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Future Leaders: FACTOR-Funded Keychange Announces 2023 Cohort

The innovative year-long Talent Development Program provides women and gender expansive participants with the skills, resources and pathways needed to unlock their full potential in their area of expertise.

10 January 2023 – As the lead funder of their work in Canada, FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), today shares the news that Keychange, the pioneering international initiative for gender equity in the music industry, welcomes 74 new participants to its 2023 Talent Development Program.

Bringing together a multitude of different skills and networks through the Keychange Pledge and Talent Development Program, Keychange offers a unique ecosystem with international collaboration at its heart.

Selected by industry and export specialists as future leaders, the newly announced participants mark the third cohort of artists and music industry professionals from 12 countries across Europe and Canada to take part in a year-long program. It follows a highly competitive open call that received 830 applications.

As a Sponsor, FACTOR has committed up to $350,000 over four years towards the work of Keychange in keeping with the mission of promoting inclusiveness in the Canadian music industry which is reflective of the diversity of Canada’s population. The SOCAN Foundation is also a sponsoring organization in Canada, alongside Keychange Partners Mutek and Breakout West.

The 2023 Canadian participants are:

Artists: The Garrys, Desiree Dawson, Liza, Meisha and The Spanks

Innovators: Roxanne Lemieux, Kingsley Swim, Nancy Lee, Gaby Gauthier-Durand

Listen to the Keychange 2023 artist playlists here on SoundCloud and Spotify. Read more about each of the 74 artists and innovators at the Keychange site.

Keychange is proud to support exciting, diverse talent through the program, and once again represents a broad range of music genres, sub-sectors and artists and professionals from diverse backgrounds. An inclusive approach aims to tackle complex intersectional barriers and within the latest cohort where participants responded to diversity and inclusion monitoring questions: 51.7% identify as LGBTQIA+; 9.5% of participants identify as gender expansive (non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid and other minority gender identities);  and 27.3% belong to racially marginalised communities within their countries. Keychange partners are also proud to offer additional access and childcare support to a number of selected participants and encourages others in the sector to help tackle such barriers to inclusion.

Keychange Talent Development Program 2023

The Talent Development program will launch with a Full Network Meet Up in Brussels over February 14-15, 2023. Alongside the full network meet-ups, participants will take part in workshops, seminars and masterclasses at the 13 festivals that are partnered with Keychange across Europe and Canada. Artists will have the opportunity to perform at international showcases, whilst innovators will take part in international music conferences. Each participant will be invited to join a bespoke mentoring scheme created in collaboration with the global platform for women, gender non-conforming people,

Isabelle Banos (Innovator, Canada) says,

After participating in Keychange I feel more energized, inspired and empowered than ever. This program has been one of the most amazing experiences in my career thus far, mainly because of my incredible fellow participants. Getting to connect with such talented women and gender minorities from all over the world has been absolutely life-changing to say the least. After a really tough couple of years, for all artists, this experience has left me feeling like I belong, like I matter, like I can do anything and actually have an impact on an industry that has, more often than not, made me feel like I can’t. Keychange has truly woken me up! 

The Keychange Talent Development program and Pledge are working to create positive change towards an inclusive industry for all music creators and professionals that have experienced barriers as a result of their gender, including (but not limited to) transgender, non-binary, agender and genderfluid creators and professionals, as well as cis-women.