Manitoba Music Announces Board of Directors for 2020-21, Kevin Walters Legacy Award Recipients

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From left: Alan Greyeyes (Photo by Indigo Arrows), Rayannah (Photo by Travis Ross)

Music entrepreneur Alan Greyeyes and Musician Rayannah Receive Kevin Walters Legacy Awards

Manitoba Music announced its board of directors for 2020-21 and celebrated another busy and exciting year at its annual general meeting on June 24 via teleconference. 

Manitoba Music is the hub of Manitoba’s vibrant music community. A member-based, not-for-profit industry association, it represents over 750 members in all facets of the music industry, including artists and bands, agents and managers, venues and promoters, studios and producers, and more in every genre. Through its programs and services, Manitoba Music provides information, education, and industry development opportunities to nurture, develop, and promote the growth and sustainability of the Manitoba music industry.

"Manitoba Music has had a very impressive and productive year of projects and events geared at helping our members reach their fullest potential,” says Manitoba Music's president, Bob Somers. “Over Manitoba Music’s 33 years, this has been our mission, the lens through which we see the work this association does. I am proud of all Manitoba Music has accomplished towards this goal, especially over the past year.”

“Music is about connection. Connection to the people you create with, to your community, to our histories, to your audience, to the industry, and within yourself. This has never been more apparent than right now. It would be easy to let the rise of the COVID era overshadow all that came before, but 2019-20 was already a busy year filled with excitement and new projects, new approaches, and renewed energy,” said Manitoba Music’s executive director, Sean McManus.

At the AGM, the board of directors announced this year's recipient of the Kevin Walters Legacy Award, in honour of Kevin Walters, a long time Manitoba Music board member and music industry legend. The award recognizes an emerging professional in the music industry. This year, the honour went to Alan Greyeyes. Greyeyes owns and operates the artist and project management firm Ogichidaa Arts, produces the sākihiwē festival, and volunteers on the board of directors for the Polaris Music Prize, the Indigenous steering committee for the National Music Centre, the Mayor of Winnipeg's Indigenous Advisory Circle, and the rap and Indigenous category committees for the JUNO Awards.

"I really appreciate this award because I learned a lot from Kevin and I still carry some of the teachings that he shared with me," says Greyeyes.

This year, Manitoba Music’s board also announced that Rayannah is the recipient of the Kevin Walters Memorial Songwriter Award, which recognizes significant achievement in songwriting by an artist from Manitoba. Rayannah bends noise into music by running voice, breath, synth and percussion through loop pedals. Underscored by intricate beat-making, her evocative lyrics in French and English rise above dense soundscapes, pulling listeners into a world both dark and sweet. Innovative on stage and in the studio, Rayannah unveiled her first full length album Nos repaires (Our Haunts) in 2019. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Rayannah has taken her electro-alternative sound across Canada and Europe. In 2019, Rayannah was named Francophone Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year along with her colleague Mario Lepage at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Rayannah and Mario were the first Francophones ever to receive this honour. 

"It's an honour to be recognized in this way by Manitoba Music," says Rayannah. "I am deeply appreciative of the support and the community I have accessed through the organization throughout the years and know that my career and relationship to music has been profoundly impacted by it. More than anything, I am proud and thankful to be surrounded by peers that push my work and challenge me to become a better songwriter. Merci infiniment pour votre appui et votre solidarité." 

Manitoba Music 2020-21 Board of Directors

Bob Somers, Scatliff + Miller + Murray (President)
Cheryl Grewar, Frantic Films
Chloe Chafe, Synonym Art Consultation
David Schellenberg, The Good Will Social Club
Desiree Dorion
Irina Ivanov Bissonnette, Winnipeg Folk Festival
Malcolm-Jamal Wilson, Malcolm-Jay
Michael Jack, City of Winnipeg
Ruth Shead, University of Manitoba
Stu Anderson, Mighty Cypress Talent
Suzanne Holatko, Deloitte LLP

Manitoba Music would like to thank the Province of Manitoba, Western Economic Diversification Canada, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, Manitoba Film & Music, The SOCAN Foundation, and members of the music industry of Manitoba for supporting our programs and services.

Read the Manitoba Music Annual Report for 2019-20

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