TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) – The Unison Fund has provided counseling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music industry for over a decade. On Wednesday (June 22), they announced Erin Benjamin, President, and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA), as the newly appointed Chair of the Board. Additionally, Unison announced the appointment of Mark Watts, a Music Industry Professional, as Vice-Chair of the Board.
Benjamin has worked in the music industry for over 25 years – first as a touring and recording artist and then as Executive Director of Folk Music Ontario (2001) and the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (2008) before her role as President and CEO of the CLMA. A true champion for live music, especially during the pandemic, Benjamin also sits as a board member for the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Film Office.
Over the years, she has served various organizations as a board member, including Folk Alliance International, the Songwriters Association of Canada, the National Arts Centre’s Creation Fund, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, and others. She is the proud recipient of several awards for her service to the music community.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Erin Benjamin as our new Chair,” says Executive Director Amanda Power. “Her wealth of experience, passion, and deep-rooted relationships within the Canadian music industry are invaluable assets to our organization, particularly as we continue to expand our footprint as Canada’s music industry charity.”
Having grown up around his family-owned record store, Watts was influenced by music at a young age and has since spent his entire career in the Canadian music industry. He began touring as a musician before moving into delivering investment funding to recording artists, music businesses, and many collaborative music-related initiatives. Most recently, a program consultant for the Ontario Music Office, Watts, was instrumental in successfully launching and delivering the Ontario Music Fund (OMF), now known as the Ontario Music Investment Fund. Watts has served on the Unison Board since 2020 and currently sits as a Board Member for Music PEI.
“Mark’s expertise in the non-profit sector will be instrumental as he moves into Vice-Chair with Unison,” shares Power. “An active champion on behalf of the Canadian music community with a vested interest in growth and development, Mark brings a diverse skill set vital to the ongoing advancement of The Unison Fund.”
Below is a complete list of The Unison Fund Board of Directors for 2022-2023:
Erin Benjamin, Chair
Mark Watts, Vice Chair
Brian Huston, Treasurer
Charlotte Thompson, Secretary
The new board takes effect immediately.