Board of Directors
Ruth Shead, a member of Peguis First Nation, is the Director of Indigenous Engagement and Communications at the University of Manitoba. She is passionate about advancing the university’s commitments to Indigenous students and communities, sharing Indigenous knowledge(s) and research, fighting anti-Indigenous racism, and celebrating First Nations, Métis and Inuit successes. She previously worked at CBC Radio as a producer and director, and at Indspire (then called the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation) as a production associate. Ruth was an establishing member of the advisory for Circles for Reconciliation, and currently serves on the Boards of Directors for Manitoba Music and the West End Cultural Centre.
Bob Somers is a Landscape Architect and Principal with Scatliff+Miller+Murray, having been involved in the design and delivery of a number of significant Manitoba projects. Bob has also performed, recorded, and toured in a number of local bands from Winnipeg including: b’ehl, Paper Moon, The Bonaduces, Red Eyed Morning, and the Garage People. He spent 8 years on the board of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects (MALA), during which time he also served on the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) representing Manitoba.
Suzanne Holatko is a Partner in the Assurance and Advisory practice in the Deloitte LLP office and has over 10 years of experience focusing on serving private companies and not-for-profit organizations. She is well versed in common challenges experienced by not-for-profits and their accounting and finance functions.
Stu Anderson is always up for an adventure and has a boundless energy that needs to be released on a regular basis. Luckily Stu offers his ideas and entrepreneurial talents for the benefit of others, and is always being a champion for the underdog. Stu founded Mighty Cypress Talent in 2015, an artist management firm that guides the careers of Begonia, The Bros. Landreth, Joey Landreth, Living Hour, and Royal Canoe, amongst others. In 2019, Stu co-founded and acts as CEO for Birthday Cake Records, an indie record label that has quickly established itself as a trusted release partner and music publisher for groundbreaking artists who are enjoying global successes, such as Leith Ross and Field Guide. Stu is also a long time event producer and Artistic Director of a few music festivals. Prior to his own ventures, Stu spent years as a Booking Agent at Paquin Artists Agency, where he oversaw touring in the USA territory, as well as signing and developing touring for artists such as Shakey Graves, Corb Lund, Donovan Woods, and many more.
Chloe Chafe is the co-founder and acting co-director of both Synonym Art Consultation and Wall-to-Wall Mural + Culture Festival. Chafe is a settler based in Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her curatorial practice is based in street art, performance and the dissemination of socially conscious art practices in all forms of public spaces. Chafe’s research is rooted in accessible artworks in communities, the long lasting impacts of mentorship and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is currently finishing her bachelor of Fine Arts History at University of Manitoba, however the majority of her education has been generously passed down from community art mentors, colleagues, youth, and teachers over the years.
David Schellenberg started booking DIY shows for independent touring bands when he was a teenager. He fell in love with the feeling of watching bands make fans and that feeling would end up guiding his 15 years in the music industry and counting. David has been fortunate enough to be involved in a variety of projects that range from booker, promoter, musician, artistic director, guest speaker, consultant, venue owner and most recently as a digital marketer and strategist with his own agency, Signal Noise Music Marketing. When he's not helping band's make fans David can be found punishing crowds around the world fronting his noise rock band Tunic.
Desiree Dorion is a lawyer and an acclaimed singer/songwriter living in Dauphin. Practicing in divorce and child protection law, she believe that her work in child protection law will, aside from raising her children, be the most important she does in her lifetime. She is Ininew (Cree) from Treaty 5 and is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She is a board member of the Dauphin & District Community Foundation and was formerly on the board of the Dauphin Neighborhood Renewal Corporation. She also sits on the Steering Committee for the Indigenous Music Development Program. She won Songwriter of the Year with co-writer Chris Burke-Gaffney at the Manitoba Country Music Awards, and has garnered nominations for the JUNO Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, Indigenous Music Awards, Indian Summer Music Awards, Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, North American Indigenous Image Award, Native American Music Awards, and International Songwriting Competition. Her latest single, "Sometimes I Drink" reached #12 on the country iTunes charts and cracked the top 100 across all genres in its first week of release. It went on to top the chart on the Indigenous Music Countdown and spent weeks on the Canadian country music charts.
