YouRockRed at Juno Awards 2017!

I’m headed to the Juno Awards and JunoFest from tomorrow, Thursday, March 30 to April 2nd covering as Canadian Musician Magazine (social updates) and YouRockRed.

I’ll be rooting for YouRockRed clients Bleeker for 2017 Breakthrough Group of the Year. Clearly!

You’ll most likely spot my red hair bobbing along in the background of the red carpets and photo pits throughout the March 30-April 2nd, so please come say hi. I’m from Ottawa originally, so it’ll be really cool to hit up music venues like Zaphods and Mavericks that I used to go to every week or more.

Sidebar, if I get to meet Canadian music icons Bryan Adams and/or Sarah McLaughlin, be warned the floodgates of music-geekery shall be thrown open.

See you at the Junos!!!

Full list of nominees below:

Single of the Year
“Treat You Better,” Shawn Mendes
“One Dance,” Drake (ft. Wizkid & Kyla)
“Wild Things,” Alessia Cara
“Starboy,” The Weeknd (ft. Daft Punk)
“Spirits,” The Strumbellas

International Album of the Year Sponsored by IDLA Associated Label Distribution
This is Acting
, Sia
ANTI, Rihanna
Made in the A.M., One Direction
A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay
Dangerous Woman, Ariana Grande

Album of the Year Sponsored by Music Canada
, The Weeknd
Illuminate, Shawn Mendes
You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
Views, Drake
Encore un Soir, Céline Dion

Artist of the Year
Shawn Mendes
Alessia Cara
Leonard Cohen
The Weeknd

JUNO Fan Choice Award Presented by TD
Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
Alessia Cara
Ruth B
The Weeknd
Tory Lanez
The Strumbellas

Group of the Year
Billy Talent
The Tragically Hip
Tegan and Sara
The Strumbellas

Breakthrough Artist of the Year Sponsored by FACTOR, the Government of Canada, Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, and Radio Starmaker Fund
Ruth B
Tory Lanez
Andy Shauf
Jazz Cartier

Breakthrough Group of the Year Sponsored by FACTOR, the Government of Canada, Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, and Radio Starmaker Fund
Cold Creek County
Bob Moses
The Zolas
The Dirty Nil

Country Album of the Year
The Score, Aaron Pritchett
Hearts on Fire, Chad Brownlee
Side Effects, Dallas Smith
Tin Roof, Gord Bamford
Kiss Me Quiet, Jess Moskaluke

Adult Alternative Album of the Year
Good Advice, Basia Bulat
Secret Path, Gord Downie
The Great Detachment, Wintersleep
You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
The Party, Andy Shauf

Alternative Album of the Year Sponsored by Long & McQuade
, July Talk
Art AngelsGrimes
IV, Black Mountain
Weaves, Weaves
Sore, Dilly Dally

Pop Album of the Year Sponsored by TD
, Alessia Cara
Summerland, Coleman Hell
Astoria, Marianas Trench
Illuminate, Shawn Mendes
Love You to Death., Tegan and Sara

Rock Album of the Year
Morning Report, Arkells
Afraid of Heights, Billy Talent
Sittin’ Heavy, Monster Truck
TerraForm, Sam Roberts Band
Man Machine Poem, The Tragically Hip

** For a complete list visit

Top 10 Concerts of 2014 w/ live show photos of Nick Cave, Stars, Constantines…

Best Shows of 2014

*All band photography by me. Shot on Canon DSLR EOS 60D or Iphone. I go to minimum 1 concert a week. Warmer months mean festival season and this summer was packed with hundreds of great performances.

  1. Stars, Tribe Called Red, Kevin Drew- Google Plus Launch party Toronto, ON (Wait for the film as to why it was so excellent.)

    stars cmw

    Stars- Toronto

  2. Nick Cave, Osheaga, Montreal QC – I had never seen Nick Cave. I feel like my life up until now was not complete. All front men need to aspire to the power he has over an audience. Also if you’ve not seen 20,000 Days on Earth the semi-doc on him, stop what you’re doing and go download it off Itunes now.

    Nick Cave

    Nick Cave- Osheaga

  3. Tanya Tagac, Polaris Prize, Toronto, ON – I had no idea who this woman was, she came out and delivered a more metal, more emotionally intense performance than any male performer I’d seen all year. Plus it was just the wtf is this amazing sound, noise coming out of this tiny human!?)

    Tanya Tagac at Polaris Prize, Toronto

    Tanya Tagac at Polaris Prize, Toronto

  4. Band of Horses, Osheaga, Montreal, QC – watching the lead singer of Foster the People and the happiest singer ever of AWOL National shout out the lyrics in the pit in front of us instead of watching OutKast then high fiving us in between awesome song breakdowns to make sure we’re enjoying it was just awesome. Plus, only a handful of people were at this far stage for them initially so it was a really cool private experience.

  5. Dum Dum Girls, Club Soda, Montreal QC (I love Dee Dee and all things Dum Dum Girls)

    Dum Dum Girls MTL

    Dum Dum Girls MTL

  6. The Constantines, Arboretum Festival, Ottawa, ON – I had never experienced the raw energy and emotionally charged performance of the Constantines like this before. It was dark. I was up front centre photographing it all. I stomped my feet along and lifted my hands up high high high to classics from Shine a Light. Also was somehow transported back to second year university and romances that were set to.


