Golden Ticket Program

Music PEI helps emerging Island artists

Photo by Matthias Wagner []
Photo by Matthias Wagner []

The RBC Golden Ticket Program, put on annually by Music PEI, is designed to help emerging PEI artists. 

The program is open to six musicians each year (solo or band) from any genre who have demonstrated commitment to their craft and a strong desire for industry advancement. It mentors them through the process of recording and releasing a single, with a more focused approach on: building a production team; building a marketing team; playlisting/radio campaign; career development; business planning and overall release strategy.

Golden Ticket is run by Colin Buchanan, a music industry veteran with years of experience as both an artist (Paper Lions, Sorrey) and a producer/mixer (Logan Richard, KINLEY, Braden Lam). This year’s Golden Ticket participants were Luka Hall, Emilea May, Carlie Howell, Hit The Coast, Tigwe and Somewhere Soon.

With the ever changing state of the music industry, finding success in it can feel like a game of whack-a-mole. An artist’s ability to be nimble and adapt their approach to finding an audience has never been more important. The Golden Ticket Program acts as the fertile ground to find and develop that approach with the funding and support of Music PEI.

Much of the program’s success over the last seven years has been due to its emphasis on collaboration. Whether it’s building meaningful creative relationships with a music producer, developing strong visuals and branding with the help of designers and photographers, or utilizing new music services to strategize on a fresh approach to getting traction on DSPs (digital streaming platforms), the Golden Ticket Program hopes to have something for all its participants.

“Building a career in music is anything but ‘one size fits all’” says Buchanan. “Each recording process and release strategy has to be considered with care, and a deep understanding of who each artist is and what they want to convey to their audience. What might work well for one artist could be a terrible choice for another. Talking through those endless choices with the artist and building a strategy that makes sense for where they are in their career is the best way to help them find a clear path.”

Once the program wraps, the hope is that the artist can implement their new recording and release strategy on a consistent basis, keeping in mind that adapting to future changes in the industry will be necessary. 

Buchanan explains, “I’ve been working in music for 20 years now and it’s never stopped changing. It’s one of the things I love about it! The artists I’ve seen have sustained success are the ones who view these changes not as a negative, but a new opportunity to express their creativity and share their perspective. It’s not about jumping on trends, it’s about being curious and finding things that work for you.”