In this series, we will be profiling music professionals from all facets of the industry to learn more about their involvement in the CARAS Academy Delegate program.
A. Harmony is a Freelance Music Journalist and Host of Marvin’s Room on CBC Music. Having been involved in the Canadian music industry for over 15 years, A. Harmony joined the Academy Delegate program in 2020 to help champion Canadian artists in a way she felt was tangible.
What inspired you to become an Academy Delegate?
I have been active in the music industry for 15 years and in that time, I have worn many hats: recording artist, music publisher admin, festival organizer (and performer!), writer, broadcaster — and that doesn’t begin to cover it all!
I’ve learned that depending on what hat you wear in this business, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. It becomes easier, still, to lack empathy for your peers in the field when you are laser-focused on your own professional goals. I became an Academy Delegate because I bring a combination of industry experience and empathy. I think empathy is the most important element to bring to the voting process.
Why is it important to be active in the Canadian music industry?
Some of the most influential artists in the world are Canadian. There is no shortage of talent in this country! But to ensure that every talented Canadian artist realizes their full potential, we need to ensure that there is a solid network of resources and support for them right here at home. To do less than that is to impose invisible barriers that ultimately set us back on the world stage. Being active in the Canadian music industry ensures that our support network becomes—and remains—strong.
“Canadian artists shouldn’t have to go elsewhere to get the appreciation and recognition they so rightly deserve.”
What do you enjoy most about being an Academy Delegate?
I most enjoy the feeling of championing artists in this country in a way that feels tangible; in a way I can actually see.
Why do you think it’s important to promote and celebrate Canadian music and artists?
Because if we don’t do it, who else will? Canadian artists shouldn’t have to go elsewhere to get the appreciation and recognition they so rightly deserve.
Why is diversity within the Academy Delegate program and the Canadian music industry so essential?
Having a wide cross-section of people, from different backgrounds and different lived experiences, ensures a fairer, more balanced, and more honest voting process. The people casting their votes should be as diverse as the artists—and the music—in this country.
What has been your favourite JUNOS moment?
I am biased here. My favourite JUNOS moment was interviewing Savannah Ré, Dylan Sinclair, Jordan Manswell and YogiTheProducer for JUNO Stories from the Studio 2021. They’re all friends and were all first-time nominees that year. It was so nice to watch them revel in that full-circle moment together!
How does being an Academy Delegate allow you to help shape the industry?
Being an Academy Delegate is a way for you to be proactive, rather than reactive, in the industry. You get to have your say as decisions are being made, rather than sit back and watch things unfold. It’s an empowering position to be in!
Why should fellow industry members apply to be a CARAS Academy Delegate?
It is an opportunity to advocate more effectively for artists across the country!