Each year, the City’s Musician Entrepreneur Conference offers guidance to those looking to develop their careers in the music industry through talks with artists, producers, educators and entrepreneurs.
When COVID-19 stopped most of the music business and caused the industry to redefine and set new goals, the Conference shifted to a virtual model. For this year’s conference, the fifth edition, which starts today (October 18), presentations will again take place virtually, allowing for a greater number of panelists and participants.
Each one-hour session begins at 3pm on each day of the conference and will be streamed live on the Hamilton City of Music Facebook page and later published on the City of Hamilton’s website. Each session is free to attend.
This year’s conference takes place over the course of a week from Monday to Friday, coinciding with Small Business Week. As in past years, the Conference is the City’s only contribution to the national celebration of entrepreneurship organized by the Business Development Bank of Canada that has taken place for over forty years.
The conference is an initiative of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team, which is made up of a group of local music industry representatives and assist with the City’s Music Strategy. Focused on the local music scene, the majority of presenters and moderators also work locally.
Topics for this year’s conference include:
- Know Your Worth- moderated by Lisa LaRocca (Sonic Unyon Records) and featuring Kiana “rookz” Eastmond (Sandbox Studios and Toronto Musicians Association), Tao Ming Lau (Blue Crane Agency) and Danielle Beaudin (The Redhill Valleys), the October 18 kickoff event looks to help musicians understand the factors that go into determining worth, communicating value, negotiating fees and contracts and protecting brand and intellectual property.
- Plays Well With Others: Cowriting & Collaboration- moderated by Garrett Lajoie (An Instrument for Every Child) and featuring musicians Stanley and Lori Yates as well as Arun Chaturvedi (Songwriters Association of Canada) this October 19 panel discussion focuses on the complexities and relationships involved in co-writing and collaborating in music creation.
- Authentic Branding- moderated by Jo Lukis (Just Really Good) on October 20 and featuring musicians Ellis, JR Bebble, and photographer Stephanie Montani, this panel promises tips and considerations to develop an authentic brand.
- Mental Health Supports for Musicians- following October 10’s World Mental Health Day and the challenges many creators have faced during the pandemic, this Thursday session offers the inspiration to push beyond challenges, along with resources and strategies to assist. It is moderated by Ace Piva (Over the Bridge), with Amy Di Nino, Chrisy Hurn-Morrison (Basement Revolver) and Heather Valley.
- Welcome to the Stage- the closing panel discussion on October 22 includes Casbah owner Brodie Schwendiman, Strangewaves Music Festival Director Becky Katz, Mango Tree Cop/Band Push Music’s DeShaun Jones and is moderated by musician Gillian Nicola. The discussion will be centered around how musicians can get gigs, and what to expect when performing in Ontario with evolving COVID-19 regulations.