PROVINCIAL ASSOCIATION EXPANDS ITS SERVICES
Just in time to celebrate its 30th birthday, Alberta Music have opened their new Southern Alberta office on the second floor of the National Music Centre, right in the heart of Calgary’s bustling independent music scene. Tapping Lindsay Shedden as their program manager (South), the provincial music association hopes that this expansion into Calgary will result in greater representation for Southern Alberta artists, as well as greater visibility for the association and its services, in general.
“We do info sessions, we offer grants through Alberta Music, we offer grant assistance for things like FACTOR, AFA, and broadcasting grants that are available,” outlines Shedden, enumerating the vast array of services bands have at their disposal. “We have a free service where, every Thursday, bands can call into the Edmonton office, or go there in person, and get coaching for [grants]. We do info sessions on everything from record engineering, to making music videos and everything in between. We’re always open to new ideas, too, if any of our members feel like they’re missing out on a session that’s valuable to them.”
With a mandate to establish and promoted Alberta musicians nationally and internationally, Alberta Music are devoted to the province and its rapidly expanding scenes. Where we were once skipped over all too often for larger markets in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, many artists are seeing increased attention and visibility for their careers, which, in turn, translates to greater long-term viability and success.
“The main focus is to get Alberta artists on the map and help them grow their careers,” Shedden confirms.
One of the more exciting opportunities coming up for artists serious about furthering their careers is Alberta Music’s partnership with the PEAK Performance Project, a program run through the PEAK radio station (launching in Calgary this spring) that offers artists that make it through their gruelling bootcamp a massive, $102,700 prize.
“One of the reasons that the Calgary office came into fruition when it did is because of the PEAK Performance Project coming to town,” she says. In the past, the PEAK Performance Project featured 20 bands from all over British Columbia competing against each other. This year, 12 bands from BC and 12 bands from Alberta will compete for the top prize in their respective province. “Music BC runs the program alongside PEAK — any BC artist is eligible for that prize. It’ll be the same outline in Alberta and it’s open to all Alberta bands, even though it’ll be based in Calgary.”
Alberta Music’s next info session is an industry mixer aimed at helping bands learn how to market themselves. Join them on March 25 at Wine-Ohs starting at 7 p.m.
Words and photo by Sebastian Buzzalino