Folk Music Ontario ConferenceThe Folk Music Ontario Conference1 is an annual event that draws just under a thousand artists, presenters, and other music industry people to hang out together, jamming, learning, and talking music for four days every October.  It’s always a highlight of the year, a chance for bookers, promoters, writers, and DJs to hear some of the best emerging touring acts in one place over one weekend in one hotel. This year, the conference takes place in Mississauga, Ontario.

Secret Frequency founder and writer Candace Shaw will be in all of her usual haunts at the conference – wherever there’s good music or good conversation – but she’ll also be speaking on two panels; if you’re looking to talk to her, the best way would be to follow her on Twitter, where she’ll post ‘office hours’ (see below)  during the conference, or grab her after one of the panels.

Artists: We’re offering a service where Candace will assess your promo package for 10-15 minutes, letting you know from a bookers’ perspective what you can do to to make your materials work better for you.  It’s PWYC with a suggested amount of $15, and you can grab her whenever, with the caveat emptor that if you do so at 3am you’ll probably get her unvarnished, whiskey-lashed opinion instead of her 3pm politic, sober one. Candace has reviewed thousands of band submissions throughout her career, and is happy to help you improve your approach.

Demo Derby – Friday, October 18, 2:30pm – 4:00pm

North Studio 2
The consensus from your three F’s (Friends, Family and Fans) is that your music is great but what would people outside of your circle think? Is it great with a touch of  “awesome” or great with a touch of “needs work”? Don’t be afraid. You’d be surprised what opening yourself up to critiques can do for your music and future songwriting. Our panel of professionals come with years of experience in the industry and will offer their two cents on your musical babies.
Panelists: Richard Flohill, Amy Mangan, Paul Mills, Candace Shaw, Rob Wozny, Michael Wrycraft

The Myth of the Festival AD – Saturday, October 19, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
North Studio 2
We’ve all heard the myths about festival ADs and how they book festivals. This is your opportunity to see behind the curtain and hear directly from active festival ADs about how they work, what they are looking for and how not to annoy them!
Moderator: Jane Harbury
Panelists: Tanya Gallant, Brad McEwen, Candace Shaw, Chuck Wentworth

Times are subject to change.

There are lots of great panels happening at the conference – you can check out the descriptions here.

Office Hours – Various, follow Candace on Twitter for times & locations

Got a project you want to talk about? Want to discuss theories about festival content and event promotion? Super-annoyed by her opinions? Grab her after one of her panels or follow her via Twitter to find out when she’ll be available for discussion.Curious about the conference experience? You can view this terrific video from the 2011 conference; there are even a few familiar faces from my hometown!2

  1. Formerly the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals! []
  2. Peterborough! []
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