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Arts Fundamentals: Digital Marketing and Social Media Accelerator

Members receive discounts on Creative Manitoba courses, classes and workshops.

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 June 7, 2020
 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Creative Manitoba and Manitoba Music are partnering together to offer digital marketing and social media training for artists from all creative practices. This accelerator program consists of three components:

Component 1: Mentor sessions
Component 2:  Webinar
Component 3: Asset reviews

Participants are strongly encouraged to take part in as many of the components as possible, but registration for each is optional.

To participate in the Mentor Sessions and Asset Reviews you must be a Creative Manitoba or Manitoba Music member.

Please fill out this submission form by Sunday May 24, 11:59PM CST, and one of our staff will get back to you by 5pm Monday, May 25, to confirm your spot. Registration is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. We’ll do our best to accommodate as many people as we can.



Alyson Shane, Starling Social
Anthony Sannie, Anthony OKS
Alexa Dirks, Begonia
Heidi Hunter, Runs With Scissors
Jen Doerksen, Mighty Cypress Talent
Joy Balmana, Synonym Art Consultation
Kristen Einarson, Starling Social
Lor Brand, freelance marketer
Morgan Coates, Six Shooter Records
Patrick Hansen, The Treble


Accelerator Sessions

These accelerator sessions are designed to offer skills and useful tools to DIY artists and arts administrators who are looking for promotional guidance in areas they need improvement. Each session will be one hour long, offered on three different days and times in order to accommodate varying schedules, and groups will be made up of no more than 10 participants in order to promote discussion, connection, and concentrated learning.

Participants must be a Creative Manitoba and/or Manitoba Music member, and may sign up for one, or all of the sessions. Registration is limited, on a first-come, first-served basis.


Wednesday, May 27, 10AM-2PM
10AM: Brand Development
11AM: Content Creation
12PM: Facebook + Instagram: Ads, Analytics, and Audience
1PM: Practical Tools for Digital Marketing

Thursday, May 28, 4PM-9PM
4PM: Facebook + Instagram: Ads, Analytics, and Audience
5PM: Practical Tools for Digital Marketing
7PM: Content Creation
8PM: Brand Development

Saturday, May 30, 11AM-3PM
11AM: Practical Tools for Digital Marketing
12PM: Content Creation
1PM: Brand Development
2PM: Facebook + Instagram: Ads, Analytics, and Audience

Brand Development

In today’s world, a strong brand promotes engagement and relatability with your work. As a creative, it can be difficult to find your brand or narrative when you’re focused on making great art. In this session, artist mentors will speak about how their brand has become an important link to their work, the steps, and the thoughtfulness behind determining their narrative, and how it’s helped them garner both interest and revenue.

Mentors: Anthony Sannie, Anthony OKS; Alexa Dirks, Begonia

Dates Offered:
Wednesday, May 27, 10AM
Thursday, May 28, 8PM
Saturday, May 30, 1PM

Content Creation

“Content” has become a household word in the realm of social media, and the pressure for artists to make lots of it is certainly high. Beyond the need for quantity, the quality of content has become even more important as algorithms determine a race for the top of the news feed. In this session, participants will discuss best practices for making, posting, and sharing content in a way that engages and promotes new followers.

Mentors: Heidi Hunter, Runs With Scissors; Jen Doerksen, Mighty Cypress Talent

Dates Offered:
Wednesday, May 27, 11AM
Thursday, May 28, 7PM
Saturday, May 30, 12PM

Facebook + Instagram: Ads, Analytics, and Audience

Facebook and Instagram remain some of the top promotional tools for artists, today, and it’s no secret that using their advertising tools can improve visibility for your art. Beyond being used as a marketing tool, the analytics behind each platform can also help users identify their target demographic and engage with their audience. This session will explore the basics behind using the advertising tools and how to study the analytics behind them in order to increase connection with an audience that is genuinely interested in your work.

Mentors: Kristen Einarson, Starling Social ; Lor Brand, freelance marketer

Dates Offered:
Wednesday, May 27, 12PM
Thursday, May 28, 4PM
Saturday, May 30, 2PM

Practical Tools for Digital Marketing

This is an advanced session for participants who already have experience with running ad campaigns and boosting social posts. Get tips and inspiration on how to strategize your digital advertising efforts to get the most out of the money you are spending.

