Unsung hero Jane Harbury
Jane, a Toronto publicist with a deep and enduring committment to roots music, will receive her award during the SEVENTH ANNUAL CFMAs at the Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto on Sunday, December 4th. The awards will also be broadcast live at RootsMusic.ca .
The new annual Unsung Hero award recognizes the exceptional contribution of an individual, group, or organization to any aspect of the Canadian folk, roots and world music scene, such as performance, promotion and presentation. Nominations for this category were accepted from the public and Harbury was selected by a jury from the region where the awards will take place – in this case, for 2011, Central Canada (which includes Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut).
Jane Harbury’s involvement with the music industry began in the late 1960s when she took on several roles, including manager of the well-known Yorkville coffee house The Riverboat, personal assistant to record producer Brian Ahern, and booking contact for Eastern Sound; the leading Toronto recording studio at that time. Jane has worked tirelessly to promote artists and events since founding her own publicity company in the ‘80s. Some of her clients over the years include Lhasa, Ian Tyson, Penny Lang, Tom Rush, Eric Andersen, the Chieftains, Ken Whiteley, James Keelaghan and David Francey.
For someone whose list of contributions to the scene, and to numerous worthy causes, is as long as her arm, Jane was typically modest and good-humoured about receiving the award. “I was incredibly honoured to have my name submitted for this inaugural award. I always tell my artists that the nomination is more important than winning, and though I found out that being nominated is pretty sweet, there’s nothing like being proclaimed an award winner!!”
As our friend Richard Carson, owner and operator of the popular Toronto venue Hugh’s Room, says, “Jane Harbury is, and has been, a key contributor to folk music and all music in Canada.”
We couldn’t agree more. We believe Jane Harbury practically defines the passion that keeps our scene alive and thriving, and we at Roots Music Canada would love to lead the ovation in celebrating this wonderful acknowledgment of all her contributions.
And we know the community will join with us in saying “Congratulations Jane – we love you, and keep up the great work!”
Enjoy these interviews with Jane from the Roots Music Canada archives: