedLeaf Music. The series feature singer-songwriters in a listening room environment, similar to a house concert but in public spaces. In addition, Trish co-hosts The Brew on CKCU, a weekly community radio show on CKCU 93.1 FM with a focus on in-studio acoustic performances and interviews with artists living in or traveling through Ottawa. She has been involved for several years as a volunteer with the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Nova Scotia and with the stage crew (currently crew leader or Hat) at the Blue Skies Music Festival in Ontario.

Reasons for running:
Having had the recent opportunity to sit in for the Blue Skies Music Festival at the Festival Organizer’s Retreat in May 2017, I saw even more of the business behind the festivals and some of the many challenges they face. With experience as a presenter, an artist manager and a key festival volunteer, I think it’s important that the voices on the board of FMO reflect as much of the province as possible and adapt to the changes within the industry and in the communities FMO serves. The folk music scene in Ottawa is flourishing and it’s currently underrepresented on the board. I look forward to the opportunity to listen to the board members and to the Ottawa folk community around me. I intend to use that input to generate ideas and inspire efforts to further the growth of folk music in Ontario and of Ontario folk music beyond the boundaries of the province.

Paul Fortune

Paul was raised in Owen Sound and has been a long time attendee and volunteer of the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival to present day. Paul’s early passion for Folk Roots and Blues music has inspired his continuous support and promotion. In recent years as a Board member of the Eaglewood Folk Festival, supporting the Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music and hosting a house concert series at his home in Dundas. With 20 years experience in corporate Sales and Marketing Paul is now the proud owner of Forch’s Record Store in Cambridge with a significant offering of Canadian and international Folk, Roots and Blues artists as well as promoting and sponsoring live music.

Reasons for running:
My desire to be an integral part of an organization such as Folk Music Ontario is driven by my passion to support and promote the great talent of Canadian musicians and to ensure there are opportunities to offer their music in both tangible and live formats. Whether from my corporate marketing experience or that as a record store owner and a promoter of music, connecting people and music/musicians is a great passion. I see success as ensuring a flourishing music industry for Folk Music, delivering personal and financial success for musicians and providing venues for people to consume and purchase.

Rosalyn Dennett

Rosalyn first established herself on the international folk scene through her role as one of the founding members of the highly acclaimed roots quartet Oh My Darling, with four award-nominated albums, headlining multiple international tours, and sold out shows across the country. She moved to Toronto to pursue her love of traditional music, and began performing/recording with the talented Ken Whiteley, Donovan Woods, Fred Penner, Kaia Kater, Hannah Shira Naiman, Zachary Lucky, and many more. Her passion for the music industry lead her to a position as a coordinator at MusicOntario, the Canadian Independent Music Association, and Music Canada Live, Manager at OntarioLiveMusic.ca (Music Canada), and currently holds the position of Licensing Coordinator at the Canadian Federation of Musicians. Rosalyn is in-demand as a speaker and educator, and has facilitated workshops and panels for Folk Alliance International, Folk Music Ontario, Tune-Up Toronto, Music Ontario’s Communities Connect, Summerfolk: Music Biz Tune-Up Series, and more.

Reasons for running:
Rosalyn is a leader and organizer in the national and international folk community. As a long-standing member, Rosalyn has worked with Folk Music Ontario in many capacities, including official and unofficial showcase artist, official and private showcase presenter, panelist and panel moderator, emcee, exhibitor, reception host and more. Her experience working in the non-profit sector for MusicOntario, CIMA, Music Canada Live, Ontario Live Music, and the Canadian Federation of Musicians would be an asset to any organization, and her dedication to music can be seen through her successful career as an artist, performing and recording with Oh My Darling, Ken Whiteley, Fred Penner, Donovan Woods, Kaia Kater, and many more fine folks. If elected, Rosalyn would contribute her experience, enthusiasm and imagination to the direction of Folk Music Ontario, with dedication to the organization and the honour of serving its members.

Richard Henderson

Richard has been practicing law for over 35 years. He recently retired from HSBC Financial, having served as Vice-President, Law and Compliance, Secretary and General Counsel for 27 years. Richard also served on its board and as Chair of its Executive Committee. His roles included overseeing the legal function and managing the company’s regulatory and government affairs, compliance and governance functions. In addition, Richard is a Director of the Scugog Council for the Arts, a not-for-profit visual and performing arts presenting organization that supports the arts and fosters creativity in Durham Region. He has also served as its Vice President and Secretary. Richard has been a musician since his public school days and regularly performs as a singer/songwriter and as a founding member of The Wanted, an acoustic roots band.

Reasons for running:
Richard’s depth of experience can help Folk Music Ontario navigate its path forward in the complex world of organizational governance and strategic and financial management. Having been an active participant on both corporate and not-for-profit boards, Richard understands the role and the duties of a director, and his years of experience as a lawyer would provide FMO with valuable and practical perspective in regulatory, governance, and advocacy matters. But Richard is also a performing musician and a director of a community arts presenting organization, and insights gained from those experiences broaden Richard’s ability to connect with members and stakeholders and to make a meaningful contribution to Folk Music Ontario.

