Music P.E.I. executive director Rob Oakie said although recognizing the accomplishments of its members and featuring them during shows at various venues across the Island is a big part of the week, providing tools to performers to grow their career is vital.
“As far as the conference component goes, there are loads of workshops. I think we put together our best conference yet,” said Oakie. “We hired Shannon Pratt to be our conference co-ordinator. She’s done an outstanding job. We have people from across Canada coming in. We have panels for things like music supervisors and those are the people that put music in TV and film.”
Known as Music P.E.I. Interactive, the annual conference component kicks off Jan. 31 with two sessions — an information session by Canada Council for the Arts and a “boutique” workshop by SOCAN, both taking place at Globe World Flavours in Charlottetown.
Workshops continue on Feb. 1 and 2, with all session taking place at venues in Charlottetown.
“We’ve got some fantastic producers coming in. Their names may not mean anything to people because they work behind the scenes but they work with some top artists in Canada,” said Oakie. “We’ve got panels about where’s the money and it’s all abut what kind of funding is available and we’ve got different funding agents coming in.”
A two-day workshop, the only one with a registration fee, will focus on the organizational end of putting together a festival.
“It can be any type of festival, not necessarily a music festival,” said Oakie. “We’re bringing in three of the brightest minds in festival organizing in Canada to put this workshop on.”
Oakie said the Island music scene only continues to grow, with several artists moving beyond the border, to share their music, which is why the conference component has become so popular and important.
“There’s always been an incredible amount of talent here. What’s happening now is we are just seeing more and more of it getting out in the world. We have more artists touring nationally and internationally now then ever before,” he noted. “You used to be able to count on one hand, and even half of one hand, how many artists toured outside of Canada. Now, there are close to a dozen artists that are touring from one end of the country to the other and beyond.”
To register or find out more about what’s on offer, visit www.musicpei.ca.