• Canadian Festival Report Card

    2017 Canadian Festival Report Card

    The 2017 Festival Report Card is here! For the past twenty years, the music industry has seen its stages dominated by men in most genres and scenes.  With the exceptions of the occasional women-focused festivals, like Lilith Fair, women have tended to see very little representation on stages, and nowhere is that more noticeable than at a festival, where sometimes hours can pass before a woman, a racialized person, or an LGBTQ, Two-Spirited, or Gender Non-Binary person walks on stage as a member of a band. With that in mind, we’ve been tallying up the numbers, and are presenting them below. We’d like to give a huge thank you to…

  • Articles,  Big Ideas,  Events,  Ontario

    Music City – A strategy

    The points I’ve included below – headlined ‘A Strategy for Music Peterborough‘ – was created with my hometown in mind, but swap out a few names and organizations and this would be useful in any city to frame the way you approach different sectors with a view to creating a cohesive push to highlight music (or, I think, almost any local art or cultural highlight) and create a Music City mentality. I’ve made a few edits from the original document to make explicit the sort of things that I take as a given, but which aren’t obvious to everyone (like gender parity, inclusion of racialized people, good working conditions, etc.). A…

  • Eaglewood Folk Festival
    Canadian Festival Report Card

    2015 Festival Report Card

    In 2015, two volunteers collected data on festival lineups in our second iteration of the Canadian Festival Report Card. This report graded Ontario festivals on gender parity on their stages. Here are the results: A    45% – 50%+ (2 festivals) Home County Music & Art Festival ON – 61.11% Summerfolk ON – 60% B    35% – 44% (3 festivals) Hillside Festival ON – 38.10% CityFolk ON – 37.84% Live From The Rock Festival ON – 36.84% C    25% – 34% (2 festivals) Eaglewood Folk Festival ON – 33.33% Mariposa Folk Festival ON – 30% D – 15% – 24% (1 festival) Northern Lights Festival Boreal ON –…

  • Folk Alliance International Showcase

    Folk Alliance International Showcase

    We’re heading on down to Kansas City in February with 3,000 of our closest friends and folkies to the Folk Alliance International Conference.  Secret Frequency’s own Candace Shaw will be there, presenting a showcase room of Trad & International artists. Private showcases are the gem of music conferences; they are the late-night, hotel-room, no amplification opportunities for artists to play to a very, very intimate crowd – as many people who can cram into a hotel room.  The next room over, there’s another band showcasing, and on and on, filling two full floors of the hotel with music and promoters and DJs and more.  You’re up against If you can…

  • Artists,  Manitoba,  Quebec

    Artist Spotlight: Claire Morrison

    There’s something about Manitoba; it’s not the largest Canadian province, nor the most populous, but something in the air or the water or the quality of the light seems to create a terroir ((That one’s for you, Eli!)) that informs and supports the growth of great musicians.  Is it the long Winters, or the support of amazing organizations like Music Manitoba, or some other, less tangible factor? I don’t know, but somehow Manitobans seem to consistently delight me. I first heard Manitoban/Montrealler Claire Morrison at the Folk Music Ontario conference this past Autumn; I was part of a panel called Demo Derby, where artists bring a demo of a song and,…

  • Ozere
    Artists,  Ontario

    Artist Spotlight: Ozere

    For the duration of my life, guitars have driven almost all of the music around me.  Whether they be sensitive strummers or wailing rock gods, they’ve been sort-of inescapable.  And as I’ve moved through different jobs as a music booker, I’ve found my ears got kind-of worn-out on the guitar; even great players rarely catch my interest.  It often feels like the possibilities of the guitar have been explored, past the comfort of familiarity and straight on to dull repetition, especially in the Folk community. ((Sorry, dudes, it’s just… y’know. I still love a lot of guitar-playing acts; it just rarely gets me all excited to hear a new guitar-based…

  • Band Advice,  Events,  Ontario

    Folk Music Ontario Conference

    The Folk Music Ontario Conference ((Formerly the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals!)) 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…

  • Articles,  Events,  Ontario

    Ideas: A small-town musical roadshow

    Ideas is a series talking about the communities, people, and ideas surrounding the music and culture industries. I love Ontario’s small towns; I grew up in one, a tiny village called Keene that, even today, is home to only about 500 people.  I’ve got no illusions about small-town life – it can be stifling and tortuous, especially for a young woman with unusual tastes who doesn’t fit in.  But there’s lots to be said for their sometimes-fading charms; heritage downtowns, odd little shops, idiosyncratic bits of architecture.  They’re monuments to a time when our country was more sparsely populated but prosperous, when travel was slower, and when even a small…