News > Canada shines at Circulart in Medellín, Colombia

Canada shines at Circulart in Medellín, Colombia

KIZABA and his band playing and singing with Alfredo on stage. The stage is covered in blue, purple and pink stage lights shining over the stage.
KIZABA and his band playing and singing with Alfredo Caxaj on stage. Photo credit: Mercedes Caxaj

Circulart is a cultural platform for music, which annually brings together arts presenters and music industry professionals from Latin America and around the world in the city of Medellín, Colombia. Along with its conference, showcases and business meetings, Circulart has become a space for reflection, attended by a great mix of young audience members and arts professionals.

CAPACOA recently had the opportunity to attend the four-day event from November 3-6, 2022. In addition to participating with our partners from SunfestGlobal Toronto and Small World Music, we were able to support the presence of the Canadian delegation:

Showcasing Artists: KIZABA, Rommel
Attending Artists: Ewelina Ferenc, Tangi Ropars
Canadian Presenters: Claudia Balladelli, Nicholas Beach, Kirsten Schrader, Diana Webley

We were delighted to be in attendance, and we felt particularly welcomed by the conference team and the music community in Medellín. The Canadian delegation highlighted the leadership of Alfredo Caxaj, Mercedes Caxaj, and Tina Wroblewski, and they noted the wealth of networking opportunities provided to them, as well as the success of the event itself.

“Alfredo, Mercedes, and Tina were amazing! They have lots of relationships in South America and Colombia and their knowledge of the scene in that part of the world was extremely valuable… You’re meeting so many people for the first time, some who are at the beginning half of their careers, and those who are well established. Circulart made it easy and seamless, and they even provided translators to facilitate the one-on-one meetings”

Nicholas Beach, General Manager of Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre

Learn more about the Canadian delegation and enjoy some photos from our time in Colombia.

KIZABA (Canada/Chad) – Showcasing Artist

Montreal-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer Lionel Kizaba may have left the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011, but as the guiding force behind his self-named quartet, he continues to serve as ambassador of the innovative and modern Congolese house music that we need to create an Afro-Futurist world.

ROMMEL (Canada/Brazil) – Showcasing Artist

Multiple awards winner Rommel is a Brazilian-Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer who stands-out for his talent and versatility. Mixing elements of popular Brazilian music with Afro-beat, Reggae, Funk and Jazz, Rommel breathes and transpires authentic and upbeat music with compositions in Portuguese, French, Spanish and English.

In his 6th album, "Karawara" (2022), released under Brazilian label Biscoito Fino, Rommel pays tribute to the Indigenous peoples of the world, and their history of struggle with regard to basic human rights and recognition. Karawara also addresses the topics of ancestry, spirituality, and environmental and social issues.

EWELINA FERENCE (Canada/Poland) – Attending Artist

Ewelina Ferenc (she/her) is a singer and arts manager from Toronto, born and raised in Katowice. Poland. She did her master's degree in communications in Poland and studied ethnomusicology, focusing primarily on Polish traditional and global music. She has performed regularly with Polky presenting and promoting the new and global approach to Polish and Eastern European music to Canadian. North and South American audiences. Most recently, Ewelina graduated from Arts Administration and Cultural Management and started working as a booking agent. She has worked with Canadian global music artists, such as Okan, Wesli, Beny Esquerra and many more!

TANGI ROPARS (Canada/France) – Attending Artist

Tangi was born in Brittany, the Celtic part of France and grew up playing musette and Celtic music. Since he arrived in Toronto, Tangi joined and started many projects,including an artist collective called "Fedora Upside Down"'and founded Lemon Bucket Orkestra with Mark Marczyk, a 15 piece querilla eastern European madness. His latest project is Moskitto Bar, a musical journey from Bagdad, Iraq to Brittany, France with a few stops in the Balkans and Ukraine. The band just finished a successful Ontario/Ouebec tour and is already working on another cross-Canada tour for summer 2023. He's
also the artistic director of Drom Taberna, the newest and most exciting live music venue in Toronto.

CLAUDIA BALLADELLI (Ottawa, Ontario) – Canadian Presenter

Claudia is the co-founder of Axé Worldfest, a non-profit organization with the focus to curate those who face increased systemic barriers to presenting their work. Since then, the organization has established partnerships with prominent Arts Institutions and festivals. In 2022 The team executed the successful second edition of the Women in Music & Arts Conference, partnering with The National Arts Center in Ottawa.

NICHOLAS BEACH (Camrose, Alberta) – Canadian Presenter

Nicholas Beach is the General Manager/Artistic Director of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta, Canada. He is programs the arts centre's multi-disciplinary season of 35-40 artists in 6 different series each year. Each season includes Canadian and international artists in theatre, dance, circus, and a large variety of music genres. Nick is also a board member for the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA).

KIRSTEN SCHRADER (Calgary, Alberta / British Columbia) – Canadian Presenter

Kirsten has spent 20 years in the municipal and non-profit arts and culture sector in key roles such as, the Executive Director of the Vancouver International Fringe Festival, the Arts Coordinator for the City of Richmond, and in Public Programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2018, she was recognised for her work with the Presenter of the Year Award from the BC Touring Council. In November 2022, Kirsten is moving to Calgary, Alberta and on to new opportunities in the arts and culture sector.

DIANA WEBLEY (Toronto, Ontario) – Canadian Presenter

Diana Webley has worked extensively in the North American market to develop opportunities in mentorship, networking, collaborations and currently working to expand to the Global market. Diana is the Manager of Cultural Engagement at Harbourfront Centre which produces over a thousand events featuring hundreds of artists each year with innovative cultural exchanges, that enliven, educate and entertain a diverse public. Diana is supporting the next generation of cultural leaders as a part-time Professor at Centennial College in the Arts Management Program.

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