2020 Online Events

Based on direction from healthcare professionals and government officials, it is with heavy hearts that we announce that the 34th annual FMO conference will not take place in 2020.

In lieu of a single in-person event, Folk Music Ontario is partnering with various organizations to provide a number of online offerings, including panel discussions, webinars, concerts, and more! Stay tuned to this page or sign up for our newsletter to find out what’s coming up!

Mental Health & the Music Industry: Maintaining Wellness in Isolated Times

Monday, September 21, 2020 – 2:00pm EST via ZOOM
SECURE YOUR PLACE TODAY! RSVP to office@folkmusicontario.ca

The ongoing global pandemic and resulting health and safety measures have left artists and live music professionals in a precarious financial situation. And while some monetary issues have been relieved by government payments, these initiatives do not address the mental health challenges facing those who rely on the live music scene for financial and social support.

The negative effects of poor mental health, for both workers and employers, are well documented. But this research tends to focus on ‘traditional’ workplaces… offices and job sites that contain large teams, health and safety standards, and direct support from a Human Resources department. But what about individual artists and small business owners who don’t have access to such a support network? How can we ensure that the people making up our artistic scenes are as mentally healthy as they can be?

Join us as a panel of experts examines the barriers to wellness and positive mental health approaches faced by many in the industry, followed by a discussion on how we can each maintain a healthier lifestyle in order to maximize our mental health during these challenging times. You’ll hear from artists, industry experts, and mental health professionals as they discuss what can be done for both individuals and organizations moving forward into 2021.

Sarah Hagerman – Industry and Events Management, Unison Benevolent Fund & Artist (Mary Moxxie)

Carmen Elle– Artist & Public Speaker
Kathryn Hummel– Director Of A&R, Marketing And Business Development, Royalty Records
Dayana Romero– Psychotherapist and Owner, Romero Psychotherapy and Renova
Denise Waligora– Training and Delivery Specialist, Mental Health First Aid Canada, Mental Health Commission of Canada

About the Speakers:

Carmen Elle
Carmen Elle is a queer musician/songwriter from Toronto. She began writing music, playing shows and recording albums in her teens and for the past decade has played in several bands, most notably: DIANA, Army Girls and Austra. Carmen has opened for Tegan and Sara, Iron and Wine and Cocorosie, performed at SXSW, Iceland Airwaves and The Great Escape in the UK. In 2014, DIANA’s debut full length “Perpetual Surrender” was long listed for the Polaris Music Prize. In addition to working as a musician, Carmen has written and spoken about her experiences living with OCD, anxiety, depression and trauma. She has been featured in Nylon Magazine, Vice, MTV and the Toronto Star speaking out on behalf of musicians who struggle with mental health. Currently she is working to open a studio space in Toronto to help emerging and marginalized artists gain access to affordable space to create.
Learn more about Carmen!

Sarah Hagerman
Sarah Hagerman is a passionate songwriter (aka. Mary Moxxie) and music business professional from Oshawa, Ontario. Sarah endlessly strives to open doors that allow her to be active in supporting the community through topics such as substance use, inclusivity, mental health, and fitness. Her current role at Unison Benevolent Fund helps her work towards these goals by coordinating partnerships, communications, and events throughout the country to help garner awareness towards Unison’s services.

Outside of her role at Unison, Sarah dedicates her time to writing songs and building her company, Moxxie Fitness. Her aim is to be a driving force in promoting healthy and long-standing careers through individualized coaching services. Sarah strives to help change the fabric of the music industry by encouraging positive wellbeing and leading towards accessible healthy choices.”
Learn more about Sarah!

Kathryn Hummel
Kathryn Hummel, has extensive knowledge in the music industry, working in and behind the scenes of prestigious artist related companies such as Canadian Music Week, Indie Week, FACTOR and in 2005 launched her own Artist Management and Marketing company, Hummel Entertainment. Over a decade later, in 2015 she partnered with Royalty Records and to date oversees the labels day to day. Prior to entering the music industry, Hummel pursued post secondary education in the child & youth field and volunteered in male young offenders open custody group home ages 15-19, assisted at an alternative school with youth 5-12 & in two group homes for children in crisis and was a private nanny for 10 + Years.

Last year, Kathryn Hummel positioned herself to branch out into another area of the music business with combining two passions of both health and music. Recently joining forces with Unison Benevolent Fund as a health and wellness consultant and is getting ready to launch Hummel Wellness this spring. Kathryn has been lending her experience to assist in developing panel topics, social media and marketing efforts and contributions to Unison’s blog series, #SelfCareSunday, which during industry-wide events like the JUNOs, ECMAs, CMW etc. the hope is to use the Unison platform, as a way to engage the music community to develop healthy habits and meant to be a resource for members of the Canadian music community. Kathryn Hummel is trained and well versed in the topic of mental health and is focused on bringing more awareness and change to the music industry. She is passionate about the need to take better care of our community and assist in creating more services available to both musicians and industry in need.
Learn more about Kathryn!

