Manitoba Storms Toronto Music Conference

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Barely two weeks after Winnipeggers made a strong impression at the New Music West conference and festival in Vancouver, a host of performers from the River City are preparing to go knock ‘em dead once again: this time at Toronto’s massive North by Northeast music industry extravaganza.

This year, Manitobans are filling twelve out of the 350 performance spots available at the three-day festival and conference, and the diversity of the Manitoban contingent is sure to turn heads. Recently repatriated songwriter Holly McNarland is making the trip; so are ska outfits JFK & The Conspirators and the Wedgewoods and prog-rock purveyors Volume.

Vintage country connoisseur Scott Nolan, charming folk-pop duo Easily Amused and bluegrass hellraisers the D. Rangers will be on hand to show Toronto what true prairie roots is all about; meanwhile, fiery rock diva Kim Wright and politically-minded punkers the Brat Attack will bring a more furious edge. The Weakerthans will also take the stage as a featured performer in NXNE’s Bonus Series (that also includes Gord Downie and The Headstones).

Winnipeg-based label Endearing will have its own showcase on Thursday night at the el Mocambo with dreamy indie-poppers Paper Moon, rockers BurnThe8Track, and hooky pop-rockers the Paperbacks will hold up the Manitoban endfellow Endearing acts the Meligrove Band and the Caribbean will also be performing).

In addition to showcasing, the NXNE conference sessions are available to help artists make contact with an international group of conference-goers from all aspects of the music industry, from other artists, booking agents and managers to lawyers, accountants and record company presidents. This year, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols) will give the keynote address.

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