Meet our alumni
Amy Eligh connects musicians to money, and they appreciate it.
After completing the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe, Amy was hired as a publishing coordinator at Toronto-based Casablanca Media Publishing www.casablancamediapublishing.com and she also moonlighted for a small booking agency.
Casablanca administers copyrights in Canada and worldwide, registering and licensing works; and collecting mechanical, performance and synchronization royalties.
They also pitch their catalogue to music supervisors - the people who decide what music gets used for films, TV, video games, and ads. Casablanca's roster includes artists as diverse as You Say Party! We Say Die!, Winter Gloves, Chuck Berry, Beyoncé, Finger Eleven, People in Planes, Billie Holiday, Foo Fighters, Be Your Own Pet, Kerli, Stone Temple Pilots and Sheryl Crow.
Amy's main job is song pitching, and she travels to Los Angeles several times a year to pitch to music supervisors. She also arranges co-writing opportunities for songwriters, scouts new bands at festivals such as SXSW, NXNE and CMW, and has been a judge for Canadian Radio Star.
"Licensing music for advertising and other media is an important way for musicians to make money in this business. I chose Fanshawe because it was the best production and engineering program in the country. I was really glad to find out the program was not strictly technical. I wanted to focus on the publishing and business end."
"Fanshawe grads are very well connected across the industry, and they often come back to the College to give master classes. I found out about
Casablanca through one of those private industry update sessions for our class, with Fanshawe grads who are well-established in the music business."
"The music industry is a small community, where everybody knows each other . Fanshawe connections can be very useful. I still bounce business ventures off people I know from my time there - both teachers and fellow students.
"You never know where your Fanshawe classmates will end up."
"What I love about my job is talking shop all day with professional musicians and engineers and sending gear to big name artists, and major studios like Phase One studios in Toronto. My days start with questions like: "Here's a great tool. How can we make it better?"
Dave Collins is the Inside Sales Rep across central North America for Radial Engineering. The Vancouver-area company supplies and refines gear for a client list that looks like the front row at the GRAMMY Awards. Radial's regular clients include members of The Goo Goo Dolls, Metallica, Lamb of God, Foo Fighters, and Panic At The Disco.
"I checked out many different schools. But when I toured Fanshawe, I saw gold records on the wall, and realized how well connected their profs are. They're really active in the industry, and they know what they're talking about.
"I was also MOST impressed with Fanshawe's facilities; other schools had editing suites but Fanshawe has full-out studio facilities. They are constantly upgrading equipment and those absolutely top-notch facilities are at your disposal 24/7."
Fanshawe connections helped him land his first job after graduation with legendary producer Garth Richardson, at his famous The Farm studio in BC. He kept meeting Fanshawe grads on the next career steps, as a pro-audio reseller for Apple, and on to Radial.
"Fanshawe grads are all over the place in the music business. That definitely got my foot in a few doors."
"Two key things I learned at Fanshawe were work ethics and that contracts matter: 'If it's not in writing, it doesn't exist.' You've got to prove yourself. I got that first job because I was in a studio at Fanshawe, working long after regular hours, when Garth wandered in."
"The profs also have that work ethic. If you ask, they're there for you. They're all extremely knowledgeable and they're all more than willing to help."
"I knew I belonged in music. But I didn't know where, exactly."
One year after completing the Music Industry Arts program, Nick Bonin is a mastering engineer at Heading North Mastering studio in Toronto, who also freelances for CBC Radio.
"I loved the family environment at Fanshawe. It felt really good to be around other musical types. It was like, 'Ah! These people are like me!' "
He chose Fanshawe for its comprehensive, two-year program. "That gave me time to find my strengths, and figure out what I wanted to do which turned out to be mastering - the 'dark art' of recording. We use a lot of fancy gear - world class audio processing equipment - multi-band equalizers and compressors and limiters - to fine tune the mix of a song."
"I get to shape the final sound of a song. I really love that I'm the last person to work on the song, or an album, before it gets released to the public. I am the final step in shaping the overall sound of the project."
Some of the up-coming groups that Nick has worked with privately include The Brilliance, The Wormwood Scrubs, The Standstills, Electric Karma, This Side Of The Atlantic.
Nick learned quickly that Fanshawe grads are respected throughout the industry and it was his connections through Fanshawe that led him to his current job.
"People know we learn a lot more than just recording. We also learn about important industry practices in areas like publishing, management, contracts, and record labels. Fanshawe really helps you to wrap your head around the entire industry. The program taught me the importance of being deadline-driven and it enhanced my ability to deal with people in stressful situations."
"But the key reputation that MIA has with employers is the 'do-whatever-it-takes' mentality. You work hard in the MIA courses. And when you're out in the industry, people see that you're already used to that. We're able to impress people, right from the get-go."