About Jumpstart Consulting

Welcome to JUMPSTART, an on-demand music career consultation and coaching service provided by Music BC. This program is designed as a platform to connect BC musicians and music professionals with career support to help accelerate their music-related project.

Music BC is offering an opportunity for BC-based music professionals, companies and artists to meet 1-on-1 with a selection of professionals with experience in an array of skills and backgrounds in the industry. This program will offer consulting & career coaching to Music BC Members and non-members to help them reach their career or music-project goals.

Consultation Categories:

  • Artist Development
  • Artist Management
  • Business Management
  • Career/Industry Coaching (general)
  • Digital/Streaming/Distribution
  • Funding/Grants
  • Marketing/Branding/Content Creation
  • Music Business/Commercial
  • New markets/Export/Business International
  • Publishing/Licensing/Sync
  • Release Strategy
  • Touring/Booking

Our Consultants:

Kristina Lao

Media & Entertainment

  • Community Connections
  • Resumes, Cover Letters & Bios (Professional Development)
  • Artist & Creative Development

Kristina (she/her), is an Artist-Advocate from Hong Kong with over 15 years working internationally as a curator, creator, and connector. She specialises in mentoring, developing pathways and advocating for all level of careers in front of and behind the lens of Media & Entertainment; from crafting a single resume for a fund-applying artist and connecting creatives to resources in their industries to developing, and producing regional and national initiatives in Music, Film and Entertainment. Kristina has helped hundreds of post-secondary graduates with resumes, covering letters, and job applications, with notable jobs landed at Microsoft, EA, 604 Records, Live Acts, Digital Sound Magic and more. She has also moderated panels and participated as a juror for provincial and international organisations including Monstercat, Music BC, Creative BC, and VIMA Global Music Awards. She has over five years of combined board experience with Cushy Entertainment, Music BC and FIO Entertainment and has delivered lectures for Kwantlen Polytechnic and Capilano University. She has worked with or provided consultancy in Media careers from local industry individuals to global brands including the American Classical Orchestra, Nimbus School of Recording & Media, and RIFF.

Kristina is the co-founder of Bombshell Brunches, a weekly podcast and lifestyle and career-centred community platform, and is a working actor and singer-songwriter with national tours, network television and global commercial campaign credits. She believes strongly in the necessity for hybrid arts-advocacy careers, and facilitative leadership, by creating active succession plans and greater accessibility into positions of influence. With over ten years of event and project planning, proposal writing, community initiatives, research and development, Kristina enjoys her roles in public engagements, performance, moderation and community building. As the current Executive Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Prolific Media Holdings, she holds a strong passion for reducing barriers to entry for emerging creators and creatives, and envisions a world where full-time creative careers are visible, sustainable, fulfilling, and highly valued.

Racquel Villagante

A&R Executive and Artist Manager

  • Artist Management
  • Music Rights & Royalties
  • A&R
Racquel Villagante is the Creative Executive at SOCAN Los Angeles. She formerly held the position of SOCAN A&R Representative in both Vancouver & Toronto, supporting and connecting songwriter and producer talent. Prior to her time at SOCAN, she managed several artists, talent wrangled for stadium tours, show promoted, and label managed for an indie label. With now over 9 years experience within the music industry, and drawing from her background in the field of Psychology, she approaches her work in the industry with a more holistic and human-centered perspective. Her day-to-day function at SOCAN is curating and facilitating creative opportunities for collaboration & craft development for SOCAN songwriters, producers, and composers within the LA market.

Natasha Dion

Branding + Content Consultant

• Social Media Strategy
• Branding, Creative Direction, and Rollout Content
• Project Management

Natasha is a diverse creative leader focused on branding in the music and corporate industries, working on projects with Adidas, Bauer, Internet Money, Rogers Arena, and more. She works as a Branding Director for Analog + Digital (Brand + Web Agency), is a Creative Director for Chaos Club Digital (Record Label and Creative Lab), Creative Director for Boslen (Artist), and General Manager at 2track Entertainment (Music and Photo Studio). Natasha studied Communication Design at Emily Carr University but doesn’t like to be defined by a title – working on many side projects as a director, editor, producer, social media manager, industrial designer, and photographer.

Negele Hospedales

Digital Marketing & Brand Consultant

  • Social media marketing & rollouts
  • Auditing your digital brand
  • Building a core audience

Negele Hospedales is a versatile communications specialist focused on optimizing digital strategy and brand development. With his clients he develops, formats, and scales brilliant campaigns and brings them to life in modern and exciting ways that captivate existing audiences and identify new opportunities. He’s worked with Universal Music Group in the UK and USA to develop digital strategies for developmental artists, as well as worked directly with artist teams across all genres and territories, including Cordae, Chance the Rapper, Juls, Jarreau Vandal, and Grace Weber.

