Sound Waves Music Meeting

September 14-16, 2023
West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg

Get ready to dive into your music career at Sound Waves Music Meeting (SWMM)!

Running September 14-16 at Winnipeg's West End Cultural Centre, SWMM features masterclasses, discussion groups, panels, networking, and an industry showcase. This year, we’re focusing on artist entrepreneurship and business development including sessions on finding investment, strategic planning, branding, content creation, songwriting, music in film and TV and games, and more.

SWMM is an opportunity for the local music community to learn from a cross-section of experts and peers, build new connections, and share experiences. This edition will cover critical music topics and offer concrete advice on how to grow your business skillset and career.

SWMM is made possible by the support of FACTOR and the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, and Manitoba Film & Music.


General Registration: $25 plus fees for Manitoba Music members, $50 plus fees for non-members

Pay what you can is also available to Manitoba Music members

Register for Sound Waves Music Meeting


Thursday, September 14 

10:00 AM | Registration

10:30 AM | Welcome to SWMM

11:00 AM | Start Pitching Your Music for Film, TV, and Video Games

Speakers: Jason Burnstick, Julian Beutel

Scoring for video games, TV, film, and digital projects can be an important source of income for composers and songwriters, but it can be a challenge to get started in the sector. Composers Jason Burnstick and Julien Beutel will chart their approaches and talk about strategies to access the world sync licensing.

12:15 PM | Making It Work… Music for Film, TV, and Video Games

Speakers: Jason Burnstick, Julian Beutel, Everton Lewis Jr.

How can you get your music heard by music supervisors and used in media placements? Jason and Julien will be joined by music supervisor Everton Lewis Jr. to explore strategies to building those connections and making your music work for film, TV, and video games.

1:30 PM | Signing on the Dotted Line… Music Contracts

Speakers: Michael Duboff, Burt Gidaro

Michael and Burt from Edwards Creative Law explore the world of music contracts , entertainment law, rights and royalities, a fundamental building block of any professional career in music. 

2:45 PM | The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Speakers: Audrey Wensley, Dougie Bohay 

Working in the independent music industry requires a certain level of entrepreneurial spirit. How do you balance that with your creative work and get yourself in the right mindset? Entrepreneur and busines coach Audrey and manager Dougie will discuss setting yourself up for success. 

4:00 PM | AI: Your Creative Partner 

Speakers: Sydney Krause, Michael Duboff

Creating compelling content to keep your marketing strategy on track is increasingly important in the crowded music landscape and AI presents a unique new opportunity to support that development. Creative director and entrepreneur Sydney will explore approaching AI as a creative partner and entertainment lawyer will be on hand to jump in where creativity intersects with the law.

5:15 PM | Show Me the Money! Finding Investments

Speaker: Audrey Wensley, Annette Hegel

Whether you’re an independent artist or a small music company, investment can be critical to taking your music business to the next level, opening up a new world of access, promotion, and opportunities. Audrey and artist Anette will discuss strategies and approaches to finding lucrative investments beyond the usual grants and funding. 

6:15 PM | Good + Plenty Mixer

We’ll end SWMM day one with a casual mixer hosted by our friends at the Good + Plenty Arts Collective. Join us for some snacks and beverages, and connect with your fellow SWMMers and mentors!

Friday, September 15

11:00 AM | Legal Checklist for New Music Businesses & Entrepreneurs

Speakers: Michael Duboff, Burt Gidaro

Michael and Burt dive deeper into the legal concepts independent music entrepreneurs, and new companies need to know when starting their business. 

12:15 PM | Exploring Sustainability in the Music Industry

Speaker: Annette Hegel

Artist activist and SCALE-LeSAUT’s Organizational Development & Network Lead Annette will explore both environmental and financial sustainability in today’s music industry. This panel aims to provide approaches to helping your music business save money and be more responsive to the climate crisis at the same time. 

1:30 PM | Learn How To Take Your Own Advice

Speaker: Dougie Bohay

Learning how to trust your gut instincts is just as important as learning when to listen to good advice and finding a balance between both is one of most important professional development aspects for music entrepreneur. Manager and YMO Group partner Dougie will talk through approaches to help you get there.

