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With the support of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is pleased to announce a new on-line program designed to provide musicians with tools to increase their ability to have a successful career in music.

UWJF is bringing together emerging and experienced artists for business training based on a "group-mentored" approach. This project is not limited to young emerging artists; we recognize that many of those interested will be in the process of a career transition.

“Musicians who graduate from Music Programs across the country are well-trained in many different disciplines involving the art of music,” said Cheryl Ewing, General Manager of the UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival.  “They study technique, composition, music history and even the technical aspects of recording and production, but they are not getting enough education on the business elements of a career in music.”

“This program will provide musicians who are just starting out with access to the knowledge and experience of established musicians.  There are many ways to carve out a career in the music business whether it be in performing, teaching, managing or music production,” said Ewing.  “Our hope is to help people just starting out find ways to develop their careers and experience success sooner.”

“The idea is to combine great theoretical knowledge and training with some practical ideas to help emerging musicians develop opportunities in the music business that are right for them. This program will also help participants develop networking connections,” she explained.

With the assistance of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, we are offering the following online workshops will be available on zoom starting at 7pm. To register go to

May 12: Touring & Selecting the Right Management/Agent for You with Richard Burrows 

May 19: Music Entrepreneurship with Barbra Lica

May 26: Marketing Your Music 101 with Amanda Kind

June 2: Career & Artistic Development with Dave Wiffen

June 9: Performing and Producing Live Virtual Concerts - Demonstration and Discussion with Chris McKhool & Sultans of String

June 16: Artistic Facilitation & Collaboration with Jason White

June 23: Showcasing & Pitching with Cheryl Ewing

For further information contact:

Cheryl Ewing, Festival Manager

Mentoring Program: About

WEDNESDAY MAY 12, 2021 7:00PM

Touring & Selecting the Right Management/Agent for You with Richard Burrows

Richard Burrows will discuss the perils and joys of touring throughout Canada and beyond. Hand in hand with a touring career is having management that understands your career goals that can assist in attaining them, and strategies around running one’s music career as a professional
As well as a celebrated musician, Richard Burrows is currently Artistic Director for Open Ears Music Festival and has first-hand experience with finding the best Agent to match the various stages of his career growth. 
His career has spanned North America, Europe, Mexico, Australia, and Asia. Richard has studied and performed with numerous artists that include: NEXUS, Evelyn Glennie (Scotland) and Synergy Percussion (Australia).  As an active freelance musician within his community and beyond, he has played with numerous orchestras throughout Ontario, performed and recorded with famed bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano in their duo “Stealth,” and with new music projects for InterArtsMatrix.  In 2012, Richard curated his first festival with Open Ears entitled Environmental Rhythms. This musical weekend included a performance of 70+ percussionists in John Luther Adams’ epic masterpiece, Inuksuit. Richard is a past principal cast member with ScrapArtsMusic and a founding member of TorQ Percussion Quartet.  TorQ has worked alongside many famous composers including Dinuk Wijeratne, Nicole Lizee, and Christos Hatzis. They have commissioned over 100 new works for percussion and have released four albums with critical acclaim. Richard is an artist for Yamaha Canada Music, Innovative Percussion, Black Swamp Percussion, Remo Percussion and Dream Cymbals and Gongs.

Mentoring Program: Text

WEDNESDAY MAY 19, 2021 7:00PM

Music Entrepreneurship with Barbra Lica

Barbra Lica presents an hour-long program to discuss strategies around running one’s music career as a professional small business. Topics include grant-funding; establishing passive revenue streams; applying for juried showcases; pitching to presenters; building promotional materials; strategic planning; and important considerations for building a team. Barbra Lica will showcase examples of her own work and elaborate based on classroom feedback. Appropriate for high school and post-secondary level students, as well as for new and emerging adult musicians. Suitable for classroom or community settings and festival events.

