Lightning Talks

Folk Music Ontario’s 2018 “Lightning Talks” gave conference delegates the chance to sign up for some individual meeting time with the industry experts and festival representatives listed below.

Festival Artistic Directors

Brian Gladstone – Winterfolk Festival
Brian Gladstone has been involved in the Canadian roots music scene for thirty-five years as an artist, performer, singer-songwriter, producer, festival director, artistic director, and activist. As an artist he has released five albums. Brian is the founder and active director of Toronto’s Winterfolk festival, now going into its seventeenth year.

Cheryl Prashker – Goderich Celtic Roots Festival
Cheryl Prashker moved to Philadelphia in 2003 to work in the office of Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conferences (NERFA). Cheryl was then elected to the Board of Directors and served as Board President for 6 years. Cheryl is now the General Manager of the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and the Artistic Director for the Festival and College.

Devin Latimer – Trout Forest Music Festival
Devin Latimer is a faculty member at the University of Winnipeg, a performer with JUNO-award winning band Nathan (Nettwerk) and Leaf Rapids (Black Hen Music), as well as the artistic director of theTrout Forest Music Festival, booking an average of 30 acts for the annual all Canadian 3-stage weekend festival.

Jean-Paul De Roover – Live from the Rock Folk Festival
Jean-Paul De Roover works hard for Thunder Bay’s music community as a festival coordinator, promoter, artist and advocate, and has recently become the Artistic Director for Live from the Rock Folk Festival in Red Rock, ON. When he’s not touring as a solo artist he’s at home being a dad.

Jerry Switzer – Tottenham Bluegrass Festival
Jerry is the chair of Tottenham Bluegrass Festival (1991 to present) and legal counsel for several arts organizations, clubs, charities, foundations and associations. Jerry is a Director and Officer of community organizations and a member of the South Simcoe Ramblers bluegrass band. Jerry is involved in the musical community at all levels, and is a songwriter and performer.

Liz Scott – Mariposa Folk Festival
Liz Scott is the Artistic Director at Mariposa Folk Festival and has hosted a house concert series since 2001. She has worked as promoter, presenter, tour manager, and agent, and sits on the Folk Music Ontario Board of Directors. She also spent years producing small grassroots music concerts in rural Ontario.

Max Merrifield – Northern Lights Festival Boréal
Max Merrifield is a board member of FMO and is Executive/Artistic Director of Sudbury, Ontario’s Northern Lights Festival Boréal. He is also a musician, dabbling in hip-hop, spoken word, and beyond.

Tim Fraser – Home County Music & Art Festival
A graduate of Fanshawe College’s Music Industry Arts program, Tim started his career at Canada’s oldest independent folk label, True North Records, as the Digital Marketing Manager. Today, Tim is a booking agent with Degy Entertainment and the new Artistic Director for London’s Home County Music & Art Festival.

TBA – Blue Skies Music Festival


Alex Mallette – Folk Alliance International
Alex handles sales, sponsorships, in-kind agreements, fundraising, and strategic partnerships at Folk Alliance. Alex is uniquely suited to the role with a combination of music performance and industry background. While living and performing in New York, he also worked in the US Office for Midem, the world’s premier music industry conference.

Amanda Power – Unison Benevolent Fund
Amanda Power began with UNISON Benevolent Fund in 2015 as Development Manager, and in 2018 was appointed Executive Director by UNISON’s Board of Directors. In her leadership role, Amanda brings almost 2 decades of experience and extensive knowledge of event management, sponsorship, marketing, promotions, and industry releations to UNISON.

Andrew Karis – ACTRA RACS
Andrew Karis’ role at ACTRA RACS is to ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their work. For the past 6 years, he has worked directly with recording artists to help them collect their royalties and understand their rights. Andrew also has over 10 years of experience in the music industry working in music supervision, marketing, and non-profits.

Angela Kozak – FACTOR
Angela Kozak – Angela Kozak joined FACTOR in 2010. Angela has previously worked as a music writer for Chart and Shameless, and holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Ryerson University. She moved to South Africa immediately after graduating and spent a year working at a graphic design firm and cage-diving with great whites.

