Women are still missing in the music industry. How do we change that?
Time & Location
About the Event
Moderator: Allison Outhi – Founder of the Alliance for Equity in the Music Industry
Erin Benjamin – Canadian Live Music Association
Alka Sharma – Folk Music Ontario
Yvete Angela – Blue Crane Agency
Gianna Lalonde – Side Door Access
Niko Stratis - Switchblade Music Group
ALLISON OUTHIT - Alliance for Equity in the Music Industry
Allison Outhit is a Toronto-based music industry executive with over 30 years in the cultural industries, including work with Outside Music, FACTOR, and Six Shooter Records. She is the founder of the Alliance for Equity in the Music Industry, a non-profit organization that educates, advocates, and develops championship for systemic change in Canada’s music industry.
Once a recording and touring artist herself, Allison is the recipient of the 2014 Halifax Pop Explosion Scene Builder Award and the 2019 Brian Chater Industry Award, given by the Canadian Independent Music Association in recognition of a transformative commitment to Canadian music.
ERIN BENJAMIN – Canadian Live Music Association
President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association since its creation in 2014, Erin Benjamin has worked in the music industry for over 25 years - first as a touring and recording artist and then as executive director of both Folk Music Ontario (2001) and the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (2008). Founder of the Ottawa women & gender non-conforming music community group and a passionate, highly-regarded leader, Erin currently serves the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Tourism and Cultural Industries pandemic-response Ontario Music Panel as co-chair, and Ontario Creates, National Arts Centre and Algonquin College advisory committees. Erin sits as a board member for the Ottawa Film Office, the Ottawa Board of Trade, the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest and the Unison Benevolent Fund. In 2017 she enjoyed roles as both the vice-chair of the Ottawa Juno Host Committee and co-chair of Canadian Music Week. In May 2019, she was honoured with the United Way’s Community Ambassador of the Year Award for her work in producing the impactful “After the Storm” benefit concert, raising tens of thousands of dollars for victims of Ottawa’s devastating September, 2018 tornadoes. Erin lives in Hintonburg with her awesome kids, son Oliver and daughter Toby, and their Golden Retriever, CharlieGirl.
ALKA SHARMA – Folk Music Ontario
Alka joined Folk Music Ontario as the Executive Director in 2013. Prior to that, she worked as the Interim Executive Director at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and spent many years as the Senior Manager of Operations with the Toronto International Film Festival. Alka has also worked at CBC Radio as the Associate Producer for Outfront and in campus/community radio in Ottawa, Guelph and Toronto. She is the President of the Ottawa Music Coalition Board of Directors and sits as the Treasurer for the Folk Alliance International Board of Directors, based out of Kansas City, Missouri.
GIANNA LALONDE – Side Door Access
Gianna works at Side Door as the Communications Manager and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Previously she worked in event management with the teams at Everyseeker/OBEY Convention and the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival. In Ottawa she worked in artist relations at Kelp Management (Andy Shauf, Lido Pimienta) and has co-produced MEGAPHONO Music Festival and Conference, the National Community Radio Conference, and Arboretum Music Festival. Gianna has a B.A. in Ethics with a minor in Journalism and was the Station Director at CKDU 88.1FM in Halifax from 2011-2015. Her music project is called Gianna Lauren.
YVETTE ANGELA – Blue Crane Agency
Yvette Angela is an agency associate at Blue Crane Agency, a global independent booking agency seeking to prioritize women and artists of color in North America and abroad. Additionally, Yvette consults with various musicians regarding administration, public relations, and artist development, often using her experience to build with underrepresented artists and help them tell their story.
NIKO STRATIS – Switchblade Music Group
Niko Stratis is the owner and operator of Switchblade Music Group, a Toronto-based artist agency and consulting company for trans artists in the music industry. With over 15 years in the industry, working with festivals, running a small record label, working as the ED of a Music Industry Association and more, Niko brings a wealth of knowledge to her work helping trans artists find their place in the industry and pushing the industry to make space for trans artists.