First Speakers Confirmed!
Andrew Mosker is the founding President and CEO of the National Music Centre. He has been with the organization for over 20 years, growing with and leading it through its various incarnations, from the grassroots Cantos Music Foundation to the National Music Centre, a now international hub for music. Growing up immersed in Montreal's music scene formed the foundation of Andrew's life as a music advocate and genre-free explorer, who names late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and folk poet Leonard Cohen as some of his greatest musical Inspirations. After completing a bachelor's degree in history and stints as a promoter and radio programmer, he moved from Québec to Alberta to pursue a Performance degree in piano and, after that, a master's in musicology. Andrew is a driving force behind Calgary's momentum towards becoming a more music-friendly city. He is the founding Chair of West Anthem (formerly the Alberta Music Cities Initiative) and has sat on numerous juries and committees for the JUNO Awards and the Canadian Country Music Awards.
Diana Hopeson (aka Diana Akiwumi) is a Ghanaian Musician with eleven albums and two EPs. She is a former President of the Musician Union of Ghana (Musiga) and Vice Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Owners Organization (GHAMRO). She has been instrumental in making policies for the creative Arts industry and has served on the National Theatre Board, and the National Intellectual Property Policy Committee. Diana studied Performing Arts, Events Management, Intellectual Property and Mediation. She also holds an Mphil in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Education in Winneba and at the moment, the National Representative for lay counsellors of the Ghana Psychology Association. Diana is the Deputy Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR) A professional Counseling, People Skills, Training and Mediation Centre in Accra. Diana Hopeson's GHMusic Publishing & Management is into Music Administration.
Eileen’s early career accomplishments were in sports, namely gymnastics, athletics &
springboard diving. Now as a violinist, she has performed with Tayo Irvine Hendrix, daughter of
the legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, & has played at the opening ceremony of the BNP Paribas
Women's Tennis Association Finals, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. She has been fortunate
to have the opportunity to perform for the former President Tony Tan at the The President's
Volunteerism & Philanthropy Award, Singapore Jazz Festival, & others. She was the first
violinist in Singapore to compose & perform original songs by livelooping on the violin, & has
formed an electropop band, called Zirconia. Since her elite sporting days, she’s been a sports
Coach (IAAF), Educator (MOE), International Technical Official (FINA & FIG) & a TEDx Speaker.
Through the years, she has initiated social causes, 3am Music Collective, Strings For Kindness
& Music Sparkles SG, to empower children & youth & to raise mental health awareness - to
Give through Music.
Kate Duncan is the CEO of Australian youth music organisation The Push. Leading the organisation, Kate oversees the management and strategic direction of a range of initiatives that give young people equal access to contemporary music. Prior to working at The Push, Kate spent several years in both Local and State Government managing award-winning youth development programs and campaigns. Kate is a previous member of the ABC Advisory Council and is a current student at Melbourne Business School through the inaugural For-Purpose Executive Leadership Program.
Maurizio Vitale Jr, born in Turin, graduated in Law at the University of Milan. From 1998 to 2008 he was Corporate Manager Marketing in BasicNet Group, first in Amsterdam and then in Turin. In 2000 he founded Jesus Jeans srl, where he is currently a member of the Board of Directors. In 2006 he established Movement Entertainment, awarded the Badge of the President of the Italian Republic for its outstanding activity in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2017 it is the first and only Italian company in its sector to receive the patronage of the European Commission. He led to success the Movement Festival and the Kappa Futur Festival, that both received the International Music Award as the best festivals worldwide. In 2011 he established the Turin headquarters of the Art of Living Italia Foundation. Since 2014 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Cavour Foundation. In 2016 he was bestowed the Bogianen Award "for innovating the city entertainment scene from an international point of view and for starting a new formula of cultural entrepreneurship". In May 2020 he established the CFC Italia Committee to protect the cultural entertainment businesses. Since July 2020 he is the president of "Turismo Torino e Provincia".
Rochelle Riley ended a nearly 20-year career as an award-winning Detroit columnist in 2019 to become the City of Detroit's Director of Arts and Culture. She now guides the city's investment in the creative economy and creates opportunities for transformative innovation. Her most recent project was the United States' first city-wide memorial to victims of Covid-19: 15 funeral processions that circled the city's Belle Isle past 924 photo billboards of victims. The installation gained international attention in August 2020 and provided closure for families across the city who could not hold individual funerals. More than 25,000 cars drove past the billboards; millions viewed it online and TV; and it was featured during coverage of President Joe Biden's inauguration. The essayist, keynoter and arts advocate is the author of "That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed The World" (2021) and "The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery.
