Congratulations on 20 Years of Film & Music

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The headlines read: WELCOME TO THE BOONIES, and they were talking about us. 

“You may want to sit down for this one. It is a little hard to believe. 
Two weeks hence, the music business will be invading Winnipeg for the first time ever.
No fooling. The weekend of April 23 will see several dozen key players in the Canadian music industry trekking to town for the first ever Manitoba Sound Recording Industry Trade Forum.”

So wrote Mitch Potter in the Winnipeg Sun on April 8, 1988, six months after the formation of the brand new non-profit association called MARIA. It was the first big event for a fledgling organization that had formed in October of 1987. The papers were all over it. Bruce Allen, one of the Canadian music industry’s biggest voices, came to town to tell the Toronto industry elite that they were full of it, but even more, that places like Winnipeg were a virtual no-man’s-land, literally “the boonies,” when it came to the Canadian music biz. Since then, MARIA has made it a mission to prove him wrong.

Today it is second nature for us to invite the biggest players in the international music business to Manitoba to work with our local industry. And they are happy to come because they know they’ll get a chance to meet some of the most energetic and entrepreneurial music professionals in the world right here in our province. And our artists are out there playing on the world’s stages, making a name for themselves and developing careers of international scope.

Over the next few days we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary along with MMPIA, our sister organization in the film industry, and the indomitable Manitoba Film and Sound. All three organizations were born in the same year, and all are still motoring along, supporting music, supporting film, and keeping Manitoba on the proverbial map.

Let me be the first to offer thanks to our members for continuing to support MARIA with such passion and commitment, thanks to all of the staff who have dedicated themselves over the years to the development of the Manitoba music scene, and thanks to all of the board members who have put in countless hours of volunteer time to keep the train on the tracks. It’s been a wild ride; here’s to the next 20 years!

Sam Baardman
Executive Director
Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association

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