This week, Manitoba Music is bringing the music industry together in Winnipeg for the fourth edition of January Music Meeting (JMM), described as an industry conference with a DIY ethos.
Running January 26 to 29, JMM welcomes some of Canada’s top music industry pros for group sessions, discussion groups, one-on-one meetings, and networking mixers. Reps from the label, agency, management, festival, publishing, and publicity sides of the industry will converge on Winnipeg to discuss the state of Canada’s independent music industry, and provide concrete advice on how to succeed in the constantly evolving music business.
In a press release, Manitoba Music's executive director Sean McManus notes that “to thrive in our sector requires great music, a strong understanding of your brand, and the industry know-how to navigate a complex business. January Music Meeting offers us a chance to connect our hardworking and innovative creative industry to national industry players, help our community stay in tune with best practices in the business, and continue to help Manitoba's artist entrepreneurs and companies make key connections, build their businesses, and stay plugged in."
In an interview with FYI this week, McManus explained that "this is the fourth year of JMM. We’ve had great folks involved over the years. We always try to bring people who get excited about new music, are generous with the time and ideas, and are doing amazing things in the independent music community.
"Some previous panelists include: Jason Burns (Arts & Crafts), Brooke Morgan (Paper Bag Records), Andy Stochansky (L.A.-based songwriter/producer), Ben Rayner (Toronto Star), Rob Zifarelli (The Agency Group), Helen Britton (Six Shooter Records), and Liam Killeen (Coalition Entertainment)."
"The topics evolve every year, but the focus is always on helping artists make smart decisions about how to organize their business activities, release and market their music, play shows and tour, and open new markets. We build discussion groups and meetings into the format so that the participants can help shape the direction of the topics."
McManus notes that "the event grows a little every year, but we continue to keep it at a size where we can run it right in our resource centre. We love the atmosphere in our space where the speakers and participants and staff and local mentors all mix and mingle over the three days.
"We shift gears every couple of hours from meetings to discussion groups to panels to online video or music reviews, so it keeps people fresh and interested. The goal is to have an atmosphere that almost like a non-conference, where there are no barriers and everyone benefits from a little bit of controlled chaos."
An impressive list of panelists from across the country will participate in JMM this year. It includes Andreas Rizek (SOCAN), Cameron Reed (Arts & Crafts), Duncan McKie and Lindsey Van De Keere (FACTOR), Joanne Setterington (Indoor Recess), Joe Clark (The Feldman Agency), Julia Train (MROC), Maud Salvi (Sled Island), Stu Anderson (Mighty Cypress Talent), Teghan Beaudette (CBC Manitoba), Vanessa Cito (Coalition Music), Vel Omazic (Canada's Music Incubator), and Vivian Barclay (Warner/Chappell Music).
The event takes place during Big Fun, a festival which features innovative programs of cutting edge artists, growing their audience, and promoting music discovery. The annual festival will co-host the Manitoba Music Showcase at The Good Will on January 27 featuring Mulligrub, electronic artist Joanne Pollock, experimental alt-pop outfit Slow Spirit, indie pop act Micah Visser, and Saskatchewan’s Francophone indie band Ponteix.
Manitoba Music and Big Fun will also co-host a free discussion panel on Creating Safer Spaces in the Music Community, taking place on January 26 at Fools & Horses.
All JMM events will take place at Manitoba Music (1-376 Donald St) unless otherwise listed. Space is limited and McManus explains that "we’ve had lots of interest but there is still room for a few people. We encourage people to visit manitobamusic.com/jmm and get registered in advance."
JMM is made possible by the generous support of the Province of Manitoba through Industry Services of Manitoba Jobs and the Economy, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, and The SOCAN Foundation.
This year’s January Music Meeting sponsors include CIMA, SOCAN, MROC, and BreakOut West.