Manitoba Folk & Roots Acts Return to Ontario Music Conference

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Crooked Brothers at the Loft Sessions video shoot

Manitoba's folk and roots scene has earned a solid reputation for fostering some stellar talent, including international acclaim, multiple JUNO Awards, and a recent sweep of the roots categories at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Carrying on that tradition, eight emerging Manitoba folk and roots acts are heading to Toronto for the Folk Music Ontario (FMO) conference to make important new connections and build their base.

Formerly known as the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF), FMO offers showcasing acts a chance to perform for influential artistic directors, presenters, as well as national and international industry organizations. Manitoba Music will present three chances to catch the artists live at the annual event, which runs October 16-19.

Manitoba Music has organized market development and showcasing opportunities for the Manitoba acts to connect with some of this country’s most influential members of the national folk, traditional, and roots music scene. Now in its 28th year, the conference features four days of performances, workshops, special events, and panel discussions. 

Manitoba Music will once again host showcases on October 17 and 18, including the seventh annual Manitoba Brunch on Saturday. Artists will also have the chance to take part in a trade show and network with top festival and talent buyers, record labels, managers, and more. 

This year’s performers include some of Manitoba’s acclaimed touring acts and up-and-coming performers from the local folk and roots scene, including Carly Dow, Crooked BrothersJess Reimer, Kevin Roy, Raine Hamilton, Slow Leaves, The Sturgeons, and Trio Bembe. Crooked Brothers also have a coveted official FMO showcase spot on October 17.

Bringing Manitoba music to new geographic areas and finding new markets to intensify trade activity in existing markets is a key component of Manitoba Music's trade and business development projects, which are funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Province of Manitoba. 

Through events like these, Manitoba Music is able to increase the level of awareness and connection 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 throughout Canada, the U.S., England, and Germany, including at major music events like South by Southwest, The Great Escape, North by Northeast, International Folk Alliance, and more.

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