Liliane Lavack is director of artistic and cultural programming at Le Centre culturel franco-manitobain (CCFM) and a producer, production manager and costume designer in media production and theatre. She has collaborated on several television series, documentaries, as well as live music broadcasts. She has done production & post production for television at Manito Media, a French production company in Winnipeg and worked with many other production companies. Lili has a passion for fashion, graduating from the University of Manitoba in Textile Science and attended Richard Robinson Haute Couture Academy. Over the years, she has produced several fashion shows in Winnipeg, while highlighting local fashion designers and people from the community. She has been the costume designer for Théâtre Cercle Molière and Indigenous Day Live. In addition Lili has been part of the planning team for the Grey Cup ceremony and Indigenous Day Live and has worked for the JUNOS. She currently runs the Deux Cocottes Pop Up Flower Shop.
Malcolm-Jamal Wilson is a Winnipeg-based hip hop artist known as “Malcolm-Jay” that has been active for the past decade, bringing a soulful and energetic presence to the scene nationally and around the world. He has performed at festivals such as Focus Wales (UK), New Skool Rules (Netherlands), Richmond World Festival (BC), Real Love and BreakOut West (YK/BC). He has released several projects, among them The Enemy Within, which charted number 2 on Canadian campus hip hop radio. Malcolm is equally engaged helping others find their voice in music. He offers hands-on production/songwriting workshops on a regular basis to inner city youth, working with organizations such as Ndinawe Youth Outreach, Studio 393, Northern Touch Music Festival, The Manitoba Youth Centre, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Sarasvati Productions.
Maribeth Tabanera aka Kilusan is a Filipinx Tagalog Visayan queer femme multi-disciplinary educator, artist, dancer, choreographer, DJ and community organizer. They are a second-generation settler on Treaty No. 1 Territory. A life-long learner, they have focused their energy on diving deeply into their passions of dance, education, music, social justice and community building. Maribeth is currently the Learning Through Internship Coordinator at the Seven Oaks Met, Maples Met, and Met Center for Arts and Technology Schools. Kilusan’s recent projects include, producing a video from CBC Manitoba's Creators Network "My Happy Place" series, dancing in Adrian Sutherland's, "Respect the Gift" music video, and choreographing for “Intramural.e,” A Théâtre Cercle Molière & Synonym Art Consultation Production presented by National Arts Centre English Theatre’s Grand Acts of Theatre. They are currently serving on the boards of Seven Oaks Filipino Employees Association, Kultivation Festival, and Manitoba Music. For more information visit: www.maribethtabanera.com
He / Him
Sean joined Manitoba Music in 2002 as the first training coordinator and returned in 2007 after a stint in Toronto. He is a graduate of Brandon University School of Music and has a Masters degree in Musicology/Ethnomusicology from York University. Sean has taught music and theatre, and toured with the folk band the Dust Poets for 10 years. At Manitoba Music, Sean developed training programs, expanded international export and market development, and created business development programs. He sits on several local and national creative industry boards and advisory committees.
Industry Development Coordinator
He / Him
Alex Sannie is an accomplished and award-winning music producer, performer, and presenter with 20 years of experience creating music. He’s most well known as the producer and member of the hip hop group The Lytics. Performing all over the world, The Lytics have played major music festivals and countless concerts. As the producer of The Lytics, his music has been featured in major Hollywood films, television shows, and ad campaigns. Along with the other members of the group, Alex has worked in the studio or shared the stage with industry heavyweights like Nas, Jurassic 5, Sam Kuti, Childish Gambino, A Tribe Called Red, Shad, Kevin Hearn (of The Barenaked Ladies), and Mike D of the Beastie Boys. Alex was also recently the education program coordinator and head instructor at The Indigenous Family Centre.
Talk to Alex about training and resources, professional development, workshops, career consultations, and more.
