I've Been Named Director of Member Services for CIRAA

Hello everyone, Some pretty big news to announce: I’ve been hired as the Director of Member Services for the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association (CIRAA). CIRAA have brought me onboard to lead the launch of a new national micro-grant program for independent Canadian artists, as well as oversee a mentorship program focused on connecting artists with industry experts for career advice. My mission in life is to help artists, and I had a great experience doing that the past 3 years working with McAuslan Brewing running the St-Ambroise Centre and St-Ambroise Music Program. I’m thrilled to now have the chance to take that experience and apply it on a national scale and positively impact the careers of thousands of musicians across the country through CIRAA’s initiatives. This really is a dream opportunity for me. More details about CIRAA’s new programs will be announced in the weeks and months ahead. I also have several other projects in the works, so if you would like to stay up to date with what I’m up to, please sign up to my newsletter: sign up here If you sign-up by February 7th, you will get a FREE digital copy of my film “What is INDIE?” You can also check back at this website as I’ll be adding new content regularly, and you can of course connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Leaving McAuslan/St-Ambroise

So after 3 good years of working at Montreal micro-brewery McAuslan Brewing (St-Ambroise) as Program Director for the St-Ambroise Centre and St-Amboise Terrace, I’ve decided to move on. I’m extremely proud of the work that I did while at McAuslan. During that time, we had over 500 shows between the two venues, including several festivals and many special events. Needless to say, it was a busy 3 years with a lot of great memories. At the end of this post I list a few highlights that stood out for me. Some Thank Yous This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a few “Thank Yous”.
  • First and foremost, thank you to Peter McAuslan for the opportunity to work for his company. The Montreal cultural community would not be the same without his support and generosity, and it was a real honour to work for Peter.
  • A big thanks to all of the artists who performed at the Centre and Terrace during my time there. This city has an amazing music scene and I was privileged to have a front row seat for the past 3 years.
  • Thanks to the local media for all of their support for the events I was involved with for the past 3 years, it was very much appreciated.
  • Thanks to all of the staff and my co-workers, past and present. Five hundred successful events in 3 years don’t happen because of only 1 person, and I was fortunate to be surrounded by some great people.
  • And last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank Margo Pollock, Director of Marketing for McAuslan Brewing. Margo was my boss and the one who initially took the leap of faith in hiring me to help the company create the St-Ambroise Centre. I’ll miss the Marketing Department at McAuslan, it was a lot of fun to work with such a great team of people.

What will happen to the St-Ambroise Centre? The Centre will continue to book lots of events and be very active in the community. Nothing is going to change on that front. There is a great team in place who are passionate about the Centre and who will no doubt take the venue to the next level. And it goes without saying that McAuslan Brewing was dedicated to supporting the arts long before I arrived, and will continue to be long after I’m gone. It was a nice fit while I was there, and I’m grateful to them for the opportunity. And you can be sure that I will continue to drink St-Ambroise beer with pride :)
Stay tuned… Lots more news to announce in the weeks ahead, 2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

Cheers,

Dave


P.S.- As promised, here are a few personal highlights from the last 3 years at McAuslan/St-Ambroise:

The United Steel Workers of Montreal free outdoor show at the St-Ambroise Terrace (August 2010) One the highlights of my career, let alone while working for McAuslan. Hundreds of people packed the Terrace on an absolutely perfect summer night to see the United Steel Workers of Montreal. It was one of the most memorable shows I have ever been a part of.
The St-Ambroise Music Program: Giving Away $10,000 to Quebec Indie Artists (2009) To give you an idea of what it was like to work for McAuslan Brewing, when I pitched the idea of a bursary program for musicians, I asked for a budget of $5000. Peter McAuslan, founder and President of McAuslan Brewing, loved the idea and said to double the amount to $10,000. There’s a reason why Peter is beloved to the arts community in Montreal, he truly is a patron of the arts.
The entire first year of the St-Ambroise Centre (2008) That first year of the St-Ambroise Centre was one of the most intense years of my life. I did everything from book the bands, to work the bar, to mop the floors and everything in between. And I loved it. We hosted 175 shows that first year and I was behind the bar for almost all of them. I saw some amazing shows, including Charlotte Cornfield, Rob Lutes, FrancoProietti Morph-tet, Penny Lang, Courtney Wing, Ian Kelly, Camaromance, Peter Katz, Matt Stern, Scott Normandy, Rob Szabo, Katie Sevigny, Mathieu Laberge, and many, many more. Memories to last a lifetime.

Montreal Folk Festival at the St-Ambroise Terrace The Montreal Folk Festival has now been hosted at the Terrace the past 3 years. Festival founders Carl Comeau (Hyperbole Music) and Matt Large (Hello Darlin’ Productions) have great taste in music and a real eye for talent, and I’ve discovered some amazing artists at the festival the last 3 years.
David Martel & Mark Berube: 1st Show at the St-Ambroise Centre (December 2007) And last but certainly not least, the very first show at the St-Ambroise Centre in December 2007. I was hired only 2 weeks before, and we had a choice of either waiting until January to have the launch show, or do it just before the Christmas rush. We decided to throw ourselves right into it and booked two of my favourite local artists, Mark Berube and David Martel, to kick off the launch weekend. We packed the room, and those in attendance witnessed some amazing performances. It was a good sign of things to come for the venue.

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