2018 was an exciting year for The Syrup Factory, doubling the workload that we took on the previous year. It was a year of change, celebration and growth. We are grateful for all the wonderful artists, teams, and service providers we worked with and can’t wait to continue these relationships in 2019. Here are some highlights from the wonderful artists we’ve worked with this year. Be sure to sample their music through our Spotify playlist!
In April of 2018, Sarah Jamer became Co-Owner of The Syrup Factory. Laura Simpson handed over the day-to-day management of clients to Sarah, in order to concentrate on building fair performance opportunities for artists at Side Door. Laura remains as co-owner and advisor of The Syrup Factory.
The Syrup Factory took home Company of The Year during Nova Scotia Music Week! Artists we were fortunate enough to work with who also took home awards include: Gabrielle Papillon, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year, Ben Caplan, Folk Album of the Year, Christina Martin, Pop Album of the Year, and Reeny Smith, African Nova Scotia Artist of the Year. Nominations included Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset, Cameron Nickerson, and Miller-MacDonald-Cormier. We celebrated with high kicks, as always.
The Syrup Factory was founded with the principal that the artist comes first. Our mission remains to empower artists to focus on their art, while we provide support for their projects.
Our two largest engagements of 2018 included supporting Ben Caplan with the release of Old Stock, the album based of the award-winning play Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, and Christina Martin with the release of Impossible to Hold. These engagements focused on project and team management, digital marketing, tour support, and administrative support.
This year marked our expansion of services to artists outside of the East Coast. They included Johnny Coull, from Montreal who released his album, That Cold Year, and Sandra Bouza, from Toronto who released her debut EP, Three Years.
We conducted an East Coast publicity campaign with digital marketing for Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset who released their album, Half Girl, Half Ghost. Reviews and appearances included: Global, CTV, Bob Mersereau, and Canadian Beats. They received four nominations from Music Nova Scotia in their first year!
Ian Janes released his single, ‘Can’t Remember Never Loving You’ the track he co-wrote with Byron Hill. The track was featured in the hit TV show, Nashville, on CMT. We worked with Ian to promote the song to both his existing audience and the Nashville fan base. This was a really interesting project where we focused on directing fans to Spotify using organic reach and paid advertising. For organic reach, we joined multiple Nashville fan groups on Facebook that had high user engagement. We then started sharing the song and acoustic video by Ian in these groups and having conversations with Nashville fans. We tracked the results using Spotify, and we watched Ian’s fanbase develop in the US and the UK. Almost a year later he is maintaining the fans that we gained from the campaign with his highest listening cities being in the US.
We supported with Cameron Nickerson on the release of two singles from his album, Detours. The singles included ‘Gettin’ Out of Dodge’ and ‘Rainy Day Thinkin’. We partnered with Country Liberty for a special long-weekend merch package that included a Spotify playlist created by Cameron Nickerson. Sara Russell from our team designed his single artwork for both releases and conducted digital marketing campaigns for both.
The Syrup Factory supported a brand new group, The Muddle, by developing a branding package and online presence. This was an exciting creative project to utilize our discovery interviews to help develop their brand. We also created a lyric video for them, which was also a first for us.
We continue to provide artists with representation at conferences like Nova Scotia Music Week and the ECMAs, so they can focus more on their performances. This year, we supported Cameron Nickerson, Christina Martin, Christine Campbell, Gabrielle Papillon, Ian Janes and Reeny Smith in various ways, including making connections before the event, conducting meetings, creating and presenting promotional materials and doing post-event follow ups and reporting. This was also the first year where we experimented with virtual conference representation, something that we will continue in 2019 to provide off-site support to artists in need.
The Syrup Factory hosted workshops for artists in Halifax. To kick off the year, we conducted a ‘Get your $h!T Together’ workshop with guest artist, Cassie Josephine, looking at how to plan for releases, social media best practices and team building. We also hosted our conference workshop, with special guest, T Thomason, giving tips and tricks for a successful conference weekend.
We increased the availability of our two hour in-depth consulting bookings - what we call “120 sessions” - in order to support more artists. These one-off sessions often focused on reviews of social media, branding, release strategies, team building, or strategic planning. Thank you to all of our 120 artists, we are so proud of the work you are doing!
See you in 2019!
We can’t wait for a new year of projects going into 2019. We have some exciting new services planned, if you’d like to stay up to date, please join our mailing list. If you are interested in working with us in 2019, please get in touch with Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.