Alberta Spotlight program funds musicians for online concerts

June 09, 2020

Edmonton’s own Nuela Charles will help kick off Alberta Spotlight. Photo courtesy of artist. 

The Government of Alberta, Alberta Music, the National Music Centre (NMC), CKUA, and Stagehand will collaborate on the Alberta Spotlight series, a weekly online concert initiative intended to showcase local talent and provide support to artists.

Applications are now open for musicians to produce a video performance of a three to five song set. Selected artists will receive a grant of $1,000 towards an online concert, which will be hosted at ckua.com/albertaspotlight and shared across each partner’s social media platforms. To apply for a showcase, head to albertamusic.org and follow the instructions.

“Music can bring us together as a community and lift our spirits,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women. “Alberta Spotlight online concerts will certainly bring moments of joy as we relaunch. This is a prime opportunity for us to show our support for rising music stars in our province.”

“For over 35 years, Alberta Music, the Provincial Music Industry Association, has been committed to advocating for artists through outreach initiatives and the fostering of partnerships and programs like this really emphasizes the value and impact these partnerships have,” said Carly Klassen, Executive Director at Alberta Music. “The Alberta Spotlight series will be a positive step towards alleviating some of the financial stress faced by artists in the music sector. It’s wonderful that we’re able to acknowledge Albertan artists and their contribution to our collective well-being, shine the spotlight on them, and say thank you.”

The virtual concert series will kick off on Thursday June 11, 2020, at 4:30 pm MT, featuring performances by Nuela Charles, Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire, Reuben and the Dark, and Tim Williams. More weekly concerts will be announced throughout the summer.

Created in 2018 by the National Music Centre with funding from the Viewpoint Foundation, the Alberta Spotlight series’ goal remains the same: championing the music of Alberta and creating opportunities for audiences and music industry professionals to discover our outstanding local talent.

“This partnership with our friends in the Alberta music community allows us to expand the program and represents our shared belief in the power of music to bring happiness, comfort, and healing to so many during this period of social distancing,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of the National Music Centre.

“Through good times and bad, CKUA has been connecting Albertans through music, arts and culture for over 92 years,” CKUA CEO Marc Carnes said. “At this precious point in history we are honoured to be a part of Alberta Spotlight, providing an opportunity for artists to perform and connect with audiences when they, and we, need it most. Artists are part of the heart and soul of our province, and this showcase of diverse Albertan music will help demonstrate just how vital they are to our community.”

The Alberta Spotlight series concert will include the option for the artist to accept tips on Stagehand.app. Audience members can tip the artist directly or the artist can choose to donate their tips to an Alberta music venue affected by COVID-19.

“Stagehand’s ability to connect artists with opportunities through our web platform has been vital during this new era of livestreaming,” said Stagehand co-founder and CEO Derek Manns. “We’re excited to partner on the Alberta Spotlight series to enable new ways for local musicians to reach a wider audience, virtually.”

The initiative is made possible through a $125,000 fund made by the Government of Alberta to support Alberta artists affected by COVID-19.

Follow #ABSpotlight on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the series.

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