2018/2019 Touring Artists

All of these artists will be available for bookings as part of the Manitoba Arts Network Fall/Winter 2018/19 Performing Arts Touring Season.
From folk, roots and country to classical, dance and theatre there’s a little something for everyone, including the kiddies and those of us who could use a little more magic.

Check out our YouTube playlist of our Showcase Artists!

Gearshifting Performance Works

Dance | Manitoba

Gearshifting Performance Works is a not for profit organization and a registered charity, dedicated to contemporary dance. Jolene Bailie/Gearshifting Performance Works has presented shows annually in Winnipeg since 2000 and toured extensively. The work has been self-presented and produced on hundreds of occasions as well as presented by nationally and internationally recognized companies, presenters, museums, festivals and art galleries. Select credits include: Today Art Museum (Beijing), Xi’an Art Museum (Xi’an), The Joyce SoHo (New York City), The National Gallery of Canada, The National Arts Centre’s Prairie Scene, International Solo Dance-Theatre Festival (Stuttgart), The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and collaborative projects with Visual Artist, Wanda Koop. For Manitoba tours, the company presents an energetic program of short works performed by an ensemble of dancers. gearshifting.org

James and Jamesy

Theatre/Comedy  | Manitoba

2016’s CANADIAN COMEDY AWARD WINNERS for BEST LIVE ENSEMBLE, and 16-time ‘BEST OF FEST’ winners, James & Jamesy tour Canada annually with their wildly successful British Comedies: 2 for TeaHigh TeaO Christmas Tea, and James & Jamesy in the Dark. James & Jamesy is Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles in collaboration with David MacMurray Smith. Their shows are truly fun riffs on British farce that are steeped in playfulness, meticulous physical comedy, and an unabashed love for the unexpected. With loveable characters, rich emotion, and fantastical trips of the imagination, the duo create immersive performances that remind adult audiences of the children they once were – and still are. Since 2013, their performances have delighted over 60,000 Canadians coast-to-coast and have been performed at many of Western Canada’s premiere theatres. They were the top grossing show at the Winnipeg Fringe in 2016, and are considered “one of the most popular fringe duos ever” by CBC.

Don Amero

Country | Manitoba

Don Amero is a powerful stylist, Juno nominee and engaging storyteller. His first four albums generated nine national and international awards, as well as one Juno nomination in 2013 and two in 2016. His tireless work ethic, talent, ambition, and determination have also made him an inspiration to Aboriginal youth. Raised in the notoriously tough north end of Winnipeg, Don faced his share of adversity growing up. Yet, despite the poverty, gangs, drugs, and violence that surrounded him, his life was tempered by love, support, and faith in a higher power. With silky vocals, a lovable stage presence, and a soulful sound that’s been likened to Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, Don brings his own brand of percussion‐style guitar play and delightful approachability to every corporate function, gig, and festival he plays. Don will be showcasing with Amero Little Christmas with a few original songs as well as his own take on some more familiar and traditional Christmas songs.

Zal Sissokho and Buntalo

World | Quebec
zalsissokho.caNot all West African musicians are griots, the conveyers of the oral traditions of the Kouyaté, Diabaté and Sissokho castes, the three major family groups that continue to hand down the memory of the Mandingo peoples. Zal Idrissa Sissokho has not only the name but also the traditions and background of this culture, in addition to an incredible talent for improvisation. Zal plays the kora and sings melodies, in both the Malinke and Wolof languages, that are inspired by or that borrow from the traditions of West Africa. In March 2017, Zal Sissokho and his group Buntalo released a third album: La Palabre. The palaver is the junction of words and action: say what one does and do what one says. By tackling the actual and overarching themes of society, Zal Sissokho playing with the unique sound of his kora and invites to a journey. His Afro-Mandingo accents, his mixed infuenced compositions and his committed words are again put forward, rising hope and rich collaborations.

Chloé Dominguez & Janelle Fung

Classical | Prairie Debut Artist
A synchronistic musical style, cellist Chloé Dominguez and pianist Janelle
 make even the most complex music written for these two instruments seem effortless and fluid. This duo truly brings a beautiful presentation of the cello and piano literature. Come revel in the fanciful and imaginary worlds created by the magic of music. Let cellist Chloe Dominguez and pianist Janelle Fung take you on a sublime and mystical journey inspired by fables, from Russian folklore to Italian commedia dell’arte to a child-like fantasy of princess and prince. This program delves into the hearts and minds of great composers like Beethoven, Stravinsky, Janacek, Louie, and Frank. Hear what happens when fairy tales and music merge blend and blossom. The combination of cello, with its intrinsic singing qualities, and piano, with its infinite colour palette, instill a profound dimension to these works. This concert will charm, enchant and move audiences, seasoned or newcomers, to the rich sonorities of this instrumental duo.

