Toronto Blues Society | » 2024-Board-Of-Directors-Nominees


Published June 4, 2024 in News

2024 Board of Directors – Nominees

Brian Blain

Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Brian’s first recording was in 1964 and in the early 1970s, he played bass and produced two ground-breaking Eastern Townships groups, rock band Oliver Klaus and the iconoclastic folk duo Fraser & DeBolt. He has been the Managing Editor of MapleBlues since 1994. His songwriting is full of thoughtful and humorous commentary on the music business and wider social issues and he has released five CDs, always including some French material. His legendary Blues Campfire Jams have been a great addition to festivals, conferences and high-profile venues. Brian was honoured in 2020 with the Maple Blues Award for “Blues Booster of the Year,” a lifetime achievement award.

Carol Flett

Carol Flett is a current board member of Toronto Blues Society. (full bio pending)

Derek Andrews

Derek Andrews is a current board member of Toronto Blues Society. (full bio pending)

Elaine Bomberry

Elaine is Anishinaabe and Cayuga, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, in southern Ontario. She has worked as a freelance Indigenous Performing Arts activist/promoter/manager for 38 years, and was a TV and radio producer for 15 years. She now makes her home on the Capilano Rez, on the unceded Squamish Nation territory in North Vancouver, British Columbia, for the last 18 years.

Elaine is Manager for JUNO winner, Mohawk blues piano man Murray Porter her Husband, also from Six Nations, full-time for the past 18 years, and has worked with him throughout the years since 1990. She was also Associate Producer on his 2012 JUNO award-winning CD, `Songs Lived & Life Played’, and has emerged as a lyricist on a few songs on his last 2 recordings, and is now a member of SOCAN. She’s Associate Producer on his new album, ‘STAND UP! which was released in February 2019.

Alice Sellwood

Alice Sellwood is the Programming Manager at Koerner Hall & The Royal Conservatory of Music where she works closely with RCM’s Executive Director of Performing Arts to curate the annual Royal Conservatory Presents… concert season. Alice began her career as the Toronto Blues Society’s Office Manager in 2013 where she oversaw TBS’s administrative operations and co-coordinated the annual Maple Blues Awards, Women’s Blues Revue, and biennial Blues Summit. In 2016, Alice was promoted to TBS’s General Manager, taking on a larger role in operational oversight and became the lead coordinator for the Maple Blues Awards. After four years at TBS, Alice moved to Small World Music, before stepping into the role of Concert Manager at Koerner Hall in 2018. This new role brought Alice home to her blues family as the Venue Liaison for the Maple Blues Awards, where she worked closely with TBS staff to coordinate the Maple Blues Awards from 2018-2022. In 2022, Alice was promoted to Koerner Hall’s Programming Manager, and joined the board of Toronto Blues Society in January 2024.

Ken Simms

Ken Simms is an artist manager for some of Canada’s top blues and roots talent including Blue Moon Marquee, Sandra Bouza, Brandon Isaak, André Bisson, Sugar Brown and the late Harpdog Brown. He also offers project management, label services and grant-writing for other successful Canadian artists and managers. He brings to the board extensive knowledge of board governance and operational experience through previous roles such as President of Golden Spike Days in Port Moody, BC; Director at the Burnaby Board of Trade; and Director of the Coquitlam Chamber of Commerce. He also carries a wealth of knowledge and experience in marketing with a particular focus on social media, websites and digital integration. After a 35-year career in media and advertising, he returned to the music industry in 2015 to launch ThinkTank Music Network.

Jacqueline Spicer

Jacqueline Spicer’s music journey in the music industry speaks to her unique blend of skills and passions. As a writer, designer, and marketer, she has dedicated her life to the scene, a love instilled in her by her competitive dancer parents – avid blues and jazz fans. She founded Ink Tank®, a strategic brand consulting and creative communications firm, in 1985. The company provides branding advice, marketing, creative, and events services to national and international brands, non-profits, and governments. She teaches branding and has been a business mentor for startups through a Toronto incubator.

Jacqueline is a familiar face on the dance floor at Toronto’s live music venues and regional blues festivals. She is grateful for the relationships she has built with artists and venues over the last 13 years. In 2022, she co-founded East Side 6 Dance to build an inclusive, embracing community of social dancers who, in turn, support our talented musicians and the venues hosting them – a win-win-win for all. East Side 6 Dance has made a home at the historic, non-profit Redwood Theatre, where she co-hosted the Toronto Blues Society’s successful Birthday bash and authored an accompanying article in the TBS newsletter. East Side 6 Dance has built collaborations to teach and perform with multiple venues, including Koerner Hall, Reid’s Distillery, Drom Taberna, Smokeshow BBQ & Brew and the Historic Distillery District.

Johnny McAneney (a.k.a. “Johnny Max”)

Johny Max has been the leader, booker, and main songwriter for The Johnny Max Band, since 1994. With 7 albums, 2 JUNO nominations and 8 Maple Blues Awards nominations, the band has toured across the country performing at many festivals, including almost all of those in Ontario & Quebec, and many festivals and venues across Europe for over 10 years. As well, Johnny started a radio program, Sunday Night Soul/Sunday Morning Soul, with good friend Chuck Jackson, and kept the show going solo for almost 15 years. The program was syndicated on 14 stations across Canada and the US.

Lori Murray

Lori Murray has had a lifelong passion for live music, so becoming a concert promoter with her husband Paul in 2009, was a dream come true. Over the course of 15 seasons and over 200 shows, they have brought the Blues to Durham Region and have loved every note. The bands that have performed in Music By The Bay Live venues have loved it too. Many musicians continue to return for repeat, sold-out performances.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith is a current board member of Toronto Blues Society. (full bio pending)

Ori Dagan

Award-winning jazz musician Ori Dagan is deeply dedicated to Toronto’s live music scene. When he isn’t singing, Dagan works actively as a local producer, promoter, programmer and host. He has worked with BlogTO, WholeNote Magazine and Jane Harbury Publicity, is currently on the programming team at Drom Taberna and Tallulah’s Cabaret at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and is the Artistic Director & Listings Editor at JazzInToronto.

Quisha Wint

Quisha Wint is the co-founder and president of QW Productions whose mission is to provide outstanding and professional entertainment in a classy and nostalgic atmosphere, while providing a platform for artists and musicians to showcase their awesome gift in music. She aims to educate both the public and upcoming artists on the importance of keeping the music from the past alive, music that touches our hearts. Quisha was born to sing and entertain. She grew up in a Jamaican/Canadian home listening to Reggae, Motown, Gospel, R&B, then entered the jazz program at Humber College in the mid ’90s. From there she embarked upon her dream of performing with well-known musicians, which took her to exciting overseas hotel engagements. Since then, Quisha has sung in many parts of Asia, Europe, North America, and Caribbean.

Ron Clarkin

Ron Clarkin is the current Treasurer of Toronto Blues Society. (full bio pending)

Suzie Vinnick

A Saskatoon native transplanted to the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, Suzie Vinnick is the proud owner of a gorgeous voice, impressive guitar and bass chops and an engagingly candid performance style. Suzie has won 12 Maple Blues Awards, 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, a 2024 ECMA with her project A’Court, Spiegel and Vinnick and is a 3X Juno Nominee. She has also twice won the International Songwriting Competition – Blues Category. Suzie has been on the board and musicians advisory council of the Toronto Blues Society since 2000.

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The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.