Kelly McMichael - Rouge

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, Canadian Women Working in Music is challenging Canadian music presenters to ‘Walk the Walk’ by pledging that they will produce or maintain gender parity in their lineups by 2020.

In response to Keychange, an EU-based organization, which has signed on 44 International festivals – including BreakOut West, NXNE, and Canadian Music Week to commit to producing and/or maintaining gender-parity lineups by 2022, we call on music presenters in Canada to respond to this challenge and to do better.

We believe that Canadian music presenters – from festivals to concert series to small venues working year-round – are uniquely poised to move forward with gender parity booking immediately due to the overwhelming number of skilled, exciting women making music in this country, and we encourage Canadian music presenters to commit to the music community as a whole to be leaders both at home and internationally in increasing the numbers of women on stages across the country.


Shoshona Kish of Digging Roots

Whether at a conference (panels and showcases), an awards ceremony, a festival, or a 50-person capacity venue, we know that you are capable of booking gender parity if you are willing to do so.

Click the link and sign the pledge today! 

The Pledge:

“We, the undersigned Canadian music presenters, pledge to Walk the Walk by booking gender parity in our lineups as soon as possible, achieving or maintaining this goal by 2020.

We recognize and respect the work of Keychange ( in working to encourage International festivals to book gender parity by 2022, and see this as a gauntlet thrown down to the international music community to do better.

Festival Report Card

This pledge is sponsored by Canadian Women Working in Music (, producers of the Canadian Festival Report Card, an advocacy and education group dedicated to assisting women and under-represented groups in the music community. While calling for gender parity, we also call for increased representation throughout the music community of racialized people, Indigenous people, LGBTQ people, and any other under-represented groups. Hire them, pay them well, be awesome.”

In 2017, our organization, Canadian Women Working in Music, released the Canadian Festival Report Card, grading festivals across the country on the number of women-fronted artists and bands they presented in their 2017 lineups. This initiative will continue in 2018 and for the foreseeable future.

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