Archive for Announcement

Important Announcement from Folk Music Ontario

Dear FMO Members,

Folk Music Ontario (FMO) announces that Alka Sharma will be moving on to a new role and concluding her 8+ years of service as Executive Director of FMO on December 31, 2021.

“It’s with sadness that we say farewell to Alka as FMO’s Executive Director. She has been a strong advocate of the organization in the Canadian and international folk music community and helmed FMO through many memorable in-person conferences (and one online conference!) and through two years of a pandemic with her calm and steadfast leadership style. Alka has been committed to the success of the staff, membership, and organization. She has facilitated new partnerships and opportunities and has strengthened FMO’s relationships with key stakeholders in the music industry and Canadian government. We wish Alka the best on her new professional adventure.” Amie Therrien, Board President, Folk Music Ontario

“I am grateful to the FMO Board of Directors, Joel Elliott (FMO’s Marketing Manager), and the Copperworks crew (who I have worked with since I started in 2013). I have a great love for the organization, the community, and the exciting future for Folk Music Ontario. It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with FMO since the beginning when it made its name change from the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals. I will miss the camaraderie, the people, and most of all, the music. Thank you to the community and the music industry.” Alka Sharma, outgoing Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario

Previous to taking on the Executive Director role with Folk Music Ontario, Alka worked as the Interim Executive Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. She was also the Senior Manager of Operations with the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. Alka has worked in various campus / community radio stations and non-profit arts organizations for over 20 years and has extensive experience sitting on various non-profit Boards.

In her time at FMO, Alka has led the production of seven in-person conferences, and one online conference. Alka, along with the FMO Programming Committee, expanded FMO’s year-round programming and professional development opportunities. On behalf of FMO, Alka signed the Breaking Down Racial Barriers declaration, and has been committed to embodying equity and diversity in all its activities. Under her tenure, FMO has collaborated with various music industry organizations, and held Festival Member’s Retreats, incorporated outreach to various communities, including implementing an Indigenous Artists Showcase.

FMO has been instrumental in the development of the careers of thousands of artists, by creating showcase opportunities, performance opportunities, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, facilitated meetings, export development, and more. FMO will continue to build and develop the strengths of these initiatives and will remain a leading voice and advocate for the folk music community in Ontario, Canada, and internationally.

The Board of Directors wishes to thank Alka for her years of service and dedication to FMO and to the folk community at large and wishes her every success as she moves on to her next role.

The board is currently working on a succession plan, which will be announced shortly.

For more information, please contact:
Amie Therrien
Board President, Folk Music Ontario

Julie Title, lauréate du prix Colleen Peterson de composition de chansons 2021

Julie Title, lauréate du prix Colleen Peterson de composition de chansons 2021

Toronto, le 23 septembre 2021 – Le prix Colleen Peterson de composition de chanson du Conseil des arts de l’Ontario (CAO) a été décerné cette année à la musicienne Julie Title pour sa chanson Ghost. Il lui sera remis le samedi 25 septembre, lors du week-end de remise des prix en ligne de Musique Folk de l’Ontario (MFO).

Julie Title est une auteure-compositrice-interprète folk de Toronto. Son style musical est influencé par le folk des années 1970 et les chansons confidences des années 1990, comme celles d’Aimee Mann ou de Mazzy Star, qu’elle écoutait en grandissant.

Sa musique fait partie de la bande-son de la série télévisée The Fosters sur ABC et de la série Burden of Truth sur CBC. Ses chansons sont diffusées régulièrement dans le programme North Americana de SiriusXM, à la radio de la CBC, et par les stations de radio roots du Canada, des États-Unis et du Royaume-Uni.

Julie sort des singles – notamment Ghost – avant de lancer son premier album complet. Enregistré avec d’autres musiciens torontois, cet album aborde des thèmes liés aux peines d’amour et à l’apaisement.

Un autre extrait du prochain album, A Wreath to Lay, a été qualifié de « lucide et poétique […], ouvert et intemporel » (Music Mecca) et de « familier et novateur à la fois » (Lefuturewave).

Le Fonds Colleen Peterson de composition de chanson a été créé au Conseil des arts de l’Ontario en 2003 par la sœur de l’artiste, Shirley Richardson, et son amie, l’auteure-compositrice-interprète Laura Bird.

Ce prix annuel de 1 000 $ rend hommage à la contribution de Colleen Peterson à la musique canadienne en soutenant et en faisant connaître les auteurs-compositeurs-interprètes ontariens de la relève dans différents genres – traditionnel, roots, folk et country.

