The annual R2i TuneUp Conference will be held at the Living Arts Centre located at 4141 Living Arts Dr, Mississauga 

Embark on your journey to success in the music industry with our expert guidance and resources. We provide you with the tools and knowledge to navigate the competitive world of music business with confidence to help you build a sustainable and prosperous career.


Saturday June 1

9:00AM                        REGISTRATION



Welcoming Address

Steve Kassay, Chair, CMAOntario


10:00am – 11:10am

Crafting Your Brand: A Guide to Artist Development and Branding Strategies

This workshop is designed for aspiring artists looking to establish a strong brand and develop their careers. Here we dive into the fundamentals of branding, including how to build and maintain your brand effectively. We will review critical aspects such as song selection, style, and imaging to help you shape a cohesive and compelling brand identity.

Learn what essential media assets should every artist have, how to find your unique sound, look, and the right team members to bring your vision to life as well as the importance of cultivating relationships to propel their careers forward.

Facilitator: Tara Shannon, President, Willow Sound Records


Samantha Pickard, President Strut Entertainment/Manager, Karli June

Karli June, Artist

Robyn Ottolini, Artist

11:15am – 12:20pm

Mastering Content Creation and Management: Strategies for Authentic and Engaging Artist Marketing

Here we will guide artists through the process of developing an effective content plan to enhance their online presence. This session is your key to understanding the significance of content, why, when, and how to utilize it to connect with your audience effectively including how to maintain authenticity in your content that resonates with your followers.

And finally, explore the use of technology tools such as metadata optimization, Hootsuite, and more to streamline content management and increase efficiency.

Facilitator: Ali Raney, Director, Marketing & Label Operations, Starseed Entertainment


Tracey Singer, President, K Music Management

Teigen Gayse, Artist

Chloe Wolchock, Content Marketing Manager, CCMA

Heather Wallace, Senior Marketing Manager, Universal Music Canada

1:45pm – 2:50pm

Hit the Road: Navigating Touring and Live Performances as an Independent Artist

Join us for an in-depth discussion on touring and live performance, featuring insights from artists and industry professionals who have built successful tours from the ground up. Learn about the timing, locations, and frequency of tours, as well as strategies for assembling a band and preparing for live performances. Explore the various types of gigs available beyond festivals and support slots. Understand the indicators of readiness for live performance and touring, including the costs associated with band setup and tour logistics. Examine the practical aspects of planning a tour. Hear real-life success stories of artists who have navigated successful tours, including the tools and promotional tactics they utilized to achieve their goals.

Facilitator:  Mike Denney, President, MDM Recordings


Jeremy Johnson , Johnson Talent Management

Carla Hackman, Founder/Agent, Fame Group Agency

Stefanie Purificati, Agent, The Feldman Agency

Saturday June 1

3:00pm – 4:00pm

Granting Your Musical Dreams: Navigating Funding Opportunities with Successful Applications

This seminar will provide valuable insights into accessing funding and grant opportunities for artists and musicians. Learn the essential elements of successful grant applications, including key components and strategies for constructing a compelling proposal. Explore the various grant programs available in the music industry and understand the requirements in terms of career stage and assets needed to apply. Here is where you’ll learn what a winning application entails and differentiating between ambitious goals and realistic targets for your grant application. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your understanding of funding opportunities and boost your chances of securing financial support for your music projects.

Presenter: Brian Hetherman, President, Curve Music

4:15pm – 5:15pm

Unlocking Music Income: A Roadmap to Royalties, Publishing, and Sync Licensing

Join us for an in-depth session focused on empowering artists to collect and protect their music income effectively. Explore the different types of royalties and the agencies responsible for managing them, with detailed information provided in a handout for reference. Understand the significance of music publishing as a revenue stream and learn how aspiring artists can kickstart their journey in music publishing using platforms like Taxi and MDiio.

Hear why it’s important to seek legal guidance at key milestones in your music career and clarify the distinctions between copyrights, PRO registration, and how to register them in Canada. Representatives will share best practices for maximizing earnings through royalties and offer insights into navigating this complex landscape. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your knowledge and take control of ALL your music income and protection strategies.

