Gunner & Smith ‘Breakout West’ in Calgary and land 2023 European tour
Geoff Smith, lead singer in the Saskatoon-based band Gunner & Smith, is no stranger to life on the road. Delighting audiences around the globe with his intense Americana folk and roots-rock music, Smith has built momentum in his musical career with his songs heralded as “hypnotic and open as the Trans-Canada highway, with all the nostalgic tingling of leaving home in search of hope.” – The Pilot Southern Pines, NC.
Gunner & Smith successfully applied for one of our Market Travel Grants when they were invited to showcase at the Breakout West Festival in Calgary earlier this year. The annual festival serves as one of Canada’s most popular music development conferences, and provides many opportunities for musicians to network and talk business opportunities with delegates from Canada and beyond.
“I was able to perform at two well attended showcase events to approximately 200 people, a significant number of them industry delegates and other artists,” says Smith, ”I was able to generate two press features. One with a local Calgary press outlet and the other with a national press outlet.” The opportunities to promote their newest album Hear You in My Head, maximize their exposure to new audiences, and seek out new business contacts were not lost on Smith, who also took full advantage of the one-on-one meeting slots and networking blitzes in the hopes of exploring future licensing opportunities.
“I was able to connect with a number of industry delegates including music supervisors, booking agents, industry association staff, and festival bookers.” Smith will be following up with all of his new connections and applying for several upcoming festivals in the near future.
Regarding the value in his attendance at Breakout West, perhaps most telling of all was Smith’s success in inking an international deal with an agent from Kumpels & Friends Booking for a European tour in September 2023. “This tour will be taking place in Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. This tour will be very important to our development in the European market in the coming year.”
We here at Creative Saskatchewan applaud Gunner & Smith for their hard work, grit, and determination to succeed – we invest in real opportunity and could not be happier to see the flywheel taking off for their musical career.
If you’re a Saskatchewan creative entrepreneur who has been invited to participate in a particular market, you may be eligible to secure funding for up to 50% of your approved travel budget, to maximum of $5,000 per project. Check out the guidelines here.