Les candidatures pour le prix proviennent du concours Chansons du fond du cœur, organisé par MFO. Ce dernier constitue également le jury qui choisit le lauréat. Cette année, le jury se composait de Trish Bolechowsky (Ottawa), Melanie Kealey (Ottawa) et Donné Roberts (Toronto).

Lauréates des trois dernières années : Danielle Knibbe (2020), Suzanne Jarvie (2019) et Lora Bidner (2018). Cliquez ici pour voir la liste complète des lauréats précédents.

Shoshana Wasser, coordonnatrice principale des communications, Conseil des arts de l’Ontario
416-969-7434 | 1-800-387-0058, poste 7434 |

2021 Colleen Peterson Award Recipient – Julie Title!

Julie Title receives 2021 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

Toronto, September 23, 2021 – Musician Julie Title is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award for her song Ghost. The award will be presented on Saturday, September 25, during Folk Music Ontario (FMO)’s virtual Awards Weekend.

Julie Title is a Toronto-based folk singer-songwriter. Her musical style is influenced by 1970s folk, as well as the wave of confessional women songwriters she grew up with in the 1990s, such as Aimee Mann and Mazzy Star.

Julie’s original music has been featured on the ABC TV show The Fosters, as well as the CBC drama Burden of Truth. Her songs are regularly featured on the SiriusXM program North Americana, as well as on CBC Radio and roots stations across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

Julie is releasing singles – including Ghost – leading up to the reveal of her first full-length album. Recorded with other Toronto musicians, it touches on themes surrounding heartbreak and healing. Another single from the upcoming album, A Wreath to Lay, has been praised as “lucid and poetic … open-ended and timeless” (Music Mecca) and “familiar and inventive at the same time” (Lefuturewave).

The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Council in 2003 by Peterson’s sister, Shirley Richardson, and her friend, singer-songwriter Laura Bird.

The annual $1,000 award honours Peterson’s contribution to Canadian music by supporting and promoting the work of Ontario-resident emerging singer-songwriters in the roots, traditional, folk and country genres.
Nominations are received from FMO’s Songs From the Heart competition. FMO also assembles the jury that chooses the award winner. This year’s jury consisted of Trish Bolechowsky (Ottawa), Melanie Kealey (Ottawa) and Donné Roberts (Toronto).

Previous winners include Danielle Knibbe (2020), Suzanne Jarvie (2019) and Lora Bidner (2018). Click here for a full list of past recipients.

For further information
Shoshana Wasser, Senior Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council
416-969-7434 | 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 |

FMO 2021 is THIS WEEK! Register Now!

FMO Award Weekend Sept.25-26, 2021
FMO 2021 Virtual Conference Sept.27-Oct.1, 2021

Pay What You Can (Suggested Rate $50)
Click here to register now!

The 2021 FMO Conference is coming NEXT WEEK! Check out the updated conference website, including information on the schedule, speakers, showcases, award winners, and more!

2021 FMO Conference Home Page
2021 Conference Schedule
2021 Official Showcases
2021 Speakers List
2021 Awards
2021 Delegate List

See you at the Conference!!!!

2021 Estelle Klein Award Nominees: Voting Now Open!

It’s time to vote for the 2021 Estelle Klein Award!

The Estelle Klein Award honours the work of an individual or group that has made significant contributions to Ontario’s folk music community. The award is named after Estelle Klein, a long-time advocate of Canadian folk music and one of the early founders of the folk festival scene in this country.

ONLY FMO MEMBERS are able to vote for the award recipient. Each member in good standing will be receiving a unique ballot and link via email.

There are 8 candidates for the 2021 Estelle Klein Award. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order. For those who can vote, Please make your selection before Wednesday, September 15, 2021!

For more information, or if you haven’t received your email link, please contact Joel at

Ian Bell

Ian Bell has performed across Canada and internationally since the late 1970s, both on his own and with a number of different ensembles including Muddy York, the Bilge Rats, Friends of Fiddler’s Green, Enoch Kent, Allison Lupton, Lederman/Bell and others. He has appeared at festivals (Winnipeg, Mariposa, Edmonton, Ottawa, Yellowknife, Owen Sound, Lunenberg, Montmagny, and others), in concerts and for dances in venues ranging from The Lincoln Center to the finest Ontario barns.