“Barbra Lica recently presented a masterclass on Music Business to the jazz majors at the University of Toronto. Her presentation was expertly planned and presented, with an appropriate balance of music and talk, peppered with her characteristic enthusiasm and honesty. She speaks clearly and confidently, encourages and addresses questions, and has a sense of how much information can effectively be imparted within a limited time frame. As with singing, she is a natural. The students loved her!”

 -Chase Sanborn, Lecturer / Masterclass Coordinator

University of Toronto Jazz Performance Studies

“An acclaimed singer, musician and songwriter, Barbra Lica is also an accomplished musical entrepreneur who understands the ins and outs of making a living making music. An excellent and relatable communicator, Barbra is generous in her willingness to share all that she has learned about the music industry.” 

-Blair Packham, Professor

Seneca College Independent Music Production Program

JUNO-nominated artist Barbra Lica is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter, arranger and producer. Barbra designed this workshop when she recognized that many musicians have never learned the skills they need to have a successful career. Topics may include (depending on time) grant-funding; building passive revenue streams; applying for juried showcases; pitching to presenters; building promotional materials; strategic planning; and important considerations for building a team.

She has performed around the world, from NYC’s Birdland to Toronto’s Koerner Hall to headlining at festivals throughout North America, Europe and Japan. In addition to writing for herself, Barbra has written cuts for such artists as jazz crooner Matt Dusk (Entertainment One/Universal), rising J-Pop singer Harumi (Sony Music Japan), and Taiwanese pop recording artist, Morrison Ma (Universal Music Group/X Entertainment). As a recording artist, Barbra has been ranked one of Canada’s Top 5 Jazz singers on the CBC, and her 2017 album, “I’m Still Learning”, was nominated for a JUNO Award in the category of “Best Vocal Jazz Album”. Barbra’s most recent project, “You’re Fine” (Justin Time Records), established a brand-new sound for Barbra, seamlessly blending jazz, country and folk influences. “You’re Fine” was recorded at Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville with award-winning Canadian engineer David Kalmusky (Journey) and Canadian producer/bassist Marc Rogers (The Philosopher Kings), and features Barbra’s touring band of musicians from across Canada playing alongside country music legends, Paul Franklin (Vince Gill) on pedal steel guitar and mutli-instrumentalist Wanda Vick Burchfield (Taylor Swift). Today, Barbra continues to develop her genre-bending style, writing and producing from quarantine including her brand-new Christmas single, “The Greatest Gift”.

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WEDNESDAY MAY 26, 2021 7:00PM

Marketing Your Music 101 with Amanda Kind

From optimizing your artist website and building your brand, to successfully utilizing social media tools to engage and grow your fanbase, Amanda will give you proven strategies to maximize your music marketing efforts efficiently and effectively.

Amanda Kind is a singer, songwriter, vocal coach, and marketer who has helped to launch the careers of many young artists. As a multi-faceted performer, she has appeared in everything from musicals and operas to jazz and pop/rock concerts. Amanda is also one of the region’s most in-demand vocal coaches primarily focused on contemporary commercial music. Amanda enjoys an accomplished and varied career in the arts as a solo performer, teacher & mentor, Artistic Director of KW Glee, and Director of Marketing for Drayton Entertainment, one of Canada’s largest professional theatre companies. Her efforts in the arts community have garnered her a Waterloo Region Arts Award, the Rogers Television Woman of the Year Award, and recognition as one of the region’s Top 40 Under 40.

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Career & Artistic Development with Dave Wiffen

Looking to maximize your career as a musician? Dave Wiffen will introduce you to opportunities you might consider leading to a full-time career as a musician while allowing you to deepen your relationship with your art form. 