Mentor: Morgan Coates, Six Shooter Records

Dates Offered:
Wednesday, May 27, 1PM
Thursday, May 28, 5PM
Saturday, May 30, 11AM


Webinar – Reddit: How Artists are Using it

Saturday, May 30, 3PM

This webinar will review all things Reddit: What it is, why it’s useful, what we know and don’t know, and how it can be used by artists to find followers and create engagement. Presenter Patrick Hansen will cover Reddit etiquette, culture, and karma, how to post and crosspost, and include data and metrics from three campaigns where the platform allocated over 100,000 views for recording artists, The Treble. Participants will learn how to use these best practices and knowledge to build an effective campaign that may help build a following outside of the more common social media platforms used by artists.
Mentor: Pat Hansen, The Treble

Web and Social Media Asset Reviews

Web and social media links often act as the public’s first impression of your work. Ensuring that your online platforms not only look good, but offer efficient communication and connection is important for establishing your professionalism as an artist.

Participants from the Digital Marketing and Social Media Accelerator program can sign up for a free asset review two weeks after their training sessions, in order to give them an opportunity to practice what they have learned and receive feedback from a marketing professional. Those who want to participate in an asset review will submit links to the platforms in which they’d like reviewed including their official website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Asset reviews are 60-90 minutes, will be in small groups of no more than five, and participants can learn from each other as their mentor gives feedback.

To register, you must be a Creative Manitoba and/or Manitoba Music member, and have signed up and participated in the mentor sessions held in May. Registration is limited, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mentors: Alyson Shane, Starling Social; Joy Balmana, Synonym Art Consultation; Morgan Coates, Six Shooter Records

Dates Offered:
Thursday, June 11, 11:30AM
Thursday, June 11, 1:00PM
Saturday, June 13, 11:30AM
Saturday, June 13, 1:00PM




Three years ago, Alexa Dirks began to transform. Dirks—an eminently talented vocalist equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads—had made a name for herself in local circles for her work in ensembles like the Juno-winning Chic Gamine. But in 2016, she stepped forward, redubbing herself ‘Begonia’ and signalling the blossom of a dynamic and intriguing artist: a glittery supernova who felt like music’s best-kept secret. Her long-awaited debut album Fear out came out September 2019, that secret will finally came out. Fear is a deeply personal album, at once bursting with ruminations on solitude, self-doubt, anxiety, and panic, all bundled up in that serene feeling that comes with an artist fully embracing themselves in both the past and the present tense. She wrote and co-produced the record with a familiar team: Matt Schellenberg and Matt Peters of Royal Canoe, along with Marcus Paquin, who has previously worked with The National, Arcade Fire and Local Natives. Three Begonia tracks have gone #1 on CBC Music’s National Top 20 radio chart, and the album spent 10 straight weeks at #1 on the Earshot! National Chart. NPR has called her “An Artist You Need To Know”, describing her music as “the place where synth-pop meets old soul, and scrappy meets sexy.”

Socials: @hellobegonia


Alyson Shane is a writer and business owner from Winnipeg with 17 years’ experience publishing content online. She owns a digital marketing agency called Starling Social and a startup called HeyAlfa. A passionate communicator, Alyson serves as the Communications Director for TEDxWinnipeg and gives dozens of talks and workshops focused on marketing strategy each year.

LinkedIn & Twitter: @alysonshane
Facebook: @alyson.shane


Anthony Sannie has made international waves as a member of celebrated group The Lytics along with Alex, his other brother Andrew, and their cousin Mungala. His spirited, adrenaline-injected flow and fiery stage presence have made him a highlight of The Lytics’ acclaimed live show and helped the group become one of the most exciting acts in Canadian hiphop. Since they dropped their debut full-length They Told Me dropped in 2012, The Lytics have played to sold-out crowds the world over, collaborated with the Beastie Boys’ Mike D, and shared the stage with legendary artists like Nas and The Roots. Earlier this year he celebrated the launch of his first solo debut project, ‘Take Time.’ You can find this project on all streaming platforms and his artist site, Sannie is currently working on his full length project.

Instagram: @anthonyoks
Twitter: @AnthonyOKSmusic
Facebook: Anthony OKS

Renaissance woman Heidi Hunter, has been a multi-disciplinary artist all her working life. Over the past 40 years, she has worked in visual arts, theatre, dance, music, TV and film. An ‘artist’s artist’, Heidi is a gifted, experienced teacher and marketing consultant, but most importantly, a forever student. She breathes in creativity in all she does, and enjoys a rich and colourful life working out of her Runs with Scissors Studio, west of Winnipeg Beach.

