Brent Oliver is one of the most earnestly dedicated champions and patrons of the Arts in Alberta. For over 25 years Brent has devoted himself to developing and promoting Alberta arts initiatives, events and artists.
While earning a Music Degree from the UofA in the mid-90s, Brent worked as a talent buyer at the Rev Cabaret, then at Sidetrack Café, two of Edmonton’s most iconic live music venues of in recent history.
Guided by his confidence in Alberta’s music community, and his desire to help it grow, Brent established (and became Director of) Foundation Concerts, an Edmonton based concert and arts event promotion company which brought some of the most prominent touring acts to Western Canada. Through these experiences, Brent established a vast network of industry contacts across Canada. This led to a unique opportunity for Brent where in 2010 he accepted a position as an Agent with Winnipeg based Paquin Entertainment, one of Canada’s largest international talent agencies.
In 2012 Brent’s heart brought him back to Alberta. He began a role at Alberta’s Legislature as Events Coordinator for two years. In his time at the “Leg”, he helped break the Canada Day attendance records in 2013 with 52,000 visitors, then again in 2014 with over 75,000 enjoying the national event.
Brent now brings his wealth of expertise to the City of Spruce Grove as Director of Cultural Services, a position he accepted in August of 2014. His responsibilities include management and operation of the Horizon Stage Performing Arts centre, city liaison to the Allied Arts Council and Spruce Grove Library, as well as development of art policy for the future of the City. Brent continues to consult and volunteer on countless cultural initiatives. Brent was instrumental in the planning, execution and promotion of two Edmonton arts festivals: Hot Plains Music, and Up & Downtown Music and Arts festival.
Finally, Brent had a very successful management relationship with Edmonton act Wool on Wolves, and currently is representing The Hearts as they prepare to release their new album Equal Love in fall 2015 and showcase across North America.
Deanne Matley is a lover of all things. Most of all she is a lover of music and is a versatile artist who specializes in jazz musical styles. She is also well versed in Big Band, Pop, Studio Sessions, Festivals & Musical Theatre.
Deanne commands the stage and brings an enthusiastic, feel-good atmosphere to all the events she sings at. This resonates through her passionate performances that have taken her all around the world. From Montreal to Mongolia, Deanne loves to travel, you’ll never find her in one place for too long as she is eager to share her musical influence for fans around the globe.
Some of Deanne’s musical achievements are:
Studied jazz at the Banff Centre, the Berklee College of Music,
Stanford Jazz Institute and privately in New York City
Received the 2013 Richard Cowie Memorial Scholarship award
Represented the National Jazz Summit at the 100th Calgary
Performed at the Calgary,Sylvan Lake, Medicine Hat & Mongolia
Duetting with Canadian Superstars Tommy Banks and Al Kay
Released “Get in the Mood” Christmas album in December 2013,
charted top 25 on CJSW Radio
Collaborated with Los Angeles guitarist and Educator Larry Koonse
on their debut album “Can’t Help Falling”
First CD “Stealin’ Blue” recorded live at Cafe Koi, enjoyed top 10
jazz play in cities across Canada
EP “Chillin’ and Fillin’” placed in CJSW Radio’s Top 10 Jazz Albums,
bringing worldwide recognition
Being featured live on CBC Radio
Featured vocalist for the Prime Time Big Band performing every two
weeks a The Ironwood Stage & Grill
Helped start and grow Calgary’s longest Jazz Open Mic/Jam in
Calgary (6 years) supporting musicians of all ages
Deanne’s achievements go far beyond that of her musical career. She is a strong advocate for female empowerment and believes in encouraging others to pursue their interests and passions.
She helped create “Calgary Women in Jazz” and has organized multiple Women-in-Jazz concerts to raise awareness and donations for charity. She also initiated the Deanne Matley Grant with the Calgary Arts Academy to help students pursue their love for music.
