Joni Sadler of Lungbutter and Constellation Records Has Died
She was 35
News of her death from a brain aneurysm on May 30 was announced in a statement shared via a memorial website and local label Constellation Records, where Sadler worked as the imprint's director of communications from 2017 until her passing.
Sadler grew up in Victoria before moving to Ottawa to study Communications at Carleton University. In Ottawa, she became the English music director at CHUO 89.1 FM, the University of Ottawa's campus-community radio station. After finishing her BA, she returned to Carleton for a Master's in Communications, writing her thesis "Challenging Expectations: Perceptions of Canadian Music and the Localized Practices of Experimental Artists," in which she argued for broader institutional support and inclusion of experimental, independent and D.I.Y. musicians in Canada.
Sadler would further immerse herself in the world of independent Canadian music when she moved to Montreal shortly after completing her MA at Carleton. In Montreal, she worked as a station co-manager at McGill University's campus-community radio station, CKUT 90.3 FM, from 2012 until 2017, and as Pop Montreal's Symposium director in 2017 and 2018.
Her role at Constellation Records found her serving as the label's publicist and general ambassador, helping to spread the word of new releases by artists such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am, Markus Floats, JOYFULTALK and Land of Kush, along with the "Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series" designed to help financially support the label's artists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sadler also served as drummer of Montreal art-punk trio Lungbutter, who released their sole album to date, Honey, through Constellation in 2019 and were set to tour Europe in 2020 before those dates were cancelled due to the pandemic. Sadler also performed occasionally with ambient project Nennen.
Before her death, she had earned a diploma in Full-Stack Web Development from Concordia University.
The announcement of her passing has been met with tributes from members of Montreal's music community and beyond. See some below, and read the full obituary and a growing gallery of photos celebrating her life at her memorial website.
Joni impacted so many of us. So reliable, loving, supportive. Hard to fathom, impossible to do justice to that bright spirit.— CKUT (@ckut) June 4, 2021
Montreal lost a great one.— Christopher Curtis (@titocurtis) June 4, 2021
Joni's band Lungbutter is an amazing group and Joni was involved in local independent music (@ckut, @popmontreal). Lungbutter just finished recording with another great group, Yoo Doo Right.
God bless and keep you, Joni.https://t.co/Mkgblg0M9i
RIP Joni Sadler, such shocking news. She was a truly lovely person. Our hearts go out to her friends and family. https://t.co/bwCyJacBuQ— Young Galaxy (@younggalaxy) June 4, 2021
Just learning that Joni Sadler passed away suddenly this past week. I only knew her casually, but this stings... she was so lovely, a warm presence @ckut and in the music and community radio scene. You might have known her thru Pop or her band, Lungbutter— Sarah Deshaies 🌈 (@sarahdeshaies) June 4, 2021
Feeling so saddened, the news of Joni's passing hurts us all. She was gentle but moved mountains. She will be dearly missed by one and all. https://t.co/Za3KEnkWOq— Nick Schofield (@NDScho) June 4, 2021
She was SO lovely to me as a 19 yr old shy volunteer at CHUO. I always remember her kindness and generosity. What a huge loss.— dime dag (@goldbutts) June 4, 2021
Joni helped set a standard for @ncracanada Music Directors all across the country. There's no job like it in the world, and no one at all quite like Joni Sadler. Thanks Joni, for getting things done, loving our work, and taking challenges in stride. https://t.co/OiOeLl3Ikr https://t.co/VKQ98VltFd— CIVL Radio (@CIVL_Radio) June 4, 2021