Over 8,000 babies are given the name “Austin” every year, but there is only one Manitoba. And after what this singular prairie province has in store for SXSW, you’ll be noticing a lot more Manitobas south of the border. Nestled at the heart of the continent, Manitoba is home to an internationally-recognized arts scene and some of the most talented and intrepid musicians around. This month, they’re taking it on the road; tossing toques and mittens and heading due south for the massive Texas music fest.
The Manitoba Showcase takes over Canada House in Austin haunt Friends for an afternoon, Thursday, March 19, featuring performances from buzzworthy acts like country blues heartthrobs The Bros. Landreth, roots troubadour Del Barber, acclaimed singer/songwriter JP Hoe, and in-your-face rock outfit Mise en Scene.
Manitoba Music will also co-host a showcase for SXSW Interactive and Film delegates on Tuesday afternoon at The Majestic. The Interactive portion of the event has become by far the largest facet of the enormous international conference and festival. Boasting a stellar lineup of talent from across the Canadian west under the BreakOut West banner, this show is the latest in a series of collaborations between music industry associations Manitoba Music, SaskMusic, Alberta Music, and Music BC.
Other Manitoba acts hitting Austin stages during SXSW include genre-defying, Polaris Music Prize-winning Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, award-winning noisecore trio KEN mode, Winnipeg/Toronto hip hop act Grand Analog, and Nashville-based expat Brandy Zdan.
Bringing Manitoba music to new geographic areas and intensifying trade activity in existing markets is a key component of Manitoba Music's trade and business development project, which is funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada. Manitoba Music's market development initiatives are also funded by Manitoba Trade & Investment, Manitoba Film & Music, and FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters.
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 The Great Escape, North by Northeast, Folk Alliance International, Reeperbahn Festival, and more.