Sarah Hagen

Comedy | Ontario

Awarded as the BC Touring Council’s 2015 Touring Artist of the Year for her role as “classical pianist,” Sarah Hagen shines equally in small halls and on big stages. With an enthusiastic career taking her all the way to Carnegie Hall as a First Prize Winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Sarah has combined her excellent playing and sense of fun into “Perk up, pianist!”, a stand-up, or rather, sit-down piano-filled comedy. Described as “one of the best hours I’ve ever spent at the Fringe” [The Coast (Halifax)], “Perk up, pianist!” Is a uniquely charming music and storytelling experience through which “Hagen reminds us the beauty of how an honest solo performance can make you so easily fall in love with its performer.” [Montreal Rampage]


Folk/Bluegrass | Manitoba

CASATI’s music is a unique blend of folk and jazz that strikes a balance between sincere and direct words supported by musical inventiveness.  CASATI brings their music to life with lush three part harmonies and rich textures created with ukulele, guitar, double bass sometimes a hurdy-gurdy.  Audiences have come to expect complete honesty from CASATI and the trio unwaveringly delivers in their lyrics and banter.  The band tells stories to set the tone of the songs, engaging the audience before a single note has been played.  The lyrics are not used to mask the meaning but to elaborate on it.  The songs cover a range of emotions, from realizations that took years to put into words to moments of pure happiness and humour.

Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane

Roots/Traditional | Yukon
tentrees.caMaster storyteller and multi-instrumental performer Gordie Tentrees has arrived.Yukon based, Ontario raised, farm boy, golden glove boxer, school teacher, youth counselor turned folk artist Tentrees has released 6 records touring North America, UK, Australia and Europe up to 200 concerts each year, nominated for Western Canadian Music Awards, International Song Competitions and toured with Fred Eaglesmith, Steve Poltz and Mary Gauthier. In 2015 he joined legendary Canadian mutant bluegrass picker Jaxon Haldane performing 450 concerts in 11 countries featured at Celtic Connections (Glasgow, Scotland) and National Folk Festival (Canberra, Australia). Together with 10 instruments -banjo, dobro, cigar box guitars, musical saw, acoustic guitar, porch board bass, harmonica, snare tam, mandolin, & brotherly harmonies, they will make their Manitoba debut.

Brent and Sarah

Variety/Comedy | Ontario
brentandsarah.comUnlike a traditional male magician and female assistant, Brent and Sarah are a unique husband and wife team with a style all their own. They travel North America with their one-of-a-kind show and together they combine magic, comedy, live music, improvisation and interactive audience participation in a way that feels more like a two person variety show than a traditional magic act. The show is sure to amaze and impress, but it is Brent and Sarah’s hilarious personalities and on-stage chemistry that keep audiences raving about the dynamic duo! Brent and Sarah have created a true family show. One that will delight and entertain everyone from children and teens to adults and retirees alike. They never disappoint!

Jayme Giesbrecht & Jonathan Alexiuk

Popular/Jazz | Manitoba

Powerful, soul-inspired, and moving vocals are what you can expect when listening to the music of Jayme Giesbrecht. She got her start singing in church at 11 years old, but was quickly recognized in the Winkler-area as a gifted vocalist, and “the little girl with the big voice”. Jonathan Alexiuk currently spends months at a time as a cocktail pianist on cruise-lines like Princess and Holland-America. He played multiple instruments with the Air Command Band from 2004- 2007, and has performed and recorded as a pianist, trumpeter, saxophonist, trombonist, drummer, and is a largely self-taught arranger. The duo met at a Manitoba Choral Society event in 2009, where they hit it off musically, and decided to join forces to bring their jazz and gospel styles together! Audiences are always delighted, and moved to hear the musicianship of this dynamic duo.

Renee Lamoureux

Popular | Manitoba
​Renée’s new album ‘Dare to be You’ is music with big ambition; anthemic, heartening tunes that assert exuberance, campaigning to raise your spirits and stand true to the person you were meant to be. Her concert reflects that positive message; a feeling that anything is possible to achieve when you set your mind to it.  Renée’s sound is a cross between Serena Ryder and Sara Bareilles; adult contemporary music appealing to audiences aged 30-50 years old.  Her French-Métis heritage allows Renée to tap into her french side of music inviting a different element to the show.  Renée’s words strongly speak about empowering yourself and her quirky personality and banter will have you laughing as she shares her personal stories in between songs.

Desiree Dorion

Country | Manitoba

Her voice is as smooth as her worn in leather cowboy boots. Her music is as country as the gravel roads around her hometown in Dauphin Manitoba. The Juno award nominee strikes a chord by finding the commonalities in us all. Her songs will leave your toes tapping and your heart smiling. Dorion’s latest release, “Small Town Stories,” garnered her some hard earned attention. The album received nominations at the 2014 JUNO Awards, 2014 WCMA’s and 2014 & 2013 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.  Honesty, emotion, and work ethic are some of the defining attributes of Dorion. These coupled with her gift for songwriting, and her versatile voice (at times reminiscent of greats like Dolly Parton) are what sets this country crooner apart.