Emma Jane Julien

Emma Jane’s entire career is based upon supporting artists and making music happen. She does this through her work at Re:Sound Music Licensing and as a freelance administrator and presenter. She has previously worked at the Ontario Arts Council and as a publicist, grant writer, venue booker, promoter and artist manager. Emma Jane graduated from Harris Institute’s Recording Arts Management program and the University of the West of Scotland’s Commercial Music program.

Reasons for running:
When serving on the Folk Music Ontario board I would keep in mind members’ best interests while being dedicated to the continued growth of our community. I have a well-rounded perspective of the music industry as a young woman with a wide range of professional experience from all sides. I understand the importance of this organization within the folk community and want to help lift FMO and its members up to their greatest potential.

James Keelaghan

James Keelaghan is a Juno and Canadian Folk Music Award winning singer-songwriter who comes from Calgary originally. In addition to touring on three continents and occasional broadcast shifts, James is also the Artistic Director of the venerable Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Owen Sound. He currently lives in Perth Ontario. James is completing his first term on FMO’s Board. He brings a wealth of knowledge of the Ontario and Canadian folk music scene and can speak to issues from the artist, artist director and festival perspective.

Reasons for running:
We are facing challenging times in the folk music world. The more we talk and share info the stronger we become. I believe that I can help facilitate those conversations as an artist, and artistic director and sometime broadcaster.

Preetam Sengupta

Preetam is currently a Folk Music Ontario board member, a singer-songwriter, and also runs a company called Letting Artists Make Art (LAMA), dedicated to helping (predominantly folk-roots) musicians make a living through their music. LAMA fills in gaps on the business side so artists can focus on creativity. Preetam also works with Northstarr Entertainment, a leader in Canadian Urban music focusing on international career development for artists through showcase opportunities and a one-day conference called Northern Power Summit.

Reasons for running:
Preetam would like to continue his work on the FMO board after a very up-and-down first term. A medical issue set him back at the beginning of his term, and continued recovery has finally (over the past year) allowed him to really dive into the work he set out to do back in 2014. Somewhat quiet by nature, Preetam tends to listen more than speak, but working with a foot on each side, Preetam can provide both an artist and industry voice on the board when necessary. Preetam hopes members feel comfortable in approaching him with their concerns, and will always bring those to the board table with the members’ interests in mind. Finally, Preetam loves FMO and the folk community, and would love the opportunity to continue to help the organization thrive.

Alex Sinclair

Alex is a long-time musician and songwriter with deep roots on the Ontario folk scene, both as a solo artist and with the folk group Tamarack. He spent several years presenting concerts in Ottawa and partnered with the venerable Enoch Kent running The Wee Folk Club in Toronto. He has hosted folk radio programmes, and he ran a small record company for several years. Alex now works as an administrator/ bookkeeper for several small arts organizations, and individual artists.

Reasons for running:
A long history with FMO gives Alex a good perspective on the issues facing the organization. He certainly understands what it means to sit on the board. He brings an empathy for artist and presenter, for broadcaster and label, and understands how hard it can be to make a living in folk music. He also really loves the Ontario folk community.

2016/17 Executive Committee

President

Katharine Partridge, President

Katharine Partridge, katharine.a.partridge@gmail.com, term ends 2018
Katharine has been attending and supporting folk festivals since the ‘70s. She became actively involved in the community in 2003 as one of the founders of Shelter Valley Folk Festival. She has given presentations on governance, strategic planning, and green initiatives at FMO and Folk Alliance conferences. Katharine is a communications and stakeholder engagement specialist, managing a Toronto-based boutique consultancy advising international clients on sustainability issues. In past lives, she was a journalist and prior to that a production stage manager for Canadian theatres.

Vice President

Preetam Sengupta, Vice President

Preetam Sengupta, preetam.sengupta@gmail.com, term ends 2017
Preetam runs a company called Letting Artists Make Art (LAMA), dedicated to helping (predominantly folk-roots) musicians make a living through their music. LAMA fills in gaps on the business side so artists can focus on creativity. Preetam is a singer/songwriter, balancing the business and the stage. He writes and sings solo and in a band called Crash Bamboo, and works closely with Northstarr Entertainment, a leader in Canadian Urban music.

Treasurer

Jan Cody, Treasurer

Jan Cody, janicecody@rogers.com, term ends 2018
Jan has been a part of the arts and music industries for many years, developing programming, marketing and outreach programs for clients and organizations. As Executive Director of the Canadian Country Music Association for a decade, and recently with Shelter Valley Folk Festival, she has sought roles that help support and grow organizations and knowledge for membership.

Secretary

Amie Therrien, Secretary

Amie Therrien, amie@balsampiermusic.com, term ends 2019
Amie Therrien is the owner of Balsam Pier Music in Toronto, Ontario. She manages award-winning roots act The Young Novelists (New/Emerging Artist, 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards) and folk/celtic/bluegrass band The Bombadils. She also provides freelance artist services including strategic planning, marketing, publicity, grant writing, tour booking to a variety of artists from different genres.

