Board of Directors
She / Her
Desiree Dorion grew up a mile and a half from the grounds of Dauphin Country Fest, one of the biggest outdoor music festivals in Canada. As a little girl she would ride her bike there when the festival wasn’t on, climb up on the stage, and pretend to play to the thousands of fans that come to watch big country music acts. In 2014 her dream of playing the mainstage came true.
Desiree’s most recent release, “Wouldn’t That be Fun,” was co-written with one half of Doc Walker: Dave Wasyliw and was released in April, 2022. “Wouldn’t That be Fun?” is currently climbing the Indigenous music countdown and the Canadian country music charts (TRAX). The song has over 66,000 global streams (YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music).
The JUNO nominee is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She recently hosted the Achimotak series with the Canadian Country Music Association and is an artist ambassador with the Downie Wenjack Foundation.
She / Her
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.
She / Her
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.
Synonym Art Consultation
She / They
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.
Danielle Morrison, a proud Treaty 3 member of the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing, practices in the areas of Indigenous law, Child Protection and Litigation. She received her call in July 2020. Prior to law school, Danielle developed a long-standing career in program delivery, policy review and advocacy with various Indigenous-led movements and non-profit organizations at both the grassroots and national levels, including the National Association of Friendship Centres and the Assembly of First Nations. In that time, Danielle spent two years assisting Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools system as an outreach worker and form-filler for claims in the Independent Assessment Process. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Visual Arts and minor in Indigenous studies. In 2016, she was the lead Community & Cultural Engagement Coordinator for the national tour of Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s “Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation”, and has since co-founded the Indigenous Advisory Committee for the ballet company. Danielle is an avid community organizer and advocate for systemic and social change, and regularly volunteers her time in support of community-driven actions and movements. Danielle is a visual graphic artist and photographer by trade, and volunteers her artistic vision to create artwork that embodies the spirit and spreads the message of Indigenous resistance. She is a jingle dress dancer, small business owner of Clan Mother Goods and Apparel and proud parent to daughter, Evie Morrison-Blanchard.
The Bros. Landreth / Birthday Cake Records
David Landreth (he/him) is one half of Winnipeg based roots rockers, The Bros. Landreth. The band are multiple award-winners, have received critical praise across the world, and have toured extensively through Canada, the US, Europe, and Australia since they formed in 2012. Their most recent album, “Come Morning”, earned them a JUNO for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2023. Earlier this year, Bonnie Raitt earned a grammy for Best Americana Performance of her version of The Bros. Landreth’s song “Made Up Mind’. In 2015 the band earned their first JUNO for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year with their debut album, “Let it Lie”. They have also received numerous Breakout West awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and a nomination for International Atist of the Year at the 2016 UK Americana Awards. David is also a co-owner, founder, and artist manager at Birthday Cake Media — a record label, artist management, and music publishing company, based out of Winnipeg that he started alongside his brother Joey and their longtime band manager, Stu Anderson. Birthday Cake has fostered a creative community that elevates and promotes local talent and has released music by The Bros Landreth, Begonia, Field Guide, Leith Ross, and many more.
Signal Noise Music Marketing
He / Him
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.
Elliott Walsh (Nestor Wynrush) is a Winnipeg, Treaty 1 based emcee, musician, poet and program facilitator. He has been active in the city's music scene for 20+ years performing, mentoring youth and organizing events.
As a musician he's toured throughout North America and Europe. Wynrush has been critically well received and consistently charted on national campus radio. He has proven to be a niche artist that creates works with verve and recognized purpose. Issues of accessibility and celebrating his Caribbean roots are painted all over his catalogue.
He is a former Polaris Prize Juror, youth arts program manager, UNITY facilitator, campus and commercial radio broadcaster, and music journalist. In recent years he has joined forces with Synonym Art Consultation in assistance on their Wall To Wall mentorship and performance projects. He is currently a consultant on a history of Winnipeg Rap book and his written works have been published in a number of books. Musically, he is working on "The Live Mixtape: bell hooks edition." That project will be presented and performed at The WECC in the fall of 2022 in collaboration with many members of Winnipeg's vibrant music scene. He believes music is an element of change and therapy through the caring acts of vulnerability and honesty with oneself, collaborators & with the audience.