The Swinging Belles

Jazz/Blues/Family | Newfoundland
The Swinging Belles, a swing band for kids from St. John’s, NL, are intent on getting both kids and adults to kick up their heels and have a swinging good time with the whole family! The Swinging Belles feature child educators and performers Laura Winter and Erin Power joined by guitarist extraordinaire Duane Andrews. This show is about getting kids and parents out to have a dance and enjoy some swing country and jazz … kid style. As primary school teachers, both Laura and Erin know first hand the joy that kids feel when they can boogie to some good time music, and as parents, Duane and Erin know the importance of enjoying the music that our kids are listening to! The show is packed with music, interactive storytelling and lots of dancing!

John Wort Hannam

Roots/Traditional | Alberta
Perhaps it’s the growing list of accolades, which these days include a Juno nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Album of the Year, a Galaxie Rising Star Award and a Kerrville New Folk title, or perhaps it’s the lofty comparisons reviewers have made to Tom Russell, W.O. Mitchell and Margaret Laurence. Whatever it is, Lethbridge-based, folk-­‐roots musician, John Wort Hannam Trio is making music with a new found confidence these days. 15 years into his career and he is far and away writing his best material yet. John has released 6 recordings in 13 years with performance highlights that include winning the Kerrville, Texas New Folk Song Competition, collaborating with the Calgary Philharmonic, composing the 50th Anniversary song for his alma mater, University of Lethbridge, composing the 2012 Alberta Winter Games official song and playing the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

Mark Correia

Variety/Comedy | Ontario
Mark Correia is a world renowned magician, actor and world record holder with over fifteen years of experience. After specializing in comedy and drama at Etobicoke School of the Arts, he was accepted into the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada as one of only twelve students in his year. Mark has appeared in a variety of productions on Toronto stages including Tarragon, Passe Muraille, Factory, and Harbourfront. When not performing publicly, Mark tours his magic to private events around Canada. He also makes regular appearances on Television through his magic, and has been featured on every major Canadian broadcasting network. Along with his chosen executive team, Mark is the brains and talent behind Escaping Parkinson’s—a stunt supported by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and Michael J. Fox himself—raising over $15,000 in one summer.


Folk/Bluegrass | Yukon
magnumom.caDiyet’s story is revealed through her voice and music, delivered with passion, emotion and a sparkly humor that leaves the audience feeling uplifted and curious about life in the North. In addition to performing, Diyet has developed her other passion for empowering youth, especially First Nations youth, in songwriting and collaboration with her community outreach workshops.“Music is food for the soul. It opens the path to connect directly with our spirit. It motivates and inspires us. The act of musical collaboration is not only about sharing a stage, it teaches us about respect, openness, self-awareness and confidence.” Diyet’s trio will showcase music from her recordings including We Got A Story, In Our Nature, 8th Wonder, and Like a Drum (from her latest two albums). Her lyrics paint a vivid picture of her surroundings and the happy and heartbreaking things that happen in her world.

Father-and-sons trio, The Janzen Boys, got their start busking as a rootsy, harmony-singing family playing. After racking up almost 4000 views on YouTube in the University of Winnipeg’s Uniter Fiver contest for new bands, they were chosen for a finalists showcase at Winnipeg’s iconic West End Cultural Centre. From there the ball started to roll and soon their schedule was filled with house concerts and festival gigs all over the province. In addition to song-writing and performing at the Fringe Festival, the band has performed at Dauphin CountryFest, The Fire and Water Festival in Lac du Bonnet and the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon.

Mika-Dawn is a well-known southern prairie sweetheart who has captivated audiences from a very young age. Since she began writing her own music at age 15, her sweet vocals and honest story-telling has left audiences entranced. Hailing from the town of Pilot Mound, Mika`s songs tell the story of her rural Manitoba life, its challenges, beauty and sorrow. By bringing a clear sound and a folky attitude into her music, Mika-Dawn is beginning to make a name for herself in the music world. She released her EP “Oil Man” in September of 2015, and the title from that album took her to the top 10 nationally in CBC’s 2015 Searchlight Contest.

inger-songwriting Ila Barker continues to take Winnipeg by storm with her unique lyrics and large personality.  With soul and voice well beyond her years, Ila has been building her career organically.  Currently, Ila is working on developing her second release and is working with producers including Juno award winner Murray Pulver.  Past performances have included the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival Stringray Young Performers Program and Aboriginal Music Week. Ila has also seen success on the radio internationally, maintaining tracks in the top ten National Indigenous Music Countdown.