Ian performs material from a large repertoire that includes both Canadian traditional music and his own songs and instrumental compositions. Ian’s original songs have been performed and recorded by: Anne Lederman, Ian Robb, Bobby Watt, Allison Lupton, Lee Murdock, The Lucky Sisters and others. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist (guitar, button accordion, mandolin, harmonica, fiddle, pipes), Ian has made 8 CDs under his own name (2 nominated for CFMAs) and appears on dozens of recordings as sideman. He has organized festivals (Mariposa in 1985, Port Dover), was part of Expo ’86 (with Wade Hemsworth and Muddy York), been “Folk Artist in Residence” at Joseph Schneider Haus Museum (Kitchener, Ontario. 1993), co-wrote/directed five CBC Vinyl Café national concerts, was a regular contributor for seven years to Fresh Air as well as appearing on many other programs: Ideas, Gabereau, Crossroads, This Morning, Radio Noon and Peter Gzowski’s Morningside. He has been part of the Roots of American Music Festival (Lincoln Centre, NYC) performed at the Mystic Seaport Museum and in Viljandi, Estonia. Ian continues to perform and organize events, contributing his unique storytelling voice to Canadian music.

Diana Braithwaite

Diana Braithwaite has been instrumental in keeping the blues alive on a national and international level, and as the worlds’ music press has testified, her name is synonymous with quality and authenticity. Dubbed a “national treasure” by Bluz FM on Jazz FM radio host Danny Marks, Diana Braithwaite is a descendant of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. With roots in Florida, Diana’s ancestors on her mother’s side, escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad and lived for four generations in Wellington County, the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario.

Recognized for her authentic blues performances, Diana was chosen by Sarah McLachlan to open Lilith Fair at the Molson Amphitheatre before an audience of 18,000. Appearances at shows in Massey Hall in North America, concert halls and festivals in the U.K. and Europe led to her reputation as a world class blues singer.

After a lengthy successful music career and recording deal with Festival Records, in 2005, Braithwaite teamed up with multi-instrumentalist producer, Chris Whiteley to record the CD, MORNING SUN, on the Electro-Fi Recording label. The acclaimed CD garnered rave reviews, extensive air play, and led to multiple Canadian MAPLE BLUES AWARD nominations, including Album of the year, and Acoustic Act of the year. The duo’s second album, also recorded for the Electro-Fi label, NIGHT BIRD BLUES was extremely well received, with great reviews and airplay internationally. It led to them being awarded 3 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS in January 2010, including being recognized as SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR.

Rodney Brown

The Estelle Klein Award is presented to those who have made significant contributions to Ontario folk music. Often, it goes to someone who has achieved international success. But what of those individuals who eschewed “folk stardom” in order to build folk music community in over-looked regions of the province, without whom we could not claim to have a true Ontario-wide scene?

That, friends, is Rodney Brown.

Though he was an esteemed member of the first wave of nationally-touring singer-songwriters that also included Stan Rogers, Murray McLauchlan and Bruce Cockburn, Rodney ultimately made it his mission to bring folk music to his home of northwestern Ontario.

He has performed for and collaborated with children in numerous remote First Nations, created music with adults with developmental disabilities, participated in educational projects with the Fort William Historical Park, composed for six touring theatre productions and performed and toured with the Thunder Bay Symphony – while also releasing 11 albums, composing for TVO and working as a children’s entertainer.

He served 43 years on the Local 591 executive and coordinated a labour choir for the Thunder Bay and District Labour Council. He’s been a regular performer at social justice rallies, and he helped organize the local Summer Solstice Festival in the late 70s.

Rodney received a 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and a 1992 Canada 125 medal for his significant contributions to northern Ontario culture. Perhaps most tellingly though, in northwestern Ontario, the words “folk” and “Rodney Brown” are virtually synonymous.

Willie Dunn (1941-2013)

A Mohawk chief once called him Roha’tiio—which means “his voice is beautiful.” Willie Dunn was a Canadian filmmaker, folk musician, playwright and politician. Born in Montreal, he was of mixed Mi’kmaq and Scottish/Irish background.

Dunn left the Canadian army with a UN Medal and quickly established himself on the sixties folk scene as a singer-songwriter, drawing from his Mi’kmaq/Scottish heritage to craft protest songs about the Indigenous experience.

In 1968, as a member of the Indian Film Crew, he directed The Ballad of Crowfoot, the first NFB film to be directed by an Indigenous filmmaker. A powerful homage to the Blackfoot/Siksiká leader featuring Dunn’s own ballad, it is considered Canada’s first music video. The film received several awards including a Gold Hugo for best short film at the 1969 Chicago International Film Festival.

Dunn released several full-length albums of recorded music and films and was also involved in federal politics as the NDP candidate for Ottawa-Vanier in 1993.

Dunn died in 2013 and is remembered as a trailblazing artist, activist and community leader.

