Tag

CMW

Browsing

Women of the Week: Amy Terrill

The heart of a city is music. It’s the illustrious sounds of a trumpet spilling out a bar through an open door or the busker who plays electric guitar on a street corner.

Executive Vice President of Music Canada, Amy Terrill, deeply believes in the benefits of music and it is her job to lead several programs that help music thrive at a municipal, provincial and federal level. She is focused on pushing forward projects that support musicians and artists, spread awareness regarding copyright laws, and help facilitate the relationship between music and government relations. “Communications and government relations are my two areas of expertise,” Terrill says. And she is definitely the woman for the job.

At the moment, Music Canada is working on making Toronto a ‘music city’. “We compared Toronto to Austin, because there is a lot of amazing music activity there and Toronto is certainly the music hub of English Canadian music,” Terrill says. “It is where the labels are and thousands of artists. Many of our agents and managers and a big nexus for music in Canada.”

Terrill didn’t begin her career in music. “It is funny because when I was in high school, I actually intended to go into music and was dissuaded. I took a different route, and ended up in music after all,” Terrill says. From Lindsay, Ont. originally, Terrill completed her political science degree at Queen’s University and worked for eight and a half years in the media, primarily in television.

“I worked in news reporting, and produced and anchored as well in Peterborough. I was able to move up the ranks and then I moved into the chamber of commerce in Lindsay and later to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce,” Terrill says. She also received the Burnie Gillespie Memorial Award for excellence in Chamber leadership and was previously the Director of the Unison Benevolent Fund that provides emergency relief and counselling services in Canada.

“I came to know my current boss, Graham Henderson, through the [Ontario Chamber of Commerce]. He is a very supportive and influential figure. He was on the board of the Ontario Chamber and now he is the chair. He offered me an opportunity to come and work with him,” Terrill says. “He saw an opportunity for Music Canada to broaden our look. Before we had been focused on federal issues, but Graham wanted to see what else was happening and how we could play a bigger role.”

Amy Terrill is the host and curator for the Music Cities summit at Canadian Music Week. This portion of the conference was focused on current issues that cities are facing within the music sector.  The summit was based on ‘Mastering of the Music City’, which is a global report written by Music Canada that compares the music scene in 25 different cities. The framework is now being used across the world.

When Terrill isn’t working she enjoys canoeing and kayaking. “I have an annual white water canoeing trip I do with a bunch of women I know,” Terrill says. “We go on a different river every year in Ontario.” She also enjoys cross-country skiing and yoga, and being with her two kids.

Terrill also believes that helping women, young and old, is essential to success. “I have so many interesting colleagues and supporters, sometimes it is just about honouring and respecting them and being there for them in return,” Terrill says. “I try and be a good role model to people within my network. We have quite a few younger people who work with us as well. I have always had younger women working with me. It is important to provide a strong role model.”

Terrill has led a successful career in music and proves that it is possible to support music and make effective change in the Canadian art scene. “Music is what makes a city so vibrant. We all have a responsibility to remind people of that. There is often an opposition with noise complaints,” Terrill says. “If you care about music in the community, speak up and tell your councillors how important it is to you.”

 

Did you enjoy this profile? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to have them sent directly to your inbox!

Women musicians lift the bar at CMW

Plato once said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” I spent last week listening to several women-led bands that played Canadian Music Week (CMW) in Toronto, and I can say with certainty that Plato knew what he was talking about. Here are a few of the acts I saw at the festival — and the bands you should start to listen to asap!

The first band was playing at the Garrison on Dundas St. West. No Sinner, from Vancouver, filled the venue with deep growling rock n’ roll with singer, Colleen Rennison roaring into the mic. No Sinner was one of my favourites at Canadian Music Week because they brought a refreshing and classic sound amidst the keyboard loving shoegaze that has overtaken popular music. Instead, No Sinner brought bluesy rock to Toronto, showing that western Canadian bands can compete with the overwhelming presence of Toronto bands at CMW.

Rennison is a force to be reckoned with on and off the stage and doesn’t think that gender should be a factor within the music industry. “You just have to rise to the occasion regardless of what’s between your legs,” said Rennsion. “The other day, I arrived at the venue before the band and I was trying to get some information from the promotor and he assumed I was someone’s girlfriend in the band. After they saw sound-check, they change their tune.”

No Sinner is due to release their upcoming album, “Old Habits Die Hard” on May 20 and they played their new song, “Hollow” at the CMW show. It is a passionate track about heartbreak and you can really feel Rennison’s pain in her thriving vocals. “So much of what the album is about is the human condition, being an enemy to yourself and the consequences of that,” said Rennison. The whole show had a very visceral feel to it, as if you could experience her pain in yourself. No Sinner is well worth seeing live.

From the Garrison, I jetted to the Mod Club on College St. to see The Wet Secrets perform their set for a packed audience. The band, hailing from Edmonton, is an alt-rock band that uses horns, percussion, coordinated dance moves, and marching band uniforms. The act features two women members, Emma Frazier on the trombone, and Kim Rackel on the trumpet. The band won the Peak Performance Project Award in 2014 where they were given a $100,000 award.

I caught up with Frazier at CMW after their show at the Mod Club. “The show was great. It was an amazing crowd and good energy.” She also explained that in addition to being in a band together, Rackel and Frazier also perform in a burlesque troupe in Edmonton. The two musicians use a set of coordinated dance moves in their marching band outfits and the performance often has sexual undertones. “Getting on stage is fucking rad. I don’t think it should really be a problem. If I’m sexualized, that’s their problem and not mine. I just like performing,” said Frazier.

Other women-led bands that performed CMW included Nao, from the U.K, who performed at the Mod Club as well. Nao is an electronic D.J who has developed a large following because of her well-developed snyth-pop sound. The show was packed and Nao delivered. Adee from Sweden also played at the Nightowl, which was a smaller venue. She brought an R&B sound mixed with hip hop riffs and got an audience member to join her on stage to sing. She was lively and positive about the small crowd attending her gig.

CMW was a wild ride and watching several female bands perform was enlightening. There are so many talented women performers out there and seeing the variety of styles in their music had my body grooving. Take a listen to these ladies and remember, support women in music! I will definitely be attending CMW next year to see the next wave of women to light up the stage in Toronto.