Terry Rock is a champion of Calgary's innovation economy, leading efforts to create tens of thousands of jobs by tripling the size of the city's tech sector. The new Platform Innovation Centre opens soon as Calgary's downtown home for innovators. Dr. Rock has a PhD in Management with a focus on Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Innovation and was previously the founding President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development Authority.
Maud Salvi is the Executive Director of Sled Island, a 5-day, multi-venue music & arts festival taking place in Calgary each June. The festival presents unique and eclectic programming featuring music, visual art, comedy, and film, to Calgarians and visitors alike, with a strong representation of local and regional emerging artists. Deeply anchored in the community, Sled Island partners annually with over 120 local businesses, arts, and community organizations and enrolls the help of over 400 volunteers.
Steve is married and has 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. Steve created Northern Cree in 1982 along with his 3 brothers. He is currently drum keeper and leader of the group. The group has 39 albums out on the market with 9 Grammy nominations and 4 Juno nominations. Steve Won a Juno in the Classical Music category with the RWB orchestra
for "Going Home Star" in 2019 and opened the Grammys in 2017 with a live performance. Northern Cree has performed worldwide.
Marc's deep music business background and digital audio knowledge has helped him deliver unique insights to audiences from Tallinn to Toronto.
Marc is the founder of Byta / byta.com. Run as a distributed team across 3 continents, Byta enables everyone to send & receive digital audio in a clean, simple and secure way. Built for everyone working with music today.
Marc got his start at murderecords, Canada's premier artist owned label during the mid 90s. After working in A&R at the legendary London indie Creation Records (Oasis, Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals), then at Alan McGee's Poptones, Marc started his own boutique UK radio promotion company off the back of his success with The Hives. For over 10 years Marc worked with an impressive list of indie rock luminaries including Wilco, Bloc Party, Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes, Spoon and Refused as well as legends such as Tom Waits, Yoko Ono, Booker T and Mavis Staples.
Marc currently lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.
Based in Calgary, Beisiegel (Bird) is the lead consultant of West Anthem, a program devoted to developing and implementing live music and business strategies to strengthen Alberta's music economy. She is the Principal Consultant for Bird Creatives, managing complex/collaborative projects across the province.
"Alberta is where I want my home to be," she says. "I really want to work to develop the industry here, so it's a place where you can stay and build a meaningful and equitable career in music. I want to explore what the state of Alberta's music ecosystem is, and if I can, help strengthen it."
As a singer-songwriter, Beisiegel (Bird) has released two EPs, and three albums in various projects, including 2014's Don't Say You're Sorry, and was a founding member of country act Nice Horse. She's performed at venues and festivals across North America, toured with Tom Cochrane, and shared the stage with the likes of Steve Earle and Kathleen Edwards.
Martin Elbourne is based in the UK and has experience of over forty years in the music industry. He has owned a record label and music magazine, has worked as a manager, agent, promoter and booker. In the mid-eighties he became an agent working with acts such as the Smiths and New Order and became one of the main advisors and bookers to Glastonbury Festival, a role which he continues to this day.
He has helped establish numerous events internationally, the most recent being the DMZ Peace Train Festival in South Korea. He is co-founder and creative director of Europe’s leading Showcase Festival, ‘The Great Escape’. He is the co-founder of Music Cities Convention and acts as an advisor on live music policy to various government cities around the world.
Rebecca has served as the Inglewood BIA Executive Director of Inglewood, Calgary, since 2009. Rebecca is committed to the vibrancy of Inglewood's historic urban neighbourhood and main street. Rebecca sees the key to Inglewood success as being found in a combination of factors- a village feel and form; strong, strong partnerships with the arts community, including non- profits like Music Mile: an edgy eccentric vibe; and landlords who ensure affordable rents for local independent retail. Inglewood consistently receives local, national, and international accolades (including the Canadian Institute of Planners Greatest Neighbourhood in Canada award, multiple Best of Calgary awards, and Mayor's Urban Design Awards).Rebecca thrives on mixing shoestring budgets with new ideas and pulling in lots of talented people. Rebecca believes in wearing high heels and dresses on her clunker granny bike, recommends crows as pets, and after this past year, hopes she will never hear the word "pivot" mentioned again.
Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon (she/her/hers) is a veteran community and arts champion. Her extensive track record of leadership and service in Calgary include staff leadership positions at EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons), Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund, and Alberta Theatre Projects, and volunteer positions with Calgary Foundation (board), Calgary Stampede (committee), the Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta (founding board member), imagineCalgary (steering committee), and CKUA Radio Network (board). In 2021 Patti was the first woman of colour to be appointed to the board of the Calgary Stampede. Patti has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as the 2013 Harry and Martha Cohen Award, recognizing significant contribution to Calgary's theatre community.
Félix Barros Ribalta, entrepreneur focused on innovation and associativity in the music industry. Founder of Fanear / Evento Medido, a tech-based company specialised in triple impact measurement for events. He’s also the president of MUSTACH - Music Tech Association Chile, representing 20+ tech solutions for the music industry. Félix also runs the Artist Incubation & Acceleration programme at Probeta Music (Bahía Conejo, Veró, Luciano Altair, SIMH).
In 2007 Luke joined Calgary Economic Development as the Commissioner for Film, Television and the Creative Industries, Luke works with Studios, government, unions & producers in Southern Alberta to facilitate and develop local projects and attract new foreign film, television & digital media productions to Alberta. Prior to joining CED, Luke was the Director of the Creative Electronic Environment, as well as the Banff New Media Institute and the Acting Director of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre, where he developed and directed television and interactive media facilities and personnel. Prior to Banff, he was owner operator of VisionWorks Commercial Productions. Luke worked with Hockey Canada through four Olympic Games as well as numerous Junior and Women's World Championships. During this period Luke also was the broadcast liaison for the Calgary Flames hockey operations. In 2014 Luke was named as one of Venture Magazine's 50 most influential Albertans.
Ricky Graboski's personal and professional history are intertwined with America's underground DIY scene. He currently serves as Executive Director of The Vera Project, an all-ages music venue, arts incubator, and community center in Seattle. Before Vera, Ricky coordinated grassroots initiatives in Detroit, worked in musician engagement in New York, and ran a national community organizing training center based in Houston. During that time, he also played in terrible punk bands and volunteered at influential DIY spaces Death by Audio and Shea Stadium in Brooklyn. At Vera, Ricky has dedicated his time to advocating for the DIY scene and community-centered cultural spaces, building all-ages programming at the intersection of art and activism.
Naomi Pohl is Deputy General Secretary at the Musicians' Union (MU). She has worked in the arts sector in the UK for nearly 20 years representing creators and performers.
Since joining the MU in 2009, she has championed the rights of musicians, songwriters and composers working across TV and film, the recorded music industry, in education, orchestras and theatre.
Naomi is currently involved in lobbying and campaigning work to achieve an improved deal for touring musicians post-Brexit, better deals for TV and film composers and fairer streaming royalties.
Michael launched the Time Out brand in Australia under license in 2007 and in his time at the helm grew the audience across print, digital and social channels to in excess of 1,000,000 Australians monthly. In recent years and prompted by the challenges facing Sydney's night time economy he launched and chaired the Night Time Industries Association which was instrumental in lifting the lockout laws, and shaping the State of NSW's 24 Hour Economy Strategy. In February 2021 Michael was announced as the NSW's inaugural 24 Hour Economy Commissioner, a role he commenced on 29 March 2021.
Amanda is the co-founder of Curbside Concerts, a Calgary-based company that delivers live music right to your sidewalk. With a mandate for equality, safety, and mental health, Curbside Concerts has kept live music in neighbourhoods, and local musicians working throughout the pandemic and beyond.
In the first year of business, Curbside has seen incredible growth, media attention, and even award nominations. Most importantly, they have paid out over $250,000 to music workers in Canada.
With a background in the Arts (BMus from University of Calgary), events, and local business management, she combines creativity with a desire to uplift her community.
A citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Amanda has roots not only in her home province, but across Canada as well. She is proud to foster inclusiveness and an Indigenous lens in her company.
Amy Bishop's voice is a combination of the smooth of the pavement and the gravel of the road… Amy has an instinctive ability to craft stories into song and deliver them with the sincerity and passion of a best friend - qualities that make Amy an undeniable canadian talent.
Brad believes that as our City grows and prospers we must work hard to ensure the benefits are felt by everyone. By bringing a pragmatic, non-partisan approach to local government, Brad supports community-led change throughout Beaches East-York. At City Hall, Brad serves as the Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee, a Commissioner on the TTC Board and as a member of the Planning and Housing Committee. With experience as an urban planner, he has a passion for addressing local issues, advocating for those typically left out of the process and making neighbourhoods more accessible. His priorities are to make our roads safer, deliver the City's relief line, and revitalize our main streets. Whether it's through the regular community meetings or the bi-weekly newsletter, Brad wants to engage with all
residents and work with our local leaders to support the communities that make Beaches East-York special.
