Street closures around the NAC during Ottawa Race Weekend

Lifting each other up: The Adrian Burns Fund for Women Leaders in the Performing Arts

Black and white photo of Adrian Burns wearing a dark blazer and pearl necklace.
Adrian Burns © Tony Hauser
Music producer Hill Kourkoutis holds a guitar in a room with natural lighting. Her dark hair is piled on top of her head, she is wearing a black leather jacket and holding an acoustic guitar.
Hill Kourkoutis
The two members of the band Madison Violet stand close together. Both have long wavy hair and are wearing white t-shirts and dark jackets.
Brenley MacEachern & Lisa MacIsaac
Music producer Denise De'ion sits in a purple-lit studio with two monitors and mixing equiment behind her.
Denise De'ion
Music producer Mica Hourbeigt looks intently at a monitor and uses mixing equipment in a studio with electric guitars and sound baffles on the walls.
Mica Hourbeigt
Music producer Elisa Pangsaeng working in a studio with a mixing board and computer keyboard.
Elisa Pangsaeng

Your donations in action through the Global Network for Women Music Producers.

One year ago, the 2022 NAC Gala raised an incredible $1 million to support the new Adrian Burns Fund for Women Leaders in the Performing Arts.

The fund supports artists, designers, producers, technicians and administrators whose creativity, passion and achievements make Canada’s culture shine and is named in honour of Adrian Burns LL.D, past Chair of the NAC Board of Trustees.

One program supported in part by the fund is The Global Network for Women Music Producers. Heather Gibson, Executive Producer at NAC for Popular Music and Variety, collaborated with international music industry leaders to form the Global Network in 2021. Together, they wanted to help right the gender imbalance in the field—in January 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released a study on the music industry revealing that of 651 producers credited, only 2.6% were women.

Program participant Hill Kourkoutis, who in 2022 became the first woman to receive a Juno Awards nomination for Recording Engineer of the Year, shared, “Out of conversations [through The Global Network for Women Music Producers] the sisterhood really started to grow. We got into the bigger conversations about the struggles that we’re facing and asked ‘how do we overcome these struggles, how do we attain more visibility and opportunities so that we can close that barrier that exists for women in music?’”

In early September, Hill joined 14 music producers from Australia, Argentina, Wales and Canada to explore these questions in person. The women spent a week in Montreal and Toronto experimenting in studios, showing their work to the public and music industry professionals, attending master labs, and more.

Lisa MacIsaac of the Juno-nominated Canadian music duo Madison Violet said “I have learned so many new tools and tricks of the trade from exceptional producers. These women are here to learn and teach and lift each other up and that for me is an incredible gift, feeling that support and love.”

Your donations to The Adrian Burns Fund for Women Leaders in the Performing Arts empower women like Hill Kourkoutis and Lisa MacIsaac to push limits and create change. Thank you!

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