“I’m a topical folksinger, as opposed to being a Native artist. However, the topic of being an Indian became so prevalent in my music that I became known as an Indian folksinger”.

Eve Goldberg

Eve Goldberg was steeped in the folk scene from an early age, and became a folk musician herself with her first CD in 1998. Her instrumental “Watermelon Sorbet” was the opening theme for CBC’s “Richardson’s Roundup.” She supported herself by working at Borealis Records as their first office manager.

She released two more solo albums, and two recordings with Gathering Sparks. Her song “Old Tin Cup” was published in the Rise Again songbook, a sequel to Rise Up Singing. Eve has been a finalist for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, nominated for the CFMA for Vocal Group of the Year in 2014 (with Gathering Sparks), and winner of FMO’s “Songs From the Heart” (with Gathering Sparks).

Eve is passionate about community music, teaching at colleges, and camps such as the Woods Music & Dance Camp, Haliburton School of the Arts, Haliburton Winter Folk Camp, Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp, and Women’s Music Weekend.

She helped found the Common Thread Community Chorus (Toronto) and served on its Board. She consulted in the founding of the Haliburton Folk Camp. She served on the board of The Woods Music Camp, helping organize and run their annual event.

Eve helped found the non-profit organization ArtsCan Circle. Her song “Streets of Burma” was used by Amnesty International Canada as part of a 2007 campaign. She has served on the board of OCFF/FMO and Local 1000 of the AFM. With Local 1000, she served as Canadian vice president for three years and president for three years.

Graham Lindsey

During the pandemic Graham helped bring countless performances online, volunteering much of his time, and contributing to a vibrant folk community. As a virtual event producer, he produced the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the first national arts event to go virtual in 2020, only three weeks after the pandemic was declared, and then again in 2021 with an expanded virtual program.

As technical producer for Home Routes’ online programming, he helped develop the Zoom-based house concerts key to their online programming, now and post-pandemic. He produced the live Ottawa Grassroots Festival, streamed festivals like Summerfolk, and numerous concerts by Ontario artists (including on-site production for James Keelaghan, David Francey, Skinnamarink!, and Bram Morrison). Graham is also a co-founder of the in-person Upper Canada Folk Festival (est. 2020).

Currently Co-President of the CFMAs (board member 2013-present), he participated in the FMO-CFMA-FMC working group (2019) to optimize the organizations’ operations. He develops websites for organizations (FMO, CFMA, Borealis, Hugh’s Room, Fogarty’s Cove Music, etc.) and numerous artists, edited the Estelle Klein Award recipient videos since 2016, and programmed the educational component at Almonte Celtfest (2013-present).

As a composer and performer, Graham’s first solo album was nominated for Solo Instrumental Artist at the first virtual CFMAs, and his remotely-produced recording (The Next Best Thing, 2020) was released to critical acclaim. With performances in Canada and Sweden, several of his compositions are in regular rotation on the Peace Tower Carillon on Parliament Hill.

Paul Loewenberg

Paul Loewenberg has lived in Sudbury Ontario since 1989 and holds a Bachelors degree in sociology from Laurentian University. He became involved with Northern Lights Festival boréal in 2019, and served as Artistic Director for an impressive 17 years.

He is the longstanding booker of the Townehouse Tavern and books a multitude of performers of many styles. He is also a well-established musician and has played in numerous bands and has appeared on numerous recordings. These endeavours have enabled him to become immersed in Canada’s contemporary underground music culture.

Paul has served two terms on the board of Folk Music Ontario (FMO) and is a regular panelist/moderator at the annual FMO conference. He is a past member of the Downtown Sudbury Marketing Committee and a member of the Committee for the Development of Arts and Culture for the City of Greater Sudbury.

He frequently serves as a juror for FACTOR committees and a contributor for projects on CBC Radio. He is a regularly invited to City meetings concerning issues such as the redevelopment of the Bell Park Amphitheatre and the development of a proposed Multi-Use Arts Facility. He has participated in Strategic Planning for the Sudbury Arts and Culture Advisory Panel and FMO.

Paul is a tireless advocate for community, arts, culture and roots music – demonstrating by his candidacy for MPP in 2 provincial elections. Paul also founded a new festival: The Elgin St. Craft Beer Fest. – celebrating craft beer and live music of many kinds.

Chris White

With Nova Scotian roots that combine Black, White and Indigenous heritage, Chris White was born into a musical family and developed skills as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and performer. Growing up, he performed in a vocal quartet with his siblings and sang in a choir led by his father, Bill White, an accomplished musician and choral director. Chris’ aunt, Portia White, was a classical singer of “national historic significance”, and his uncle, Lorne White, performed on CBC’s “Singalong Jubilee” program throughout its 13-year national television run.