Dayana Romero
Dayana Romero is a registered psychotherapist in the province of Ontario. She owns Romero Psychotherapy and Renova (formerly known as Habitude) which provides inpatient services for individuals suffering with addictions and mental health. She has been in private practice for 11 years helping individuals with depression, anxiety, PTSD and Addictions. She sits on the board Of Over the Bridge as their mental health expert for musicians.
Learn more about Dayana!

Denise Waligora
Denise has a Bachelor of Science Degree and over 20 yrs. of working in the mental health field. Prior to joining the Mental Health Commission in 2011, Denise’s professional experiences included psychiatric nursing, Residential Program Director, IBI Therapist at CHEO, crisis worker and case manager in a justice program. Denise has been facilitating MHFA since 2008.
Learn more about Denise!

Home Concerts – Keeping Close while Keeping Distant

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 – 1:00pm-2:00pm EST via ZOOM
View the full recording here!

House concerts are a mainstay of the Folk music scene. However, like every other type of performance out there, the COVID pandemic has caused countless intimate shows to be postponed or outright cancelled.

As we enter the third and final month of a festival-free Summer, musicians, promoters, and presenters alike have been coming up with ways to bring back more intimate shows in the most distant, healthiest way possible. From outdoor stages to livestreamed living rooms, ideas born from isolation are being put into fruition! But how safe is safe enough? How accessible are these shows for those hungry for live music? And how long will this trend continue?

Join us for a great discussion on the House Concert scene… how it works, how it’s changed, and what it may look like post-pandemic. Our panel of artists will share their thoughts, and offer insights on how we can all get the most out of House Concerts in 2020 and beyond.

Shawna Caspi – Artist

Nicole Rochefort – Owner/Founder – AIM: Artists In Motion
Nick Sherman – Artist
Julian Taylor– Artist

About the Speakers:

Shawna Caspi
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi performs solo but there’s a whole band under her fingertips. She believes in poetry and the power of one person and one instrument, accompanying herself with a remarkable lyrical fingerpicking guitar style. Her performances capture audiences with grace and intimacy, whether the setting is a living room, a festival stage, or the bar car of a passenger train. Shawna loves the landscapes of her travels, and while weaving them into her songs, she has also been portraying them on canvases, painting one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the rich scenery she sees on tour. Shawna’s fourth album Forest Fire is a collection of songs about burning things down and building them up again. When the words get heavy, they are held up to the light of love and gratitude. Shawna strives to be unafraid, to embolden quieted voices, to tell the truth above all else.
Learn more about Shawna!

Nicole Rochefort
Nicole Rochefort has been contributing to the Canadian performing arts industry since 2000. Her past experience includes production assistance, stage management, and artist development. Formerly an agent with LiveTourArtists, Nicole represented Canadian recording artists of various musical genres, as well as corporate clients for special event bookings. In 2008 Nicole joined the prestigious boutique theatre agency Kids’ Entertainment and toured internationally recognized theatre companies within the US market. In 2010 she established AIM: Artists In Motion.

Nicole is an instructor at The Harris Institute, Chair of the Durham College Music Business Management Advisory Committee, member of the Ontario Creates Music Industry Advisory Committee and is a former director of the Board for Folk Music Ontario. She has participated in a variety of industry association juries and is a regularly requested panelist at seminars, conferences and events. Nicole is passionate about artist development and strives to educate, encourage and energize artists to achieve their professional goals and aspirations.
Learn more about Nicole!

Nick Sherman
When he was young, Thunder Bay based singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Sherman’s grandfather would pick him up in the wee hours from his parents’ place in Sioux Lookout, and drive up the winter highway to North Caribou Lake First Nation. It was there that Sherman accompanied his grandfather while he tended to his trapline, and also where he heard his grandfather sing and play guitar. “He would have been the first person I ever saw sit down, pick up a guitar, play it and sing at the same time,” Sherman says.

Fast forward nearly three decades and countless kilometres later, Sherman has a partner and two boys of his own but a similar spirit still drives his music.

Sherman’s music has taken him across the country where he has performed at various events and festivals such as Ottawa Bluesfest, Vancouver Folk Festival, Luminato Festival, and more. Sherman worked in radio for nine years, and now spends part of the year in remote Indigenous communities bringing music programming into schools. “Over the years I’ve come to realize that it’s not about what equipment or instruments are available,” Sherman says. “My main focus is figuring out how to teach young people to make meaningful connections through self-expression, and show them how this can counteract the deep sense of isolation so many of them feel.”
Learn more about Nick!

