It may be the longest undefended border in the world, but breaking into Canada is still harder than it looks. Meet agents, promoters, and other Canadian industry professionals who will give you insight into touring in this exotic foreign land.
Jesse Kumagai is the Director of Programming for the Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada. There, he oversees booking artists for Canada's two most prestigious concert halls as well as promoting in several other venues in Toronto including Glenn Gould Studio and Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Jesse is also active as a volunteer in the music community serving organizations including CARAS (JUNO Awards), Canadian Music Week, Yonge Dundas Square, CAPACOA, and others. Jesse's entire career has been spent in music as a promoter, publicist, marketer, production manager, and any other job you can name, having worked and volunteered for the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Harbourfront Centre, Small World Music, and North By Northeast, just to name a few.
JEFF COHEN's Collective Concerts is one the largest independent promoters in Canada. They oversee two of Toronto's key Live Music Venues, Lee's Palace, and the legendary H-Shoe Tavern as well as an annual outdoor Toronto Island Music Festival and an annual Wednesday evening BBQ at SXSW.
JASON GRANT has been a fixture in Vancouver's music community since the mid '80s. In 2004 he decamped to Toronto, following five years as the in-house booker at the legendary Commodore Ballroom. Jason has been a concert promoter in Canada for the past thirteen years, developing acts from clubs to arenas, coast to coast.
DAVID VIECELLI (Boche Billions) founded leading independent booking agency The Billions Corporation in Chicago in 1989. Relying upon the American stereotype of Canadians as polite and neighborly for cover, Viecelli aggressively built a minuscule company into a tiny one over the course of two decades.
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