2:45 PM | Crafting Your Unique Artistic Identity

Speakers: Sydney Krause

Creative director and entrepreneur Sydney explores the ins and outs of defining yourself both artistically and as an entrepreneur. This panel aims to get to the heart of what it really means to establish your brand to yourself and to the world at large while providing insights to help you grow your new business and your unique artistic identity.

4:00 PM | What We’re Listening For

Speakers: Blue in Tokio, Dougie Bohay, Everton Lewis Jr. 

When you’ve finished your latest masterpiece, you naturally want it heard on as many playlists and radio stations as possible. Does your song have that special something that makes curators and programmers take notice? For our last session on SWMM day two, we’ll discuss what playlist editors, labels, music supervisors, and other industry pros are listening for in the songs they add to their content.

7:30 PM  | SWMM Showcase at The Beer Can

The action moves to The Beer Can for a free showcase featuring roots/rock artist Mitchell Makoons, indie pop singer/songwriter Syd Bomek, hip hop/rap artist and songwriter Koziithegoat, and alt-country/pop outfit Tyler Del Pino & The Brasstronautz will take the stage. Hear some stellar local artists and connect with your fellow SWMMers and mentors!

Saturday, September 16

10:30 AM | Coffee + Group Speed Meetings

Bring your questions and sign up for speed meetings with SWMM mentors! 

12:00 PM | Demo Listening Session 

Speakers: Blue in Tokio, Dougie Bohay, Everton Lewis Jr., Julian Beutel

Getting an expert ear on your music as it develops can be a game changer for many artists. In this session, SWMM participants who pre-submitted their music will listen alongside our panel of industry experts to hear feedback on new demos and be part of the discussion about what makes a strong first impression and why. This is an open listening session all SWMM participants are welcome to join the audience, but only pre-submitted songs will be reviewed. All genres and musical compositions are welcome to submit.

1:45 PM | Lighting for Content Creation

Speaker: Vince Tang

“Content is king” and lighting is singlehandedly both the most important and overlooked aspect needed to create great-looking content! You may already have an amazing content creation plan but… you still need to know how to light it properly to make it look just right. Filmmaker and content creator Vince will share the skills and know-how to make your creations look the best on any budget 

3:00 PM | What Was I Thinking? (Writing Workshop)

Moderator: Alex Sannie

Speakers: Blue in Tokio

Join professional songwriter Blue In Tokio for an in-depth look behind the curtain into the thoughts, feelings, and processes that inspired her songwriting on some of our most loved hit songs. In this “ask me anything” style workshop participants will get to listen to some of the biggest songs that Blue In Tokie has worked on throughout her career and go through some of her creative process with her in real-time. This is a chance to hear from someone who works in the writing room(s) that our favourite songs are created in.

4:45 PM | Music Industry Town Hall

Host: Vanessa Kuzina

Speakers: Everyone!

We’ll bring the SWMM speakers on stage to recap the themes of the week and talk about the big-picture issues facing our industry, hosted by our new executive director, Vanessa Kuzina! We’ll talk about the challenges and opportunities of being music entrepreneurs, industry work towards equity and reconciliation and climate justice, evolving business models, connecting to the film/TV/games world, and mapping a future for the music sector that considers the health and wellbeing of artists and music workers. Get ready to hear our mentors philosophize on the future of the music business, and bring your thoughts and opinions for the Q&A. 

6:30 PM | End of Day Mixer

Decompress at the end of your SWMM experience with a casual mixer.... join us for some snacks and beverages, and connect with your fellow SWMMers and mentors!


Meet the Mentors

Annette Hegel
Artist Activist / Organizational Development & Network Lead

Annette Hegel is an artist activist, arts administrator and urban farmer and part of the growing group of ecologically-minded artists raising awareness about environmental issues, creating immersive installations that provoke empathy, not fear. Her work is rooted in fostering long-term and wide-ranging thinking about climate change and its effects. Annette's multi-disciplinary work comes from a place emphasizing social-critical art culture and has been presented on Turtle Island and in Europe.
Outside of painting her art practice, Annette has worked in multiple roles in the cultural and non- profit sectors for more than 35 years. As of October 2022 she has taken on the role of Organizational Development and Network Lead for SCALE - Sectoral Arts Leadership in the Emergency - the first organization bringing individuals and institutions from all arts and culture disciplines together across Turtle Island to collectively tackle the climate crisis.
She is a co-founder of Slipstream Collective and Spectral Weavers, and currently sits on the Boards of Directors for the Independent Media Arts Alliance and the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. She is an ongoing participant in the Carleton University’s Research Centre for Music, Sound, and Society in Canada “LiSTEN” project - a community-engaged and multidisciplinary research project exploring the complex relationship between listening and social transformation.
Annette is a queer settler of German birth, residing on the unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Anishinābe Aki, in the city now known as Odawa/Ottawa where she is part of a new and exciting collective of experimental artists exploring caring and resilient life models at the ART FARM.

