Aboriginal Day Industry Meetings

Sunday, Jun 21, 2015, 12pm - 4pm
Monday, Jun 22, 2015, 9am - 12pm
Adele Boychuck, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority
Helen Britton, Six Shooter Records/Interstellar Rodeo
Mike Denney, MDM Recordings
Eric Lawrence, Coalition Music
Stephen Manuszak, Arts Midwest
Rachel Ornelas, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Gavin Sheppard, The Remix Project
Inn at The Forks
75 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB
Manitoba Music


APTN and Manitoba Music are partnering to provide the Aboriginal Day Live performers and a number of our Manitoba Music members with an opportunity to meet with a group or managers and presenters/festivals on June 21 and 22 at Inn at The Forks in Winnipeg.

Meetings are available to Manitoba Music members on a first come, first served basis and must be booked in advance by contacting Alan Greyeyes (, 204.975.0284).

Participants should research each of the delegates to determine the best fit for their music/career. Delegates all work in different genres, so participants won’t need to meet with all of them. When requesting a meeting, please specify which managers and/or presenters/festivals you would like to meet. 

Adele Boychuck, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority
Helen Britton, Six Shooter Records/Interstellar Rodeo
Mike Denney, MDM Recordings
Eric Lawrence, Coalition Music
Stephen Manuszak, Arts Midwest
Rachel Ornelas, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Gavin Sheppard, The Remix Project

Meetings are 25 minutes each and are available from 12-4pm on Sunday, June 21 and from 9-12pm on Monday, June 22.

Please note that Eric Lawrence from Coalition Music is doing 55-minute meetings, so he has fewer spots available.

Discussion topics for meetings with managers are limited to the following. Please prepare thoroughly for your meeting.

  • Feedback and advice on genre-specific marketing plans for current or upcoming releases (country, folk, rock, pop, hip hop).
  • Digital tools audit (i.e. a review of the artist’s current website, their social networking profiles and activity, and the voice that they use to communicate with their audiences online).
  • Goal setting for Canadian markets (i.e. identifying the best conferences and showcases for the artist, the most relevant media targets for the artist, and the managers/agents/labels/publicists/lawyers who are the best fit for the artist).

Discussion topics for meetings with presenters/festivals are limited to the following. Please prepare thoroughly for your meeting.

  • Presentation tools audit (i.e. a review of the artist’s promotional photos, biography, music videos, website, social networking profiles, and enewsletter activity).
  • Festival pitch feedback (i.e. feedback on the artist’s currently strategy and practices for securing festival bookings).
  • Navigating festival/presenter politics (i.e. general advice about the credibility/importance of the competing presenters in larger markets).
  • Showcasing and conference strategies (i.e. which conferences and showcases are the most valuable and what artists should/shouldn’t be doing to attract the attention of presenters at these events).


Helen Britton is the heart and anchor of Six Shooter. For the past ten years as Vice President, Helen has helped to develop Six Shooter into an internationally recognized company, as well as the careers of such outstanding artists such as Shout Out Out Out Out, Luke Doucet, Whitehorse, juno award winners Amelia Curran, Good Lovelies, Tanya Tagaq, and ECMA winner Jenn Grant. She is also a co-producer of the Interstellar Rodeo festivals in Edmonton and Winnipeg. A graduate of University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology with an International Business degree, she also has an awesome British accent.

Rachel Ornelas is the Cultural Heritage Coordinator for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. She worked exclusively curating Native American music and art before being promoted to oversee the entire Grandstand exhibit and Folklife arts. She has worked with many large scale events including the Bayou Country Superfest, Essence Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival and SXSW. She has consulted on Louisiana folklife for the Americana Music Triangle, as well as the 2013 Americana Music Association’s Louisiana showcase. In 2014, the State of Louisiana entrusted Rachel with a grant to research and report on the current state of folk arts. An alumni of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Institute, her recent focus has been on social activism through art, coordinating Azotzinapa National Caravana’s Louisiana meetings and public relations efforts. She splits her time between New Orleans, LA, and Austin, TX, where she tends to a growing collection of vintage trailers. 

