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This article was published 28/11/2014 (2351 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Sara Stasiuk is leaving Manitoba Music — but she’s not leaving the Manitoba music scene.
The executive director of the provincial music industry association will be stepping down from her post at the end of December, and will be leading Six Shooter Records’ expansion into Winnipeg as the Toronto-based label’s director of operations, a new position within the company.
Stasiuk will open a Six Shooter office in Winnipeg with an official start date of Jan. 5, 2015.
As part of her new role, she will also help bring Interstellar Rodeo, a festival presented by the label that launched in Edmonton in 2012, to the city. The inaugural Winnipeg edition of Interstellar Rodeo will be held at the Forks from August 14 to 16, 2015.
Stasiuk, who has been serving as Manitoba Music’s executive director since 2008, says Six Shooter’s presence in Winnipeg is a boon to the local music scene.
"I think it’s a sign of the times," she tells the Free Press. "It’s a progressive move on the part of Six Shooter.
"It’s a strong show of confidence in our scene. It sets a great precedent. Hopefully, other companies will consider having satellite offices and regional offices that tap into the industry expertise that exists in other communities."
'Sometimes you gotta make big moves'
Toronto’s Six Shooter Records was founded in 2000 and has become one of Canada’s premiere labels, home to acclaimed acts such as Whitehorse, 2014 Polaris Music Prize winner Tanya Tagaq, Juno Award winners Amelia Curran and the Strumbellas, multiple Juno nominees NQ Arbuckle, the Deep Dark Woods and many other artists, including Americana imports Shakey Graves and Mary Gauthier.
Stasiuk says she’s long-admired the company for its agility. "They take risks," she says.
"Sometimes you gotta make big moves in order to achieve growth in the scope of our activities, as well as our income and profitability," Six Shooter President Shauna de Cartier is quoted as saying in a press release. "This is a big move for both our company and for Sara. We couldn’t be more delighted that she will be joining our already impressive team of talented and hardworking individuals."
Of course, leaving Manitoba Music — an organization she’s been with for 13 years, first as program manager — isn’t easy.
"It’s a family," Stasiuk says. "I’ve been a part of seeing an industry grow and develop. But it’s been 13 years and the industry is changing. It’s a really exciting time for someone else to step in."
And she leaves big shoes to fill.
"Sara has been fundamental to Manitoba Music’s success, strength, and growth throughout her 13 years with us," says Manitoba Music’s president, Paul Jordan, in a release. "We would like to thank Sara for all she has accomplished for our association. We’re excited to see what she does next, and know that she will continue to champion our music community."
Manitoba Music’s board of directors will formalize its succession process and plan in the coming days.