Audrey Wensley
Entrepreneur & Business Coach

Audrey is no stranger to music.  Her father was a musician, her husband was a musician, and she even dabbled herself as a vocalist.  From blues to electronic music, and Latin flavours more recently, she has rhythm and passion.  Her son even jokes that she seems to know every song!

Having been a serial entrepreneur for over 15 years, she's learned a few things the hard way. Using her artistic side, she applies her creativity to her financial brokerage when it comes to helping clients.

We've brought Audrey on this year to share some of the experiences she's had to help you navigate through some of your tough decisions. She works with both individuals and businesses to identify financial goals, create avenues for income, and stability.

Dougie Bohay
Manager / Partner
Steve Aoki / YMU Group

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Doug got his start in music DJing and throwing small parties throughout Winnipeg in the early 2000s. This early exposure to live shows and musical artists inspired him to pursue a career in music and led him to move to Toronto in 2008 to work under famed music attorney and music executive Chris Taylor and Taylor’s legendary Last Gang umbrella of entertainment companies. These early Toronto days had him work alongside some of Canada’s coolest acts like MSTRKRFT, Crystal Castles, Metric, and Nelly Furtado.

In 2014, his longtime friend Steve Aoki offered him the job of a lifetime. Currently, Doug manages the music career along with all business interests of Steve Aoki and his affiliated companies and is a partner in the Global Talent Management Company, YMU GROUP. Aoki’s empire consists not only of a storied and legendary global touring and recording business but also a 26 year old record label called Dim Mak Records, a clothing empire; Dim Mak Collection, Multiple Global Restaurants, a diverse and robust investment portfolio and Investment Fund, a world class art and collectable business and burgeoning TV and Film Production company with various TV and Film projects being developed with the largest studios and streamers in the industry.

Everton Lewis Jr.
Music Supervisor
Wracket Music

Wracket Music is a boutique music supervision, licensing, and consulting agency based in Toronto, Canada. Founded by Everton Lewis Jr. in 2020 the company’s recent projects include CBC's Anyone's Game & Next Stop Season 2, YO! MTV Maps and Amazon Primes: All or Nothing Toronto Maple Leafs. In 2022, Wracket grew its team to accommodate the industry’s demand. In order to do this, Wracket incorporated some unique emerging talent that is deeply rooter and active in the emerging music community.

Everton is an industry verteran and the go-to music supervisor for the hottest and most dynamic music syncs in the business. Over the past ten years, he’s forged his way as a thought leader and built an extensive rolodex of A List music industry connections.

In 2014 he created his own lane when he founded and launched EH! SIDE Music Supervision - a company solely dedicated to Canadian music syncs.

Following the success of EH! SIDE, Everton, Jr. took on the role as Head Music Supervisor at VICE Canada where he solely managed the music department for Virtue Agency, Tv Production, and Editorial. During this time he worked on a wide range of projects including Dark Side of the Ring, It's Suppertime w/ Matty Matheson, Rat Park, Tattoo Age, Post Radical w/ Rick McCrank, and Mr.Tachyon w/ Director X. In addition to this, he was responsible for music syncs on Virtue campaigns including Sephora, Durex, and Vans.

Everton, Jr also supports Apple as Brand Music Supervisor providing music supervision for Apple's keynotes and commercials.

