Back near the end of July last year, the CMAO held its annual AGM and elected its board members. One of the two new additions was Amanda Power. And ‘Power’ is a good name for this lady. When she walks in a room she crackles with electricity and enthusiasm. Focused, forceful, determined, yet businesslike, she can be an astute presence at a board meeting… But just as quickly make a joke and fall into easy laughter. Her advice: “Work hard and be nice to people. What goes around, comes around.” Well, it’s sure come around for her. Let’s see how she got here:
Amanda, the youngest of two sisters, was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, to a family originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Her father had been working on ocean tankers since the time he was 14 (he lied about his age). Once he and his wife settled into family life, they eventually made the move for a job at General Motors in St. Catharines, where Amanda was soon born. Growing up listening to the music her mom favoured – Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Kenny & Dolly – she always had lots of music and family around her. Getting a dog at age 3 started her lifelong love of animals. She currently has a dog and two cats.
What music does she like to listen to? In her own words, “I love, love, love listening to 90’s country…..that is the music that made me want to be in this industry.”
As a young girl, she attended Niagara College and went for a Marketing Diploma. She decided to combine the things she loved – music, marketing and people – and try and find a job in the music business. She soon found herself accepting an intern job at Spirit 91.7 and worked as a receptionist in the mornings and learned the workings of the Promotions Department in the afternoons. That led to a CMT connection and Amanda soon landed a job on a CMT Promotional Marketing Team in Calgary. In fact, she was so determined she was going to get that job that she purchased a one-way ticket! (That’s why it’s called Amanda Power-‘Power’).
While in Alberta, she had some time free time on her hands once her term contract concluded and wound up volunteering at the Canadian Country Music Association office for Country Music Week 2001. That, in turn, led to a 5 year span working for the CCMA as Awards & Events Logistics Manager, Membership Services Coordinator, Artist Relations… almost every position they had. Since those days, Amanda has held prestigious positions in many of the industry’s top companies: CARAS/The JUNO Awards, EMI Music, Gibson Guitars and presently, she works with World Vision Canada.
Working with World Vision Canada, Amanda has had some of her most memorable moments. “On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic with Michelle Wright for World Vision, we took to the field to see the work World Vision does first hand – the impact sponsorship truly has on not only the children, but the entire community” says Amanda.
“Providing clean water, health care, education….the impact is amazing. We went to many communities and saw children thriving, parents operating their own businesses, happy & healthy people.” But on the other side of the coin, Power also says, “I’ve never experienced poverty like I saw….it felt as though I had stepped onto a TV commercial shoot… completely unreal. It’s difficult to comprehend that people live in terrible conditions their entire lives, but they were happy to have us visit, they understood World Vision was there to help them, and although they seemed to have nothing, we couldn’t leave until they gifted us with fresh avocados picked from their tree. The generosity of someone who has so little to give amazed me and I am still emotionally moved by the memory.” This effect from her work has spilled into all facets of her life.
As Amanda says, “Be respectful of those that came before you, but don’t be afraid to have an opinion, just know your way isn’t the only way of doing things… I’m still learning that last part!” she laughs. “I always try to be exactly who I am: trusting, compassionate and honest. I celebrate the success of my peers because I consider them my friends. I believe in helping the next generation of artists and industry professionals.”
Amanda Power credits many of the people in the industry with giving her an education and a leg up, especially Jim Cressman, for his support and inspiring her, along with Sheila Hamilton for being such a good teacher.
Just what does this biography-reading, dog-walking, pink, purple and turquoise-loving gardener hope to accomplish during her tenure on the CMAO Board? “I first hope to streamline the Awards and Balloting process. I feel that once the processes are in place for nomination and things become turnkey each year, I can help to grow opportunities and events within the industry… help to make the CMAO a place for all artists and industry, new and established, to turn to when they have questions, looking for opportunities, etc.“ Those are lofty goals, but if anyone can hit them, this gal can.
Some final advice from Amanda Power; some we can all use: “Work hard, take pride in your work, have compassion and be a good person” Power states. She continues, “If you are in a position to help, be it a person, an animal or a charity, then you should help to the absolute best of your ability. No one person can do everything, but if every person does something to help the world, it would be a better place.”
When she isn’t traveling the world and promoting World Vision, you can find her walking her dog or digging in her garden. St. Catharines is, after all, the Garden City.
We at the CMAO welcome her to the board and we just know a person like this is going to make a positive difference. Congratulations, Amanda!