Indigenous Emerging Artists Mentorship Intensive (IEAMI)

3 day mentorship – 5 Indigenous emerging artists; 5 Indigenous mentors; online showcases/pitches, 20 performances in 20 different MB communities

Meet the Mentees:

Sherri Shorting: Aaniin, I’m from the Little Saskatchewan F.N. I grew up in a family of musicians and grew up singing in church. Over the years my love for music has expanded into all genres and I listen to everything to get inspiration from other artists. I enjoy writing music and entering talent shows. Most recently I took an Indigenous Languages Program at Red River College and met three other fellow students who also have a love for music. We decided to form an Ojibwe music group and we call ourselves Nagamoodaa! (Let’s all sing). We write songs in Ojibwe and use it as a learning tool to encourage others to learn the language through song. Music is in my blood and I am passionate about both singing and my culture.
Watch Sherri’s performance here.

Martin Desjarlais, is Metis singer and songwriter from Winnipeg Manitoba. Growing up in a musical family, Martin began playing and singing at a young age. He honed in his musical skills through the cadet music program and various musical camps and workshops. Some of his biggest musical influences include Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams JR and Merle Haggard to name a few. His sound features classic country flare, with a modern Country-Rock twist. Martin is sure to have you dancing and toe-tapping in no time!
Watch Martin’s performance here.

Becky Lou: Becky grew up in the gateway to the Duck Mountain, a Métis village named San Clara, MB. When she was 4, she sang “Honey I’m Home” by Shania Twain at Back to Batoche Métis Days.  Eventually she picked up the guitar and learned basic chords from my dad, Douglas Martin. The last few summers she sang at the Roblin Rodeo and Agricultural Society. Recently Becky received 3rd place at the Muskeg Hidden Indigenous Talent Contest 2020 by Indigenous Music. Becky can be found on Facebook at Becky Lou Music. Becky says “she has always sang because she loves to”. Watch Becky’s performance here.

Norway Rabliauskas lives in Poplar River First Nation with his family which consists of his wife and three children. Norway grew up in Winnipeg but frequently visited back home in Poplar River. About 15 years ago he moved home to raise his family. He’s held numerous jobs around the community and started singing songs about 10-12 years ago. Norway started writing songs about 4-5 years ago. He’s entered multiple Talent Shows over the years including 3 NCI Jams, in which in the latest one in 2019 he placed 3rd. Some of his influences in music are The Tragically Hip (Gord Downie) and Blue Rodeo and his favourite genres to sing are Blues, Rock, and Country. Watch Norway’s performance here.

RIEL is a Métis Canadian Folk Artist that started performing in Thompson Manitoba in 2015. Since then he has performed at various settings such as coffee shops, house shows, arenas, live performance venues, and festivals across the country. He has been fortunate enough to perform with well-established folk artists such as Joshua Hyslop who has garnered over 130 Million streams on Spotify. RIEL’s unique style of storytelling incorporates a strong sense of family values, culture, as well as a love for Manitoba and the Prairies. Louis Riel once said “Our People will sleep for One Hundred years. But when they awake, it will be the artists that give them their spirit back. Which holds true to RIEL.
Watch Riel’s performance here.

Meet the Mentors:

Tracy Bone

Tracey –09 Juno Award Nominee & Multi-Award Winning Singer/Songwriter Tracy Bone has passionately ignited the flame to creating and birthing her 3rd studio Album “Keeps The Fire”.  After 7 years of self healing and discovery, Bone has poured her soul into this journey of creative self-love. She is also focusing on creating her unique and brand new Spiritual Based business “Trauma & Energy Healing” which is a holistic approach to complete wellness.

