Canadian musicians and record labels enjoy a tremendous amount of support through various funding agencies; the challenge for many artists often lies in finding the right funding option and writing the perfect grant application. On March 23, we'll be talking all about it at How to Access Funding and Write Grant Applications. This workshop will be separated into two parts: the first teaches about the variety of grants available, while the second will be split into five break-out sessions, for tips from each of our experts on how to effectively write an application to maximize your chances for success.
Bonnie Seidel has been the music programs administrator at Manitoba Film & Music for eight years, where she has helped hundreds of artists move their careers forward. Music has always been one of the most important things in Seidel's life. She went to her first concert in 1997, and can be found in the crowd at many, many shows around the city. Seidel graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in 2010.
Cathleen Enns is a program consultant at the Manitoba Arts Council, an arms-length agency of the provincial government that provides grant support to artists, groups, and arts organizations. Previous work includes Music Services International’s contracting musicians for touring productions, outreach coordinator at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre running young audience program and planning and managing an annual provincial tour, general management of Tapestry Music Theatre in Toronto, and tour coordination in Boston, at Chamber Repertory Theatre and Loon and Heron Theatre. Enns holds a BA in Administrative Studies from the University of Winnipeg, and she also studied music at the School of Music, University of Manitoba, and dance at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional program.
Stephen Carroll is the music programs manager for Manitoba Film & Music. Carroll achieved international recognition as a member of the JUNO-nominated band The Weakerthans (Epitaph/Anti Records). After joining the group in 1998, he managed all of the business affairs and helped steer the group to fame. In 2009 he began managing the Manitoba band Imaginary Cities and went on to form Empirical Artist Services Inc. Carroll was awarded Manager of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2013, after garnering nominations for the award the two previous years. Carroll was a member of the board of directors for FACTOR and currently serves on the board of Manitoba Music.
Mighty Cypress, founded by Stu Anderson, manages the careers of Begonia, The Bros. Landreth, Joey Landreth, Living Hour, Sebastian Gaskin, Roman Clarke, and Royal Canoe. Prior to artist management, Anderson was an agent at Paquin Artists for five years.
Get to know them better with our little Q+A...
Q: If you were a city, town, or village, which one would you be and why?
Bonnie: If Bender from Futurama has taught me anything, it’s that I’d never want to be, or in charge of, any of those things.
Cathleen: I would be Winnipeg because there is always so much cool fun stuff happening and to do. It’s like a cool club that folks in other parts of the country have trouble appreciating or getting into, like we have a bouncer at the door - the bouncer being our alleged or legendary mosquitos and cold - "keeping folks away but letting insiders party on” – a metaphor I did not invent, quote came from a Toronto film crew fixer working here in Winnipeg.
Stephen: Belfast, well I have Irish ancestors, a troubled past (I was in punk bands), I like stout beers, and am musical?
Stu: I would be Winnipeg or Cypress River, the two places my roots are firmly planted. I love living in Manitoba, it’s a beautiful place and we’re all in it together.
Q: If you could spend a day with anyone in music, who would it be and what would you do?
Bonnie: I’d spend the day with Alanis Morissette just listening to her play music and talking about her career. That would be pretty epic.
Cathleen: Because I could totally listen to his voice all day long, I would choose to spend the day with William Prince and he would sing to me all day long. (I would spend the evening with Rachmaninoff, 1915, the last frenetic night that he passionately worked through, on the All Night Vigil Vespers, one of the most important and beautiful set of pieces ever written for choir.)
Stephen: First thought, Tom Waits and just hang out and fix things like a maybe tractor or weld something at their California ranch.
Stu: Prince, rest his soul! Now there is a person who walked to the beat of their own drum, and made their own way.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Bonnie: People who haven’t read MFM’s program guidelines and then ask me questions that would be answered if they’d just read the guidelines.
Cathleen: On a daily, the non-existence of a trash receptacle within which to put the copious amounts of litter one has to wade through at my bus stop. But other things that outrage me on a daily also besides that, and Trump of course, are environmental planetary degradation, and people not being generous and kind with one another.
Stephen: Plastic – why do we need so much?
Stu: These days, it is the secretive practice of ticket/service fees. In the music biz, there’s just limited transparency offered to artists and fans along the way. It’s not usually the artist earning any of that extra revenue being generated, and artists often do not get a chance to agree to those extra fees that their fans have to pay. Ticket fees have increased to 50% above the face value of the ticket. Why so much and where is the money going? I get that people need to make money, and ticket services offer value and need to earn revenue. However, it’s just gotten to be all kinds of shady with the wrong people with their hands in the cookie jar. In the end, this can’t be good for the artist, the fan, or the future health of the concert industry. Let’s all get pissed off about it! Holy, this is so boring. I can’t stand the sound of scratching!
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.)
Bonnie: My concert slogan is “Go for the opening band, stay for the headliner”. Except the time the opener was Scott Stapp from Creed—that one got skipped!
Cathleen: One that I feel comes close to an approach to life for me is a quote from Mohammmad Ali - “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”. But I have also been famous or infamous for often intoning the mantras “We are here, we might as well eat!”, and/or Mark Twain’s “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
Stephen: Personal survey questions are odd.
Stu: Tell people what they need to hear, not what you think they want to hear. Also, “industry standard does not mean best practice”, courtesy of Dave Landreth, I’m guessing in regards to ticket fees!
Q: What is the best part about your job?
Bonnie: My favourite part of my job is getting to hear new music from the artists.
Cathleen: Feeling inspired at juries where I work with artists talking about potential projects... soooo great. And feeling, in my own small way, helpful, when I attend events that MAC has funded.
Stephen: Working with artists to help with their creative processes and achievements.
Stu: Debating promoters about ticket fees! And talking about artists I love all day. And grants, for sure… looooove grants! Grants grants grants! I’m looking at you, Grant Paley!