Meet the MusicWorks Panelists | Understanding A&R

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Clockwise from top left: Melissa Mowat, Mike Nash, Heather Gardner, Sara Stasiuk

Coming up on November 28, Watchdog Management's Melissa Mowat, Montreal-based producer/songwriter, Mike NashSix Shooter Records' Sara Stasiuk, and Heather Gardner from Vapor Music will be joining us for our Understanding A&R: Demo Listening Derby. Get to know them a little better...

Melissa Mowat is currently an Artist Manager at Watchdog Management (Hedley, Mother Mother, Matthew Koma, etc.), the West Coast representative on the MuchFACT music committee, and on the Music BC Board of Directors.

Mike Nash has worked as a producer, engineer, mixer, and songwriter with respected industry professionals in various studios for over a decade. From the green environment of Tree Sound studios in Atlanta Georgia, to the ski hill town of Morin Heights Quebec, various studios at home in the Montreal area, to mixing on the hills of Westmoreland in Jamaica and recording at the mobile studios of Converse, Nash has travelled and worked hard in order to hone his skills.

Six Shooter Records' director of operations, Sara Stasiuk, is a Certified Professional Accountant, CMA, and worked at Manitoba Music for 12 years -- as executive director from 2008 until 2014 -- building partnerships, services, and programs to develop Manitoba’s music industry. Prior to her tenure at Manitoba Music, Stasiuk worked in event production and event management with Paquin Entertainment, the Winnipeg and Brandon Folk Festivals, the inaugural Prairie Music Awards, and the Manitoba Moose hockey team. Stasiuk has and does sit on many boards, including the Western Canadian Music Alliance, Polaris Music Prize, Manitobans for the Arts, and she is the chair of finance for the Winnipeg Host Committee, and served as chair of FACTOR’s National Advisory Board for a number of years.

Heather Gardner lives and breathes music. With professional training in piano performance and arts management, her ears intimately understand the relationship between song and picture, and how to harmoniously capture that magic within any budget parameters. Gardner balances her right brain creativity with extensive left brain attention to detail, allowing for a seamless licensing process from concept to contract to cue sheet. Her credits include work on television series, feature films, video games, and advertising campaigns that have been seen worldwide. Heather is also director, A&R for Fifth Kid Records, an exciting new independent label created in partnership with MapleMusic Recordings/Fontana North and founded by Joey Serlin, guitarist and songwriter for The Watchmen.

About the Workshop
This panel will offer insight into the inner workings of an A&R music meeting or listening session. Participants will listen to new music alongside the experts, learn what they listen for when hearing new demos, and be part of the discussion about what makes a strong first impression and why. This is a chance for artists to meet and discuss their work with fellow songwriters, while getting personal feedback from a distinguished panel from both a craft and business point of view.

Music of all genres and songwriters of all levels are welcome. It is not necessary to bring a song to attend and hear what the panelists have to say. A section of songs will be played for the entire group, followed by comments from the panel.

If you wish to have your music played for the panel, please ATTACH and send both an mp3 with a bit rate no higher than 128 kbps and lyrics in word format to

Click to register, or to get more info, please contact:

Roland Deschambault, Professional Development Coordinator
Manitoba Music
P: 204.975.5188

MusicWorks is made possible by the generous support of the Province of Manitoba through Industry Services of Manitoba Jobs and the Economy; the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (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; The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group; and The SOCAN Foundation.

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