Candace Elder is an advocate for arts and community-based initiatives with 15 years of professional experience in the arts and culture sectors. She is a creative, visionary and strategic thinker with a passion for the arts, community outreach and development. Having worked extensively with artists in roles at the Banff Centre, the National Music Centre and others, Candace is committed to nurturing creative expression, exploration and discovery; to cultivating a healthy and vibrant arts community; and to supporting the creative process of artists of all disciplines.
Hill spent three years on the road as a member of Captain Tractor before creating the publicity and artist management firm, All Access Entertainment. Honoured with the 2004 & 2005 Prairie Music Award award for publicist of the year, Aimée has worked with independent artists and labels, including Rachelle Van Zanten, Mike Plume, Stony Plain Records, JUNOFest (2004) and 13 years with the Canadian Country Music Awards.
During her time in the music industry, Aimée has been a band manager, grant writer, merch seller, jury member, talent judge, consultant and publicist. Weekdays she can be found working as the director of the office of communications and marketing at MacEwan University in Edmonton.
Aimée can be heard every week as one half of CBC (Edmonton) Radio Active’s The In Crowd, where she spreads her picks of where-to-be and who-to-see in the arts and culture scene in Edmonton.
Nik has worn many hats within the music industry over the years: he has been gigging in various bands since 1989; he has done close to a thousand shows across 3 continents as a musician, as a sound technician and a tour manager; he has produced and recorded countless albums over the past 17 years, currently working out of The Audio Department studio in Edmonton where Nik has been working since the studio opened in 2011. Nik is heavily involved in electronic music, as a DJ, a promoter, and with his Juno-nominated band Shout Out Out Out Out (with whom he has also toured extensively across North America and Europe, playing at major festivals such as SXSW, CMJ, MoogFest, Virgin Festival, etc), and as a solo artist under The Paronomasiac moniker. Nik co-runs (with his bandmate Jason Troock) Normals Welcome Records, an internationally distributed record label working primarily with electronic music artists, including his own Shout Out Out Out Out and The Paronomasiac releases. Nik's music has received critical acclaim from a wide variety of national and international press. Nik has sit on the Board of Directors at Alberta Music since 2011, chairs the Member Services Committees for that organization, and speaks regularly on panels and information sessions for other Alberta artists.
Nik's recording work has been featured in EQ and Keyboard Magazine. As a member of Shout Out Out Out Out, Nik has graced the covers of CMJ, Vue Weekly, SEE Magazine, Eye Weekly, Ottawa Xpress, BeatRoute, and the Globe and Mail Arts Section, and has been featured in highly regarded US glossy magazines SPIN, Billboard, URB, BPM, and XLR8R, as well as British magazine Q, who named Shout Out Out Out Out as one of “the 10 best new bands on Earth.” In 2007 the band’s work was recognized with a nomination for a Juno Award in the Best Alternative Album category. Nik’s music, both with Shout Out Out Out Out, and as The Paronomasiac, was featured in the video game Mass Effect 3, an international bestseller with several million copies sold.
Graham Lessard is Senior Recording Engineer at the Banff Centre, working with artists spanning the spectrum of musical genre to translate their vision into a compelling sound recording. Each year, hundreds of musicians travel to Banff from around the world to rehearse, compose, perform and record. Graham is a key member of the technical / creative team ensuring the success of their recordings, whether a live concert performance or a studio production. Prior to taking this role at the Banff Centre, Graham worked in Montreal and Edmonton as a freelance music producer and recording engineer, specializing in rock, pop and electronic music. Several recordings he has produced or engineered have been nominated for Juno Awards and the Polaris Prize, including albums by Timber Timbre and Stars. For many years Graham was heavily involved in Edmonton's music scene, both as a founding member of local band The Floor and as engineer / producer for albums by Faunts, Fractal Pattern, Champion, Alberta and many more. He has also worked in a number of roles for CBC Radio, recording live folk, jazz and classical music, as well as producing and engineering various location and studio broadcasts. With a strong interest in developing music industry infrastructure in Alberta, Graham is currently part of the steering committee for the Alberta Music Cities Initiative.