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After 42 years in the business, Kim Cooke is still throwing punches in the music industry.
He began in retail with Sam The Record Man in Hamilton, and Muntz in Burlington. He joined WEA Canada (later Warner Music Canada) in 1978 as Atlantic/Elektra Marketing Manager, and was recognized in 1987 with a Grammy nomination in the Best Historical Album category for his work on The Otis Redding Story. Kim spent 24 years with Warner, and as Vice-President (A & R), he signed Sarah Slean, Great Big Sea, Paul Brandt, Odds, Big Wreck, Colin James, and Natalie MacMaster, among others.
In 2002, Kim signed on as General Manager of indie imprint MapleMusic Recordings, signing and developing the careers of Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, Pilate, The Dears, Joel Plaskett, Martha Wainwright and more.
"Launching a new and progressive Canadian-owned label in an increasingly difficult marketplace was a bit like pitching a tent in a hurricane, but the personnel and the philosophies at Maple were the right approach at the right time in the evolution of the music business. I had the time of my life there."
Kim launched his own label, Pheromone Recordings, in partnership with his old friends at Maplecore, in 2008. "It's simultaneously daunting and thrilling to have my name on the marquee but while configurations and business models may change, the core challenge of finding and nurturing talent never does. I'm thrilled to still have my hand in the game." Montreal-based multi-genre mashup artist Beast is the label,s first commercial breakout.
Kim is Co-chair Nominating and Voting for CARAS and the Juno Awards, as well as contributing to the TV and Talent Committee. He also sits on the Board of the Polaris Music Prize. With his partners, Kim has also recently opened Revolution Recording a widely lauded three room 8,000 sq. ft. recording facility in downtown Toronto.
Jani completed a three year tenure as the Artistic Director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and was Co-Managing Artistic Director of Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble for 10 years. She was a member of the English Theatre Acting company at the NAC for 3 years which included an all Native production of King Lear with August Schellenberg. Her first short film eu·tha·na·sia is showing at festivals and he is currently developing her 4th studio album as well as a multi-disciplinary one act theatre piece called A Side of Dreams.
She is very proud of her amazing daughter, up-and-coming singer/actor/filmmaker Tara Renwick.
As an industry activist he has been involved with the Aboriginal committee for the Juno Awards and worked on the advisory committee that established the Grammy Award's Native American music category. His knowledge of and passion for Native music inspired the creation of the Native Music Research Institute, a living archive derived from years of work. In 2011, Fifth House published his first graphic novel, Red Power, which he wrote and illustrated.
This panel discussion will review the Aboriginal Recording of the Year Juno category in depth by exploring questions surrounding Indigenous sound, culture, and categorization in music.
Featuring panelists Kim Cooke, Jani Lauzon, and Brian Wright-McLeod.
Facilitated by Marc Meriläinen.