The Snow Lake Initiative announces Toronto's Blue Crane Agency founder Tao-Ming Lau as the first mentor for its inaugural business-to-artist mentorship opportunity

Canada’s new grant and mentorship provider The Snow Lake Initiative announces Toronto's Blue Crane Agency founder Tao-Ming Lau as the first mentor for its inaugural business-to-artist mentorship opportunity.


Toronto, ON, February 5, 2019 – ‘The Snow Lake Initiative,’ Canada’s new grant and mentorship provider for Canadian artists of all disciplines, implements its inaugural mentorship program for its business-to-artist option featuring Blue Crane Agency founder, entrepreneur ‘Tao-Ming Lau’ as the initial mentor. The deadline to apply for this mentorship is February 27, 2019.

Tao-Ming Lau runs Blue Crane Agency in Toronto; a music booking agency seeking to prioritize women, artists of colour and queer and trans musicians in North America and abroad. The agency has programmed festivals and events such as Pride Toronto, Nuit Blanche, Royal Ontario Museum, Mongrel House at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Institute of Canadian Citizenship, Women in Music Canada and more. She is a Polaris Music Prize board director, sits on the TD Toronto Jazz Artistic Advisory Committee and was featured as a ‘Local Hero’ in Now Magazine in 2018.

Tao-Ming Lau, who was chosen as a Rising Star in Toronto Life Magazine's 50 Most Influential Torontonians of 2018, states, “I was attracted to the fact that Snow Lake is spearheaded and run by a woman – I think it's truly important to have women at the forefront of developing new infrastructure and programs in Canada’s music industry. My agency seeks to open doors, and to hire and train women and marginalized artists, so I felt an affinity towards this project and what it's trying to conceive. The mentorship program is very well thought out, organized and accessibility-driven.”

‘The Snow Lake Mentorship Program’ is a three-month, one-on-one opportunity (either a business-to-artist or an artist-to-artist option) for artists to gain unique insight and experience from active career professionals.

The process to apply for a mentorship involves three steps:
1. The Snow Lake Initiative announces the mentor.
2. The artist/member writes a one or two-page letter or “pitch” (addressed directly to the mentor).
3. The mentor personally selects the mentee, and introductions are made.

It is free to become a member of The Snow Lake Initiative, and free to apply for all mentorships and programs.

** This mentorship opportunity is presented in partnership with Soapstones Natural Skincare and Bandbox Inc.

** Additional support is by media partner PopCan Radio, and promotional partner Music and Film in Motion (MFM).

Tao-Ming Lau, a queer woman of colour, was previously at Chicago-based touring agency Billions, Universal Music Canada and got her start with Carly Rae Jepsen's management and label (604 Records) in Vancouver – where she was born and raised.

The Snow Lake Initiative founder J’aime Payne is a creative entrepreneur from Huntsville, Ontario. She relocated to Toronto in 2013, where she worked with several high-profile businesses in the music industry. Ventures included successful applications for provincial grants grossing over $500K, business management for some of Canada’s multi-million-dollar export artists and an inspired term as Director of Member Services at The Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association (CIRAA), before it dissolved in 2016.

‘The Snow Lake Initiative’ (official launch; November 8, 2018) offers micro-funding and unique programming for Canadian artists of all disciplines. It is a free, members-only, three-tiered initiative involving a Micro-Grant Program, a Mentorship Program and a bartering-style Grant-Writing Program.

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Laurie Lockhart, GET THE MESSAGE

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