An ambitious inaugural project led by SaskMusic is looking to highlight and inspire women in the music industry for International Women’s Day.
A series of talks and concerts are being held in Prince Albert, Regina and Swift Current, with a fourth concert taking place in Saskatoon, in celebration of International Women’s Day. The events are supported by the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), a national group holding similar events nationwide.
Roundtable discussions aimed at people working in the music industry will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with all-ages concerts starting at 7 p.m.
In Prince Albert, the events are being held at Jam Street Music Sessions. All proceeds from the concert’s $10 admission will be donated to the Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women.
The event, which SaskMusic hopes become an annual occurrence, came about when FACTOR approached the provincial body.
“They provide funding support in the form of grants and investment funding for artists, record labels, music industry associations and the like,” said Lorena Kelly, communications and operations manager with SaskMusic.
“We’re doing four cities across Saskatchewan, which I believe is the most ambitious out of all of the provinces. But if you’re going to go, you might as well go big.”
The roundtable discussion will discuss barriers to women in the music industry and will provide a space to share thought and information.
“Oftentimes, it’s one of those situations where if you don’t see somebody doing something, you may not see yourself int hat role,” Kelly said.
“In these roundtables, we really want to get into some reasons why women aren’t seeing themselves in the role of producer or engineer or studio owner or venue programmer or graphic designer and that kind of thing because we do see a lot of women artists, but not as many on the technical side of things. We’d love to see more of that.”
It’s also an opportunity for people across multiple genres who may not collaborate often to get to know each other.
“We’re hoping to build community,” Kelly said.
“It’s easy to know a few people in your community, but you may not even realize how many people there are working locally if they’re outside of your genre. There might be people you’ve never met before.”
That could look like, for example, country artists and rock artists networking with hip hop artists.
“These kinds of events are great for making those connections.”
As for the concert, which is open to the public, the aim was to try to find artists with a variety of experience and from both inside and outside each community. In Prince Albert, that means local artists Mercy Glover and Liza Brown will share the stage with Atlanta Jane out of Goodsoil and Lisa Moen of Saskatoon.
“We’re really excited that we’re presenting some youth artists in each of the concerts,” Kelly said.
“We want to introduce audiences to a couple of up-and-coming artists, as well as some more established artists.”
Doors open for the concert at 6:30 p.m. It’s an all-ages event and children are welcome. SaskMusic is encouraging the purchase of advance tickets, as they expect the event to sell out. “Ten dollars is a steal for the number of artists, and all the proceeds are going to (charity),” Kelly said.
Tickets are available online.