Leah Flanagan is the Director of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office, an Indigenous led initiative APRA AMCOS, the Australasian music rights organisation and First Nations Music Producer for Australia's music export organisation, Sounds Australia. She is also an active member across Australia's music industry performing as a touring musician in many high-profile bands and festival commissions as well being a successful a songwriter, releasing and touring four albums. Leah takes pride in her contribution to the Australian independent DIY scene, and is a staunch advocate for Indigenous advancement and inclusion across the entertainment industries.
Thomas Devon Laney is the President & Chief Executive Officer of 36 Degrees North, Co., an award-winning, not-for-profit entrepreneurial support organization focused on providing the workspace, resources and community needed to build growing companies and drive economic impact.
Before joining 36°N in 2019, Devon co-founded and served as CEO (and COO) of Innovation Depot in Birmingham, AL for over 14 years, leading the organization to consecutive record-setting years of economic impact and entrepreneurial growth. Prior to joining Innovation Depot, Devon was based out of Atlanta, GA and worked with Accenture LLP on numerous strategic projects at various Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Devon is an entrepreneur with experience in the technology and B2B space.
An accomplished speaker, Devon has lectured at conferences in both the U.S. and internationally on entrepreneurial ecosystem development as well as business incubation and innovation. He recently served as Board Chair of the International Business Innovation Association and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) Hubs.
Devon holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in International Business, both from The University of Alabama. He also completed studies at the International Business School in the Netherlands and the Young American Leaders program of Harvard University.
Marie von der Heydt is Senior Policy Officer at the Senate Department for Culture and Europe in Berlin. Her work focuses on funding programs for the independent music scene, urban culture development projects and strategy and policy development.
She has worked in the arts sector in Germany for over 10 years, gained experience in the public and private field as well as in foreign cultural policy.
Marie holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory and History from Humboldt-University of Berlin and University College London and a B.A. in Popular Music and Media.
Norwegian born music and theatre producer Yngvil, has lived in Alaska for 20 years. She started and still runs one of the major music festivals in the state. She co-founded NCE, Music Alaska and AKIMI - non profit organizations that support and advocate for music in the 49th state. As an active musician she has produced, directed composed and performed for hundreds of theatrical, dance performance art and creative placemaking events as well as recordings, in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and South Africa.
Owner of record label and publishing company Zorch Production. Over the years inspiration from working with disabled people have got me into Diversity and Inclusion.
Ashley Bieniarz is the Indigenous Music Development Coordinator at Manitoba Music, a not-for-profit industry association providing professional development and showcase opportunities for members of all facets of the industry. The goal of the Indigenous Music Program is to deliver compelling and relevant programs to music entrepreneurs who identify as Indigenous from within Manitoba and across Western Canada to strengthen business capacity and generate opportunities for export.
President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) since its creation in 2014, Erin Benjamin has worked in the music industry for over 25 years - first as a touring and recording artist and then as executive director of both Folk Music Ontario (2001) and the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (2008). She currently serves the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Tourism and Cultural Industries pandemic-response Ontario Music Panel as co-chair, and on Ontario Creates, National Arts Centre Creation Fund and Algonquin College advisory committees. Erin sits as a board member for the Ottawa Film Office, the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Unison Fund – Canada's leading music industry charity. Under her leadership, the CLMA launched the #FortheLoveofLIVE awareness campaign to amplify the impact of COVID-19 on the live music industry for government. The campaign has had a reach of over 60M (and growing) and has helped to leverage over $300M+ in emergency relief for the broader live music sector. Since March 2020, she has produced a weekly livestreamed show out of her living room which has raised over $130,000 for local charities.
Robert Lavia is the CEO of UMusic Hotels, a new music-focused experiential hospitality category created by Universal Music Group and Dakia U-Ventures. Under the agreement, the companies will create immersive music experiences (including premiere hospitality, lifestyle club, live entertainment and next-generation retail. Embodying each location's unique spirit, the hotels will draw inspiration from their respective local culture and serve as creative hubs in communities around the world – promoting positive social change, education and innovation through the power of music. A social entrepreneur at heart, Robert aims to design corporate governances centered around impact investing following the triple bottom line framework, which seeks to create a positive outcome for the global economy on an environmental, financial, and social level. As an example, Dakia's operations enshrine a goal of contributing a significant percentage of its disposable income to high-risk impact investments in developing countries. Robert's background is rooted in the entertainment, theme park, and real estate industries.