Mike Denney, President of Toronto-based MDM Recordings Inc. (MDM; an independent Canadian country music label, distributor, publishing and artist management company), believes in his artists and is prepared to invest whatever it takes, as long as it takes.  An active member of the North American country music community, Denney is a proud member of the Canadian Country Music Association® (CCMA®) Board of Directors and the 2014 CCMA® (award) Record Person of the Year.  A 25+ year veteran of the music industry, Denney's core business mantra is work hard-play hard, and he aspires to work with and represent talent who are willing to give 110% of their efforts to their musical craft.  He in turn meets this with the same level of commitment to his MDM “road family”.  Affectionately known as "Denney” he is a man with a smile and a vision, acknowledged as a fervent champion of the Canadian music industry.  He proactively built his team of those who share his passion to amplify industry activity, celebrating the rich artistic talent and opportunities in Canada.  Under his leadership, such professional dedication has magnified MDM, increasing the 2014 - 2015 Canadian-market share five-fold for the second consecutive year.  In strategic complement, to enhance artist success through international recognition, Denney recently championed MDM’s operational expansion to both the Australian and American territories.  A musical soul fed by a country music sweet spot, Denney's infectious enthusiasm manifests through his work ethic, a driving force behind the MDM team.

Adele Boychuk attended the University of Western Ontario and the U of S, and graduated with an Honours BA in Arts (English).  She is also a graduate of the Film & Music Business program at Pacific Audio Visual Institute, Vancouver.  Adele has been involved in music business since 1995.   Career activities have included indie label marketing work, graphic designer, agent assistant, band manager, publishing assistant, festival entertainment committee member, artist relations coordinator, and stage manager. Since October 2005, Adele has worked for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority as the Entertainment Program Coordinator for the 6 SIGA casinos.  This position involves the centralized buying, contracting and marketing of entertainment suitable for SIGA's markets.  Adele has also been a director on the SaskMusic board since November, 2012.

Stephen Manuszak is program manager for international initiatives at Arts Midwest, a nonprofit that serves artists, audiences, and organizations across the Midwest and the United States. Stephen helps bring international artists for residencies in smaller U.S. communities and sends U.S. artists on cultural exchanges abroad. Since 2011, he has worked with 245 artists from 11 countries to produce more than 1,100 educational and performance events. Stephen’s work includes introducing artists to the U.S. performing arts market as well as building artists’ experience abroad. In this capacity he provides guidance and feedback to global artists attending the Arts Midwest Conference, the preeminent annual booking and education conference for the performing arts industry in the Midwestern United States. He also produces and manages the Native American / China Exchange, a program funded by the U.S. Embassy-Beijing that brings distinguished native artists for educational workshops and performances in China – including a recent 1,700-km tour across Inner Mongolia, China, in April 2015. Stephen worked at a mid-sized world music venue in Chicago as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City before joining the international department at Arts Midwest.

Gavin Sheppard is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Remix Project, an arts and cultural incubator working with “at-risk” and brilliant youth. The program uses it’s connections to industry players like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Boi 1da, Raekwon (Wu Tang Clan), Universal Music Canada, and Chris Smith Management to provide immersive learning experiences in the recording arts.  The program’s success stories include hip hop manager Addy Papa, creative services firm HustleGrl, and hip hop producer Rich Kidd, among many others. Sheppard is a founding member of the Grassroots Youth Collaborative, a board member of Schools Without Borders, the chair of the Laidlaw Foundation’s Youth Organizing Committee,  2010 TED Fellow, and was recently chosen as one of 16 Yale World Fellows.

Eric Lawrence is the co-founder of the Artist Management and Independent Record Company Coalition Music, whose current client roster includes Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, Finger Eleven, USS, Justin Nozuka and others. Started in 1991, the company has recently evolved to include Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI), a not-for-profit corporation, and the high school-focused registered charity, TEMPO (Through Education Music Provides Opportunity) under its roof. Within the renovated walls of a former convent in Toronto, Eric (and co-founder Rob Lanni) have built studios, rehearsal spaces, professional development and educational programs, and a performance space, in an effort to provide artists a place to create, learn and hone their skills. Canada’s Music Incubator provides professional development in two areas:  Artist Entrepreneur and Tour & Tech. While TEMPO offers “The Music Business”, an accredited and free, high school course as a complement to traditional in-school music teaching by introducing students to the music business. Outside of these programs, space is available for producers, labels, music publishers, marketing services companies and songwriters for short or long-term rental that encourages collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas. With staff mentors and a vast network of music professionals, Coalition Music, CMI and TEMPO provide ongoing training and support for all avenues within the music industry.

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