Creatively, Hospey is also an established photographer, writer, and content creator.

Daryn Davies

Artist Management

  • Business Management (revenue streams, expenses, budgeting, salaries, commissions)
  • International touring
  • Future building (short and long term)
Music industry professional for 10 years and counting. Coming from a background in banking, Daryn joined the Feldman Agency in 2010 overseeing artist immigration and contract management. In 2014, Daryn joined Macklam Feldman Management assigned to Elvis Costello’s management team promptly followed by Diana Krall’s team a couple years later. He has also worked with artists to the likes of Ry Cooder, Lyle Lovett, Jordan Smith, Colin James, Sarah McLachlan over the years in addition to developing acts in the A&R division.

Matthew Maw

Director, Artist Manager

  • Team Building
  • Campaign Planning
  • Artist Development

Matt Maw (Chippewas of the Thames First Nation) is the Director & Lead Artist Manager at Red Music Rising. Matt brings over 10 years of multi-faceted music industry experience to RMR, along with a passion for artist development and a mission to amplify Canada’s Indigenous artists on the global stage. Throughout his career, Matt has worked with some of Canada’s most celebrated artists, Indigenous and otherwise, including Tanya Tagaq, William Prince, Riit, Jeremy Dutcher, Broken Social Scene, and BANNERS, among others. A graduate of the Harris Institute for the Arts, Matt has previously worked alongside organizations including Arts & Crafts Productions, Six Shooter Records and New Constellations.

Esra Firatli

Project Manager / Label Manager

  • Marketing/Branding/Content Creation
  • Release Strategy
  • Digital/Streaming/Distribution

Esra Firatli (she/her) is a Toronto-based Label Manager at ArtHaus Music, overseeing all aspects of label operations. Prior to joining ArtHaus, Esra worked as Label Manager at Pheromone Recordings and Sleepless Records.

With nearly a decade of experience working at independent record labels, Esra has held roles related to marketing, project management, album production, administration, grant funding, as well as touring coordination and logistics.

Esra was actively involved on the JUNO Awards’ Advisory Committee and has been a FACTOR Juror for 5+ years. She has participated on panels/workshops on a multitude of Canadian festivals and conferences across the country.

Nancy Lee

Grant Coach, Event Producer, Curator, Community Organizer

  • Grant coaching (artists, DIY collectives, small businesses, music video production)
  • Community events (planning, programming, relationship building)
  • Project management (budgets, timelines, basic financial literacy)

Nancy Lee(they/she), is a Taiwanese-Canadian DJ, interdisciplinary media artist, curator and music video director. Nancy is a co-founder of Chapel Sound, an electronic music and art collective supporting emerging artists, and CURRENT Symposium, an intersectional and multidisciplinary initiative featuring artistic and educational programming for women, gender diverse and artists of colour. They also run a small DIY production studio in Chinatown, Atelier 254, hosting shows, workshops and artist residencies. As a community music consultant, Nancy has worked with CreativeBC and City of Vancouver to improve the accessibility of their funding programs. Nancy works with artists and organizers in DIY and underground spaces, and genres spanning from rap, RnB, club, experimental electronic, ambient, bass, house and techno. Over the past few years, Nancy has received grants from Creative BC, City of Vancouver, Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. They are keen to offer support for emerging artists, BIPOC and queer artists, artists from immigrant families, and artists whose first languages are not English.

Languages: English, Mandarin and limited Cantonese

Rae Spoon

Label Director, Producer, Songwriter

  • Music Release Rollout
  • Grant Writing
  • Marketing For Under-Represented Artists

Rae Spoon is a musician and producer with twenty-five years of experience in the music industry. Their voice and song-writing are always the centre of their music which they perform out of a great respect for mutual connection with their audience. They have been nominated for two Polaris Prizes, a Lambda Literary Award and a Western Canadian Music Award. They have toured internationally in much of Europe, the USA, Australia and China.

Rae supports artists in forging their own spaces in the industry through sound recording workshops, mentoring, grant writing and music production. In 2015, Rae founded Coax Records in the hopes of using their experience as an under-represented artist to create more space in the music industry for others. They aim to build a community where artists from lots of backgrounds can share their music on their own terms. Coax Records has released four-six albums many of which have received a lot of media attention, won Juno Awards and been nominated for Polaris Prizes.

Robin Cisek

Self-Managed Artist, Artist Mentor

  • Biographies and Elevator Pitches
  • Marketing
  • Finding your Audience

Indigenous Super Stars’ Canada 2022, Best Emerging Artist, Robin Cisek is a Metis artist from Edmonton who creates melodic electro-pop. She has charted on the Mediabase Activator Chart and the Indigenous Music Countdown a number of times including a #1 in 2019. “Memories”, a song from her album, garnered 24,000 views on Youtube and received Awards from a number of film festivals including an Award of Merit from the INDIEFest Film Awards (2022), Best Music Video from the Edmonton Short Film Awards (2022) and Best Music Video in Oz Indie Film Festival. In 2022, Cisek was chosen as one of CBC and Toyota Searchlight‘s (2022) top 100.

