(Toronto) As part of its ongoing work to build the Canadian folk music industry, Folk Music Canada is proud to announce its programming for the first edition of FolkNorth, an export-focused showcase event taking place in Toronto from November 30 to December 3, 2016.

Throughout the three days of showcase presentations, Folk Music Canada will present more than 20 artist performances, including a returning partnership with the English Folk and Dance Song Society entitled Crossing Borders.   This initiative pairs Canadian artists with UK  performers for a collaborative writing retreat, followed by in-the-round style performances.  For the 2016-17 partnership, Crossing Borders will feature Ontario artist Oh Susanna and UK artists Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage 
With more than 30 delegate ‘buyers’FolkNorth’s export focus will shine the spotlight on the Canadian folk scene, foster new artistic collaborations and build opportunities for artists to tour internationally.

Balanced with the export outlook is an industry development stream with workshops and peer meetings designed to help foster best practices within the Canadian folk industry through international dialogue with world class presenters, agents, record labels and managers.
FolkNorth strives to be a small-scale, high-level, invitation-oriented event designed to offer the exporting Canadian folk artist and industry a place to expand their business reach with an event anchored in Canada.  Deliberately designed to be ‘not another music conference’, the event places quality over quantity in its programming and professional development.
Find out more about FolkNorth’s offerings by visiting the event’s website here:
To preview a track from each showcasing artist, we’ve created a FolkNorth SoundCloud stream here:

Corin Raymond ON

Dave Gunning  NS

Digging Roots ON

Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys PE

Irish Mythen PE

Jenny Ritter Band BC

Kaia Kater ON

Les Poules à Colin QC

Matthew Byrne NL

Oh Susanna ON

Rob Lutes QC

Rosie & the Riveters SK

Sarah Jane Scouten QC

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin PE

The Bombadils QC

The Fretless SK

The Heartbroken ON

The Young Novelists ON

The Lonesome Ace Stringband ON

Kaitlyn and Ben  US

Jake Morley UK

Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage UK

Dana Beeler In the Dead of the Winter Festival Halifax
Jennifer Campbell Festival of Small Halls Presenter Charlottetown
Val Denn Val Denn Agency Agent Chester
Julie Fowler ArtsWells Festival Wells
Troy Greencorn Stan Rogers Festival Festival Canso
Matt Large Montreal Folk Festival Festival Montreal
Peter North Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival Salmon Arm
Kimberly Sinclair SpinCount Radio Halifax
James Keelaghan Summerfolk Festival Owen Sound
Carol Weatherall North Country Fair  Festival Driftpile
Maria Theessink Tonder  Festival Festival Tonder
Mark Anstey Unique Gravity Agent Chesterfield
Neil Pearson English Folk and Dance Song Society Venue London
Phil Simpson Strada Artists Agent London
Tom Sweeney Rootbeat Records Label London
Libby Brickson City Winery Venue Chicago
Dolly Chandler City Winery Venue Nashville
Cindy Cogbill The Levitt Pavillion Venue Memphis
Mollie Farr Lost Buffalo Artists Agent Nashville
Brad Hunt WNS Group Manager Lyndonville
Steve Johnson MerleFest Festival Wilkesboro
Mark Lourie Skyline Artists Agent Portland
Lee Mayer Houla Entertainment Agent Knoxville
Justin Nordell Philadelphia Folksong Society Presenter Philadelphia
Lisa Schwartz Philadelphia Folk Festival Festival Philadelphia
Anya Siglin The Ark Venue Ann Arbour
John Smith Free Dirt Records Label Washington
Steve Szymanski Planet Bluegrass Festival Lyons
Garry West Compass Records Label Nashville

This project has been made possible in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018 : Education, Immigration, Communities, and by Canada’s private radio broadcasters.
Ce Projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et à la Feuille de route du Canada 2013-2018 : éducation, immigration, communautés, et des radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.
We also acknowledge the support of Folk Music OntarioMusic PEI,  and Folk Alliance, as well as the promotional support of our event partner, SpinCount Promotions and Publicity and Penguin Eggs magazine.  We thank Bandzoogleand Marcato for helping to power the technological resources behind this event.

JUNE 1 2016

FolkNorth  – November 30 to December 3, 2016

Toronto, OntarioScreen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.51.38 PM

Bringing together more than 30 showcasing artists, 45 talent buyers from Canada and beyond, and many more key industry delegates, this event will showcase the best of the Canadian folk scene and foster international market development.

In its inaugural year, Folk Music Canada chose to position FolkNorth adjacent to the Canadian Folk Music Awards (December 2- 3) in order to help industry, artists and their representatives attend both events without incurring further travel costs to attend a stand-alone event.  We hope that artists and industry recognize the value of attending both FolkNorth and the Canadian Folk Music Awards during the same week.

UPDATE: the deadline to apply to showcase has now passed.  We may consider late applications but please contact us BEFORE submitting.

Big thanks to our sponsor Marcato for the wonderful platform powering our applications and the FolkNorth event!