Indigenous Music Development Coordinator (Term)
She / Her
Ashley Bieniarz joined the team full-time in 2019 as administrative assistant after some time with us in 2018 as a summer student. She has been involved in the local music scene since 2015 as an avant-pop artist. While completing her Bachelor of Music in classical piano at the University of Manitoba, she created and continues to host the campus radio show and podcast the Winnipeg Music Project. Through Creative Manitoba’s Youth Mentorship Program, Ashley interned at BreakOut West in 2016 and is currently working with local singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson. She has also been a volunteer with Manitoba Music for the past couple years. You’ll find her at the front desk during regular office hours.
Talk to Ashley about Indigenous Music Development Program projects and Manitoba Music's open mic night.
Membership & Events Coordinator
She / Her
Claire Boning joined the Manitoba Music team in 2016 as program assistant and is now our membership and events coordinator. She'll be working in members services and running logistics on many of Manitoba Music’s events. She brings with her years of experience doing clerical, reception, and administrative work with Winnipeg companies, including two law firms.
Talk to Claire about joining Manitoba Music or renewing your membership, if you need some help with your online profile, Market Access Fund, Youth Mentorship Program, PASSPORT: Music Export Summit, and whenever you’re not quite sure who you should be connecting with.
Digital Marketing & Admin Assistant
She / Her
Isabella is a Broadcast Media graduate and an arts and entertainment enthusiast, with a passion for local music. Having moved to Winnipeg from Brazil in 2019, Isabella has dived into the music scene both through the air waves and print. She was one of CKUW’s People of Interest radio hosts and has contributed with interviews and album reviews for Stylus Magazine.Isabella also writes entertainment-centered pieces for The Uniter on a weekly-basis.
Talk to Isabella about getting live music listings and MB Live app, Signal Boost, weekly enews, and more.
Coordonnateur du développement de la musique francophone / Francophone Music Development Coordinator
He / Him
Jacques joined Manitoba Music in 2018. Richer is no stranger to the local music scene. He’s been playing music locally for two decades, currently as a member of punk rock outfit, Screaming at Traffic, which was recently signed to UK indie label Little Rocket Records. He has spent time booking shows, DIY tours, and press for bands from all over North America. He’s also built up his marketing and admin chops, most recently at a law office.
Talk to Jacques about the Francophone Music Program projects, Rame à la recontre, and the Francophone music communities in Western Canada.
Operations & Communications Manager
She / Her
Rachel has been involved in Manitoba’s music industry in one way, shape or form for over 25 years. She has worked at Manitoba Music in communications and membership under different titles since 2002, and participated in a number of marketing committees, including BreakOut West, JUNO Host Committee, and 2017 Canada Games. Rachel previously worked at Stylus Magazine, West End Cultural Centre, Uptown Magazine, Ms. Purdy's, and volunteered at CKUW 95.9 FM, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and more.
Talk to Rachel about partnership opportunities, media inquiries, internships, membership, websites, communications and publicity, social media and digital advertising, the Song of the Week, Spotlight Series, playlists, music news, marketing, general operations, and houseplants.
Indigenous Music Development Coordinator (Mat Leave)
Shaneen is a multi-award-winning journalist who’s been on Canada’s media scene for more than 15 years. She’s also a proud wife, mother, and foster mother. She worked at CTV News Winnipeg and her stories have aired on CTV Newsnet/News Channel, CTV National News, and CNN. She also worked many years as a correspondent at APTN National News and garnered attention for her award-winning series about The Sacred Sundance. She is very proud of her latest work, Breaching the Sacred—a 22-minute piece showcasing the tragic reality of Indigenous women living with addictions and using while pregnant. Shaneen is well known across the country and abroad and is dedicated to promoting up and coming Indigenous talent. She was honoured to win first place for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge in 2008 for her play, Notay Kiskintamowin “Wanting to Know”, the same year she was named a National Aboriginal Role Model by the Governor General of Canada and graduated from the University of Winnipeg. A highly sought-after master of ceremonies, event planner, promoter and speaker, Shaneen aspires to continue working with Indigenous Elders, youth, women, and artists and continue to share information that should be of importance to all Canadians.