Directrice de la programmation artistique et culturelle
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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.
He / Him
Neil Exell is a father, musician and public servant. He’s a settler living on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg. Thanks to some chance early mentorship and DIY tendencies, he’s worn many hats since he started playing in bands as a teenager – artist, promoter, grant writer, tour agent, band dad. This longstanding enthusiasm for musical people and projects has brought him many privileges and pleasures, including international tours and an irreplaceable sense of community. As a public servant working in cultural and creative sectors, he’s developed a strong interest in cultural democracy and art as an agent of social change.
Industry Development Coordinator
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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, BPM program, Monitor Mix: Peer Mentors Groups, and more.
Manager, Export Programs
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Andrea joined the team in 2023 after four years working at Winnipeg-based label, publishing, and management companies Mighty Cypress Talent and Birthday Cake Records as project manager, helping manage artists' careers and grow the label's operations. She was a founding board member of the Rainbow Trout Music Festival and has volunteered with numerous other festivals. Previously, she worked with Winnipeg Folk Festival supporting the STINGRAY Young Performers Program, and at Manitoba Music, where she worked in communications, administration, and community engagement events.
Talk to Andrea about Manitoba Music's export market development activities and the Market Access Fund.
Outreach & Events Assistant
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Nia Banilbo joined the team as Marketing Assistant after two terms as an intern. She has earned a diploma in Music Business and continues to use what she has learned to uplift and support local artists. She has developed connections and currently manages a local R&B artist, Adoria. Nia has also had the opportunity to consult with various local artists. Nia finds joy in assisting Manitoban artists in any way she can. She is ecstatic to be back at Manitoba Music and looks forward to what this year has to hold for the local music scene.
Talk to Nia about membership questions, your member profile page, New Music Night, Open Mic Night, and more!
Director, Operations & Communications
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Rachel has been involved in Manitoba’s music industry in one way, shape, or form for 30 years. She has worked at Manitoba Music in operations, communications, and membership under a variety of titles since 2002, and participated in a number of marketing committees, including BreakOut West, JUNO Host Committee, and the 2017 Canada Games. Rachel previously worked at Stylus Magazine, West End Cultural Centre, Uptown Magazine, and Ms. Purdy's, and volunteered at CKUW 95.9 FM, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and more.
Talk to Rachel about partnerships, media inquiries, internships, membership, Manitoba Music's websites, communications and publicity, social media and digital marketing, Song of the Week, Spotlight Series, Spotify playlists, music news, marketing, general operations, and houseplants.
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Rose Tobacco-Olson is an Ojibway/Dakota Sioux woman and a member of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation. She is currently studying Pre-Law at the University of Winnipeg and hoping to pursue a law degree in the future. She is a Manitoba Music Youth Mentorship alumnus and is an art + entertainment enthusiast, with a passion for local and live music. Rose is considered ‘community aunty’ to many and has worked in Winnipeg’s inner-city community for seven+ years and in the non-profit sector for nine years, she is also a public speaker, most recently worked with United Way Winnipeg for their “I love Winnipeg” campaign and Pathways to Education Canada as an alumni ambassador.
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Vanessa has worked in the music industry for over 16 years, most recently serving as Director, Artist Management and a senior member of the artist management team at Six Shooter Records (Tanya Tagaq, William Prince, Whitehorse, July Talk, Zaki Ibrahim, and more). She previously worked at Interstellar Rodeo music festival in Winnipeg and Edmonton as Community Development Manager and Artist Liaison. Vanessa was a mentor through Manitoba Music’s Music Business Mentorship Program in 2021 and previously served on Manitoba Music’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2019. Before her life on the industry side of music Vanessa had a successful career as a founding member, band leader, and songwriter for international performing and recording band Oh My Darling. Throughout her career, Vanessa has been devoted to helping build safer and more inclusive spaces for music makers and workers, and for the music community as a whole.