Jodie Ferneyhough, President, CCS Rights Management

Michelle Allman Esdaille, CEO, The HOOK & Company

Sunday June 2

9:00AM                        REGISTRATION

9:45AM – 10:45AM

Breakfast Presentation: 50 Ways to Screw an Artist

Join us for breakfast and an illuminating fireside chat with Burt Gidaro and Paul Sanderson as they discuss the myriad of ways to Screw an Artist. Tales from the underbelly of the music industry will help you avoid getting screwed.

Join us for an illuminating breakfast fireside chat with Burt Gidaro and Paul Sanderson as they uncover the hidden challenges that artists face in the music industry. Through their experience and insights, they will help you navigate your career and avoid common some pitfalls and empower you with strategies to protect yourself and your work.

Paul Sanderson, Barrister & Solicitor, Sanderson Entertainment Law


10:50AM – 11:40PM


Amanda Power of the Unison Fund kickstarts the session, highlighting the various Unison support services available to music industry professionals during hardship, illness, and other work/life challenges. We continue the conversation with Catherine Harrison (M.Psych, P.C.C.) as she leads a dynamic and interactive presentation on improving mental health within the music industry. This interactive presentation encourages participant engagement through practical exercises and Q&A. Walk away with actionable insights, a renewed perspective on mental health, and a sense of community support within our vibrant Canadian music industry.

Amanda Power, Executive Director, The Unison Fund

Catherine Harrison, Founder/President, Revelios

11:50AM – 12:45pm


Dive into a dynamic 60-minute session of networking speed dating tailored to accelerate your career relationships in the music industry. Engage in roundtable discussions with funders, agents, managers, labels, radio representatives, producers, talent buyers, and festival organizers to gain valuable insights and forge meaningful connections. Participate in targeted discussions, exchange feedback, and connect with like-minded colleagues while exploring new opportunities for collaboration.

Embrace the interactive format inspired by traditional speed dating, allowing you to interact with a diverse range of industry experts and peers as you rotate around the room. Don’t miss this unique chance to expand your network, share experiences, and elevate your professional growth in a vibrant and collaborative setting.

Facilitator: Holly Kassay, Durham Radio


Adrian Lock, Director of National Radio Promotion, Pitbull Radio Promotions

Ali Raney, Director, Marketing & Label Operations, Starseed Entertainment

Amanda Power, Executive Director, The Unison Fund

Amber Bell, Membership Manager, CCMA

Brooke Dunford, Director, Booking & Business Development, Republic Live

Burt Gidaro, Senior Legal Counsel, ACTRA RACS

Carla Hackman, Founder/Agent, Fame Group Agency

Catherine Harrison, Founder/President, Revelios

Chloe Wolchock, Content Marketing Manager, CCMA

Danielle Erker, Label Operations Coordinator, MDM Recordings

Dave Devine, PD, Country 89

Dayna Bourgoin, National Music Director, Pure Country Radio

Heather Wallace, Senior Marketing Manager, Universal Music Canada

Jamie Baldini, Product Manager, MDM Recordings

Jeff Dalziel, Producer, Diesel Music

Jeff Johnson, Singer, Songwriter & Producer, founder, Bailey Way Entertainment

Jeremy Slattery (Arcadia Broadcasting) PD of Hot Country 103.5 Halifax

Julian Taylor, Artist, CMAOntario Board of Directors

Kat Clark, Core Entertainment Marketing Manager, OVG 360

Lindsay Hyslop, Product Manager, Canada, BBR Music Group

Michel Benac, President, LaFab Musique

Mike Denney, President, MDM Recordings

Patrick Duffy, President, Attention Design

Patrick M. Leyland, Partner, Taylor Oballa Murray Leyland LLP

Jeremy Johnson, Johnson Talent Management

Paul Ferguson – VP, Programming & Operations, Cool 100.1

Samantha Pickard, President, Strut Entertainment

Tracey Singer, KMusic Management

Trevor Whittamore, Marketing Director – RGK

Wendy Boomer, National Music Curator – COUNTRY, Content Manager – Country 101.1


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