FACTOR has announced the launch of the new Keychange mentorship initiative starting this year. This international mentorship program started by the PRS Foundation in the U.K., with partners Reeperbahn Festival and Musikcentrum Öst, will involve 74 artists and industry professionals in professional development and exchange programs targeted to women in the music industry. The eight Canadian participants, four artists and four music innovators, were chosen after a lengthy application process in both French and English and a review by the Keychange selection committee. This is the largest individual national delegation.
Canada is the first country outside of the EU to be included in this year-long program, which is partially funded by the EU. The first meeting of participants will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, from Feb. 13-15, 2020. Participants will receive year-long mentorship via SheSaidSo, attend one European festival, and a meeting at Reeperbahn Festival.
This initiative complements earlier Keychange activities involving events in Canada and elsewhere who have committed to gender parity in their activities by 2022. Canadian events who signed the gender parity initiative include BreakOut West, MUTEK, Canadian Music Week, and Halifax Pop Explosion. These events are also supported by FACTOR and the Government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund.
“FACTOR recognizes the need to support creative initiatives to improve the opportunities for women in music through education and professional training. This international effort emphasizes that need and accompanying export opportunities and also allows Canadian women to share their experiences with their international colleagues…we are committed long-term to making this happen,” says Duncan McKie, FACTOR president.
The program will continue until 2023 with a new cohort chosen every year and an equivalent investment from FACTOR and other partners including the SOCAN Foundation.