When we talk about the idea of gender representation at festivals, bookers often say they “just can’t find” bands or artists, that “there aren’t enough women/trans/non-binary artists,” that they’ve “tried but it’s reeeeeeally hard.”
These comments make those bookers look out-of-touch and bad at their job, but we figure that having a database of artists or bands made up of trans and cis women, trans men, and non-binary artists might be helpful, especially to bookers who are looking to improve their lineups and aren’t looking for excuses. So it took us a while, but finally it’s here!
Clicking the link will open a Google Doc in a new window, which lists artist/band name, website, province, and genre; you can sort the columns by artist/band name, province, or genre by clicking on the column letter and then going to the menu, clicking ‘Data,’ and clicking ‘Sort by column G A-Z’
It’s currently sorted A-Z by artists as the default, but we’ll be sure to change the default over time so you don’t sleep on our our W-through-Z siblings.
As of today, this list includes about 800 artists and bands, but it’s only a small slice of the skilled and talented people working in the Canadian music industry. This list is uncurated, but stuffed with kickass people making kickass music. If you’re looking for ways to make your lineups better, to book better artists, and to book a wider, more interesting range of artists, this list is an excellent starting point.
We’re also using it as a place to find cool people in the community to spotlight every week; you can see some of the artists we’ve featured so far here.
But I’m not on the list!
You can add yourself by filling out this form
This list is primarily designed to give music bookers a resource for booking festivals and other live shows, so yes, we absolutely welcome all music performers including DJs!
Please note that you won’t be automatically added to the list; our volunteer team will periodically go through new additions and update the database. This kind of thing can be catnip for trolls, and we want to weed our garden before putting it on display.
There’s an error in my listing!
Mistakes happen; please fill out the form to correct us!
There aren’t enough artists from this background/playing this genre/etc!
Yep, we’ve tried to get a broad range in there, but we can always do better. Please make sure to add yourself to the database by filling out this form and share it with artists or bands, especially those coming from backgrounds and genres that are under-represented.
Why bother listing what province the artist or band is from?
Some grants require bookers to book artists from outside of their own province; it’s handy for that reason.
What’s the point of this database?
We’re hoping it will mean that a broader, more exciting, and more interesting mix of artists get booked at festivals and shows across the country and around the world, making festivals/etc. better and by extension making the music industry and community better places to work and play. Y’know, no preshh.
I’m a music booker, and I book quality, not quotas
When you say that, it’s a tacit admission that you think cis men are the only ones playing ‘quality’ music. That’s both uncool and factually inaccurate.
If you can’t find high-quality artists or bands that include cis and trans women, trans men, and non-binary people, you’re bad at your job and you should step down so that someone more capable can take over.
I don’t like that you’re excluding Cis Men!
We’ve all got problems, I guess.