Business Accelerators

Presented in Partnership with

Folk Alliance International is proud to announce the creation of three Business Accelerators in partnership with Berklee Online on February 13, 2019, the Wednesday before the annual conference. Designed to build core skills for emerging professionals there will be three separate and concurrent programs for artist entrepreneurs, managers, and agents.

Each accelerator will present a full day of sessions with topics designed to guide your career and connect you with peers and mentors that will be valuable in the short and long term. Session topics may include goal setting and strategic career planning, legal issues, publishing and licensing, touring marketing and branding, budgeting and finances.

The sessions have limited enrollment, to keep classes small and ensure maximum engagement between speakers and students.

Meet Your Facilitators!

Business Accelerator for Agents

Presented in Partnership with Berklee Online

Designed for agents with a small roster, discover best practices and expert advice to guide you through key issues and strategies in building a successful career as an agent. 

Facilitator: Val Denn

The Val Denn Agency was opened in 1994 when Val began booking legendary Texas songwriter, Ray Wylie Hubbard. It has grown to 10 artists with a concentration on working with singer-songwriters and also working with artists from Atlantic Canada.

Val served for four years on the Board of Directors for Folk Alliance International where she was President. She is a mentor at SXSW for 15 years and serves on numerous panels at industry events. She has worked with Folk Music Canada, helped to implement the export development programs at Folk Music Ontario and at FA, and facilitated programs at WOMEX. Val is the Canadian Ambassador for The House of Songs based in Austin, Texas.

Business Accelerator for Artist Entrepreneurs

Presented in Partnership with Berklee Online

Sponsored By Bandzoogle and CD Baby

Addresses key elements to building your career as an artist. Topics will focus on the tools and skills needed to manage the varied business roles an artist needs to be versed in to grow a career in today’s music industry.

Facilitator: Amanda Martinez

Canadian singer/songwriter Amanda Martinez has traveled the world with her music headlining the Blue Note jazz club, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games in Mexico and Canada. Amanda won Best World Music artist (Toronto Independent Music Awards) and has received multiple nominations as Latin Jazz Artist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards. She has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians by the Minister of National Revenue.

Amanda has had acting roles on film and television most recently for the series Suits, NBC’s Designated Survivor, and CBC’s Kim’s Convenience. Ms. Martinez is a musical ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages Canada and her passion is empowering Artist Entrepreneurs through her workshop series The Artist Office. Amanda is a member of Toronto’s Music Advisory Board and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario and an International Masters in Business from York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Business Accelerator for Managers

Presented in Partnership with Berklee Online

Build the necessary skills required to be a successful manager. Hear expert advice and discover insights to help you navigate the opportunities and challenges in taking an artist’s career to the next level.

Facilitator: Susan de Cartier

Susan de Cartier began her career in artist management working with Blue Rodeo and Crash Vegas at The ACT/Risque Disque in Toronto. In the mid-90’s she formed Starfish Entertainment and began to develop both the company and its roster. Now representing some of the best bands Canada has to offer, Susan has guided Blue Rodeo on to become one of the most successful bands in Canadian history, selling over four million albums worldwide to date.