Jane Harbury (2011)

Jane Harbury’s involvement with the music industry began in the late 1960’s 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 the 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. In addition to her work with established artists, she is committed to assisting emerging artists in the development of their careers, and has worked with Jason Fowler, Clay Tyson and Rachel Kane, to name a few.

Jane has provided publicity and advice for many events and organizations, such as the North by Northeast Festival and Music Conference, Toronto City Roots Festival, The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, The Juno Awards and OCFF. She has acted as advisor to a variety of community organizations including; the North York Harvest Food Bank, the Ontario Hemophilia society, and People with a Purpose, a pro-youth, anti-drug organization.  In addition, Jane handled publicity for Stage Kids, a non-profit group that creates and produces musical performances by young people for school and theatre audiences.  She also teaches publicity at the Harris Institute and gives regular publicity workshops with organizations such as JazzFM.

The names mentioned here are the tip of an impressive musical iceberg consisting of people, groups and events that have been the beneficiaries of Jane’s hard work, expertise and unfailing dedication over the last forty years.

Richard Carson, owner and operator of the popular Toronto venue, Hugh’s Room, says, “I have been working with Jane over the past few years in her role as publicist for Hugh’s Room. Jane is a tireless worker and truly fits the “unsung hero” designation as I know she works for the love of what she is doing and takes little remuneration or spotlight. Jane has produced the Discoveries Series at Hugh’s Room for years now with all the money going to the artists and not taking any for her own work. I feel that Jane Harbury is, and has been, a key contributor to folk music  and all music in Canada.”

We are fortunate to have such a vibrant and committed person as part of the Canadian Folk Music community. It is with the greatest pleasure that we name Jane Harbury the 2011 recipient of the inaugural Unsung Hero Award.

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