A record 19 Manitoba acts are packing up their banjos and heading to Toronto next week to showcase for the folk and roots music industry. Running February 20-24, the International Folk Alliance Conference (IFA) is the premier professional development conference focused on folk, roots, multicultural, and world music in North America. IFA, which has been held in Memphis for the last few years, takes place in Canada on a several-year rotation.
Manitoba Music will present a series of showcases February 21-23 featuring performances by some of Manitoba’s best established and up-and-coming artists, including acclaimed singer/songwriters Del Barber, Demetra, Cara Luft, Ingrid Gatin, JP Hoe, Jenny Berkel, Jess Reimer, Mark Reeves, and Ruth Moody; ukulele-wielding newcomer Brooke Palsson; Juno-winning soul/pop quintet Chic Gamine; carnival jazz/folk outfit Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers; rock poet John K. Samson; all female bluegrass quartet Oh My Darling; big-voiced blues/roots act The JD Edwards Band; and roots trios Dry Bones, Red Moon Road, Sweet Alibi, and Crooked Brothers. Click here for the complete showcase schedule.
An unprecedented 10 artists also have coveted official showcases during the event. The showcases at this year’s conference offer artists the chance to perform for audiences that include influential folk festival buyers, booking agents, record labels, managers, and media.
Music fans will get a chance to see special Folk Alliance shows by Barber and Palsson at popular folk haunt, Hugh's Room, on February 20 and 21, respectively.
Every year, Manitoba Music provides the framework for these artists to gain further exposure to the movers and shakers in the international folk and roots community through the nightly showcases and networking opportunities at the Canadian booth in the massive tradeshow hall.
Manitoba has built a reputation for its strong roots scene, garnering attention from major media outlets, and touring to sold-out halls throughout North American, Europe, Australia, and beyond. In the last decade alone, Manitoba artists have landed five Junos – including two for The Wailin’ Jennys – and 16 nominations in the roots and traditional categories.
Through events like these, Manitoba Music is able to increase the level of awareness and connectedness between our province’s music industry and the broader national and international industry, which is vital to the career advancement of Manitoba artists and industry professionals. Over the years, Manitoba Music has presented successful showcases at South by Southwest, Reeperbahn, Musexpo, MIDEM, North by Northeast, International Folk Alliance, Canadian Music Week, and more. The Folk Alliance showcases are an initiative of Manitoba Music’s Market Development Program, which is funded by the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba through the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement.