Meet the MusicWorks Panelists: Jón Olafson and Nicky Mehta

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After pouring your heart and soul into your music, hearing “no” from talent buyers, A&Rs, grant juries, and other industry professionals can be devastating. Join us on November 28 for Health & Wellness: Validation & Managing Expectations where clinical therapist and DJ, Jón Olafson, and JUNO Award-winning touring artist and mental health advocate, Nicky Mehta, will lead a conversation with participants about how to maintain perspective and balance your mental health when facing rejection under the spotlight. We’ll discuss the weight a music career can have in your personal life and when to draw the line. This event is free.

Jón Jackson Olafson is a registered clinical therapist and mental health services consultant with over 10 years of experience working in educational, community, and healthcare settings. He currently leads mental health programming and initiatives for Winnipeg’s largest metro school division, is the Clinical Therapist at Our Own Health Centre located in the Exchange District, and teaches in the Counselling Psychology Department at the University of Manitoba. As DJ J. JACKSON, he is one half of Winnipeg’s favourite DJ Duo, House of Gold Diamonds and is a founding member of the infamous guilty pleasures trio, PopTart. He performs regularly in Winnipeg and has headlined events ranging from Toronto all the way to Reykjavik, Iceland.

Nicky Mehta is an award-winning singer/songwriter whose solo career, backup, and ensemble work have made her one of the most respected and sought after musicians on the folk/roots scene. As a solo artist and founding member of the double JUNO Award-winning, Billboard-charting folk/roots harmony trio The Wailin' Jennys, she has toured three continents over the last 15 years, garnering critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase around the globe. The band's songs have been heard in feature films and television shows as well as sung by choirs all over the world. Mehta recently published a children's book entitled Away But Never Gone which Bruce Cockburn called a "lovely meditation on change and separation". She has composed for contemporary dance, spent many years mentoring at-risk youth, and advocating in the mental health sector, and is the proud mother of twin nine-year-old boys.

Q: When you were 6, what did you say you wanted to be when you grow up?

Jón: I very much wanted to be a MuchMusic VJ. (Do they even play music videos anymore?)

Nicky: A ballet dancer. 

Q: What is the best live show you've ever been to?

Jón: In recent memory that would have to be Peaches at the Pyramid Cabaret. The inclusion of costumes, dancing and incredible musical talent (all combined!) made for a sensational show.

Nicky: Tie between any Jane Siberry show and the first Winnipeg Folk Festival mainstage I ever witnessed.

Q: What item, that you don't have already, would you most like to own?

Jón: A copy of Robyn’s “Body Talk’ album on vinyl.

Nicky: An original Group Of Seven painting.

Q: If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be? (Example: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, we all die.)

Jón: “Back on My Beat!" It’s a line from Carly Rae Jepsen’s brand new single “Party for One”. It speaks directly to empowerment, being “back on your feet”, and just working towards thriving in all areas of life.

Nicky: Quit worrying, trust yourself, and be curious and open to life til you die.

Q: What is an important piece of advice you could share with someone pursuing a career in music?

Jón: Take care of yourself. This means being aware of your needs, your boundaries, and your expectations. It’s not selfish, it’s essential and necessary.

Nicky: Be true to your own voice. Everything has been done before except your story.

Find out more about this workshop and register online

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