Music Publishers Canada’s CEO Margaret McGuffin Q&A on ‘Women in the Studio National Accelerator 2023’

SWOMP connected with Music Publishers Canada’s CEO Margaret McGuffin for a Q&A to discuss the Women in the Studio National Accelerator 2023.

The program advances the career development of talented producer-songwriters from across Canada.

Our questions are in bold, followed by Margaret’s responses:

Margaret McGuffin

What are some of the opportunities for skills development and networking that the participants will have available, that they may otherwise have been unable to access?

Margaret: “The Women in the Studio National Accelerator offers women, gender fluid, non-binary, and gender non conforming music producer-songwriters a series of curated workshops, educational sessions, and networking opportunities during a seven month program.

Through Music Publishers Canada’s extensive music industry network, the Women in the Studio producers have already been able to network and learn from industry leaders who they may not meet otherwise.

The songwriter-producers selected already are working in the field and we want to move their career to the next level.

The Accelerator focuses on topics including technical skills, financial literacy, music business skills, and branding, and will offer opportunities for creative collaborations.

Each producer, as a condition of acceptance, has also agreed to explore volunteer opportunities in their own community.”

We understand the participants had some development/networking opportunities available to them in Toronto last month during Canadian Music Week – how did this go?

Margaret: “We loved having the producers in Toronto during Canadian Music Week for a residency week.

Having the in-person portion of the Accelerator early on has enabled the cohort to create a strong connection right away, and has helped us understand them better.

This will allow us to create more tailored programming in the coming months.

Being able to network with and learn from music industry experts who were all in Toronto during the week was a huge opportunity for these producers.

We are celebrating our fifth year and ran the Accelerator virtually during COVID.

We continue to embrace virtual programming, but also embrace the in-person networking opportunities we have been able to create.”

According to a 2021 USC Annenberg study, across a six year sample of the Billboard Hot 100 songs between 2012-2020, there were less than 3% female producers, and “this is a ratio of 38 men to every 1 woman producer.” Do you see similar trends in the Canadian industry? And what is Music Publishers Canada doing to lessen this imbalance?

Margaret: “A sentiment we often hear is “We want to hire a female, non-binary, gender-non-conforming producer, composer, or songwriter, but there just aren’t any.”

We disagree, and are challenging all of you to look around your community and make changes to who you are inviting into the studio.

We know there are many more talented producers and engineers out there and are proud to be contributing to growing that community.

You can find a list of our alumni here.

We also encourage established music professionals to act as mentors and help us foster a new reality.

It is our hope that this sentiment will disappear soon and that we see more and more underrepresented folks in studios, writing rooms, and everywhere music is being written and produced.”

Overall, what can you say about this year’s participants? Alexandria Maillot – Courtenay, BC; Aliah Guerra – Ottawa, ON; Dayna Manning – Kentville, NS, Phoenix Pagliacci (Rian Hamilton) – Toronto, ON, Russell Louder – Montreal, QC, Terez (Terez Goulet) – Calgary, AB.

Margaret: “We love this cohort because they’re all so different and all bring so many exciting things to the table, both musically and as people.

The community we are trying to create will benefit greatly from their varied insights, backgrounds, musical interests, and personalities.

If you want to learn more about each of them individually, please check out their profiles here.”

What are some short-term targets/goals and outcomes you hope to see as a result of the program on an annual basis? Or, is the goal more long-term to chip away at the imbalance/ratio we discuss above?

Margaret: “The goal is always to provide excellent networking and training opportunities but to also spark conversations that lead to change.

But beyond that, we really believe very strongly in creating a community.

A lot of our Women in the Studio producers and applicants tell us that they often feel like they are working in isolation and don’t feel they have a community of people that understand them.

That community is something we are very committed to fostering as the program grows from year to year.

This year, thanks to the generous funding from our partners at RBC Emerging Artists, Ontario Creates, and FACTOR, as well as Compass Rose Group and Cassels, we have been able to provide enhanced programming and offer new opportunities for our Accelerator alumni.”

Follow Music Publishers Canada, here:

Instagram: @canmuspub
Facebook: /canmuspub
Twitter: @canmuspub

SWOMP recently caught up with participants Dayna Manning and Russell Louder for a Q&A.

Check it out, here

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