Venus Fest Announces Keynote Presentations and Mentorship Program

The Toronto music festival calls for applications from professionals and artists

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 10, 2021

The future is now: Venus Fest 5 is here! The keynote speaker series and mentorship program is set to take place this year from July 4 to August 27.

For the uninitiated, Venus Fest aims to create new space in the music world to address historical challenges facing the industry, representing fresh voices pushing for change within our communities.

This year's keynote presentations will be hosted by platinum-selling icon Jully Black, American musician and author Ezra Furman, and multi-medium artist iskwē. The events are free and open to the public, available to watch with closed captioning via the Venus Fest YouTube channel.

Participants selected for the mentorship program will receive an honorarium and the opportunity to attend one-on-one session with industry mentors, including Katie Stelmanis (Austra), Alanna Stuart (Bonjay) and Tao-Ming Lau (Blue Crane Agency). Mentees will need to be available for one hour per week during the program dates for these meetings. Additionally, they'll be able to connect with each other in bi-weekly peer sessions.

Applications are open to everyone until June 21 at 5 p.m. ET. Emerging music industry professionals are encouraged to apply, as well as artists. Venus Fest strongly urges entries from individuals based in Ontario who've experienced barriers in the music industry. Only accepted mentees will be notified due to the high anticipated volume of applicants.

In a statement, Venus Fest founder Aerin Fogel said the following:

The Venus Fest Mentorship Program is designed to create a stronger system of support for a group of developing artists and aspiring industry members. Due to the systemic barriers that many of these individuals have faced, they may lack the framework, opportunity and experience needed to move deeper into their careers. By pairing them with established artists and industry leaders who can support them in their goals and help develop their skills, we hope to bridge some of the gaps and build strong relationships between participants. Mentoring relationships are also incredibly special, often lifelong connections we're proud to help facilitate.

To learn more about Venus Fest and apply to the mentorship program, click here.

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