Meet 5 Women Shaping Electronic Music's Future At AEMCON 2019

Get hands on with new gear at The AEMCON MarketPlace. Photo: Leigh- Anne Hazard (@miss.hazard)

Get hands on with new gear at The AEMCON MarketPlace. Photo: Leigh- Anne Hazard (@miss.hazard)

Statistically, Women are less likely to participate in the electronic music industry. it’s not uncommon to hear stories from female DJs & producers that they have had fewer role models to follow, that they feel less welcome behind the scenes, they sometimes face hostile environments, and that they aren’t treated as seriously as their counterparts. The long term effects of these barriers to entry are shown in a report by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The report found:

  • In 2018, females only represented 26.2% of credited solo artists.

  • 10.4% of Grammy nominees from 2013-2019 were female. 89.6% were male.

  • Only 2% of all producers are women, but more importantly, this is a ratio of 49 males to every one female.

  • Across 300 songs, only two female producers of colour appear across the sample.* 

Source: https://annenberg.usc.edu/research/ai

In 2018, 30% of AEMCON’s attendees were female, and we hope to see that number growing every year. This year, we’re proud to present an inspiring array of talented and influential women to share their experience and to be mentors for up-and-coming industry professionals.  Speakers include: five-time Grammy-nominated pioneer of synths Suzanne Cianni (Presented by NMC:ON); Bass Coast Festival co-founder Liz Thompson; Nancy Lee, who was named one of BC's “Most Influential Women in STEM”; Blue Crane Agency owner Tao Ming; producer and creative powerhouse Maylee Todd & and many more. 

You may also want to check out The DIY Feminist Resistance Panel, hosted by Femmewave’s Kaely Cormack, which will discuss how you can create your own venue, space, or collective as well as discuss the politics of diversity in club environments. Learn more about this panel by heading online to our festival guide.

Lastly, we’re proud to announce the return of the Girls On Decks Scholarship, learn more about it below.

Click here for the full list of announced speakers. Throughout September & October, we will be announcing more and more names for the 2019 conference. In total, over 125 artists and speakers will present their ideas and music.

Meet Some Of The Headliners

Suzanne Cianni (Presented by NMC ON)

Dubbed the “Diva of the Diode,” Suzanne Ciani is an electronic sound designer and composer known for her decades-long relationship with, and mastery of, the Buchla 200 synthesizer and its spin-off, the Buchla 200e. In addition to her pioneering work as an electronic musician, her new age releases have earned her a handful of Grammy nominations. Ciani will be in attendance to deliver a demonstration and lecture on the history of the instrument. 

Maylee Todd

Maylee Todd is a multimedia artist, consultant, musician and curator based in Toronto. Her creativity derives from a wide range of artistic disciplines: songwriting, production, performance art, dance, digital collage, 3-D projection mapping, digital strategy, and curation. Todd recently started a Production Company and school called Virtual Womb and opened up a DIY venue that serves as a production house, workshop community space and an artist residency. Virtual Womb builds immersive experiences, large scale installation and is a multimedia performative art platform that integrates POC LGBTQ artists and educators in tech, financial literacy, and strategic planning. She will be joining us at AEMCON to share her knowledge in several workshops and panels including How to Build a Multimedia Show using Ableton Live, DIY Feminist Resistance Panel, and From the Studio to the Stage: Performing Live Panel

Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee is a Taiwanese-Canadian electronic music curator, interdisciplinary media artist, independent cultural producer, and filmmaker. This year, Nancy co-produced CURRENT: Feminist Electronic Art Symposium, a 5-day multidisciplinary and intersectional music and electronic art symposium working with women and non-binary artists to cultivate growth within the local community and create a more equal landscape within the electronic arts ecology. Nancy is a 2018 YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee for Art, Cultural & Design and is named one of BC’s Most Influential Women in STEM for 2018. She will be in attendance to share her personal stories and insights in several talks and panels including Luminaries: Visuals, Lighting, and Space Design Panel, Verbalize: Presented by AEMCON & ATB, and The DIY Feminist Resistance. 

Networking with Nancy Lee at AEMCON, 2018. Photo: Neil McElmon (@concertsocks)

Networking with Nancy Lee at AEMCON, 2018. Photo: Neil McElmon (@concertsocks)

Liz Thompson

Liz Thomson is the co-founder and art director of Bass Coast Festival. She is the "eyes of the festival". She creates, curates and/or directs all of the festival stage and site designs, graphic design, video & photo content, merchandise, site layouts, site art, signage, 3D models, 3D graphics and digital media. She is the site build director, festival co-producer and curator of the art grant exhibit & vending. In 2015 she started The Guild, an artist collective that enabled her and her team to create and exhibit large scale art installations across North America. She will be joining us at AEMCON to share her knowledge in several workshops, panels, and talks including Ethics in the Creative Realm Panel and Luminaries : Visuals, Lighting and Space Design Panel.

Tao Ming

Tao is one of Canada's top electronic music agents. She runs Blue Crane Agency, a music booking agency seeking to prioritize women, artists of colour, and queer and trans musicians in North America and abroad. She will be sharing her knowledge in The DIY Feminist Resistance Panel, and The Best and Worst of Being an Agent in 2019 Panel.

Last year we discussed how we can make spaces safer for everyone. Photo: Leigh-Anne Hazard (@miss.hazard)

Last year we discussed how we can make spaces safer for everyone. Photo: Leigh-Anne Hazard (@miss.hazard)

The DIY Feminist Resistance Panel

You may want to check out The DIY Feminist Resistance Panel hosted by Femmewave’s Kaely Cormack, which will discuss how you can create your own venue, space, or collective and the politics of diversity in club environments. The intersection of space and identity creates an inherently political atmosphere. In this panel Maylee Todd, Tereasa Maillie, Tao Ming, and Nancy Lee will discuss their activism and art, and how a Do-It-Yourself approach has allowed them to create both physical and metaphorical space for women and non-binary artists in a white-hetero-male dominated industry.

Learn more by heading to the online schedule. Throughout September and October, we’ll slowly be releasing conference sessions and show announcements. 

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The Girls on Decks AEMCON Scholarship

Girls on Decks are sending 3 deserving female/non-binary artists to AEMCON! As the longest-running female-identified DJ collective in Calgary, AB, they are dedicated to supporting women/non-binary artists. Girls on Decks have become an important and influential movement in Western Canada, giving hundreds of women their start in the music business. Judges are looking for women and non-binary individuals who are passionate about electronic music, and are looking for an opportunity to enrich their career and develop themselves as artists. No previous experience in the industry is necessary, just passion and drive to work in the electronic music industry! Click here for more information and to apply. Applications close October 10th.