Byron Pascoe – Lawyer
Byron Pascoe is a music lawyer. He works with musicians to help them review, understand and negotiate music agreements, including record label, publishing, placement, producer, band and management agreements. Byron also prepares agreements that his musician clients want others to sign, and he enjoys being one of many players on a musician’s team.

Chris Thompson – Manager
Chris is a partner and artist manager at Subculture Music (Management & Booking) where he represents a roster of various clients. Chris has experience in several roles within the music industry including working as a booking agent, social media manager, and event management, for clients such as Republic Live, AEG Presents, and Coalition Music.

David Barnard – Canadian Heritage
Senior Program Advisor, Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Department of Canadian Heritage. Agent of change, transformative designer, arts advocate, s%#t disturber: these are some of the other titles bestowed upon David. Radio host and producer, facilitator, event planner, and programmer are some of the other things he’s done over the years. Being a great papa is his biggest job at the moment.

Derek Andrews – Music Programmer
Music Programmer at Hugh’s Room Live and Cultura Festival, and Artistic Director of Mundial Montreal, Derek’s Global Café supports artists such as Kobo Town and Suzie Vinnick. Derek is President of the Toronto Blues Society, sits on the Toronto Music Advisory Council and is an advocate for creative approaches in music as a tool for breaking down cultural barriers.

Emma Julien – Re:Sound Music Licensing
Emma Jane Julien is currently an Account Representative at Re:Sound Music Licensing, the Canadian organization that advocates for music creators, educates music users, licenses broadcasters/businesses and distributes royalties to creators – all to help build a thriving and sustainable music industry in Canada.

Erin Benjamin – Music Canada Live
The first Executive Director of FMO, Erin now leads Music Canada Live – the voice of Canada’s live music industry. Erin serves as the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports’ Co-Chair of the Ontario Live Music Working Group, the OMDC’s Music Industry Advisory Committee and is a board member the Unison Benevolent Fund, MEGAPHONO and the Ottawa Blues Festival.

Jan Hall – Folk Roots Radio
Jan Hall is the host/producer of Folk Roots Radio, a syndicated radio show specializing in high quality in-depth interviews with artists about their music. She also hosts a music video series, the Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions, recorded in Kingsville in southwestern Ontario.

Jory Nash – Performer / Industry Expert
Jory Nash is a 4 time CFMA-nominated singer songwriter. His 9th album WILDERNESS YEARS has just been released. Jory is a music producer, concert presenter, tour organizer, grant writer, music royalties expert, and songwriting teacher, and loves to chat about all these things.

Justin Nordell – NERFA
Justin worked at PFS a decade ago before taking a job with a recording studio in Texas. Upon returning to Philly, he worked with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Film Festival, FringeArts, etc., before returning to PFS as Executive Director in 2015. It didn’t feel like taking a new position, it felt like coming home.

Kimberly Sinclair – SpinCount PR & Radio Promotions
Kimberly Sinclair built SpinCount into an award-winning radio promotions and publicity firm. Her clients are routinely nominated for key awards such as Grammy’s, CRMAs, JUNOs, Polaris Prize, CFMAs, and provincial M.I.A. awards. Kimberly served on the board of directors at MNS & ECMAs. @SpinCount is ECMAs 2018 Company of the Year.

Maura Broadhurst & Myron Kozak – Ontario Arts Council

Mike Schwartz – Wellness Expert
With over 12 years of experience, Mike Schwartz has battled the hardships of the working musician’s lifestyle and has established himself as the Trusted Authority of Musican Wellness. He is an author, lifestyle coach, and well-known speaker, inspiring everyone to embrace healthier choices and focus on progress rather than perfection.

Neil Pearson – Sounds Just Fine
Neil is a freelance producer, project manager and artist-development specialist working in singer/songwriter, folk and the wider roots genres. He works with artists and organizations on a range of commissions, projects, programming and touring collaborations with both UK and international partners.