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This week the Campfire Session got more real to us now that we’re in Canada for a working and location spotting visit.
On Saturday we had a direct flight to Calgary and when we arrived the weather was great a nice temperature and a gentle breeze so that's a good start.

We booked a hotel randomly and it turned out to be the best pick. Pool, breakfast, beds it was all real good.

Our first meeting, one of many, was with Marlene D’Aoust, the expert on artist and music marketing here in Calgary and far beyond. Our relationship goes way back so it was cool to have a 'live' meeting with Marlene. After showing some of our promotional stuff Marlene got really exited.
She shared many contacts with us and introduced us to people who can help us with the project and within a day our calendar filled up fast.

During our trip to Edmonton we played Maria Dunn's latest album "Gathering" just released a week ago and we heard again a great new project with lots of interesting stories in Maria's songs. We had about 4 hours to go, to us a little bit unusual - The Netherlands fits in Alberta 60 times) We almost forgot how huge cars and trucks are in Canada but then again rush hour here is any normal hour in Holland. On our way we stopped for a drink and bought something for the night. Standing in line a guy started talking to me and told me that I must be from New York, I’m not completely sure why but he said that I was too polite when I let him go first inline! Thanks, just made my day.

In our hotel in Edmonton you can make your own Belgian waffles, so Diego did, he did not exactly followed the instructionsWaffle and thus he will be long remembered by the waitress…she wasn’t too happy when the whole thing sticked to the waffle iron. She started to explain in slow and kinder garden English that he had to spray the oil on both waffle plates as it was mentioned on the paper hanging above the waffle iron. We do understand English but we only didn’t understand the waffle machine.

We spent a whole morning at a professional video company. Very helpful people and again the feedback at our project is so cool. We thought to have a simple order for cameras and extra stuff but it turns out that the cameras we want to use for the documentary come from all directions of Canada, so not too common what we need after all, they had only two in Alberta and we need six. But Ben, a very helpful guy worked it all out. It ended up that he scrolled down through his phone to recommend camera operators who could help us with the project. That was a great start of the day so time to do some little shopping on White Av.
Now this is interesting, we got lost and decided to grap a coffee at the Capitano market. We walked around, buy some things and then we run into Peter North. Now what are the odds that you run into someone who you tried to contact a few times from The Netherlands but never reached him and you have to know that Peter doesn't live in Edmonton anymore, he was visiting... Wel this must be a sign, the wind blows in the right direction.

And much more to come.

Perhaps it is not necessary considering the fact that most of the people I know have something to do with the music industry but I would like to ask your attention on all those artists, musicians, composers, lyricists, arrangers, labels, producers, publishers and the many people behind the scenes who work in the music business. I call it deliberately music business because although we all deal with it as if it is common property, people have been working on it and there is a lot of time and money, and often years of study invested in creating, let people listen to or release this final product of creativity.

Consciously or unconsciously music plays in everyone's life a major role. Happy and sad moments here often go together. Some recordings become hits, others we hear back in commercials, a song about love, social criticism or a cartoon full of tunes. There really can be named hundreds maybe thousands of situations where music plays a important role. Every day we are somewhere entertained with music, live or on recordings. And always there are one or more people who created it.

The Creativity and invested time is unlimited. Nevertheless, this form of artistry is still often undervalued and we all make us guilty of it. A download or a copy, not mentioning the rightful owner, a recording with your phone during a concert? Examples enough. And though free music has become very common. Real people invested many many hours. How can you still produce new music when there is no longer paid for?

I like to ask extra attention for all those people who are in this business this Christmas, not because they want me to, they are artists who surely go their own way but because I think they deserve our personal attention for all those beautiful creations we listen to daily.

Think of a time when a certain song played a very important role in your life and ask yourself sometimes who has made that possible?
I am thinking of my own wedding day in 2005 when the song "Your Love" by Dulce Pontes with music by Ennio Morricone played a huge part of the ceremony during the time that the rings were exchanged. I cherish and relive that moment every time I hear that song.

In the new world there are downloads, streams, videos and music carriers such as CDs and DVDs for sale. For the coming year 2016, and I'm convinced I speak for all my friends in the music busines, I want to ask all of you to support the music business by making use of legal services. Let the makers getting grip on one's creative and intellectual property. And let's be honest, you don’t have to spent a lot of money nowadays. Your favorite song can be downloaded for only $ 0.99 without having to buy a whole album. It may be hard to imagine, but for this ninety-nine cents, each and every artist is grateful and we can continue to make great music.

Let Music Rule The World!

Eric Vermeulen

How come that a Dutch business is doing such a project in Canada?

One day there was someone waiting at my office on the stairs. She sat there for a while apparently. I was shocked but could not remember that I had an appointment. That turned out not to be the case. It was a Canadian singer who lived for a while in the Netherlands. She was looking for someone who could help her with some problems in the field of artist management. We are talking about 1996. I never thought my career would take such a turn.

Since then I am more and more immerse myself in music from Canada. I have met many artists and also worked with many of them in almost 20 years.

In recent years, the whole business is increasingly built on music from Canada and we toured in different countries traveled from festival to clubs and eventually we also specialized in theater productions and produced fully directed music shows.

The Campfire Sessions is basically an extension of all our work of the past few decades-. Working with talent gives a great satisfaction.

But the biggest adventure is surely the crowdfunding campaign. For a project like this you need a lot of money and therefore need a lot of supporters. You can design a project like this on the drawing board but money needs to come in for execution. Next week, the crowdfunding campaign goes live, about the same time as when we fly over the ocean on our way to Canada.

The enthusiasm of both artists, professionals and media is such that we can say that we have already won that battle, now the challenge is to show the public how fantastic this project is. From the reactions the past few days on Facebook and by mail, it seems that the audience responds well.

Meanwhile my work is piling up here at my desk so back to the order of the day. Nice weekend! In the Netherlands they expect the first real spring day with temperatures reaching 20 degrees Celsius.
Till later folks.

Eric Vermeulen


banner priveDear friends of The Campfire Sessions,

To us it seems like we can play in a 'new decor' to speak in our own jargon.

The Campfire Sessions is a continuation of previous projects that we have undertaken with many artists from Canada over the past 19 years.

About this project, we are particularly excited because all our previous work is summarized in this new project.  But a final end, this project is certainly not because there will be more to come after this edition.

Still a Long Way To Go.

But we do not want to go too much ahead because we still have a long way to go.

Registration for artists who want to participate closed last Friday April 25th. Until the very last minute there were more applications coming in. At some point you have to stop the selection and start choosing the artists who will be featured in the documentary.

This process has now begun, a team of professionals from the music business now examines the applications, listens to music and visiting pages. The ultimate goal is a varied program which is a nice summary of the singer songwriters and their songs from the Rocky Mountains area.

Within a few days we will tell the artists who will be invited. It remains hard to choose but I can assure everyone that the decisions about quality of songs and artists is not be made. All entries meet that demand. The choice to be made now is how we can create a varied program that will appeal to the audience.

The crowdfunding campaign also will go live in a few days. You can support this amazing project through the pre-sale of CDs, DVDs, video streams, merchandise etc.
For 200 people each evening, and 50 VIPs for the entire recording period there are entrance tickets for sale. This way you can be part of the video shoot and support your favorite artist and be part of a great experience.

If we do not reach our financial goal then you won’t be charged. That is the rule of Kickstarter, the crowdfuding platform. It's all or nothing. We are convinced that it will be ALL the way down to The Campfire Sessions in July 2016. 


See you there?

Eric Vermeulen
Executive producer of The Campfire Sessions

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