Julian Taylor
Julian Taylor doesn’t fit in a box. He never has—and more power to him. A Toronto music scene staple and a musical chameleon, Julian Taylor is used to shaking it up over the course of 10 albums in the last two decades. Of West Indian and Mohawk descent, Taylor first made his name as frontman of Staggered Crossing, a Canadian rock radio staple in the early 2000s. These days, however, the soulful singer/guitarist might be on stage one night playing with his eponymous band, spilling out electrified rhythm and blues glory, and the next he’ll be performing at a folk festival delivering a captivating solo singer-songwriter set. His songs have been placed in shows like Kim’s Convenience, Haven, Private Eyes and Elementary. He’s been invited to perform at two Olympic Games. The soulful blues, rhythmic soul, rootsy rock riffs and troubadour-esque folk songs that comprise his music are worth putting your busy life on hold for. In everything he does, Taylor has carved his own path, creating genre-free music with a generosity of spirit and a strong belief in the healing powers of song. Off stage, Taylor recently ventured into radio; when the Indigenous radio station ELMNT FM opened in Toronto in 2018, Taylor became the station’s afternoon-drive host.

Toronto poet Robert Priest describes Taylor and his work as “the kind of artist forever in the zone, the voice limitless, the songs full of feeling.”
Learn more about Julian!


Streaming How-to: Finding Your Voice on a Digital Stage

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 – 2:00pm-3:00pm EST via ZOOM
View the full recording here

The COVID-19 pandemic has left musicians and fans around the world without a stage. In response, artists have taken to live streaming, connecting with fans while sharpening their performance skills.

However, creating a successful stream isn’t as simple as setting up a camera and starting to play. With an entire world of fans searching for online content, there is also an entire world of artists setting up their own streams on dozens of platforms. How can you be sure that your stream will be viewed, and what can you do to help it stand out from others?
Join us for an insightful discussion with Canadian artists and industry professionals working to ensure streaming for themselves (and others!) is as great as it can be. Learn some basic how-tos, general tips and tricks, and insights on how to make your stream a success.

Preetam Sengupta – Artist & Director, Letting Artists Make Art (LAMA)

Danielle Allard – Artist, Professor, & Twitch Affiliate
Tim Fraser – Artistic Director, Home County Music & Art Festival
Tarun Nayar – Artist, Community Builder, & Executive Director, 5X Festival
Kathleen Ryan – Live TV/Film/Events Producer, K Ryan Productions

About the Speakers:

Danielle Allard
Danielle Allard is a singer-songwriter and professor at Algonquin College in the Public Relations, Music Industry Arts, and Performing Arts programs. She has been performing publicly for over 15 years and graced stages across Canada and Europe. She has released 3 studio albums and made the leap from the stage to the livestream studio in March 2020. She currently livestreams 3 times per week across multiple platforms, but mostly as a Twitch Affiliate.
Learn more about Danielle!

Tim Fraser
Tim Fraser is the Artistic Director of London, Ontario’s longest running summer music festival, Home County Music and Art Festival, and helps bring A-list musical acts, variety performers, speakers, and comedians to clients in the University/College and Corporate world as the sole booking agent in Canada for Degy Entertainment.
Learn more about Tim!

Preetam Sengupta
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.
Learn more about Preetam!

Tarun Nayar
Tarun has built his world at intersections. Of east and west. Of music and business. Of science and art. Born to a white Canadian mother and an immigrant Indian father in French Canada, he has always lived in multiple worlds. He is comfortable in discomfort and fascinated with helping people find common ground, opening doors, and equalling the playing field. He is passionate about changing perceptions and championing unheard stories and talent.

Trained formally in Indian Classical Music from the age of 7, Tarun’s involvement in Vancouver’s underground electronic music scene in his early 20s led to the formation of well-known Canadian band Delhi 2 Dublin in 2006. He has since led the band to Glastonbury (UK), Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (US), Woodford (AUS) and almost 2000 other club and festival gigs around the world. Tarun is passionate about creating opportunities in the arts for people of colour. He is Executive Director of 5X Festival, Canada’s largest South Asian youth event. He is on the board of Vancouver’s New Forms Festival, the Canadian Live Music Association, a member of FACTOR’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, and the leader of the 2019 Music BC Trade Mission to Mumbai. Tarun manages emerging Pakistani-Canadian electronic artist Khanvict, and is the co-founder and owner of digital label Snakes x Ladders which focuses on the new wave of hybrid South Asian artists.
Learn more about Tarun!

Kathleen Ryan
With 10+ of music / broadcast production experience, Kathleen brings knowledge from National and International projects. Her contributions range from The Juno Awards and The Vancouver 2010 Olympics to Jimmy Kimmel Live Music and iHeart Radio Jingle Ball. Some other clients include Canadian Music Week, W Hotels, Crave, Pride, RedBull, Unity Charity, CTV and many others.
Learn more about Kathleen!