Archive for News

Job Posting: Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario

Posting Date: January 10, 2022
Application Deadline: February 7, 2022

Job Title: Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario
Job Type: Full-time Contract (2-year contract with possibility of renewal)
Salary: $ 65,000
Location: Office in Ottawa, ON with the option to work remotely
Start date: April 4, 2022


Folk Music Ontario (FMO) is a member-based non-profit organization working to support the growth and development of the folk music community and industry since 1986. FMO seeks to foster a thriving, inclusive folk music community with local, national, and international impact and hosts the largest annual conference in Canada for the folk and roots music community. The organization’s membership includes festivals, presenters, artists, musicians, radio DJs, managers, publicists, agents, and other industry professionals.

The Board of Folk Music Ontario is seeking a visionary and passionate Executive Director to lead the organization into a future where it continues to grow and flourish.


Reporting to and collaborating with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for a range of operational and administrative matters; including the financial management of the organization, developing short and long-term goals and objectives, implementing programming, leading the team of staff, contractors, and volunteers, as well as acting as an ambassador for the organization building relationships and furthering the organization’s mission.


  • Leadership experience including managing staff, contractors, volunteers
  • Previous experience on a non-profit board of directors is a strong asset
  • Experience in and understanding of the Canadian folk and roots music industry; international industry understanding an asset
  • Event planning experience is an asset
  • Demonstrated success in obtaining funding and preparing grant applications and reports, especially with Canadian Heritage, Ontario Creates, and FACTOR
  • Strong financial acumen – experience with budgetary responsibility including setting and adhering to a budget and understanding financial reports at a working level
  • Comfortable working in a digital environment (Microsoft One Drive, Excel, Word, Zoom, WordPress, QuickBooks)


  • Strong communicator (written and verbal) in English; French skills an asset
  • Understanding of marketing, social media, communications, and branding to ensure internal and external communications are clear and relevant and useful
  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial able to take initiative as well as able to work collaboratively
  • Strategic thinker able to see the big picture but also detail-oriented
  • Visionary leader who is respectful of the organization’s current success while demonstrating foresight and building new possible directions
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple and conflicting deadlines
  • Values diversity and willing to continually work to create an equitable and inclusive environment for the organization both internally (staff, board) and externally (amongst members, at organizational events)
  • Demonstrates a passion for the arts, especially folk and roots music
  • Ability to build and strengthen relationships with stakeholders (Board, members, potential members, other arts organizations, funders, government, etc.)
  • Available to travel to industry events both across Canada and internationally as required


Minimum of one relevant post-secondary degree such as arts, communications, or business or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Interested and qualified applicants should send resume and cover letter, in pdf format, to fmoboard at by February 7, 2022 at 5pm EST.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

If you require access solutions to participate in the application process, please contact fmoboard at

We thank all applicants for their interest, however only qualified candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Introducing Interim Executive Director: Rosalyn Dennett!

We are pleased to announce that Rosalyn Dennett will be serving FMO as Interim Executive Director while our hiring committee is engaged in the search process for a new ED. Rosalyn brings with her a wealth of experience in the music industry and non-profit organizations through her roles at the Canadian Federation of Musicians, the Canadian Independent Music Association, MusicOntario, and more.

Rosalyn has previously served on the board of directors of Folk Music Ontario (2017-2021) as Vice President,  chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and chair of the Revenue Generation Committee, and currently sits on the executive board of Folk Alliance International. Rosalyn can be contacted by email by clicking here.

Announcing the FMO Member Promotion Program!

Announce your news through FMO!

We are so inspired by the creativity and talent that continues to flow from our resilient community through this pandemic. You’ve found ways to create, compose, perform, and share in new ways, and we want to celebrate that!

FMO is kicking off the new year with a new initiative: Our Member Promotion Program, helping our members get the word out about their new releases, events, and other creative news through FMO’s ever-expanding network!

Fill out the google form linked below and be sure to include your preferred dates for inclusion, as well as all your important links.

Member Promotion Program Sign-up Form


    – Recordings: Singles, EP’s, Albums, and Music Videos are eligible
    – Performances: Album releases, Live Streams, In-Person Concerts are eligible. For ongoing series (ie. a weekly/monthly gig at the same venue, only one post promoting the series will be eligible)
    – Tour: Only one post per tour will be eligible, please include tour poster and all of the dates and we’ll get them all into the post.
    – Festivals: Lineup announcement, Date or location change announcements
    – Venues: Concert series lineup announcements,
    – Release must include contributions from at least one FMO Member in good standing
    – Release must be within 1 month of inclusion
    – 1 post across our platforms per release/performance
    – FMO will promote your release through the e-newsletter as well as through the FMO Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn feeds & stories.
    – FMO posts will include links and tags back to the artists’ website/social media.

We look forward to seeing what our members have created! If you have any questions regarding the program, please send us an email at!

Applications Open: 2021 FMO Awards and 2021 Online Showcases!

Folk Music Ontario is pleased to announce that our 2021 Award and Online Showcasing applications are now open!

PLEASE NOTE: Those who applied for a showcase at our cancelled 2020 conference can choose to move their application to 2021. You will still need to apply, but there will be no registration application fee as long as you are applying with the same material.

Application Deadline: Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 FMO Awards – More Info and Applications
2021 Online Showcasing – More Info and Applications

Update from FMO and FMC

Update from FMO and FMC

In 2019 information was collected through an online survey and at the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) Conference, a Town Hall was held after FMO’s Annual General Meeting to discuss the potential of a merger between Folk Music Ontario and Folk Music Canada (FMC). This discussion was based around the idea of creating a unified national arts organization for the folk community. At the beginning, both Folk Alliance International and the Canadian Folk Music Awards were involved in the meetings and discussions and will continue to be part of the process alongside a number of other organizations and stakeholders.