Chris writes and performs songs that are sometimes humorous, sometimes touching, always engaging. He has released three albums of original songs – “I’m a Poet… and I’m Aware of It”, “Inner Voice”, and “Music All Around”.

Chris co-founded the Ottawa Folk Festival in 1993 and served as Artistic Director for 16 years. In that role, he created numerous opportunities for attendees to become actively involved with music through participatory choirs, ukulele-building workshops and musical instrument “petting zoos”. He also worked with the Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society and Writer’s Bloc to create annual events such as “Musical Friends”, “Gil’s Hootenanny” and “The Great Canadian Song-Along”.

Chris produces and hosts two weekly music programs on CKCU FM: “Canadian Spaces”, Canada’s longest-running folk music radio show, and “Special Blend”.

Chris is a founding board member of Home Routes, an organization that presents concerts across Canada.

Chris received the Helen Verger Award in 2012 for “significant, sustained contributions to Canadian folk music”.

2021 FMO Conference: Showcases Announced!

FMO Award Weekend Sept.25-26, 2021
FMO 2021 Virtual Conference Sept.27-Oct.1, 2021
Click here to register now!

Official Showcases (in alphabetical order) 
Al Qahwa
Annabelle Chvostek
Ben Kunder
Big Little Lions
Blue Moon Marquee
Bon Débarras
Braden Lam
Brendan Scott Friel
Dana Sipos
Dione Taylor
Élage Diouf
Geneviève Racette
Georgia Lee Johnson
Harpdog Brown
Ila Barker
Jeremy Voltz
Jessica Pearson and the East Wind
Joey O’Neil
JoJo Worthington
Maria and The Band
Melissa Lauren
Mia Kelly
Michael Darcy & The Atlantic Tramps
Mike McKenna Jr.
Musique à bouches
Raine Hamilton
Scott Cook
Scott MacKay
Sultans of String
The Crescent Sky
The Fitzgeralds
The Slowinks
Twin Flames

Showcase Alternates (to play in the event an official showcase cannot participate)
Mimi O’Bonsawin
Newberry & Verch (declined)
North Atlantic Drift
Sleepy Jean
Yael Wand

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THOSE CHOSEN!  Join us for the celebration at the FMO Awards Weekend September 25-26!  Stay tuned to this e-news for all the latest info on programming, showcases, and the 2021 awards ceremony! 

Click here to register now!


FMO Award Weekend Sept.25-26, 2021
FMO 2021 Virtual Conference Sept.27-Oct.1, 2021

Pay What You Can (Suggested Rate $50)
Click here to register now!
Click here for more info!

The 2021 FMO Conference is coming soon! Schedule information will be announced in the coming weeks! Stay tuned to our newsletter and conference website for the latest on speakers, showcases, and award nominees!

Interested in becoming a member? Join Folk Music Ontario to connect with Canada’s largest provincial networking organization devoted to the folk, roots, and traditional music community. By becoming a member of FMO, you become an integral part of the ever-expanding network of folk activities across Canada.

Click here for more info on membership!

2021 Folk Music Ontario Board of Directors Election

It’s time for the 2021 FMO Board of Directors Election!

ONLY FMO MEMBERS are able to vote in this election. Each member in good standing will be receiving a unique ballot and link via email.

Festival Members – with one vote cast 15 votes
Organizational Members – with one vote cast 3 votes
Individual Members – with one vote cast 1 vote

There are 11 candidates for 6 positions on the 2021/2022 FMO Board. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order.

For those who can vote, Please make your six selections below before Friday, September 3, 2021!

For more information, or if you haven’t received your email link, please contact Joel at

Emma Cloney – Winnipeg Manitoba

Professional, creative, motivated, and a good dose of humour.

Emma Cloney has been an established member of the Folk community for more than ten years. With several musical projects to date and best know for her role as one half of the Winnipeg MB based duo The New Customs. A diversified “Jill of Trades”, Emma not only works as a full-time musician touring North American with her duo but, also works as a registered nurse. In addition to her work as musician and a nurse Emma also operates Safety Lemon Designs and works as a graphic and web designer. The skills for design and web creation were born out of her work as an independent musician. Emma is often sought after for her organizational skills, professional management and business savvy, and limitless creativity.

Reason I am running for the Board:
Emma Cloney is an outspoken advocate and an established change maker. There is nothing more powerful that a positive attitude and a willingness to get something done. Emma is a natural born leader and tends to inspire those around her. Full of creative ideas and outside the box thinking and educated to boot! Emma would make an excellent addition to any professional organization.

