In this series, we will be profiling music professionals from all facets of the industry to learn more about their involvement in the CARAS Academy Delegate program.
Zac Monson is a Dance & Electronic Music Curator and Artist & Label Relations at Stingray Music. He is also a Host & Producer of Stingray PausePlay. As an active member of the Canadian dance music scene, Zac is passionate about helping grow and evolve the community. Zac has served as a CARAS Academy Delegate since 2014, believing that those who care enough about the industry deserve to have a say in shaping the future of Canadian music.
What inspired you to become an Academy Delegate?
As I became more active in the dance music community, I was invited to join the Dance Recording of the Year Committee. Seeing that I had the ability to affect change, and help the dance & electronic music scene grow, and evolve, made continuing as a delegate an easy choice.
Why is it important to be active in the Canadian music industry?
As the music scene evolves, and the way we connect, create and consume music changes, so will the messages and voices that are a part of those songs. If we don’t have passionate music lovers from each community, from each genre, from each facet of the business all communicating and discussing music, we’re limiting ourselves in our ability to grow and produce the best possible music.
What do you enjoy most about being an Academy Delegate?
Having a say. Being able to be a part of the process.
Why do you think it’s important to promote and celebrate Canadian music and artists?
For whatever reason, Canada is often forgotten on a global musical map. Music is spoken about from the United States, from the UK, from Australia, but rarely Canada is mentioned, even though all the top artists are Canadian right now ( Mendes, Bieber, Drake, The Weeknd, Alessia, etc ).
It’s important for us as a Canadian Music scene to spread not only the world that Canada has amazing music, but that YOU ALREADY KNOW A LOT OF THEM.
“If you care enough about music, and the industry, and the community to keep grinding 40-80 hour work weeks, driven sometimes only by your own passion for it, you deserve to have a say in shaping the future of CARAS, the JUNO Awards, and Canadian music.”
– Zac Monson
Why is diversity within the Academy Delegate program and the Canadian music industry so essential?
The same idea goes as before. Without all the voices, without all the stories, without all the different cultures and backgrounds and musical upbringings working together and sharing their knowledge and experience, we will never reach our potential as a music community.
What has been your favourite JUNOS moment? / What are you most excited about for the upcoming JUNO Awards?
I’ve had the pleasure of being on the JUNOs Red Carpet interviewing Canada’s best more than a few times, and the excitement and the buzz that you feel that night, as you share these moments with some of your favourite musicians, are memories that always stick.
That and the Warner Music afterparty is always the best concert of the year! Scott Helman singing with Blue Rodeo. Arkells with Billy Talent. Francesco Yates bringing Prince back to life.
How does being an Academy Delegate allow you to help shape the industry?
You’re allowed the access and ability to give a meaningful opinion that matters in the end. This isn’t just have your voice HEARD, this is have your voice COUNT. Your vote changes things. Your vote affects the outcome of the JUNO Awards. Your vote helps decide which artists get that extra bit of spotlight and appreciation, which can in turn be a huge step in someone’s career.
Why should fellow industry members apply to be a CARAS Academy Delegate?
If you care enough about music, and the industry, and the community to keep grinding 40-80 hour work weeks, driven sometimes only by your own passion for it, you deserve to have a say in shaping the future of CARAS, the JUNO Awards, and Canadian music.