MJ Dandeneau

MJ Dandeneau is a French Anishinaabe / Métis woman born on Treaty 1 Territory. She is an accomplished bassist, tour manager and booking agent for Europe and Australia. MJ’s skills and versatility allow her to work across all genres of music, which has taken her all over the globe and nationally recognized with recording awards such as Canadian JUNO, WCaward & CFM-Award.Through her business, MJ Entertainment Canada Inc, MJ has been working with various artists worldwide for the past 15 years. She has helped numerous artists connect into the international touring arena serving as their booking agent, tour manager, as well as their touring bassist. MJ’s extensive music career has included industry sound designer, producer, board member and funding assessor. MJ’s key focus and passion are supporting and empowering indigenous artists in successfully navigating the international market.

Indigenous Music Development Coordinator: Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais is a multi-award-winning journalist/broadcaster/writer who’s been on Canada’s media scene for nearly two decades. Over the years she’s spent time at CTV News, APTN and NCI FM. She was honoured to win first place for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge in 2008 for her play, Notay Kiskintamowin “Wanting to Know”, the same year she was named a National Aboriginal Role Model by the Governor General of Canada—and graduated from the University of Winnipeg.

A highly sought master of ceremonies, event planner, promoter, advocate, speaker, volunteer, marriage commissioner and karaoke connoisseur, Shaneen loves to keep a packed schedule and also sits on the board of directors for Bear Clan Patrol Inc. and The Canadian Folk Music Awards. She has showcased Indigenous artists and their music throughout her career and is proud to be the Indigenous Music Development Coordinator for Manitoba Music. Above all Shaneen’s most important role in life is at home with her husband Martin and their sons Sampson and Marrick.

Indigenous Program Coordinator: Rhonda Head

Rhonda has received 14 nominations in total and won six international music awards since she began her music career in 2010.  Rhonda has had the opportunity to perform in some of the most amazing venues – Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Centre, the Viper Room, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 5 Lands Walk Festival in NSW, Australia, and numerous other venues.  Rhonda also recently released an autobiography called Mezzo-Soprano – Memoirs of a Rez Girl.  It wasn’t always an easy road for Rhonda, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 22.  Rhonda took a year off to recuperate from the 11.5 hour surgery.  When she thought her life was back on track she received devastating news when she was 30 that the tumour grew back.  Once again, she took time off and took care of her health.  Despite the setbacks and challenges, Rhonda continued to follow her passion of music.

Rhonda is pleased to share her music with you.  Rhonda says, “Follow your heart, before your mind changes it.”

About the Program:

The program will be executed from July 2020 – November 2020: 

1.         Marketing/outreach of the program – June/July 2020
2.         Call for submissions and jury – July/August, 2020
3.         Online orientation session September, 2020
4.         In person mentorship – October,4-7, 2020
5.         Showcase performance recording – October 7, 2020
6          Sharing Circle – October 7, 2020
7.         Online Pitches to presenters/buyers – November, 2020
8.         Online Pitch debrief and next steps

3. Mentorship (in person)

Artists will develop lasting relationships with the mentors and learn many of the skills needed to further their growth as musicians. This program is for musicians, in the early stages of their career, that have never showcased before. Over the course of 2.5 days musicians will learn about: applying to showcases, jury process, performing to 40+ buyers and networking. This program will produce musicians ready for professional provincial, national & international showcases.  

Key learning components of the mentorship will include:

On the last day of the mentorship each participant will perform three songs which will be recorded and edited and distributed as part of the online showcase/pitch. 

-Master Class – an intimate circle with mentors and emerging artists – mentors will take turns performing and will have a Q & A.
-One on One mentorship
-Songwriting Workshop
-Performance  Workshop
-Power Point Presentation on MAN Showcase
-Mentor’s showcase 
Recorded Showcase

Online Showcases/Pitches

Due to Covid-19 in lieu of live performance showcases (which in previous years occurred at our annual conference in October, which is cancelled this year) we will coordinate online showcases/pitches for the emerging Indigenous artists to an audience of 25+ rural and remote host communities/presenters (Indigenous and non-indigenous). Each Artist will have an opportunity to present their showcase reel followed by a short interview and moderated Q&A.