Member-at-Large

Dave Cool, Director

Dave Cool, dave@bandzoogle.com, term ends 2019
Dave Cool is the Director of Artist & Industry Outreach at musician website platform Bandzoogle. From 2007-2011, Dave was the Program Director at the St-Ambroise Centre where he booked over 300 shows featuring folk artists from across Canada, helped to found the Montreal Folk Festival, and gave away over $15,000 in bursaries to musicians. In 2006, Dave directed the NFB documentary film “What is INDIE? A look into the World of Independent Musicians”, which featured interviews with Penny Lang, Ember Swift, Matt Large and many leading industry experts. From 2009 until the association was dissolved in 2016, Dave served on the Board of Directors of CIRAA (Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association).

2016/17 Directors

Darin Addison, Director

Darin Addison, darin@homecounty.ca, term ends 2019
Darin J. Addison has over 20 years of music industry experience. He has worked in artist management, booking, publicity, and promotion with independent and major label artists including Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, The Ashgrove, Sara Craig, Crash Test Dummies and The Pursuit of Happiness. Darin spent two years as Publicity Manager for London Ontario Live Arts (LOLA) Fest and hosted a weekly radio show at 94.9 CHRW (Western University) for seven years. He worked as Production and Marketing Coordinator at London’s Aeolian Hall before taking over as Artistic Director for London Ontario’s Home County Music & Art Festival in 2013.

Christa Couture, Director

Christa Couture, christacouture@gmail.com, term ends 2018
Christa Couture is an award-winning performing and recording artist, a non-fiction writer, a digital producer, a cyborg and a halfbreed. Her fourth album “Long Time Leaving” was released in 2016 on Black Hen Music; she has toured across Canada and Europe; her writing has been published in Room Magazine, Shameless, and the anthology “The M Word;” and as a speaker and storyteller, she has addressed audiences for CBC’s DNTO, Moses Znaimer’s conference ideacity, and Imaginate in Port Hope, Ontario. She is currently an associate producer for CBC Digital, and she also manages the Indigenous music platform, label, and performance series Revolutions Per Minute.

James Keelaghan, Director

James Keelaghan, jkinfo@mac.com, term ends 2017
For over 25 years James Keelaghan has been a touring singer songwriter. Born and raised in the folk music hothouse of Calgary, he writes about the history of working people, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and the landscape that forms such a large part of the Canadian artistic psyche. James is also the Artistic Director of the venerable Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario.

Jani Lauzon, Director

Jani Lauzon, jani@janilauzon.com, term ends 2017
Jani is a three-time Juno nominated singer/songwriter and also a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award nominee. She served on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Blues Society where she was instrumental in helping to envision both the Rez Blues series and the Women’s Blues Revue. Although Jani took time away from touring and recording to raise her daughter, she has continued to compose and design for theatre, collaborate with a variety of artists and lend her talents as a vocalist and traditional Native flutist to many recordings. Proud of her Métis heritage, she also teaches music and singing to Aboriginal youth.

Max Merrifield, Director

Max Merrifield, director@nlfb.ca, term ends 2018
By day (and sometimes nights) Max Merrifield is the Executive Director of Northern Lights Festival Boréal, one of Canada’s original music and arts festivals. The 3 day festival presents an eclectic blend of roots, indie, world and modern music, as well as other art forms. By night, Merrifield is a hip-hop and spoken word artist by the name of Silvertongue, as well as a show promoter with Cage Call Underground Hip-Hop. Merrifield is also the current chair of Myths & Mirrors Community Arts and a board member of Folk Music Canada. He is a lover of diversity and innovation as well as tradition in music and art.

Liz Scott, Director

Liz Scott, lizscott555@gmail.com, term ends 2019
Liz has hosted Irish Mountain House Concerts since 2001, a life-changing decision that has been integral in feeding her passion for live music. She spent four years as Artistic Director at Eaglewood Folk Festival. Liz presents shows in soft-seat theatres in Meaford, Owen Sound and Collingwood and helps books acts into Blue Mountain Resort. Through Serendipitous Music she has provided support for booking, publicity and promotion. In 2013 Liz partnered with Fred Eaglesmith to build and promote his Ontario shows in small town, unconventional venues and now organizes Fred’s annual Charity Picnic. She has been a judge for the Junos and Songs From the Heart, FMO panelist, Folk Alliance mentor, and Summerfolk Media Liaison.

Alex Sinclair, Director

Alex Sinclair, pmsinc@interlog.com, term ends 2017
Alex is a long-time musician and songwriter with deep roots on the Ontario folk scene, both as a solo artist and with the folk group Tamarack. Alex also works as an administrator/ bookkeeper for the likes of Borealis Records, and sits on the board of the ArtsCan Circle.

Past President

Rachel Barreca, Past President

Rachel Barreca, moxy.woman.creations@gmail.com
Rachel is a community builder and educator with a passion for transformative learning through the arts. She has twenty-plus years of experience in the world of music as a performer, producer, promoter, academic, volunteer, broadcaster, and administrator.

FMO Committees

Folk Music Ontario’s Board members serve on a variety of committees, some of which also include FMO members, staff members and consultants. Click here to see a list of the various FMO committees and working groups, and the people who sit on them.