Manitoba Music Announces Board of Directors for 2023-24 and Kevin Walters Legacy Award Recipients

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Kevin Walters Legacy Award recipient Elise Roller (left) and Kevin Walters Memorial Songwriter Award recipients Joey & David Landreth

Manitoba Music announced its board of directors for 2023-24 and celebrated the Kevin Walters Legacy Award and Vince Fontaine Legacy Award recipients at its annual general meeting on July 4 at The Saddlery in Market, in the same building as Manitoba Music’s new office. 

The AGM was a chance to reflect on an extraordinarily busy year that included ongoing evolution of programs and services, extensive industry advocacy, sector recovery efforts, and a celebration of a triumphant return to live programming. Read the Manitoba Music Annual Report for 2023-24

Manitoba Music is the hub of Manitoba’s vibrant music community. A member-based, not-for-profit industry association, it works with 700 members in all facets of the music industry. 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.

“Looking back at this past year, our mission has never felt more relevant, as we watched local networks strengthen and expand, witnessed increasing visibility for the incredible talent in equity deserving communities, and saw the local music sector find partners and build audiences outside our borders. We continued to innovate and adjust our programming to meet the needs of our members. We saw that our community and our members’ creative businesses continue to evolve, and we recognized the need to evolve alongside them,” said Manitoba Music’s executive director, Sean McManus, who will leave his position at the end of July after 16 years with the association.

“The 2022-23 year was tremendously busy and productive for our sector and our association. The pace of work for our members and our team has been fierce. Like many in music, arts, and culture, Manitoba Music has been active in the ongoing recovery of our sector, evaluating challenges and opportunities in consultation with our members and stakeholders,”  says Manitoba Music's president, Ruth Shead. “We’re also using this time to reflect on our gratitude and appreciation for outgoing executive director, Sean McManus. His vision, foresight, and leadership have been fundamental to Manitoba Music’s success, strength, and stability.”

Manitoba Music would like to thank the Government of Canada, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, PrairiesCan, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Film & Music, Canada Council for the Arts, Musicaction, and members of the music industry of Manitoba for supporting our programs and services.

Board of Directors

Manitoba Music thanks departing directors Maribeth Tabanera, Michael Jack, and Stu Anderson, for sharing their insight, generosity, and commitment to Manitoba Music and its membership during their terms. Each has left a lasting mark on the association and their perspective and guidance will be missed. 

Manitoba Music welcomes lawyer, community organizer, and advocate for systemic and social change Danielle Morrison and award-winning songwriter, performer, and entrepreneur David Landreth of Birthday Cake Media and The Bros. Landreth to the board. They bring new perspectives and invaluable expertise that will be assets to the work of the board and the association.

2023-24 Board of Directors
Ruth Shead, University of Manitoba (President)
Suzanne Holatko, Deloitte LLP (Treasurer)
Desiree Dorion (Secretary)
Chloe Chafe, Synonym Art Consultation
Danielle Morrison, Cochrane Saxberg
David Landreth, Birthday Cake Media / The Bros. Landreth
David Schellenberg, Signal Noise Music Marketing
Elliott Walsh, Nestor Wynrush
Liliane Lavack, Centre culturel franco-manitobain
Neill Exell

Kevin Walters Legacy Awards

The board of directors announced this year's recipients of the Kevin Walters Legacy Award and Kevin Walters Memorial Songwriter Award, in honour of Kevin Walters, a long-time Manitoba Music board member and music industry legend. 

Recognizing an emerging professional in the music industry, the Legacy Award went to Elise Roller, founder and owner of Misfit Music MGMT, an artist development and management company, servicing artists across Western Canada.

Songwriting duo and performers Joey and David Landreth are is this year’s recipient of the Kevin Walters Memorial Songwriter Award in recognition of their impressive body of work, numerous accolades and awards–including a GRAMMY win for Bonnie Raitt’s cover of their song “Made Up Mind” and their second JUNO Award for their newest album, Come Morning.

It’s an honour to share these awards with Elise, Joey,  and David who are longtime members of Manitoba Music and the music community. We can also count two of them, Elise and David, as past members of the Manitoba Music team who’ve gone on to do important work. Their passion, drive, dynamism, and dedication to lifting up their communities are an inspiration. The board celebrates all they have accomplished and looks forward to all that is to come. 

Vince Fontaine Legacy Award

The Indigenous Music Steering Committee at Manitoba Music presented the inaugural recipient of The Vince Fontaine Legacy Award previously announced on June 22. Anishinaabe multi-hyphenate Veronica Blackhawk, whose songs can be heard through indie outfit Tinge, earned the honour this year. The award is sponsored by Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music. The Vince Fontaine Legacy Award recognizes an emerging Indigenous artist or industry professional currently working towards a career in the music industry and is intended to contribute to their professional development. The award honours the indelible legacy of Vince Fontaine, who passed away in January 2022. Veronica’s generosity, passion, and dedication to their art and community perfectly demonstrate Vince’s professional traits, values, and commitment. 


Elise Roller
Kevin Walters Legacy Award Recipient 2023

Elise roller is the founder and owner of Misfit Music MGMT, an artist development and management company, servicing artists across Western Canada. Roller has been actively involved in the Canadian music scene since 2008. She built her entire music career as a single mom, cleaning homes around Calgary, AB to support her recording and touring endeavors as a solo artist and member of blues-rock band Go For The Eyes. She began dabbling in artist development and music business admin when recognizing her talent for networking, organization, and being able to champion her music industry peers. She spent four years as the Industry Development Coordinator at Manitoba Music before leaving in July 2021 to take on Misfit Music MGMT full-time. She served four years as Pride Winnipeg’s main stage producer, has booked and managed tours for a number of Canadian acts, and has written many successful grants for a variety of musicians and projects. Entrepreneur of the Year at Women In Music 2023.  

Joey & David Landreth
Kevin Walters Memorial Songwriter Award 2023 Recipient

Joey and David are the song writing duo at the heart of The Bros. Landreth. Their debut album Let It Lie won the Juno Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year at the 2015 Juno Awards. The Canadian Folk Music Awards awarded the band New/Emerging Artist of the Year, and Let It Lie was a nominee for Contemporary Album of the Year. The band was nominated for Songwriter Of The Year and Roots Group Recording Of The Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, and International Artist of the Year at the 2016 UK Americana Music Awards. As songwriters, they received a notable accolade in 2022 when Bonnie Raitt released a cover o f"Made Up Mind" on her album Just Like That.... Her recording was the lead single and won a Grammy Award for Best Americana Performance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards in 2023. In 2023, The Bros Landreth won their second Juno Award for their newest album Come Morning.  David Landreth is a co-owner and founder and Joey is a partner and Creative Director in Birthday Cake  Media, which includes their publishing venture with Warner Chappell. Birthday Cake has fostered a creative community that elevates and promotes local talent.

Veronica Blackhawk
Vince Fontaine Legacy Award 2023 Recipient

Veronica Blackhawk is a Two-Spirit Anishinaabe from Lake of the Woods, Ontario with roots in northern Manitoba. They are the creative lead for the band Tinge with a recent EP release entitled Big Deep Sigh released through record label House of Wonders. Veronica has participated in the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Young Performers Program and also completed a summer internship with Indigenous Music / Manitoba Music. They create many forms of art through Blackhawk Boutique and pride themselves on volunteerism and professional photography. This singer/songwriter/storyteller tackles issues of intergenerational trauma, survival and identity in their songs while taking up space and opening up doors for others in their musical journey. Read more about the Vince Fontaine Legacy Award announcement.

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