Venus Fest announces summer keynote presentations, mentorship program


Toronto’s Venus Fest has announced its summer Keynote Presentations and Mentorship Program.

This Indie88 feature is presented in partnership with Venus Fest.

The Keynote Presentations, which are free and open to the public, will be hosted by singer, songwriter, performer, television actress and author, Jully Black; American musician and author Ezra Furman; and musical artist iskw?.

These presentations will be made available on the Venus Fest YouTube channel and will have closed captioning.

The mentorship program, on the other hand, is open to developing emerging music industry professionals and artists, and selected participants will receive an honorarium and the chance to attend one-on-one sessions with one of Venus Fest’s mentors for an hour a week for eight weeks.

This year’s mentors include Austra’s Katie Selmanis, Bonjay’s Alanna Stuart, Blue Crane Agency’s Tao-Ming Lau, and more. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with each other through peer sessions and will get to hear presentations throughout the program.

“The Venus Fest Mentorship Program is designed to create a stronger system of support for a group of developing artists and aspiring industry members,” Venus Fest founder Aerin Fogel explains. “Due to the systemic barriers that many of these individuals have faced, they may lack the framework, opportunity, and experience needed to move deeper into their careers. By pairing them with established artists and industry leaders who can support them in their goals and help develop their skills, we hope to bridge some of the gaps for them and build strong relationships between participants. Mentoring relationships are also incredibly special and often life-long connections that we are proud to help facilitate.”

You can apply for Venus Fest’s mentorship program here until June 21st, and while the mentorship program is available to anyone, Venus Fest strongly encourages individuals based in Ontario that have experienced barriers in the music industry.

Check out the full list of mentors and keynote presentations below:
Artist and industry mentors:

Alanna Stuart (Bonjay)
Katie Stelmanis (Austra)
Zaki Ibrahim
Tasha the Amazon
Tao-Ming Lau (Blue Crane Agency)
Michelle Cable (Panache Booking)
Erin Carroll (Cadence Music Group)
Laurel Stearns (LSS / Primary Wave)

Keynote Presentations:

Jully Black – July 14 at 7PM EST
Ezra Furman – August 4th 7PM EST
iskw? – August 18th 7PM EST
Venus Fest is set to return in the fall of 2021.


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