Strada Agency, Driffield, UK
Polly Bolton joined the Strada (formerly Adastra) team as an agent shortly after leaving university, having graduated in theatrical design and production. Polly has spent the past few years building a large roster of traditional and contemporary folk acts from across the UK as well as from further afield including Germany, France, Spain and the USA.
Polly is a working musician herself and brings an already extensive knowledge of the business from the field. A mandolin player and singer with several groups, Polly has toured nationally and internationally in various guises for almost 10 years.
President/Founder / Head of Event Division
Midwood Entertainment, Charlotte, NC, USA
Established in 2015, Midwood Entertainment is quickly becoming one of the leading Talent and Event Agencies in the Southeast. Led by Founder Micah Davidson, Midwood offers a diverse roster of musicians as well as producing many events around the country. Midwood Entertainment handles talent buying & festival production for many events around the country including North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival, Deep Roots Mountain Revival, Homegrown Music & Mountain Sports Festival, Amplify Decatur Music Festival, Music in the Mill Concert Series, Live on the Green at First Ward Park Concert Series, Beech Mountain Ski Resort Winter and Summer Concert Series, Funky Farm Day, and Academy Center for the Arts Winter Series.
MJG Productions, St Paul, MN, USA
Joe Lopez ll has been working with MJG Productions since 2004. Based in LA, he has worked with countless talents from across a vast array of genres. From touring with Collin Hay of Men At Work to collaborations with Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, House of Vibe and many more. Curating the West Side Wednesdays at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica, Joe and House of Vibe have worked with artists like Talib Kweli, Supernatural, Res, Citizen Cope and many others. Joe brings 20+ years of music industry knowledge and insight from the eyes of an independent artist and entrepreneur. He has also done a large body of commercial voice over work for clients like Adidas, Burger King, Sprite, Metro PCS and more. Joe has been an inspirational and motivational member of the MJG Productions team, and has left his mark on the upper Midwest over the last 15 years.
Program Coordinator/ Programmer
Navy Pier – Arts, Culture and Events, Chicago, IL, USA
Dylan Hankey is a Program Coordinator at Navy Pier, a mission-driven cultural destination and world-class public space that celebrates and showcases the vitality of Chicago, while providing for the year-round enjoyment of locals and visiting guests.
Hankey joined the Navy Pier team in 2013 as an Event Manager before transitioning into a full time role in the Arts, Culture and Events team – in 2017. Over the course of his career at the Pier, he has helped develop, produce and execute hundreds of events and programs, including the popular annual Live on the Lake! and Sequence Ch!cago music series, the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest, and the first annual Chi-Soul Fest and LatiNxt presented by Sol. Prior to Navy Pier, he worked a professional musician. A Chicago area native, Hankey attended the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management School at Columbia College Chicago, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business.
Founder/ Booking Agent
Strategic Touring, Chicago, IL, USA
Mike Kaiz founded Strategic Touring in 2018 after participating in the ECMA Export Buyer Program in Halifax. A key goal for Strategic Touring is to build a bridge for export artists to develop a live music career in the United States. Mike served in the role of Lead Agent at Blue Sun Entertainment for 3 years before starting Strategic Touring. His artists have seen continuous growth as a result of his goal-oriented approach to building an act’s touring schedule.
Prior to focusing on the agent career path, Mike was an internationally published music journalist and a festival/event publicist. Mike makes his home in Chicago, IL where he enjoys a good cup of coffee or a day at the city’s marvelous museums.
Philadelphia Folk Song Society, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Justin, a perpetual arts & culture junkie, began at the Philadelphia Folksong Society, presenters of the Philadelphia Folk Festival, over a decade ago before leaving to take a job with a recording studio in Texas. Justin returned to Philadelphia, as culturally promiscuous as ever, working with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Film Festival, FringeArts, and even with a pit stop as Director of Business Development for a law firm, before returning to the Philadelphia Folksong Society as Executive Director in 2015. It didn’t feel as if he was taking a new job – it felt as if he’d come home. Following an incredibly well received “Newfoundsongs of Newfoundland” workshop Justin presented at the 2017 and 2018 Philadelphia Folk Festivals, he is looking forward to continuing to introduce his members and patrons to NL’s rich musical soundscape.
Founder/ Booking Agent
BPA Live, Bury St Edmunds, UK
Bob has been a booking agent for nearly 20 years and set up BPA Live in 2005. He books mostly American and Canadian acts in the UK. He co-founded the Americana Music Association in the UK in 2012 and it is this genre he feels most passionate about. He is also an A-rated sponsor licenced to issue Certificates of Sponsorship for musicians touring the UK and is able to issue them for acts not necessarily on his agency roster. He lives in East Anglia with his young family. This will be his first visit to Canada since 2013 and he is looking to expand his Canadian roster.
Atomic Music Group, Toronto, ON
Heading the Canadian offices for Atomic Music Group since late 2016, Sarah Chipon (or as some prefer to call her, ‘Chippy’) brings a diversified artist roster to AMG that reflects her nomadic upbringing with exclusive clients such as Andy Kim, Ashley MacIsaac, Aveva, Jully Black, Peter Katz, Suzy Bogguss, amongst many more. With her main focus in the Performing Arts department, Sarah uses her 6-year experience at TAG/UTA, global knowledge of the arts, cultures, and languages (EN, FR, SP, and GER) to book tours and events for her world-class Artists in N. America and beyond.
Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Canso, NS
Chris Greencorn is an ethnomusicologist, musician, and emerging music industry professional. After 5 years on staff, 10 years volunteering, and a lifetime of observation, Chris is stepping into the role of Artistic Director at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival. Now in its 23rd year, Stanfest presents dozens of domestic and international artists every July in Canso, Nova Scotia, and is a pillar of the East Coast music scene. The 2019 Stan Rogers Folk Festival takes place July 25-28.
Co-owner/ Publishing & Music Licensing
Sound of Pop, Dartmouth, NS
Tim Hardy is the co-owner of Sound of Pop, an ECMA award-winning music publishing & master/sync representation company. Sound of Pop Publishing, an active member of the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), currently represents a 3000+ song catalogue world-wide in a one-stop capacity for sync representation and/or publishing. The SOP roster is comprised of artists from Canada, the US and Europe, including current & former Music NL award winners and nominees Chris Kirby, Quote the Raven, Fairgale, Chris Ryan, Brianna Gosse & Happy Beats.
2018 saw SOP nominated for “Company of the Year” at the East Coast Music Awards and receive its very first national Top 30 charting radio hit. Sound of Pop published tracks have now crossed well over 1.5 million streams on Spotify and were recently nominated by Music Nova Scotia for the 2018 “Company of the Year” award at the upcoming Nova Scotia Music Week Conference. Tim also operates an independent rights management / music consulting company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and previously worked with SOCAN for over 22 years.
P.E.I Mutual Festival of Small Halls, Charlottetown, PEI
Cynthia MacLeod is the Artistic Director for the PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls (2018 Music PEI Event of the Year recipient & 2018 ECMA Event of the Year nominee). This annual event takes place from June 9-23, 2019 in small rural halls and community venues across Prince Edward Island. Performers in the genres of roots/traditional, folk, bluegrass, gospel, blues, storytelling, and dance headline a variety of events including concerts, storytelling circles, workshops, children’s shows, and late night events.
Director of Music & Technology/ Music Supervisor
Arpix Media, Toronto, ON
As Director of Music and Technology at Arpix Media, Kyle Merkley’s music supervision credits include Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Frankie Drake Mysteries (CBC), Remedy (Global), Pure (CBC), Carter (CTV/Bravo) and more. Kyle is also a musician having written and performed with top-24 Canadian Idol contestants, produces music under the name Burgah, and has appeared on Entertainment Tonight: Canada and MuchMusic’s disBAND.
Home Routes, Winnipeg, MB
Known as the founder and band leader of The Duhks, Leonard Podolak is an innovator and folk music contributor, touring music festivals throughout the world. Frequently making visits to North America, Europe and Australia with The Duhks, Leonard has shared styles of music from the string traditions of Appalachia, Ireland, Scotland, England, Quebec, and Louisiana, while bringing in influences of Gospel, Blues, Rock, Afro-Cuban, and African traditions. Leonard’s current projects include the duet band Matt Gordon & Leonard Podolak, the quartette band Dry Bones & record producing of the Juno nominated CD Aupres du Poele from PEI band, Ten Strings and A Goat Skin.
Recently Leonard has become the Executive Producer of Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous, a non -profit based in Winnipeg, which has added greatly to the infrastructure of Folk Music in Canada, with a network of of House Concerts, and acoustic concerts in small rooms. He is extremely excited about the organizations recent expansion to the east coast, as canèt wait to make new collaborations with stakeholders in the east coast music scene, and discover new talent as well.
Program Committee Chair/Festival
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival – Lunenburg, NS
The Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society will be celebrating its 34th annual Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival (August 8 – 11, 2019) and also programs fall, spring and summer Concert Series in Lunenburg. Folk Harbour presents folk, traditional, blues, singer-songwriters, world and gospel featuring local, national, and international acts.
Louis is an Executive Staff Officer of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union with responsibility for research, and governance and policy. He has volunteered for the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society in many roles since 2001. Louis is a long-serving member of the Program Committee, having worked on the Committee since the fall of 2003 and has chaired the committee for what will soon be nine festivals. Currently, Louis is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society.
instinct entertainment, Toronto, ON
Mikaila is a media addict with a Spiritualized tattoo and a love of all things Radiohead. She has worked with instinct entertainment for over four years, supervising and licensing music for TV (Mary Kills People, Diggstown, Condor, Vikings, The Handmaid’s Tale S1) and film (The Grizzlies, Seven In Heaven, HEVN). Her talents include reciting Austin Powers in its entirety and eating Thai food in excess.
Jay Pilzer & Rachel Yellin
Maritimes Music, Shelburne, NS
Maritimes Music is owned by Jay Pilzer and Rachel Yellin. Pilzer has a background as an author, business man, guitar player, and professor. Yellin has a background in administration and visual arts. Their company, Maritimes Music, is a record label and book publishing company focused on the music from and of the Atlantic Provinces.
Arts and Culture Centres, NL
Erin Barnhardt a multi-disciplinary arts presenter based in St. John’s. She is currently the Programming Manager for Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial Arts and Culture Centre division with centres in St. John’s, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Stephenville and Labador City. In this role, she manages the touring and presentation programming across the centres. Prior to her work with the Arts and Culture Centres, she worked at the Canadian Arts Presenting Association, Folk Music Canada, Folk Music Ontario and in music education at the National Arts Centre.
The Rotary Arts Centre, Corner Brook, NL
Degrees from MUN and Uni versify of London, England.
Founded Academy Canada in 1982.
Vice President, Friends of the Games/Marketing, 1999 Canada Winter Games.
Event Chair ECMA, Corner Brook, 2009.
Founded, with the late Tina Dolter, the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook in 2014.
Currently it’s Board Chair and CEO.
Awarded the Order of Newfoundland Labrador 2018