As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we look back on all the amazing accomplishments our company and our artists have achieved. Since 1991, AKAM has been committed to sharing the best in classical music with presenters and their audiences, developing the careers of our artists, and transforming the arts in Canada and abroad. And we continue doing so.
The old adage "time flies" is certainly true, and milestone anniversaries are certainly a time of reflection. AKAM has grown into one of Canada's leading classical music agencies, with a list of accomplishments reflected by the artists’ activities, performances, commissions, productions, and achievements.
As we started 25 years ago, we had an emerging Canadian String Quartet on the roster - who would go on to win the Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) - the St. Lawrence String Quartet. We are absolutely thrilled to return to our roots this year, partnering with BISQC to represent the 2016 First Place Laureate ensemble, Rolston String Quartet. As those of us ‘veterans’ to our respective industries, things do come full circle. This milestone season will also see AKAM branching out, as we bring on new artists, Soundstreams and Per Poc. We excitedly welcome Per Poc, one of Europe's leading life-size puppetry companies, bringing the Spanish ensemble to Canada to collaborate with orchestras and chamber ensembles, theatrically enacting great orchestral works such as Stravinsky's Petrushka. We are also thrilled to have Toronto's leading new music company Soundstreams join the roster. AKAM will bring Soundstream's 33 years of outstanding track record in the programming of innovative and accessible presentations, and expand that company's influence beyond Toronto. 25 years on, we are still dedicated to the development and the advancement of Canada's best classical and world music and Canada's best artists. We look forward to the next 25 and all the new projects and exciting opportunities that the years will hold.
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude you to everyone who has worked with us, continuing to curate the best of classical and world music. To the AKAM artists, those that have been with the company since the beginning and those who are new to our roster, to the presenters who allow AKAM's artists to make an impact on audiences and communities, and to everyone who has been with AKAM over the past 25 years, thank you for transforming simple notes on a page into one of life’s best experience.
Here’s to the next chapter.
ANDREW J. KWAN
Director, Andrew Kwan Artists Management Inc.
Celebrating 25 years, Andrew Kwan Artists Management Inc. (AKAM) is a Canadian management agency specialising in career development, artist promotion and public performance arrangements for classical and world artists. With a roster of Canada's finest musicians, it remains the philosophy that AKAM promotes artists of the highest calibre, and is totally committed to the nurturing of these artists. In addition to the artist management services, AKAM is involved with concert management, artistic administration, tour logistics as well as artist promotion and event media relations.
In addition to his agency, Mr. Kwan has presented workshops and professional development seminars on the topics of marketing and organizational development. Internationally, he has given workshops in Ohio, California and at the European Access Symposium in Brussels. In 2015, Andrew was commissioned by Debut Atlantic to author a book, titled – 15 Minutes and Counting: A Guide to Showcasing Successfully. This guide-book for the Debut Atlantic touring artists details the music industry, explaining showcasing, and providing helpful tips to emerging artists before they present themselves at industry conference. He has also advised and contributed to The Canada Council's online publication artsontour.ca, a guide for touring artists and concert presenters and has since been involved in workshops on this subject across the country.
Mr. Kwan has been invited to give talks at provincial conferences, professional workshops and at various universities. He has frequently served as advisor and juror for various arts councils such as the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Touring Council, Ontario Arts Council to name a few. He has also served as a juror for numerous competitions including Stepping Stone Tremplin Competition, Canadian Music Competition, Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Competition, Kiwanis competitions, The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition and for various scholarships and awards.
Since 1996, Mr. Kwan has been on faculty at The Glenn Gould School where he offers courses on career management and communications. He is also a graduate lecturer at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music. In 2012, he was an advisor on developing the Music Industry Arts and Performance Program at Toronto’s Centennial College, and now serves as Chair for this program’s Advisory Committee. Andrew is also on the board of Prairie Debut, Axis Music and serve as a mentor to CAPACOA's The Succession Plan.
Mr. Kwan holds a B.A. in Economics, as well as a Non-Profit Management & Leadership Diploma both from York University. He also completed his Fellowship from the Canadian Securities Institute. In music, he holds an ARCT in Piano Performance from The Royal Conservatory and the designations of LTCL and FTCL from Trinity College, London, England.
Mr. Kwan was awarded CAPACOA’s Agent of the Year (2014), Ontario Contact’s Agent of the Year (2013) and BC touring Council Agent of the Year (2011).
Since 2015, Ms. Durnin has been working with presenters and AKAM artists. As an administrator, she completed an internship with the Canadian Opera Company, working for the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Susan was also the Communications Director of the inaugural 2015 Bassoonapalooza, a one-day bassoon festival held in Toronto.
Susan also administered and performed on the Excelsior Ensemble Chamber Series that ran for two season in Toronto's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. This series was a musicians' collective that featured an array of instrumentation highlighting the woodwinds.
As a musician, she is an active bassoonist involved in performances around Southern Ontario. Susan has performed in the sections of many orchestras including Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra.
Susan earned her Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from the University of Manitoba studying with Allen Harrington. She then moved to Toronto and completed her Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory in the studios of Kathleen McLean and Nadina Mackie Jackson. She continues the tradition of bassoon teaching with a studio of her own as well as teaching at the prestigious arts high school, Cardinal Carter Academy.
During her free time, she is involved with a quirky electric bassoon quartet, who can be found performing pop tunes across Toronto. Ms. Durnin brings a unique perspective to the art of managing artists, and she looks forward to the continued relationships that come from working in this industry. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Susan now calls Toronto home.
The Glenn Gould School
University of Toronto – Faculty of Music
The Canada Council for the Arts
Ontario Media Development Corporation