Based on your feedback from the town hall and online survey, FMO and FMC have formally started the consultation process with Art of Festivals. It was recommended that FMO and FMC merge to become a unified national arts service organization for the folk music sector in Canada. To keep the process moving forward, a change committee composed of Alka Sharma, Amie Therrien and Cassidy Houston from Folk Music Ontario and Julie Fowler, Karrnnel Sawitsky and Valerie Denn from Folk Music Canada has been assembled.

In addition to working with the Art of Festivals, we will be reaching out to you, the membership and the music industry, for feedback and discussion. We are committed to the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and access and will instill a process to include a robust conversation about what a new national organization needs to look like to truly serve our entire Canadian folk community, including those who may not have been part of these organizations in the past. .

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to both Executive Directors of each organization. Their contact information is below.

Alka Sharma, Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario

Karrnnel Sawitsky, Executive Director, Folk Music Canada

2020 FMO Awards Weekend!

The Folk Music Ontario Awards are presented annually at the Folk Music Ontario Conference. Winners perform at the Awards Showcase and are recognized at the Awards Brunch. As the 2020 Conference could not happen in person, Folk Music Ontario is pleased to present the awards ceremony and showcases online!

The 2020 Awards could not have happened without the help from our partners: Bandzoogle, The Ontario Arts Council, ACTRA-RACS and Stakeholder Research Associates!

Click here to view all the 2020 Award Winners!

2020 Folk Music Ontario Awards Ceremony – Hosted by Preetam Sengupta
Friday, October 23, 2020 – 7:00pm EST – via Zoom!
RSVP required!
To secure your place, please send an email to!

2020 Folk Music Ontario Awards Showcases – Hosted by Magoo
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 3:00pm EST – via YouTube!
NO RSVP required! Simply visit our Youtube page to join the fun!
Click here to visit our Youtube page now!

SOCAN Songwriting Masterclass: An interactive workshop on the process of songwriting

SOCAN Songwriting Masterclass: An interactive workshop on the process of songwriting
click here for more info!
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 – 2:00-3:30pm EST via ZOOM

RSVP required! Send a note to!

Presented by SOCAN and Folk Music Ontario

The global pandemic has had far-reaching effects for performing artists. Direct consequences of this include loss of gigs and revenue, but what about the less obvious effects?

Songwriting, like any creative pursuit, can be arduous in the best of times. And while isolation has given artists much more time to write, many are struggling with a dry creative well. In an age where performances and creative gatherings are limited, how can artists stay motivated and inspired to create?

Join Juno Award winning artist William Prince and SOCAN A&R Rep Aidan D’Aoust for an open and engaging discussion on the process of songwriting. You’ll hear best practices, tips for motivation, and first-hand experience from one of Canada’s most well-respected songwriters.

Blackout Tuesday

Click here for some resources which you can access to learn more about anti-racism and what can be done. We will also be posting this under the resources tab on the website.

Folk Music Ontario is looking forward to working together in the future to help effect positive change in the community beyond this one day of action.

Call for Nominations: Folk Music Ontario Board of Directors

Folk Music Ontario (FMO) is now seeking individuals to stand as candidates in the 2020 election of its Board of Directors. Directors will be elected by electronic ballot (or acclaimed) ahead of this year’s Annual General Meeting (date TBD) with terms concluding with the 2023 AGM.

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.

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 NOMINATIONS FORM, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but if an alternative is required, please contact

Please submit nomination forms by 11:59PM on Friday, July 24th. We thank all our members for their continued support of the organization, and hope some of you will step forward to help guide FMO to a brighter future.

If you have any additional questions or wish to further discuss your interest in running, please contact Preetam Sengupta (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 people, and those of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

FMO 2020 – Message from the Board


For the past 33 years, Folk Music Ontario (FMO) has proudly hosted an annual conference that brings together
our wonderful folk community to celebrate, to learn, to connect, and of course to hear some great music!
Based on direction from healthcare professionals and government officials, it is with heavy hearts that we
announce that the annual FMO conference will not take place in 2020. Please know this decision has not been
made lightly. After consideration of current information and much discussion, this was determined to be the
best path forward given the circumstances we all find ourselves in.

With the current health and safety challenges of large public gatherings, travel concerns, as well as lost income
being experienced by many, we knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver the kind of conference
that we all expect, while still respecting the wellbeing of the community.

While we won’t be able to meet in person this fall, rest assured that we are working on alternative ways to keep
us connected. We will use this opportunity to strengthen our programming and develop new opportunities to
further support the growth and development of the folk music community and industry. Watch your inbox and
our social media accounts for announcements.

For those who have already purchased a registration for the 2020 conference, you will soon be receiving an
email with information on how to request a full refund, carry your registration over to the next edition of the
conference, or donate your registration fee (or a portion of your fee) to the Friends of Folk campaign.

Thank you to everyone who submitted applications. Even if we can’t do it in person, we will find ways to
celebrate our 2020 award winners regardless. As for showcase applications, we want to thank Bandzoogle for
their generous support in covering the application fees. We are currently working out how to best provide
opportunities for our showcasing artists to support their career growth and to help share their music. Details to

Thank you for being a supportive, understanding, creative, and resilient community! We look forward to being
together again in 2021. Until then, stay safe, healthy and take care of one another.

On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors of Folk Music Ontario,

Alka Sharma
Executive Director

Preetam Sengupta

Amie Therrien