Facebook: @runswithscissorsstudio
Instagram & Twitter: @heididyedee


Jen is a non-binary communications professional with a deep knowledge of videography, photography, and a serious interest in audio engineering. Jen is currently the marketing manager at Birthday Cake Media, a role includes branding, long-term marketing strategies, digital-focused marketing, and creative development. Jen is a co-founder of BNB Studios, a videography outfit for artists and musicians, which is how they discovered and developed a passion for working directly alongside artists. They play drums for a few hobby bands in Winnipg, and are constantly exploring ways to mix mediums and bring visual and audio artforms together. They’re also the assistant editor at Stylus Magazine, and help to design and publish local Indigenous-led publication Red Rising Magazine. In their free time, they like to build cities in Minecraft and stretch.

Socials: @waaaho


Joy K. Balmana is the Opportunities Coordinator with Synonym Art Consultation and freelance Communications and Events Planner. At Synonym, Joy dips her toes into media relations, marketing, social media planning, event coordination, sponsorships with a bit of mural facilitation on the side. Throughout her working and educational career, Joy has always found excitement in uplifting those around her and providing opportunities to artists with incredible talent. Joy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba and graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program and has worked on a number of art-focused festivals in Manitoba including Nuit Blanche, Culture Days, and Holiday Alley.

Instagram: @byoj
LinkedIn: @joybalmana


Kristen Einarson is a marketing professional based in Winnipeg. She has worked for Starling Social, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and freelanced for several bands and comedians based in Winnipeg. When Kristen isn’t spending her days looking at analytics, copywriting, and thinking about marketing strategies, she is a stand-up comedian.

Instagram & Facebook: @kristeneinarson
Twitter: @KTEinarson


Lor Brand is a Métis visual artist and digital marketer who has been bringing artists’ work to life online since 2017 through content creation, digital ads, website development and more. More recently, Lor works to expand her own art online while working with other artists, festivals, and arts organizations with a special focus on Indigenous arts and culture.

Social handles: @lorbrand


Morgan Coates is the Director of Digital Marketing at Six Shooter Records in Toronto. From developing release strategies around new music to producing digital content, developing advertising campaigns and analyzing data, Coates brings technical know-how, boundless curiosity and forward-thinking ideas to every project. With an eye on industry trends and a keen sense of how to use ever-changing tools and techniques to best suit artists, Coates’ digital marketing expertise engages fans and drives streaming and social media growth. Recent work at Six Shooter includes international album marketing campaigns for The Dead South, Whitehorse, William Prince, and Riit.

Socials: @sixshooterrecords

Patrick Hansen is a visual artist who works across several mediums. After honing his graphic design skills as a teenager creating graphics for the Louis Riel School Division and Greendell Community Centre, Patrick then branched out into video and music production work. He honed his skills producing videos for local artists The Treble and Take Me to the Pilot, spoken word poet Anna Blackmore, and was a Director of Photography for local filmmaker Warren Nightengale’s award winning short “Mockingjay.” Patrick is now a teacher of film, web development, and media production in the Louis Riel School Division, and continues to develop his skills creating video content for Cadence Music Group (Toronto). His videos for the local artists aforementioned have garnered over 2 million views on YouTube, and his creative content has helped The Treble reach over 2.5 million streams over the life of their project (ongoing).

Social handles: @thetrebleband

 June 7, 2020
 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Cancellation policy

Creative Manitoba reserves the right to cancel or postpone any event where a minimum registration level has not been met. Participants registered for an event that is cancelled by Creative Manitoba will receive a full refund.

Registrants may cancel up to one week before the event to receive a full refund. No refunds will be issued to registrants who cancel within one week of the event start date. No refunds will be issued for registrants who do not attend.

Substitute participants are allowed in most cases, but not all. Please check with us ahead of time if you wish to send a substitute participant by calling 204-927-2787.

It is our intent that Creative Manitoba programs and events foster a supportive, nonthreatening environment for everyone to participate and share in - regardless of gender, ability, ethnicity or cultural differences. We ask that you please be welcoming and respectful of world views that differ from your own.

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