Meet the MusicWorks Mentors: Cathleen Enns, Megan Jones, James Missen, Jennifer McKerral, Stephen Carroll, Tessa Giro-Gooden

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James Missen
Jennifer McKerral
Tessa Giro-Gooden
Stephen Carroll
Megan Jones
Cathleen Enns

Canadian artists and labels enjoy a tremendous amount of support through various funding agencies. The challenge for many artists can be finding the right grant and writing the strongest application. On September 5, we’ll be joined by some music funding experts for a two-part session for the DIY Series: Music Funding & How to Prepare Application. First, we'll learn about what grants are available, then we will be split into breakout sessions for tips on how to effectively write an application to maximize your chances for success. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring in copies of grant applications they’ve already started, or past applications that have not been successful, for professional feedback and tips from our mentors.

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.

James Missen currently works as a Program Officer in the Music and Sound field of practice for the Explore and Create program of the Canada Council for the Arts in Ottawa, ON. He is originally from Hamilton, ON and has held various professional roles at the Canada Council going back to his first job in 2002, having previously worked at the Council as a Program Officer in the Music Section, Media Arts Section, Visual Arts Section, and Theatre Section. From 2003-2007 he worked in federal arts policy and advocacy at the Canadian Conference of the Arts and also taught as a Sessional Lecturer in Film Studies at Carleton University. He plays increasingly infrequent and occasional live shows as a solo songwriter in the Ottawa area and was also active throughout the 2000’s as a curator and critical writer interested in Canadian experimental film and video art, mainly as a member of Ottawa’s Available Light Screen Collective.

Jen McKerral, Program Officer in the Explore and Create program at the Canada Council for the Arts, comes by way of Sudbury, where she spent the last 10 years supporting the music industry in Northern Ontario through music programming at Music and Film in Motion. In this time, she also toured the country as one eighth of soul/rock group Pistol George Warren, managed the careers of artists such as current client Nick Sherman, and co-founded Sudbury's first public art and emerging music festival, Up Here.

Megan Jones has been with FACTOR since 2013, and currently works as the Operations Manager. A certified Project Management Professional, she is passionate about transforming ideas into reality and implementing solutions that help FACTOR clients and staff work better. Megan is also a volunteer with the Toronto Public Library, a mental health advocate, and former champion of the League of Lady Wrestlers.

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.

Tessa Giro-Gooden is a symphony cellist, actor and powerful RnB singer and producer, who definitely knows how to multitask. She is a published musician through Universal Music Group as well as independently, and has toured internationally. As the current Program Coordinator at the SOCAN Foundation she is leading their new TD Artist Incubator Program and is honored to be in a position to foster emerging Canadian songwriters. Tessa is a graduate of Laurentian University’s Music program and is a NOMFA nominated singer/songwriter.

Get to know them better with our little Q+A...

How do you keep up with what’s going on in the world?

Cathleen: I don’t limit my sources of information; I go at some social media, but I also seek info from news feeds, internet research, magazines, TV, radio, newspaper, and talking to people.

Megan: I use newsletters and news aggregators to keep up with what’s going on in the world. For music, I enjoy FYI Music, SXSW’s Daily Chord, and newsletters from industry associations. For everything else, I read theSkimm, The Broadsheet, Women Who, and Sticks & Stones.

James: Reading various newspapers online on a daily basis, combined with occasional podcast listening and clicks to friends’ reading, listening, and/or viewing recommendations posted on social media.

Jen: Twitter and podcasts. I’m a podcast fiend. 

Stephen: Oh I can’t even! Turn off my notifications and push news, then try and be intentional when I read news and not just skim the headlines.

Tessa: Social media and podcasts!

What’s your best idea for an invention?

Cathleen: A computer chip, sewn in, so that one can track and sort single socks.

Megan: It’s not my idea per se, but I’ve still got my fingers crossed that I’ll see teleportation in my lifetime.

James: A bed that makes itself in the morning after a night’s sleep.

Jen: Oh, I’m not very crafty, but can we please figure out how to move contacts over when you migrate to a new phone? Do you know how to do this? Can you tell me?

Stephen: An office chairs that you can nap in. Need a nap right now!

Tessa: Some type of alarm clock that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve just woken up… is that a thing?

What’s your favorite way to relax?

Cathleen: Getting a nature fix.

Megan: Reading a book, going for a walk, or doing something crafty.

James: Watching Ottawa Fury FC matches live with friends and family, playing Nintendo Switch with my family, canoeing in the Rideau River, brunch-ing, and/or reading music autobiographies or biographies.

Jen: I could browse thrift shops and antique shops for hours looking for weird knickknacks. I have a really hard time distinguishing between what I think is legitimately nice, and what I think is funny, and the results of these misjudgments now litter my home.

Stephen: Oh well, love walking my dog Rosie.

Tessa: Reading or audiobooks if travelling because of hardcore motion sickness.

What is a unique skill you bring to your job?

Cathleen: Dog-with-a-bone syndrome; a sometimes irritating tenacity.

Megan: I am persistent and action-oriented. If there’s a good idea, I’ll figure out how to break it down into steps so that it gets done. I love finding creative solutions for problems or opportunities.

James: It’s not unique at all, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about active listening and mindfulness and how it can be applied to interacting with potential grant recipients and the peer assessment process, especially in meeting facilitation and the importance of consensus-based decision-making.

Jen: Being from Sudbury, and having served artists in Northern Ontario for 10 years previous to this, I have a good understanding of the unique realities of artists in rural areas. Not sure if that’s a skill, but an important perspective nonetheless.

Stephen: Having worn many hats in music business.

Tessa: I am an artist entrepreneur as well as an administrator so I can see both sides of everything.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Cathleen: Say “yes” to opportunities and challenges you face; say “yes” and then work out making ”yes” possible.

Megan: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Although it’s good to strive for growth and improvement, perfectionism can get in the way of finishing a task or putting something out into the world. Good enough is better than nothing or an unattainable ideal.

James: As my late grandfather often said, “Life is to be enjoyed and not endured.”

Jen: Not to be afraid of collaboration and delegation. There’s such a small chance that you’re the right person for each job in a project. Take some pressure off yourself by finding people who excel at things you don’t, and work together to accomplish something even better. It’s a game changer.

Stephen: Be nice.

Tessa: Don’t compare yourself to others and follow your own journey / take up something like astronomy so you realize how small most things and problems really are.

Find out more about this workshop and register online

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