Cécile Doo-Kingué – Montreal, QC

Award-winning artist Cécile Doo-Kingué is considered one of Canada’s finest guitarists and singer-songwriters. First generation from Cameroon, the NYC-born Montrealer has released four albums to critical acclaim, received 8 Maple Blues Awards nominations and has extensively toured domestically and internationally, including most major folk, blues and jazz festivals in Canada, earning a reputation for blistering live sets, strong social commentary and guitar prowess. She has opened for, shared a stage and/or recorded with Montreal Jubilation Choir, Canned Heat, Angelique Kidjo, Ruthie Foster to name but a few.

In 2008, Cecile and Gern Vlchek co-created Chick Pickin’ Mondays, offering a safespace and equitable gig for women and genderqueer artists. Cécile has since expanded the concept to curate and present private showcases at music conferences including FMO and FAI.

Reason I am running for the Board:
As a director, I’d be bringing not only an independent artist’s perspective but that of an artist stemming from multiple, still underrepresented groups in the industry. I believe it could be a good opportunity to advocate for more equity and accessibility for the diverse folk community through both policy and programs. Having participated for over a decade as an artist, a youth mentor, a panelist and private showcase presenter, I’m also familiar with various aspects of the conference. Improving outreach to more diverse and younger folk community members as well as finding ways for more intergenerational and cross-cultural exchanges would be main focal points of working towards more inclusion, representation and empowerment of the full spectrum of our community.

Umair Jaffar – Toronto, ON

Umair Jaffar is the Executive Director of Small World Music, one of Toronto’s pioneering and most significant presenters of culturally-diverse music. Since arriving in Toronto in 2014, he has worked in curatorial and management roles at cultural institutions including the Aga Khan Museum and Harbourfront Centre. Prior to immigrating, he was the CEO & Artistic Director for IPAC (Institute for Preservation of Art and Culture), a Pakistan-based non-profit social enterprise that focused on developing sustainable solutions for preserving and promoting indigenous, folk and traditional performing arts. Umair also serves as a board member for several non-profit art organizations including CAPACOA, North York Arts and MusiConnect Asia. He has an MBA from University of Adelaide, Australia and a MSc Cultural Anthropology from University of Oxford, UK.

Reason I am running for the Board:
I believe my training in business management, finance, and strategy coupled with experience working in the culture sector will make me an asset to the board. I have been in a leadership role at small world music, through which I have gained nonprofit management experience and funder relationships that can benefit FMO.

I have extensively worked with diverse music forms and numerous cultural communities, most of whom are absent from stages across Canada. I believe that I can play a role in building bridges – such that there is an equitable representation of these communities, artists, and music at FMO and its members.

James Keelaghan – Perth, ON

Current Artistic Director of the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival and the Stewart Park Festival as well as a touring and recording singer-songwriter. I have JUNO Awards and Nominations and ditto for the CFMA’s. I have made my living in the music industry as my sole source of support for 35 years regularly touring Canada, The United States, Australia, Nw Zealand and Europe. I served on the board of FMO for a number of years, but had to resign 3 years ago for personal reasons. I am more steady now in my personal life and would like to get get involved with FMO again, especially at this time. I believe my perspectives as a presenter, a performer, a fan and a journalist allow me to see the industry from a unique vantage point.

Reason I am running for the Board:
I believe my perspectives as a presenter, a performer, a fan and a journalist allow me to see the industry from a unique vantage point. As mentioned above, I did serve on the FMO board previously so I am familiar with the workings of the organization. I am accustomed to heavy work loads and deadlines and I work well with others.

Mat Landry – Toronto, ON

Mat Landry is a Canadian drummer, percussionist, producer, and composer. His touring and session work experiences include performing on impressive stages and studios in Canada and Europe for artists such as Patrick Watson, Robert Paquette, Moscow Apartment, Marie-Clo, and MCLEAN. Landry also represents artists such as Stef Paquette, Céleste Lévis, and AfrotroniX as their agent at Groupe JKB.

Landry graduated with a bachelor’s degree from The School of Creative Industries at Ryerson University in the spring of 2021. With an additional minor in Music & Culture, combined with his continued dedication to his musical craft, Mat Landry is a new age triple-threat. Mat Landry is knowledgeable and experienced in notions of governance, facilitation, business structure, financial statements, contracts, business in the music industry, policies, and the impact of associations/organizations like Folk Music Ontario, Folk Music Canada, and Folk Alliance International.

