3rd Indie Week virtual Conference, Indie101, kicked off today with a SPECIAL $2,500 donation to Unison Benevolent Fund!
Tuesday, April 20th 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm indie101 Conference Opening!
Founder/Owner/Partnerships/Programmer of Indie Week Canada, Darryl Hurs, kicked off the 3rd online Indie Week Conference; Indie 101, on Tuesday, April 20th, 2021, alongside Indigenous artist and Cree Métis, Sandra Sutter, who is also an Aboriginal Partnerships Manager for PTW Energy, CGT Industrial, and is the President of the Board of Directors for the Circle for Aboriginal Relations Society. Both shared each other’s land acknowledgments for Calgary and Toronto as well, Sandra shared the importance of creation stories inside your own territories. Calgary, In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honor and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work, and play on this land, and who honor and celebrate this territory. The City of Toronto acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The City also acknowledges that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. Sandra thanked Darryl Hurs and his IW team for allowing indigenous opportunities to network and truly thanked Darryl for his support and good ways that ripple effect to each of us now and in the future. Darryl was wowed by saying, “change has come and it has been 1 year of uncertainty due to Covid-19 to which has been an interesting time but also a troubling time.”
This conference, starting today, marks the 3rd online conference, and IW hosts weekly Tuesday sessions and mentorships. The pandemic has forced communities into new ones that we haven’t experienced before. “It is time to collect and build communities and come together and move forward together. This conference allows education and to build ways to connect and express a positive message to get through this together. Take advantage and participate and connect this week with all attendees. Saturday will present all-day featuring break-out rooms with artists, producers, tech companies, and business representatives,” shared Darryl.
Darryl played a video introducing Unison Benevolent Fund and what they do as UNISON saves lives!!! https://unisonfund.ca Darryl introduced Sarah Hagerman from Unison Benevolent Fund who explained that they are Canada’s Music Relief Charity for those that are in hardship and financial loss or struggle. The Unison Benevolent Fund is the brainchild of Jodie Ferneyhough and Catharine Saxberg, both of whom have been touched by the loss and illness of friends within the music community. Catharine had seen that similar relief programs existed in other sectors, and decided it was time to unite the music industry: to create a process by which we can help each other. Ferneyhough explains: “The idea of Unison started shortly after a tragic accident to a well-known musician. It occurred to me that although benefit concerts and fundraisers, in the short-term, were a great thing and brought the community together, there was no organized support system in the music business for people when they fell on hard times. Musicians, roadies, riggers, sound technicians, managers, indie publishers, labels, and a myriad of others, might not have access to money if there was ever an emergency. We felt it was time for the industry to have a way of taking care of itself.” Catharine and Jodie began speaking to their friends and colleagues and quickly found unanimous support for the idea – and the Unison Benevolent Fund was born. The Board of Directors was formed in 2010 and reflects a cross-section of the Canadian music industry itself.
“The creation of an emergency fund was our first priority,” Catharine Saxberg explains “as we’re mostly self-employed, it’s often more difficult for us to secure bank loans, or other types of emergency financing when we need it. Our long-term goal is to provide access to additional assistance programs and insurance options. We’d like to use our strength in numbers.” In July 2011, The Unison Benevolent Fund received initial commitments of $250,000 from Music Canada and Slaight Music, followed by a $100,000 commitment from a collective of music publishers in 2012. On October 24, 2011, Sheila Hamilton was appointed executive director.
Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, registered music industry charity that provides counseling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. We are here to help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. For many, a career in music is a dream come true; however, the reality is that many members of the Canadian music community do not have access to the services that can make all the difference in a time of need: sick leave, medical benefits, pension plans, and unemployment insurance. Music makers can easily find themselves unprepared to deal with the financial and emotional burdens of an unforeseen emergency or illness. The Unison Benevolent Fund provides a lifeline in these times of crisis and is there to ensure the health of our friends, colleagues, and collaborators. The Unison Benevolent Fund is an assistance program – created and administered for the music community, by the music community – designed to provide discreet relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis. There are two distinct types of support available through the fund. Financial Assistance: The Unison Benevolent Fund will provide emergency financial support to Canadian music-makers recovering from an illness, injury or other circumstances that result in an inability to work, severe economic or personal hardship. Counselling and Health Solutions supported by RBC Foundation: Through voluntary and confidential support services, eligible Canadian music makers are able to access qualified professionals who can provide counseling and other resources to support individuals and their immediate family members dealing with mental health, legal guidance, family and relationships counseling, or work-related concerns. The Unison Benevolent Fund is funded by support from individuals and industry organizations. All services and information is provided in English and French. Unison will never charge dues or fees for membership or for access to any assistance program. They have been out there assisting those in need for a decade now in regards to counseling and funding for musicians and techs and production crews. Deep into the global pandemic yet they have helped +2,000 music-related persons and have given 2.3 million dollars in funding and it is FREE to apply at http://www.unisonfund.ca She thanked Darryl and Indie Week for supporting Unison and bringing communities together.
Last November 2020, marked the first online Indie Week Conference followed up in February of 2021 by its 2nd online conference entitled Screen X Screen. Darryl asked attendees, artists, and delegates then in attendance to give what they could, even $5 was a suggested amount to start with, that would go to Unison Bevelent Fund and all the hard dedicated work they do for artists and industry persons in need during Covid-19, whether it be financial or mental assistance or both. Today, Darryl added a thank you to all that donated $5 at Screen X Screen Conference in February 2021, and as promised, what was raised, Indie Week would match that amount. Well, it truly added up. Darryl was proud to PRESENT to Sarah Hagerman and Unison Benevolent Fund, a cheque for $2,500. Congratulations Darry Hurs, and your devoted Indie Week team of volunteers on all you do to keep artists and communities in a positive frame of mind with strong hope worldwide, and for bringing the musical globe together for the same reasons to thrive together.
“Congrats to Indie Week Canada and may your 3rd global virtual Indie101 Conference be a huge success, a lot of fun, and may it continue to foster relationships, community spirit, worldwide togetherness, and to allow unions of artists and industry leaders to come together and make magic happen. Stay safe during these unprecedented times and always keep the musical faith that we together, will get through these difficult times, and that we will all make beautiful music together one day real soon. Cheers, Deb Draper of The Wire MEGAzine.” http://www.thewiremegazine.com