There’s never been a shortage of famous and successful Canadian woman in music. Anne, Joni, Buffy, k.d., Shania, Alanis, Celine, Feist, Alessia – A-list stars and global ambassadors for Canadian creativity across all genres. But recently, campaigns like #MeToo and #JunoSoMale have shone a light on the inequalities that many women still face behind the scenes, and renewed a desire for change.
While Canadian Music Week is gathering industry players in Toronto this week, we’ve gathered seven women who are thriving in their fields, and using their voices to make things better for other female performers in the studio, on the road, in music videos and the boardroom.
Being a woman in rock was me against the world. Serena Ryder ~ Singer/Songwriter
Serena Ryder can always tell when she’s playing a music festival with women on staff. “They put garbage bins in the bathrooms!” she says, laughing. “It’s one of the many little things than men don’t think about.”
The Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter of “Stompa” and “What I Wouldn’t Do” has toured extensively since her teens, and has seen a lot of changes in the industry in the last three years.
“The thing I find completely different right now is that there is much more of a sense of community,” she says. “When I started touring, it felt like being a woman in rock was me against the world. My survival strategy was becoming one of the boys. I was really good at drinking. I felt like I had to be strong all the time and never show my emotions. It’s only when I started having more relationships with other women my age in the art community, my life got much better.”