Jason Burnstick
Artist / Composer for Film & Television

2021 Juno Nominee, 2020 Leo Award Winner for Composer of the Year for Best TV Movie, and 1/2 of the multi-award winning and nominated group Burnstick. Jason’s many accolades also include the 2015 Indigenous Music Award winner, 2010 APCA’s Winner, 2009 Jessie Richardson & Dora Nominee, 2007 Juno Nominee, and 2006 CAMA Award Winner. A Cree Musician, Singer-Songwriter/Composer based out of Winnipeg Manitoba. Jason's musical expression comes from his original vintage 1920s Weissenborn lap slide guitars. Composing for film and television since 2000. Some composing credits include:

  • “Little Bird” show on Crave, APTN and on PBS in the US.  
  • Recently wrapped creating over 40 cues for the “Indspire Awards”, co-composing with wife Nadia Burnstick.  
  • “The Secret to Good Tea”, theatre production that played at the Manitoba Theatre Company.  
  • In 2010 Jason also scored the music for the award winning Governor Generals Award theatre production “Where The Blood Mixes”. 
  • “Before The Sun”, currently showing in Film Festivals in Canada and the US. Also co-composed with wife Nadia Burnstick. 
  • “Cloud Striker”,  currently shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Julian Beutel
Composer & Sound Designer
FlightyFelon Games

Julian Beutel strives to compose music that tells a story, whether the context is a live music venue, or a piece of media on a screen. He loves collaborating with other artists, and joining voices to make something unique. He is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he is currently composer/sound designer for the video game studio FlightyFelon Games. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts in music from the California Institute of the Arts, a Bachelor of Music in Jazz from Brandon University.

Kayleigh Katherine Ann O'Connor
Blue in Tokio

Blue in Tokio was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. Her music is characterized by her soulful smokey vocals and honest lyrics.

Blue’s works are currently being used as part of the syllabus for recording programs at NYU and CRAS. This is due to her extensive works created with Mario J. McNulty, an acclaimed producer and mixing engineer who boasts credits with David Bowie, Prince, and Willow. 

Alongside Jade Bird, she was the first female Canadian to headline SXSW BMI brunch showcase in 2018.

As a frequent invitee, Blue in Tokio has worked in many phenomenal writing camps (Aarhus Calling in Denmark, Canadian German Connect in Berlin, Gordie Sampson Song Camp, SXSW Writing Camp, SongCity, and SOCAN Pender Island) and writing sessions and showcases around the world (Paris, London, Zurich, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, NYC, LA, Nashville, Austin, and Toronto). Blue in Tokio’s writing has amassed over 40M+ streams in recent years.

She has been fortunate to be closely mentored by acclaimed musicians including Gordie Sampson (Chris Isaak, Willie Nelson), Mario J McNulty (Prince, David Bowie, Willow), Peter Zizzo (Celine Dion) and Simon Wilcox (Lennon Stella, Nick Jonas). Blue in Tokio is set to release her own artist project in early 2024.

Michael Duboff
Entertainment Lawyer
Edwards Creative Law

Michael Duboff is a seasoned Canadian entertainment attorney, deeply embedded in the music, film, and TV spheres. 

Hailing from Winnipeg, his expertise extends throughout Manitoba and Ontario, bridging artistic and corporate worlds. 

With roots as a musician and film industry professional in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, he's not just a lawyer but a passionate advocate for artists. His diverse background and dedication make him an invaluable ally for the dynamic arts community.

Sydney Krause
Creative Director
Pauvre Riche Studio

I’m Sydney, a tech-obsessed and innovative entrepreneur with a passion for creative strategies. Over the past decade, I've successfully launched and scaled six businesses, disrupting multiple markets along the way. My strategic approach and marketing prowess have garnered attention, even earning headlines in prominent business magazines such as Bloomberg and the New York Times.

In addition to my creative expertise, I possess strong management skills. I have a proven track record of effectively hiring, training and leading teams to achieve outstanding results. By providing guidance, feedback, and mentorship, I foster an environment of collaboration and professional growth. My ability to manage and motivate teams ensures success in executing creative strategies.

My expertise lies in creating impactful strategies that generate buzz and sell compelling brand images. With a proven track record, I've helped raise over 5 million dollars, demonstrating my ability to captivate audiences and drive successful campaigns. I am truly passionate about branding and telling stories that resonate deeply with people. Collaborating with entrepreneurs to develop creative solutions that allow their businesses to stand out in saturated markets is my favourite activity. I take great satisfaction in helping them exploit innovative ideas to their fullest potential.