Reason I am running for the Board:
With more than a decade’s experience as an artist entrepreneur, Landry is sensitive to what artists and their surrounding team expects from an organization like FMO, FMC, and FAI and events that are produced by such bodies. He has also participated in multiple yearly conferences as a backing musician for Moscow Apartment, Stef Paquette, Marie-Clo, and Martine Fortin. His active involvement in the francophone music scene and his Northern Ontario roots would also be an asset to the FMO board and its members.

Jorge Miguel – Toronto, ON

I am a Spanish Canadian Flamenco Guitarist, composer, producer and budding singer. I have played over 1000 shows from coast to coast including countless Folk Festivals. I have released 3 CD’s of original material over 20 years. I won the 2013 CFMA for Global Artist of the year. I won the FMO Songs from the Heart – Global Roots in 2019. I have attended and showcased at FMO, Mundial Montreal, and many Contact events from coast to coast. I have been a full time professional musician since 1995.

Reason I am running for the Board:
I have the utmost respect for Artists and those that present Artists, having been on both sides of the equation. I would like to help FMO remain relevant by adapting and including musics of the world. I have been a Board Member of FOSP (Friends of Sorauren Park) for over 10 years, which has included taking the musical and cultural lead in our public events. I have also been teaching Music Business part time at Seneca College’s IMP (Indie Musician Program) since 2004.

Teresa Nelson – North Vancouver, BC

Teresa is an Artist Manager and co-owner of Traverse Music Management, representing Indie/Folk/Roots artists from all across Canada. Based in North Vancouver, BC, Teresa is an avid outdoor enthusiast who believes in helping artists grow their career in an effective and sustainable way. She has always been surrounded by music and the arts and is proud to be a member of the vibrant Folk Music Community.

Reason I am running for the Board:
I’ve been working in the Folk Music industry for the past 5 years or so and have found the FMO conference to be a particularly special event with a strong sense of community. I would love to bring some new ideas and a fresh perspective to the board during the amalgamation of FMO and FMC, and am very excited to see what this new organization can accomplish nationally. I have some policy governance experience, as I was briefly the agent/manager representative on the board for the BC Touring Council in 2019/20. I believe this is a truly exciting time in the music industry and I’d like to be a part of an organization that believes in opportunity and professional development for both artists and industry. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Yasmina Proveyer – Ottawa, Ontario

I immigrated to Canada in 2008 seeking a way to further develop my artistic career, after having a solid background in performing arts. Since 2011 I have been actively working not only as an artist manager for several musicians in the region but as an arts administrator and cultural connector. I have served as a jury for the City of Ottawa, the OAC, and FACTOR. Since 2015 I have participated regularly in WOMEX and Mundial Montreal. After 2 years co-chairing the Juno Awards Advisory Committee for the world music category I am currently the chair of the committee transitioning into the Global music category. Early in 2019, I co-founded along with Claudia Balladelli, the Axé Worldfest, an initiative that hosts concert series to promote and present world music artists in Ottawa, the National Capital Region of Canada. Early in 2021 we produced the first edition of Empowering Women in the Music Industry, a two-day online program that included webinars, talks and female artists spotlights.

Reason I am running for the Board:
I am aware of the current challenges of the Canadian music industry and from my angle as a black women who is a cultural connector and an arts administration I can contribute and add value as an individual. I enjoy working with a diverse team towards making the most effective decisions for an organization. I believe I can be a great asset to the Folk Music Ontario as this position would be not only a great opportunity to continue supporting creativity but also to nurture a diverse, equitable and inclusive framework.

Jesse Reid – Yellowknife, NT

Seeking out a climate where it can hurt to breathe, Jesse moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories over a decade ago. Coming for the frostbite, but staying for the amazing arts community, Jesse has spent the past 7 years working in various capacities in Yellowknife’s Music industry. Her primary roles have been managing award winning Yellowknife artist, Digawolf, and providing contract work to the largest local music festivals including: Artist Relations Manager for Folk On The Rocks (2016, 2017, and 2018), and Sponsorship Manager for the Snowking Winter Festival (2018). Jesse has additionally worked with other organizations and artists in the capacity of communications, grant writing and event organizing.

Reason I am running for the Board:
Jesse has experience working on virtually every side of the music and arts scene. As an artist, an industry professional, and from the role of a festival and event coordinator, Jesse understands the different needs of people working in the different aspects of this industry. Jesse works as a communication professional, and additionally offers a wide range of skill sets that are commonly under demand: event management, web editing, social media management, and project management. Additionally, having lived in Canada’s North for over a decade, Jesse offers a unique perspective for musicians and artists who live and work in remote communities.

