About the Indigenous Music Development Program
The Indigenous Music Development Program (IMDP) at Manitoba Music was launched in 2004 to support First Nation, Métis, and Inuit artists and music companies as they build sustainable careers in Manitoba’s music industry. The program delivers projects and services that respond to the needs of the industry as identified by a steering committee.
IMDP is recognized both home and abroad as the driving force behind a vibrant Indigenous music community in Manitoba.
To assist people in the Indigenous community in Manitoba to develop sustainable careers in music by connecting them with opportunities within Manitoba Music and beyond.
IMDP Projects and Services
- Workshops about the business side of the music industry
- Indigenous Songwriters in Residence
- Career consultations
- Indigenous artist compilation CDs
- Indigenous artist contact directories
- Manitoba Indigenous artist showcases
- The Indigenous Music Performers Camp
- The Native America North Showcases
- Mentors in Residence
- The indigenousmusic.ca website
The IMDP Steering Committee includes 10 Indigenous people involved in Manitoba’s music industry. The committee receives reports about the program and ensures that it responds to the needs of Indigenous artists and industry. The committee advises staff on project delivery and on the industry itself, foregrounding trends and key issues as they arise.
The Indigenous Music Development Program Steering Committee members are David McLeod (NCI FM), Vince Fontaine (Rising Sun Productions), Desiree Dorion, Rhonda Head, Jerry Sereda, MJ Dandeneau, Don Amero, Nikki Komaksiutiksak, and Stuart Desnomie (Manitoba Department of Sport, Culture and Heritage).
MEET THE STAFF
Indigenous Music Development Coordinator (Term)
(She / Her)
Ashley Bieniarz joined the team full-time in 2019 as administrative assistant after some time with us in 2018 as a summer student. She has been involved in the local music scene since 2015 as an avant-pop artist. While completing her Bachelor of Music in classical piano at the University of Manitoba, she created and continues to host the campus radio show and podcast the Winnipeg Music Project. Through Creative Manitoba’s Youth Mentorship Program, Ashley interned at BreakOut West in 2016 and is currently working with local singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson. She has also been a volunteer with Manitoba Music for the past couple years. You’ll find her at the front desk during regular office hours.
Talk to Ashley about Indigenous Music Development Program projects and Manitoba Music's open mic night.
Indigenous Music Development Intern
(She / Her)
Ginaya Jesmer joins as the Indigenous Music Development Intern for summer 2021. She is an Oji-Cree woman with over six years of radio experience as co-host for CKUW 95FM’s Only Cowards Sing at Night and Static on the Prairies. She spent many years photographing concerts and writing album reviews for Stylus Magazine and is currently pursuing a Creative Communications degree at Red River College with a specialization in Advertising & Marketing Communications.
Indigenous Music Development Coordinator (Mat Leave)
Shaneen is a multi-award-winning journalist who’s been on Canada’s media scene for more than 15 years. She’s also a proud wife, mother, and foster mother. She worked at CTV News Winnipeg and her stories have aired on CTV Newsnet/News Channel, CTV National News, and CNN. She also worked many years as a correspondent at APTN National News and garnered attention for her award-winning series about The Sacred Sundance. She is very proud of her latest work, Breaching the Sacred—a 22-minute piece showcasing the tragic reality of Indigenous women living with addictions and using while pregnant. Shaneen is well known across the country and abroad and is dedicated to promoting up and coming Indigenous talent. She was honoured to win first place for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge in 2008 for her play, Notay Kiskintamowin “Wanting to Know”, the same year she was named a National Aboriginal Role Model by the Governor General of Canada and graduated from the University of Winnipeg. A highly sought-after master of ceremonies, event planner, promoter and speaker, Shaneen aspires to continue working with Indigenous Elders, youth, women, and artists and continue to share information that should be of importance to all Canadians.