    The Constantines – Ottawa, Arbfest

  7. Phantogram, Bluesfest Ottawa, ON- You know when an audience is really pissing you off and just taking away from the performance? I wasn’t supposed to see Phantogram as I’ve been a longtime Killers fan. I was transfixed by the lights that sparkled off lead singer’s disco-themed cape as she got on an illuminated box to serenade us to dance beats that would become the soundtrack for my summer. We kept repeating how glad we were to be watching this intimate show with only maybe another 200 people not mashed up together but all commenting to each other, “This is so much better than the Killers.” Friendly audiences make a world of a difference.

    Phantogram, Ottawa Bluesfest

    Phantogram, Ottawa Bluesfest

  8. Metz, Lee’s Palane, Toronto, ON – ears meltingly awesome. Was exhausted from NXNE shenanigans and was blown away. Walked away thinking how stupid I’d been to have missed all their hometown shows for the last few years. Now dedicated to seeing them perform as much as possible, whenever possible.

    Metz, Lee's Palace, Toronto

    Metz, Lee’s Palace, Toronto

  9. Fucked Up, Field Trip Fest, Toronto ON – I brought a folk-singer friend who has never been to a hardcore punk show and she was converted. The performance included guest vocals from Gord Downie of the Hip, George Petit of Alexisonfire and Damian’s toddler son who watched proudly as his sweaty bare-chested daddy ripped beach ball after beach ball and formed a new fashionable hat for himself AND the audience members. Ears hurt. It was worth it.

    Fucked Up, Field Tripfest Toronto

    Fucked Up, Field Tripfest Toronto

  10. Blondie/Lady Gaga, Bluesfest, Ottawa, ON – both divas, both genius, all worth singing at the top of my lungs.

    Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest

    Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest

Who should have made the list: Gaslight Anthem. I miss you. I forgive you for cancelling Folk Fest in Ottawa, but next year, we will be besties. Or at least I’ll be in the photo pit singing back every lyric Brian Fallon shouts out.

Who did not make the list:  Julian Cascablancas, Opera House.  Why?? Half the audience left about 20 minutes in and I was included in the exodus. Only played 1 Strokes song and it was so obscure and mangled it was pitiful.

Repeat offenders: Tribe Called Red- that huge round dance at Field Trip was epic.


Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew, you were everywhere I went…. Except that Uber car ride.

BSOMA and YouRockRed Presents: $how me the Money- Record Funding

I pitched an educational info session series to Bluesfest School of Music and Art in September after attending a ton of music conferences like NXNE and CMW.  I thought, why do Ottawa musicians need to go all the way outside their city for this sort of industry guidance and knowledge.

I’m thrilled to be presenting this first info session with BSOMA on Thursday, November 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Festival House (450 Churchill Ave) with panelists Amos the Transparent, Factor and City of Ottawa! It’s been an absolutely pleasure working with the Bluesfest team already on putting this together as the organizer and panelist myself.  They’re also going to be offering up individual band consultations with YouRockRed through BSOMA at a discounted rate so stay tuned for that.

Tickets are only $10/each or $20 for a band with up to 5 members… and it’s halfway sold out ALREADY. If that doesn’t say Ottawa wants this sort of info session, I don’t know what does!? Oh, and the Beau’s on tap. Musicians always like beer.

Anyways, please RSVP on FB HERE and I so look forward to seeing many of you there!


event image


Ottawa Polaris Party Re-cap

The music conference talk that inspired Ottawa's first Polaris Screening with CBC personality Alan Neal, founder Steve Jordan and respected local journalists

The music conference talk that inspired Ottawa’s first Polaris Screening with CBC personality Alan Neal, founder Steve Jordan and respected local journalists

So I attended an industry-only salon talk on the Polaris Music Prize barely two weeks ago on a Wednesday night.  It was so enlightening and just downright fascinating hearing from the Jurors and founder Steve Jordan their insight on how the process works and why the award is so important.  As I was biking home much later than expected after this talk at the NAC I thought to myself, why don’t we have a live screening in Ottawa?  Toronto has one at the Drake that’s popular and I’m tired of yelling at my laptop and passively aggressively tweeting whenever my favourite band doesn’t win so I should do this.

By Thursday afternoon I had a venue booked, Babylon, and host for the audio visual component, Jackpine.  By Friday I had major media calling me to cover the event. By Friday afternoon I had a pile of limited edition Polaris coloured 7″ vinyl and t-shirts that had been donated by Compact Music.  On Saturday morning I had been emailed by the founder telling me that YouRockRed had his “full blessing” for the event.

Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and know that what you’re doing has not only appeal, but sense of purpose for the collective (in this case Canadian music fans).  Plus, hosts Shad and Kathleen Edwards gave a major shout out to our event on the ACTUAL Broadcast!

I’ve been event managing since I was 17 but I have never thrown together a show in less than three days.  We arranged all the couches at Babylon so that it was like a friends living room that we were all watching together.  I went to the dollar store and picked up some cute snack boxes for people to put their munchies into.  It’s the small things like that that make a difference, I find.  The place quickly filled up with people who had learned of the event via social media or radio and everyone had a great time.

We wound up with coverage in Ottawa Magazine, Ottawa Citizen, CBC Bandwidth, Ottawa Morning CBC, CBC TV News 11 p.m., CKCU and half a dozen local blogs.

citizenpolaris coverage

media coverage!

polaris screening ladies

Happy audience members.