Dave received a BMUS (performance) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Music (Jazz and Contemporary Media, performance) from the Eastman School of Music. He has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra across the US as well as Canada and Japan. He has also performed in England, Mexico, Dubai and the Netherlands. He has performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Manteca and have backed up such diverse artists as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Brecker, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski and The Temptations. He recently performed in a live PBS television special with the Tenors that has also been released as a DVD. He has also performed in a number of pit orchestras, including the Stratford Festival and the Toronto productions of The Producers and The Full Monty. Dave has appeared on numerous recordings including two Juno nominated CD’s as well as several nationally distributed television and radio commercials.

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Performing and Producing Live Virtual Concerts - Demonstration and Discussion with Chris McKhool & Sultans of String

Join us for a virtual demonstration and discussion with Chris McKhool of 3x JUNO Award nominees Sultans of String, focused on performing and producing live virtual concerts. In a typical year, Sultans of String would be busy touring around the world, thrilling listeners with their genre-hopping fusion of Celtic reels, flamenco, Gypsy jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms. However, with restrictions caused by the global pandemic, this creative group has spent the last year transitioning and perfecting the art of delivering virtual performance in their studio. Our discussion will include a look at the sound and video equipment utilized to effectively live stream their performances on widely available platforms, as well as software and special effects used to incorporate multiple camera angles, recorded audio and visuals, and much more. Chris will also discuss the importance of being flexible as musicians in the modern age, and how they think the skills and techniques they have learned will change the way they perform in the future.

Chris McKhool is a very successful children’s performer who has toured through all of Canada including Baffin Island and has appeared at the Ottawa, Vancouver, Thunder Bay and London International Children’s Festivals. He has also performed in the U.S, England, Cuba, Guatemala and Tibetan schools across the Indian Himalayas. He has mastered a lot of the knowledge required for keeping his career alive through the pandemic. He is also recognized as a great marketer by many of his presenting clients.

Chris (who has performed violin with Jesse Cook and Pavlo) also leads 3x JUNO nominated and 3x CFMA winning band Sultans of String, which includes such amazing musical friends as: guitarists Kevin Laliberté (Jesse Cook, the Chieftains) & Eddie Paton (Robert Michaels), bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), and Cuban master percussionists Chendy Leon (Jesse Cook, Parachute Club). Touring as a duo to quintet, McKhool draws from this collective of master musicians to bring world music to community, festival and intermediate/high school audiences around the world including the Celtic Connections Festival in the UK, Birdland jazz Club in NYC, Mariposa Folk Festival, National Arts Centre, and performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thompson Hall.

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Artistic Facilitation & Collaboration with Jason White

Jason will take you through a session on how to expand your creativity through working with other musicians and arts workers beyond music.

Jason White operates at the forefront of music-making and teaching in Waterloo Region. A co-founder of the acclaimed Jazz Room music venue, a resident pianist with the K-W Symphony, and a frequent collaborator with dancers, visual artists, architects, actors, and playwrights, his various performance projects have been seen in many venues running from jazz clubs and art galleries to 2,000-seat concert halls and back yards.  He has premiered more than 30 new works and will perform 10 new piano commissions in 2016, by composers from Canada, Germany, the United States, and Australia.  He is a frequent performer with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Academy Orchestra.

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Showcasing & Pitching with Cheryl Ewing

Interested in expanding your audience base by taking your music on the road? There are opportunities to facilitate this aspect of your career through presentations by multi-discipline presenters throughout Canada and the US. Cheryl will introduce you to the supporting structures and give you tips for navigating them.

Cheryl Ewing has over thirty years of experience in senior management and facilitation, strategic planning, new program development, and innovation for provincial and national organizations. On behalf of Ontario Presents, a provincial touring network, she has managed their annual showcasing conference for over a decade. She has been instrumental in designing an application process that is now used by over a dozen showcasing events throughout Canada and the United States. She also manages the UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival and has often presented artists whose work she respects as an independent presenter.

She has an understanding of the sector that includes most of the Canadian Regional Presenting Networks, key players in the touring sector and has been instrumental in designing workshops specifically for artists wishing to explore the world of touring.

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