DEADLINE: June 16, 11:59 PST (ie by end of day Thursday June 16)
Cost to apply: $25 for Folk Music Canada members, $40 for non-members
Folk Music Canada Members apply here: 
Non-Members of FMC apply here:

Announcement details below.

List of confirmed Export Delegates as at June 8, 2016

Name Company Role City Prov/State Country
Val Denn Val Denn Agency Agent Chester NS Canada
Kimberly Sinclair Spincount PR Halifax NS Canada
Anya Siglin The Ark Venue Ann Arbour MI USA
Hannah Ashwell Ashcroft Arts Venue Ashcroft UK
Cindy Cogbill The Levitt Pavillon Venue Memphis TN USA
John Smith Free Dirt Records Label Washington DC USA
Brad Hunt BGS Group Manager Lyndonville NY USA
Mark Anstey Unique Gravity Agent Chesterfield Derbyshire UK
Neil Pearson English Folk and Dance Song Society Venue/festival London UK UK
Matt Smith Club Passim Venue Boston MA USA
Tom Sweeney Rootbeat Label London UK UK
Phil Simpson Regency Agent London UK UK
Steve Szymanski Telluride BG Festival Festival Lyons CO USA
Steve Johnson Merlefest Festival Wilkesboro NC USA

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Folk Music Canada will be launching a new national showcase and industry event, to be held in Toronto from November 30 to December 3, 2016.  Called FolkNorth, the gathering will spotlight export showcases, foster Canadian folk industry and provide professional development to current and future generations of folk presenters and leaders.

Anchored in the goal of expanding market opportunities for the Canadian folk industry, and spotlighting the strength of Canadian folk talent on a world stage,  FolkNorth will showcase 24 of Canada’s best folk acts.  The event will also include showcases featuring 8 international artists as part of reciprocal partnerships with foreign music organizations destined to increase international trade relationships. To complement the showcasing activities, FolkNorth will invite 40 ‘buyer’ delegates to attend the event, and organize over 500 B2B meetings to foster market development.

“The Canadian folk music sector is a vibrant, productive and prolific component of the Canadian cultural fabric and industry.  It has, for decades, given rise to some of Canada’s most cherished cultural treasures, and some of our strongest artistic exports,” said Tamara Kater, Executive Director of Folk Music Canada.  “With  FolkNorth, we are thrilled to finally offer a space for our national folk music industry to focus on growth, development and investment for the future.”

With an anticipated attendance of 150 industry delegates,  three-day event is designed to be small in scope, focused on offering high-level opportunities to established Canadian artists, agents, managers and publicists, as well as providing the Canadian folk presenting community professional development opportunities.

In keeping with its mission, and as a response to the needs of the Canadian folk sector, the board of directors of Folk Music Canada has identified three key objectives and the related programming to be carried out at FolkNorth, an overview of which can be found below.

Applications to showcase at FolkNorth will open on during the week of May 23, and close Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at midnight PST.  Only export-ready and exporting artists will be considered.  More information about event registration, industry opportunities, cost to showcase and other  FolkNorth activities will be announced in the coming weeks.

Folk Music Canada will continue to offer an array of showcase and market development opportunities, at Canadian and international events, throughout 2016-17.  For more information on those activities, please consult our website here.

FolkNorth is made possible with the financial support of FACTOR, the Canada Council for the Arts, The Government of Canada and of Canada’s private radio broadcasters, and the support of our media and promotional partner,  SpinCount.


Folk Music Canada takes a broad and contemporary view of what defines Canadian folk music as a genre.  In fact, we believe that the very process of challenging the boundaries of folk music helps to define it.  We encourage artists, and their representatives,  from the following genres (and beyond) to consider participating in this event, and our ongoing activities: singer-songwriter, world, blues, contemporary folk, indie-folk, Americana, Canadiana, trad, Francophone and more.  



Objective Activities
Export showcasing and B2B development
  • Invite 40 domestic and international buyers to take part in the event (programmers, agents, managers etc)
  • Showcase 32 export-ready artists (24 Canadian, 8 international)
  • Matchmake more than 500 one-on-one, B2B meetings
  • Host daily networking mixers and receptions
Presenter professional development
  • Organize peer-led round-table discussions on best practices
  • Encourage group solutions to commonly faced challenges
  • Foster skill-building in the folk presenting sector
Industry mentorship and development
  • Offer FolkFutures – a mentorship program pairing 12 emerging folk leaders with established folk industry veterans (programmers, agents, managers, publicists etc)
  • Host peer-led workshops to building skills for the next generation of the folk industry
  • Moderate discussions on how to foster industry development within the folk sector


About Folk Music Canada:
Folk Music Canada is a membership organization that supports and promotes the Canadian folk music community and its industry.  We work to raise awareness about the importance, diversity and cultural value of all types of folk music in Canada. Visit Folk Music Canada on the web, “like” on facebook or “follow” on twitter.

Kimberly Sinclair | SpinCount Music Promotions