Council of Officers

The Council of Officers focuses on the value the Coop brings to the community, defining standards, expectations, and performance outcomes according to the aspirations of the organization.

 

Clarifying and setting outcomes and creating and delivering programs to achieve success are the primary duties of the Council of Officers who meet formally, six times per year.

Appointed by the Board of Directors, Council members serve a two-year, renewable term of office. They are the substance of our organizational capacity and provide quarterly reports to the Board of Directors. Council members with an (*) are interim appointments until the next AGM or Board meeting where they will be formally approved.

Council members each chair an optional council sub-committee in their area of interest, expertise, or geographic location. If you have an interest in joining a committee, please reach out to the appropriate chairperson.

Program Officers

Susan Kohring
Communications Officer, Leadership Team

Owner of Three Apples, and with over 30 years of experience in communications, Susan is a key member of the leadership team.

Brendan Culver

Human Resources Officer, Leadership Team

Armed with a graduate degree and bagpipes, Brendan is the genius behind our HRIS system.

Dylan Cheshire

Education Officer

Dylan is a professional educator, who also enjoys writing retro-surf tunes when he's not on his board riding waves. 

Cooper Allen

Corporate Services Officer, Leadership Team

While simultaneously running Six String Management, Cooper makes the time to edit and draft new policies and procedures.

Heydon George

Artist Services Officer, Leadership Team

If you are a Creator, reach out to Heydon to get your priorities on the table and acted on quickly. He knows how to get things done!

Katherine Chabot

Special Events and Projects

With a background in events management, the creator of Paige's Passion shares her knowledge and talents with the team.

Sarah Melody

Health and Wellness Officer

Owner and Yogi at Anahata Yoga in Barrie. Sarah is a longtime wellness advocate.

Lilian Romero

Food Rescue Officer

Lilian is a dedicated volunteer who is excited about the possibilities for the No More Starving Artists program!

Discipline Chairpersons

​Jacqueline Brun

Discipline Chair - Voice

    

Jamie Stephens

Discipline Chair - Production

Lyric Dubee

Discipline Chair - Guitar

          

Regional Chairpersons

Mark Wylie

Durham Region

Braden Foulkes

Ottawa Region

Colin Sankey

Vancouver Region

Jason Kerr

Consumer Representative

Jason brings solid financial and business expertise to our board of directors. 

Meaghan Gauthier

Consumer Representative

As a professional educator and live music enthusiast, Meaghan brings diverse experience and skills. 

Heydon George

Creator Representative

A Stage Manager, Heydon also plays Fender guitars.

Tori Hathaway

Creator Representative

Songwriter, Science Nerd, and our founder.

Sarah Melody

Industry Representative

Songwriters Association of Canada RWG

Rosemarie O'Brien

Industry Representative

Past President, Festivals and Events ON

Board of Directors

The Coop is governed by a Board of Directors representing all three stakeholder groups. Our inaugural Board was appointed at the time of incorporation and is serving an initial two or three-year term.

Our model is a "Policy and Governance" board, providing necessary oversight and setting long-term policy and fiscal direction.

About The Co-op

Membership-based not-for-profit arts service organization dedicated to assisting new generation and other independent artists build sustainable careers intersecting the music industry in the 21st Century.

Slogan: Simplify the Process & Amplify the Results

Motto: We do more together!

Leading Question: How can I help?

Our Mandate

To assist independent artists to overcome barriers, build strong networks, and succeed in building a sustainable self-directed artistic practice that allows them to continue to control their intellectual property, their image and likeness, and digital assets. Our mandate is inclusive of all. Our membership statistics and the community we serve strongly reflects a diverse population including people with disabilities, women, people of colour, the LGBTQ2 community, rural and low-income participants, and Indigenous artists that may intersectionally belong to two - five vulnerable populations.

The Co-op is an organization run by volunteers and people with disabilities, funded in part by grants, sponsorships and membership fees.

If you would like to contribute your time, something from your local business, glittery clothes for the stage, or a monetary contribution, please contact us.

* The No More Starving Artists program cannot accept unsolicited food donations. Please do not leave food at our front door as it attracts animals and cannot be processed in the establishment in this way. *

Flexible and responsive

For everyone,
no matter where
they are

Respected by industry and
artists alike

Life-long

Working and
growing together

Accessible to
all artists

Artist-led

Professional

Member-driven

Self-sustaining

Our Culture

The Co-op is a truly diverse organization that is in the process of becoming fully realized through the hard work and efforts of our consumers, creators, and industry members, all working together to achieve a common goal. The leadership team is constantly growing into the full framework that was envisioned for successful sustainability.
 

I hope you will consider getting involved in some capacity, because everyone who loves music is welcome here, and there’s lots more to be done in the future. Plus, I’m currently away at University studying Medical Science, so it’s time to have some other folks get as passionately involved as me in making sure The Co-op continues to grow in the right direction. We look forward to you joining the team, and the Coop family!

Love,

Our Starting Block

As the core group of early participants was trying to define our “membership”, it became quite clear that we had different types of members that might want to be involved. At that point, the main question became “how can we provide programming for artists who were just starting out, as well as artists who were already achieving quantitative success? What about the parents of minor artists?” We talked to lots of potential members, asked lots of questions, did some surveys, and enlisted the help of various business advisors in the industry, and the local community.

It then became clear that the model we needed was a rarely used “multi-stakeholder” not-for-profit co-operative.
 

We incorporated as the “Ontario Musicians Co-operative Inc.” or OMCI, in March 2018 and "Canadian Musicians Co-operative" in 2021. After initially planning to open membership gradually for September 2018 and accessing help applying for various grant programs to get us started on the process of sharing who we were and what we were doing with the other artists in the area, we were offered an opportunity we couldn’t refuse, to begin our Summer Emerging Artist Program!
 

That’s the crazy, wonderful story of how the Co-op became what is underway today. Without so much local support, funding, and volunteer support it wouldn’t have been possible to turn this idea into something tangible, actively helping new generation artists build their careers and knowledge of the music industry from day one.

Our Founders Story

Tori Hathaway

The idea for what is now the Canadian Musicians Co-operative, began to take form in 2014 when I was offered a record deal at age 14 from a new Canadian record label. I read the deal memo through countless times, engaged an entertainment lawyer to review and explain it to me, and I researched other record deals for comparison. I worked hard to make sure I understood everything correctly.

As contracts go, it was an excellent deal in the music industry, especially for someone young and at the beginning of their career, but it still placed the control and ownership of my songs and master recordings into the hands of the label. Even after I would recoup (payback) my advances and costs to make the recordings, I would still not own them or control them, and that was really important to me as an artist and writer. I ended up making a deal for one single song release to radio, for which I am very grateful.

The Vision

People kept asking me how I would continue to grow my career as an independent artist without label support because “artists don’t understand the music business well enough”. So, I started studying Music Business at the Berklee College of Music through their online program, because I wanted to learn more and stand on my own two feet. I jumped right into the deep end, taking a course in international concert touring. As my music business knowledge grew, I recognized the need for an organization that other artists could access to grow and learn about the music business throughout their careers and gain access to tools and insights that were otherwise difficult to obtain without the experienced leadership and the financial/administrative support of a record label.
 

My vision for the organization took a number of forms before I learned of the not-for-profit co-operative business model.

Ultimately, I wanted something

Our Visual Journey

This here is a visual representation of the Coop's history and its many milestones through the years.

We are The Co-op

​A group of creatives that help our artistic community achieve excellence together.

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