Artist Training Program presented by Music Africa of Canada Inc.

Financial Management: March 14, 2021

Presenter: Peter Toh (MBA) – Executive & Artistic Director, Music Africa of Canada Inc. (AFROFEST)

Peter Toh is an entrepreneur, business consultant, and cultural connector who has worked with multiple organizations including: The Federal Government of Canada, Ryerson University, Rogers Communication and currently with Music Africa of Canada Inc.

Though he has always been connected to the presentation of cultural events, he started his professional career in 2009 as an Entrepreneurship mentor at Ryerson University. He later joined the Government of Canada as a Business Analyst and Senior Project Officer. While working with these organizations, he maintained his position as the President of Music Africa of Canada Inc. – organizers of AFROFEST which is the largest free African festival in North America. In 2016, after the City of Toronto restricted AFROFEST, he received over 150 emails from various citizens within the city of Toronto appreciating the work he did in the African and diaspora communities and encouraging him to carry on. Inspired by the passion expressed within these emails and his aspiration to promote African music and culture he decided to make his work with Music Africa his career.

An MBA graduate from Ryerson University and a certified Financial Planner from Humber College, Peter has used his educational background to benefit various not-for-profit organization. He is a mentor to numerous artists around the world and has worked as a Board member and radio host at CKDU FM – Halifax and CKLN FM Toronto promoting African music and culture through radio and community events.

Currently in his 4th year as Executive & Artistic Director of Music Africa, Peter Toh has successfully grown the financial and community base of the organization, expanding it to present events in 6 other Canadian and international cities and hiring over 500 African artists from all over the world to showcase their talents at these events.

To him, the vision is bigger: Almost all genres of music played in the world have an element of African DNA in them however traditional African music hardly ever get the same media and attention as genres from other regions. While working with Music Africa, his aspiration is to present events which showcase the beauty and diversity of African Music and culture; to cross-pollinate audiences and to show Toronto, Canada and the world that African culture is unique, beautiful and emblematic of who we are as a people sharing this beautiful planet. People most easily identify with culture. If we all accept and appreciate our cultural differences, we will see all cultures as a non-threatening expression of our individual and collective identities and the people who practice these cultures as beautiful. This understanding can pave the way for the elimination of all forms of racism and cultural discrimination and help build a more cohesive society.

Legal aspects in Music: March 21, 2021

Presenter: Byron Pascoe– Entertainment Lawyer, Edwards Creative Law

Byron focuses on music law and works with recording artists, producers, managers, music service businesses and festivals. Before law school, he was a television and new media producer. Based in Ottawa, Byron works with clients across Canada. In Ottawa, he organizes the monthly music professional development series Independent Music Business. He is also a board member of MEGAPHONO (an organization that welcomes music industry professionals from the US, Canada and abroad for a festival celebrating emerging artists, with a focus on artists from the National Capital Region) and SAW Video (a not-for-profit, artist-run media art centre that fosters the growth and development of artists through access to equipment, training, mentorship, and programming), Byron was awarded the Impact Award at the inaugural Ottawa Music Awards.

Byron’s music law blogs: http://edwardslaw.ca/legal-services/music-law/
Byron can be reached at byron.pascoe@edwardslaw.ca and 613.722.2613 x702

Performance art: March 28, 2021

Presenter: Josh Grossman – Artistic Director, Toronto Downtown Jazz

Josh Grossman is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program. Since 2010, he has been Artistic Director for Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ), producers of the annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival, one of Canada’s largest international music festivals.

As a trumpeter, Josh has performed in big bands under the direction of Phil Nimmons, Paul Read, Ron Collier and Paul Ashwell; he has performed with the Chris Hunt Tentet since its inception in 2002. Josh is the founding Artistic Director and Conductor for the 18-piece Toronto Jazz Orchestra, now in its 20th year.

Josh has served as Performance Manager for The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory; Manager for the High Park Choirs of Toronto (now called Young Voices Toronto); and Operations Manager for Continuum Contemporary Music, one of Canada’s top contemporary chamber ensembles. Josh was Artistic Director for the Markham Jazz Festival from 2006 to 2009.

Music Marketing: April 11, 2021

Presenter: Patricia Bebia Mawa. Executive Vice President, Silvertrust Media & Afroglobal Television

Patricia Bebia Mawa is the Executive Vice President of Silvertrust Media and Afroglobal Television, as well as the host of the Planet Africa. She has directed and produced over 15 television programs including The Visionaries, The Golden Button and Standing Ovation. Patricia is the writer and director of Afroglobal Television’s new drama series Omobella Palace. She is the Associate Publisher of Excellence, Envision and Destiny Magazines. In 2008 Silvertrust Media, introduced the Discover magazine series, which has since released over 20 titles and editions for organizations and countries.

Listed in the Who’s Who in Black Canada, she is a recipient of the Toronto Police Community Service Award, the International Women Achievers Award, the Martin Luther King DreamKeeper Award and a Queen Elizabeth’s 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is the co-founder of the Crossover Mentorship Program, a youth empowerment initiative. In 2020 Patricia was appointed chair of the Reelworld Screen Institute. Patricia and her husband Moses have been featured on CNN International in a half hour special. In March 2016, the duo launched Afroglobal Television, a 24-hour television channel that is currently on Rogers Cable, Bell Fibe, Eastlink and Telus across Canada. In 2018, Patricia co-authored the 150 Extraordinary Canadians Legacy book, with a foreword by the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

Public support systems for artists: April 18, 2021

Presenter: Kayla McGee – Senior Program Advisor, Department of Canadian Heritage

Kayla a multi-hat-wearing expert in live music presentation operations. Following her time at Small World Music and the development of Polyphonic Ground she served most recently as ED of Toronto’s Music Gallery. Revelling in collaborative work, her love for music, intersectionality and social activism, Kayla has held membership in several live music and performing arts working groups, many with a focus on equity and safe(r) spaces. She is a member of Across the Board (50/50 by 2020) and the Venus Fest board. Currently, Kayla serves as a Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Canadian Heritage where she is excited to support the development of Ontario’s arts and heritage infrastructure with the Canada Cultural Spaces program.

Music Industry: April 18, 2021

Presenter: TBD