Canadian Musician


Unison Benevolent Fund Elects Three New Members to its Board

May 10th, 2017

UNI_logoUnison Benevolent Fund, the Canadian music community non-profit that provides counselling and emergency relief to the Canadian music professionals in times of crisis, has announced the election of three new members and key leadership positions to the 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

Derrick Ross, president of Slaight Music, was elected to serve as chair of the board and Andy Maize, songwriter and co-founder of the band Skydiggers and label MapleMusic, will serve as vice-chair. Jim Norris, president of Norris-Whitney Communications Inc. and publisher of Canadian Musician magazine, will continue to serve as Secretary Treasurer.

The Unison Board also welcomes three new members:

Erin Benjamin, executive director of Music Canada Live

Following a decade-long career as a touring and recording singer/songwriter, Benjamin formerly served as the executive director of both the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) and the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (now known as Folk Music Ontario). Appointed the first executive director of Music Canada Live in 2014, she has spent the past 17 years of her career advocating on behalf of the live music industry in Canada.

Benjamin served on a variety of non-profit Boards including the East Coast Music Association, Folk Alliance International, the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC), and MFM (Music and Film In Motion, in Sudbury).

Currently, Benjamin serves as the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports’ co-chair of the Ontario Live Music Working Group (drafting a live music strategy for the Province), vice-chair of the 2017 Ottawa JUNO Host Committee, co-chair of Canadian Music Week 2017 and is a member of the Ontario Media Development Corporations Music Industry Advisory Committee.

Melissa Bubb-Clarke, senior director of music partnerships at MLSE/Live Nation

After graduating from Carleton University, Bubb-Clarke entered the music business working for Popular Records as a promotions representative. Two years later, she moved on to promoter start-up Core Audience, which would evolve into SFX, Clear Channel, and finally, Live Nation. In 2011, she took on the role of director of music partnerships at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) when the company entered a limited partnership with Live Nation Canada and became a driving force behind a portfolio of sponsorship programs for some of the world’s top brands, garnering two Awards of Distinction from the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada for both the Nokia All-Access and TD Music Access partnership programs.

Having also led the Live Entertainment Marketing department at MLSE, Bubb-Clarke’s team helped launch Sher Club, a collaboration with music superstar Drake, at Air Canada Centre, launched Air Canada Centre Icons, a recognition program for the superstars that contribute to Toronto’s vibrant music scene and saw Air Canada Centre recognized as Major Facility of the Year (over 8,000) from the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards (2015).

Bubb-Clarke is a long-time member of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Science (CARAS), sits on the Communication Committee for Music Canada Live, and is on the advisory committee for War Child Canada.

Jennifer Hardy, GM of Operations at Music Canada

After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City, Jennifer lived for a short time in London, UK, before returning home to Ontario, where she worked in the nonprofit sector at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

As the daughter of a professional musician, Jennifer was never far removed from the Canadian music community and, in 2000, officially entered the industry when she joined Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association). As General Manager of Operations, she has been a resource and an advocate for the Canadian music industry and Canadian artists for more than 15 years.

Jennifer is a founding member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Music Industry Arts and Performance program at Centennial College. She is also a long-time supporter of The Minstrel Foundation for Music & Arts Advancement—a volunteer-run nonprofit which funds music and arts programs for deserving young people in Toronto’s under-serviced communities.


The Unison Benevolent Fund Board of Directors also thanks Amy Terrill, executive vice president of Music Canada, and Chris Wynters, director of festival marketing and partnerships for Six Shooter Records, who are stepping down from the board this year. Both have served multiple terms, and have been extraordinarily generous with their time and expertise, says Unison, and have guided Unison through important programs expansions and have served as extraordinary ambassadors for Unison in the boarder Canadian music community.
The Unison Benevolent Fund board members for the 2017-2018 fiscal year are listed below.

Derrick Ross, Chair

Andy Maize, Vice Chair

Jim Norris, Secretary Treasurer

Catharine Saxberg, Co-Founder and Immediate Past Chair

Jodie Ferneyhough, Co-Founder

Philippe Archambault

Erin Benjamin

Bernie Breen

Melissa Bubb-Clarke

Rubin Fogel

Dan Fraser

Jennifer Hardy

Ralph James

Jesse Kumagai
The new board takes effect immediately.


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