At the start of Cisek’s career, she was mentored by Alex Houton, an artist development specialist based in New York City, and created and released her first two commercial singles. Mentorship is still an important part of Cisek’s career and since her career started, she has participated in the APTN, RBCxMusic Indigenous Music Accelerator 2021, the Indigenous Women in Music residency Manitoba Music and in 2023 SOCAN’s EquityX production program. She now works as a mentor herself. Robin uses her Bachelor of Education, Certificate of International Knowledge and talents in art and design to mentor and teach artists to be creative, know their audience and branding and share tips to be business savvy. Robin Cisek’s goal is to create a supportive community and break down barriers for artists. Robin Cisek has taken on all different aspects of her career including radio distribution, branding, promotion, content creation and social media. She has been a mentor with Hitmakerz, a number of local artists, The Quaggaviut Mentorship Program to be one of has been a speaker for IndieWeek.

Jenn Barker

Artist & Business Manager

  • Artist & Cultural Entrepreneur Mentoring
  • Professional Fundraising / Grant Writing

Jenn Barker is an experienced artist and business manager with a career spanning over two decades. She has gained valuable insights from her involvement in various roles, including festival organization, record label management, and artist representation.

Jenn’s career highlights include her work at Mint Records as the Special Project Manager, where she collaborated with renowned artists Neko Case and the New Pornographers. She later founded Fairground Management, providing comprehensive artist and business management services to a diverse roster including Destroyer and China Cloud Studios.

 Jenn held a central position at Nimbus School of Recording as the Head of the Music Business Department. During her time there, she co-created Business Class Records, an innovative platform that enabled students to gain real-world experience by releasing products.

In 2023, Jenn launched a mentorship program through Fairground Management, offering education and coaching to artists and cultural entrepreneurs at all career stages. This program supports artistic and business development, further solidifying Jenn’s commitment to fostering growth and success in the industry.

Michelle Allman-Esdaille

Sync Agent & Artist Manager

  • Sync Agent
  • Artist Management
  • Business Operation Consultant (Music Industry Related)

Michelle Allman-Esdaille is the founder and owner of The Hook & Company, a Toronto based artist service marketplace for creatives and freelance Artist Managers and Entertainment Specialists. Alongside being a small business owner and an Artist Manager herself, Michelle is recognized as an artist strategist, consultant, industry speaker, mental health advocate and mindset coach specific to the creative space. Recently added to her roster, Michelle is the only recorded black female to own and operate her own sync agency in Canada under the business name The HOOK Sync Group. Being privy to race and gender biases within the music industry, it is important for Michelle to create spaces that are built specifically for underrepresented artists that fall in the BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and recognized as female community. Most recently, Michelle has taken on the position of Lead, Operations and Lead, Talent Acquisition at ADVANCE, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective. Her role includes providing strategic direction and leadership, identifying ADVANCE’s and their partners goals and expectations to successfully assist in job recommendation/talent acquisition across the music industry within Canada. This aligns with her focus of partnering with companies and organizations to help fill the skill gaps through training and upskilling channels for the Black community.

To add to the list, Michelle is a Reiki practitioner and author of a collaborative anthology book entitled “”You Have So Much Potential – Inspiring Generation Healing & Transformation”” with 29 other doctors and practitioners.

Request your consultation

Please fill out the form below with all necessary information on your project, industry question or coaching category desired. Please include a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of Consultant.

Please review our Etiquette and Expectations document before applying.

Participants will be contacted by Music BC when their consultation request is approved and confirmed.


This program is supported by:

Program guidelines:

  • Meeting requests will be reviewed and coordinated by Music BC.
  • Consultations will be conducted by phone or video chat.
  • Participants will be asked to select their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice for Consultant when requesting a meeting. Music BC will do our best to match you with your top choices depending on Consultant availability.
  • Consultations will be booked for a maximum of 1-hour and provided at no cost to the Participant.
  • Each Consultant will receive a copy of the Participant intake form to prepare ahead of each meeting.
  • Please note meeting requests will be accommodated on a first come first served basis and accepted on a rolling deadline until March, 2024 or until allotted program hours are maxed out, whichever comes first.
  • Total meeting requests will be split evenly between Music BC members and non-members.
  • Depending on demand, more than one meeting request may be accommodated.
  • Music BC will follow up with Participants and Consultants for general feedback on each session to help us refine and expand the program as needed.
  • Participants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and must have resided in BC for a period of six months at the time of their meeting request.

Feel free to contact kentya@musicbc.org if there’s a consultation category missing you’d like to see in the near future or if you’re a Consultant interested in participating in the program this year.