Lightning Talks

The Folk Music Ontario “Lightning Talks” are one-on-one sessions with Music Festival Artistic Directors and Industry/Organizational Professionals!  Participants may sign up for 10 minutes of individual meeting time with the industry expert or festival representative of their choice.

Lightning Talks are now closed for 2019.


2019 Festival Artistic Directors

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.

Al Rankin – Blue Skies Festival
Al Rankin is the co- artistic director of Blue Skies Music Festival in Clarendon On and the Live Wire Music Series in Kingston. As well he presents music at Rankin Gallery in Inverary ON and runs Rankin Productions, bringing music from around the world to Kingston audiences.

Margaret Sullivan – Blue Skies Festival
Margaret has a driving passion to help make live music happen. In addition to her current role as co-artistic director of Blue Skies Music Festival, Margaret sat on the board of directors for Shelter Valley Folk Festival and has been involved with several concert series in Eastern Ontario.

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 recently the Artistic Director for the Live from the Rock Folk Festival. When he’s not touring his new alt-folk album LOVE, he’s home being a dad and working in his studio Blueprints.

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 (Coax Records), as well as the artistic director of the FMO member Trout Forest Music Festival, booking an average of 30 acts for the annual all-Canadian 3-stage weekend festival in northwest Ontario.

Brian Gladstone – Winterfolk
Brian Gladstone has been involved in the Canadian roots music scene thirty-five years as an artist, performer, sing songwriter, producer, festival director, and activist. Brian Gladstone has written and recorded five albums, all of which have garnered global acclaim and worldwide airplay. Brian founded Toronto’s Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, now going into the 18th year.

Ian Davies – TD Sunfest
Ian is the Programming & Creative Coordinator for TD Sunfest (London, Ontario, Canada) – an arts organization promoting World Music & Jazz via its large 4-day summer festival (free admission) now in its 26th year and an annual concert series (12-15 concerts between September & May). Ian has been associated with Sunfest since 1997 (beginning as a volunteer).

Cheryl Prashker – Goderich Celtic Festival
Cheryl Prashker has toured Canada, U.S. Europe and Russia as a musician. She now tours with Eric Andersen and her own band, the Celtic Roots group RUNA. She helped to run the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA). She is the Artistic Director and General Manager for the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and College in Goderich, Ontario.

Tim Fraser – Home County
Tim Fraser is the Artistic Director of Home County Music and Arts Festival, a booking agent for U.S. based agency, Degy Entertainment, as well as the Founder of Murdoch Entertainment, an artist management and entertainment booking agency located in London, Ontario.


2019 Industry/Organizations

Emma Julien – Re:Sound
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.

Kimberly Sinclair – Spin Count
Kimberly Sinclair built SpinCount into an award-winning promotions and publicity firm, representing Indie artists and events across North America. Her clients are routinely nominated for Grammy’s, JUNOs, Polaris Prize, CFMAs, along with regional & MIA awards. Kimberly served on the board of directors at MNS & ECMAs and @SpinCount is ECMAs 2018 Company of the Year.

Andrew Karis – ACTRA RACS
Are you confident you’re collecting all possible royalties? If not, Andrew can help. For the past 7 years, he has worked to help recording artists access their neighbouring rights royalties and understand what rights and royalties are available in Canada and around the world. He brings prior music industry lives in non-profits, music supervision, and performance to his current role at ACTRA RACS.

David Barnard – Canadian Heritage
David is a Senior Program Advisor for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund at the Department of Canadian Heritage. Radio host and producer, facilitator, event planner and producer, community activist, are some of the other roles he’s played over the years and continues to do to this day.

Erin Benjamin – Canadian Live Music Association
President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association, Erin is a highly-regarded leader who also serves a variety of other organizations including the Ottawa Film Office, the Unison Benevolent Fund, MEGAPHONO and RBC Ottawa Bluesfest. In 2017 she was the vice-chair of the Ottawa Juno Host Committee and CMW. In May 2019 she was honoured with the United Way’s Community Ambassador of the Year Award for her volunteer efforts.

Ola Mazzuca – Indoor Recess
From the dancehall to the moshpit, music is Ola Mazzuca’s greatest passion. Ola applies her communication skills, zeal for culture, and experience as a journalist and project manager to her current role as a Publicist at Indoor Recess. She is also host and producer of The Fold – a podcast highlighting diverse people and organizations cultivating community connections.

Chris Thompson – Subculture Music & Media
Since graduating from the Entertainment Business Management program at Metalworks Institute of Sound & Technology, Chris has an in-depth familiarity with every aspect of digital marketing, social media management, and artist management. Chris’ dedication and work ethic continues to catch the eye of industry giants like Coalition Music, and top tier talent including Simple Plan, Our Lady Peace and Scott Helman.

Geoff Stairs – FACTOR
Geoff has been a Project Coordinator at FACTOR since 2016, where he serves as a resource to artists and music companies who are interested in funding assistance for their projects. Prior to FACTOR, Geoff worked in artist management, grant writing, and festival production.

Robert Singerman – Lyric Find
Entrepreneur who represented and developed iconic artists, many countries’ music organizations, international music conferences/trade missions, Singerman helped form labels, create music business technologies focused on solving challenges like language in music. Partner, advisor for leading companies, he’s SVP International Publishing at LyricFind and speaks globally on cutting edge issues.

Tamara Kater – Mavens Music Management
Tamara has worked in arts management and community outreach for more than twenty years – as an agent, artist manager, board member and festival director. She founded Mavens Music, specializing in building international careers for folk artists, working with Melanie Brulée, Corin Raymond, Kaia Kater and Del Barber. She has been a panelist, showcase producer and mentor at FAI, AMERICANAFEST, NERFA, APAP and the ECMAs.

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

Maura Broadhurst – Ontario Arts Council
Maura Broadhurst is the Cross-Sectoral Associate Officer at the Ontario Arts Council. In this capacity she manages the Arts Service Organizations programs as well as other project programs in the discipline and activity sections of the Council.  Previously, Maura was the Curator at the Latcham Gallery, the public art gallery in Stouffville, Ontario for over a decade.

Myron Kozak – Ontario Arts Council
Myron Kozak is the Interim Music Officer at the Ontario Arts Council and currently oversees the portfolio of Music granting programs at the Council. Myron has previously worked as an administrator at CADAC, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Tafelmusik and Orchestras Canada. He is also a violinist and DJ.