Indigenous Music Conference Announces 2018 Delegates

The Manito Ahbee Festival's Indigenous Music Conference has expanded to two days in 2018, May 17 and 18. At the Delta Winnipeg Hotel, industry professionals will sit down with musicians and other music industry members for round-table discussions and one-on-one meetings about various topics, including management, publicity, marketing, festivals, radio and more.

The Indigenous Music Conference gives Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and industry members a free opportunity to learn about how they can take their careers to the next level.

Delegates include:

  • Bill Leblanc – Artist, New Leaf Entertainment
  • Billy Simard – Award Winning Artist
  • Charlie Wall-Andrews – Executive Director, SOCAN Foundation
  • David McLeod – CEO, Native Communications Inc.
  • Elaine Bomberry – Artist Manager, Murray Porter
  • Emily Smart – Director of Marketing & Publicity, Six Shooter Records
  • Jeff Leake – Director Music Programming, SiriusXM Canada
  • Julien Desaulniers – Artistic Producer, Festival du Voyageur
  • Kerry Clarke – Artistic Director, Calgary Folk Music Festival
  • Michelle Szeto – Artist Manager / Tour Marketing Director, Paquin Entertainment Group
  • Stephen Carroll – Manager, Music Programs, Manitoba Film & Music
  • Vanessa Kuzina – Artist Management Associate, Six Shooter Records
  • and more

Manitoba Music’s SoundCheck study reflects the music industry is moving towards musicians being responsible for nearly every aspect of their career. Now artists need to know everything about everything, and that can often be overwhelming when you’re trying to create music. This makes conferences like this more valuable than ever as it will help give artists some fundamental tools to help manage their careers.

The Indigenous Music Conference event is FREE. Advance registration is required, and space is limited. Registration opens April 19 at


 Bill Leblanc
Artist, New Leaf Entertainment
Sharing the stage with contemporaries like Run DMC, The Game and childhood heroes Buffy Sainte-Marie and The Guess Who, Rellik’s musical journey has been a dream come true for someone who has overcome adversity and truly flourished. 

Billy Simard
Billy won the Manitoba Association of Country Music songwriter of the year award in 1991. In 1999 he also took home the award for Country/Folk Album of the year in the first Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. He was inducted into the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

Charlie Wall-Andrews
Executive Director, SOCAN Foundation
In her position at the SOCAN Foundation, which fosters Canadian music creation by providing grants and awards, she specializes in Corporate Social Responsibility, strategy, revenue generation, and entrepreneurship.

David McLeod
CEO, Native Communications Inc.
David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation) is the CEO of Native Communications Incorporated (NCI-FM), which operates a Manitoba wide radio network, heard from Winnipeg to Churchill via 57 transmitters and the Winnipeg station NOW Country 104.7 FM.

Elaine Bomberry
Artist Manager, Murray Porter
Elaine is Ojibway/Cayuga, from Six Nations, Ontario. She has worked as a freelance Indigenous Arts activist/promoter/producer for 31 years. For 12 years running, Elaine manages Juno winner, Native blues piano man, Murray Porter. 

Emily Smart

Director of Marketing & Publicity, Six Shooter Records
Emily is the Director of Marketing & Publicity at Six Shooter Records (Tanya Tagaq, Whitehorse, etc), and owner of independent publicity company Tire Fire Press (Aakuluk Music, Heavy Bell, Beatrice Deer & more). 

Jeff Leake 
Director, Music Programming, Sirius XM Canada
Jeff has interviewed the biggest names in entertainment over his 20+ years in radio. Leake made a true impact in the Canadian music industry when he signed on to launch the Canadian indie music channel The Verge.

Julien Desaulniers
Artistic Producer, Festival du Voyageur
Julien is the Artistic Director for Festival du Voyageur, Western Canada’s largest winter festival. Celebrating the Franco-Manitoban culture, the festival features over 150 artists from a huge range of genres and styles.

Kerry Clarke
Artistic Director, Calgary Folk Music Festival
Kerry entered the independent music world through community radio 30+ years ago. She’s the long-time artistic director of the Calgary Folk Music Festival – a 39-year ‘post-folk’ festival that sees daily audiences of 13k.

Michelle Szeto
Artist Manager / Tour Marketing Director, Paquin Entertainment Group
Michelle got her first taste of the industry working in concert production for superstars, Oasis, Celine Dion and more. Today, she manages award-winning artists Donovan Woods & Lindi Ortega.

Stephen Carroll
Manager, Music Programs, Manitoba Film & Music
Before starting at MFM, Stephen achieved international recognition as a member of the JUNO-nominated band The Weakerthans. Stephen was awarded Manager of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2013.

Vanessa Kuzina
Artist Management Associate, Six Shooter Records
Vanessa works closely with artists such as Polaris Prize winner Tanya Tagaq, Juno winners Whitehorse, punk-grass Juno winners The Dead South, Rheostatics and avant-pop newcomer Ensign Broderick. 

Lor Brand