Candace Shaw – Toronto, Ontario

Candace Shaw is a Feminist, Cultural Producer, and Activist who has been a fixture on the Canadian music scene for almost thirty years. She was the long-time Artistic Director for the Peterborough Folk Festival, Chair of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and Booker for the Music City Summer Series in The Distillery District, Toronto, amongst other roles. She is a thoughtful, engaging, and provocative commentator and advocate for women, the arts, and arts workers’ rights, and in 2019 was a candidate in the Federal election. Candace is the founder of Secret, a not-for-profit advocacy and education organization working with under-represented people in the Canadian music industry. ”

Reason I am running for the Board:
I believe I am an excellent candidate for the FMO Board of Directors; I am a long-time advocate on behalf of artists, and have been involved in music presentation, promotion, and booking for almost 30 years. I’ve been a strong supporter of FMO, including a term on the Board in 2008-2009. I have many years of experience on Boards of Directors, and a history of supporting and promoting Folk music in Canada and abroad. My strong ties throughout the community, my life-long passion for arts and culture, and my experience throughout my long career mean I have a deep skillset and am ready for the challenges facing the organization in these exciting but uncertain times.

Tara Williamson – Victoria, BC

Tara Williamson is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and was raised in Gaabishkigamaag (Swan Lake, Manitoba). She is a singer/songwriter with 2 EPs and 1 full length album under her belt that have garnered acclaim across Turtle Island, including an Indigenous Music Award nomination for Best Pop Album in 2017. Her newest album, Enough, was released in June of 2021. Tara also holds degrees in social work, law, and Indigenous governance, is a Senior Researcher at the Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria and a Research Fellow with the Yellowhead Institute.

Reason I am running for the Board:
Tara has experience of various boards as a director and officer – including arts organizations and social service agencies. She is also a trained facilitator and has worked as a consultant in the fields of Indigenous governance, law, policy, and strategic planning. Tara also has a law degree (although is not currently practicing and cannot provide legal advice to the board).


FMO Award Weekend Sept.25-26, 2021
FMO 2021 Virtual Conference Sept.27-Oct.1, 2021

Members Early Bird Deadline – August 23rd, 2021
Pay What You Can (Suggested Rate $25)
Click here to register now!
Click here for more info!

The 2021 FMO Conference is coming this September! FMO members are invited to take advantage of the Early Bird rate! Members of the general public will then be invited to register for the event as well!

Schedule information will be announced in the coming weeks! Stay tunes to the newsletter and conference website for the latest on speakers, showcases, and award nominees!

Interested in becoming a member? Join Folk Music Ontario to connect with Canada’s largest provincial networking organization devoted to the folk, roots, and traditional music community. By becoming a member of FMO, you become an integral part of the ever-expanding network of folk activities across Canada.

Click here for more info on membership!

Call for Applications: Folk Music Ontario Board of Directors

NEW DEADLINE: 11:59PM ET, Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Online Nomination Form
What to Expect if You’re Elected

Folk Music Ontario (FMO) is now seeking individuals to stand as candidates in the 2021 election of its Board of Directors. Directors will be elected by electronic ballot (or acclaimed) ahead of this year’s Annual General Meeting (September 23, 2021) with terms concluding with the 2024 AGM. For 2021, FMO is looking to fill six board positions through this process.

Continued folk organization amalgamation discussions and complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic present a challenging yet exciting time in the history of FMO. We require a dedicated board to support staff in guiding the organization forward as we continue to support the growth and development of the folk music community and industry.

Discussions have been ongoing regarding the potential merger of Folk Music Ontario and Folk Music Canada, becoming one national body representing the folk music community. It is expected that the 2021 Board of Directors will play an important role in the ongoing discussion and potential creation of a new, national organization.

Nominees are required to read our What to Expect If You’re Elected document to better understand the responsibilities of board members.

It is preferred that people use the Online Nomination Form, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but if an alternative is required, please contact

Please submit nomination forms by 11:59PM ET on Friday, July 23rd. We thank all our members for their continued support of the organization, and hope some of you will step forward to help guide FMO into the future.

If you have any additional questions or wish to further discuss your interest in running, please contact Max Merrifield (FMO Nominations Committee Chair) at

Folk Music Ontario invites self-nominations from all qualified individuals. We welcome submissions from women, people with disabilities, people of colour, Indigenous peoples, and those of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

We welcome submissions from individuals residing outside of Ontario. FMO aims to reduce financial barriers to participating in Board activities. If the purchase of an FMO membership is prohibitive to you, feel free to contact FMO and inquire about accommodations.