Debra Rathwell. Picture provided.
Debra Rathwell. Picture provided.

Debra Rathwell Named To Keynote At CMW

Canadian Music Week organizers have announced AEG executive vice president Debra Rathwell is presenting a keynote address this year.

The NY-based Canadian EVP of Global Touring and Talent will cover her extraordinarily successful career that includes her work with megastars Carrie Underwood, John Mellencamp, and her role in the Elton John farewell tour that has become the highest-grossing tour of all time.

Rathwell has become one of the highest-ranking female executives working on the live side of the business today. She was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2020 and named Executive of the Week by Billboard in February 2023.

She began her career in Ottawa as executive assistant to Harvey Glatt at his full-service music companies, Treble Clef and Bass Clef.  In 1982, she moved to Montreal to join Donald K Donald Productions, that city's leading concert promoter, as the company's first Vice President. Soon after she was promoted to Sr. VP and helped, DKD promote shows by Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Madonna, Rush, and Celine Dion. Under her direction, DKD produced five musicals that have been brought to Broadway, including Tango Argentino, Flamenco Puro and the Tony Award-winning Black and Blue. Other signature projects under her auspices were The Moscow Circus, Torvill and Dean, and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Live Touring Summit will also include a roundtable discussion with Canadian Live Music Association CEO Erin Benjamin; Stephen Parker, Executive Director of NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association; and Jon Collins, CEO of the UK’s LIVE (Live Music Industry Venues & Entertainment.

Canadian Music Week and Canadian Live Music Association will hold the 10th annual Canadian Live Music Industry Awards on June 9th to celebrate the live music sector in Canada with award presentations and performances.

The CMW Conference will also include the CMW Music Summit Conference June 8-10, and Radiodays North America June 8-9, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

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