Welcome Ashley Bieniarz as Indigenous Music Development Coordinator

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Ashley Bieniarz (Photo by Brendan McKay)

We’re pleased to welcome Ashley Bieniarz to a new role at Manitoba Music. Ashley will be taking on the Indigenous Music Development Program Coordinator position while Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais is on mat leave.

“We’re excited for Ashley to move into this role on our team. She brings a deep respect for the vision of the Indigenous Music Development Program and an innate understanding of Manitoba Music’s mission, and is enthusiastic about working in support of Indigenous artists and companies in building music careers in Manitoba and beyond," says Sean McManus, executive director of Manitoba Music.

“The Indigenous Music Development Program offers programs and services to an array of Indigenous artists at all levels of their career and in all genres of music. Ashley brings an open mind and eagerness that will undoubtedly serve her in supporting the current membership and welcoming new members to navigate the music industry and advance their artistic practice,” says Desiree Dorion, who is a member of the Indigenous Music Steering Committee and Manitoba Music's Board of Directors.

Ashley joined Manitoba Music full-time in 2019 as administrative assistant after some time as a summer student. She has been involved in the local music scene since 2015 as a Métis and Polish avant-pop artist, Kwiat. While completing her Bachelor of Music in classical piano at the University of Manitoba, she created and continues to host the 2020 Western Canadian Music Award nominated for Community Excellence campus radio show and podcast Songsmiths (Winnipeg Music Project). Bieniarz is a juror for the Polaris Music Prize, Prism Music Prize, FACTOR, the Western Canada Music Awards, and has spoken at multiple events as both an artist and podcaster. In 2019, Bieniarz began developing local events for musicians and a monthly songwriter's circle. Bieniarz is currently on the 101.5 UMFM Radio and Rainbow Trout Music Festival Board of Directors.

"I'm honoured to step into my new role at Manitoba Music and focus on Indigenous music programming,” says Ashley. “I've always been passionate about highlighting and supporting local artists. I look forward to working with the Indigenous Music Steering Committee in developing programming and connecting with emerging and export-ready Indigenous artists to guide them through the uncharted territory of the mid-pandemic music industry."

Ashley can be reached at ashley@manitobamusic.com

Wishing Shaneen and her family all the best!

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