- Blanket Fort Chats: Game Making with Marie Claire LeBlanc Flanagan FemHype
- A MAZE. Johannesburg – A Celebration Of Experimental Games In Africa & Beyond Indie Games
- Building DIY Communities (2015 CHUO Annual, Ottawa, ON, 25.05.2015)
- Weird Loops: Bridges to Nowhere (Somewhere There Festival, Toronto, ON, 20.02.2015)
- Building Platforms For the Empowerment of Communities – NCRC 2014 Keynote (National Campus and Community Radio Conference (NCRA), Victoria, BC, 04.06.2014)
- Getting Closer: Games for you (Plan B, Kharkiv, Ukraine, 24.09.2016)
- Journey into games (Incubate Festival, Tilburg, Netherlands, 10.09.2016)
- The Making of Closer (ąяţǥąʍ€$, Berlin, Germany, 10.08.2016)
- What I learned from weirdos, cheaters, and other miscreants who refused to play my game properly (Talk & Play, Berlin, Germany, 23.08.2016)
- Getting Weird in Canada (REAP, St. Jacob’s, ON, 13.02.2015)
- Why Canada Needs Weird (Lawnya Vawnya Music Festival, St. John’s, NL, 24.04.2014)
- The Open Business: Fear, Vulnerability, and Profit$ in the Open World (Halifax Pop Explosion, Halifax, NS, 25.10.2013)
- Building Communities Through Accessibility (Halifax Pop Explosion, Halifax, NS, 15.10.2013)
- Empowering Artists Through Technology (Sled Island Music Festival, Calgary, AB, 26.06.2015)
- Community Building and Partnerships (EPYC Initiatives, Kitchener, ON, 28.03.2015)
- Music and the 21st Century: The Broader Connection (Canadian New Music Network – FORUM 2014, Calgary, AB, 24.01.2015)
- Music Journalism Workshop (Halifax Pop Talks, Halifax, NS, 25.10.2014)
- Wyrd the Gathering (Halifax Pop Talks, Halifax, NS, 23.10.2014)
- Are We All Digital Sharecroppers Now? (Pop Montréal, Montréal, QC, 20.09.2014)
- Where’s the Cultural Press? (Arboretum Music Festival, Ottawa, ON, 22.08.2014)
- Wyrd the Gathering (OBEY Convention, Halifax, NS, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- DIY Distribution and Blogging (Music Survival Camp, Music Yukon, Whitehorse, YK, 18.01.2014)
- The Drone You’re Looking For (Community Edition, Waterloo, ON, 07.05.2015)
- Happy National Drone Day! (CultMTL, Montréal, QC, 09.05.2014)
- Wyrd Distro Looks To Make Canada Weirder, One DIY Album at a Time (National Post, Toronto, ON, 14.02.2014)
- Meet Canada’s Non-Profit Music Distributor (CultMTL, Montréal, QC, 14.02.2014)
- Blast Off! Wyrd Distro Launches (Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB, 13.02.2014)
- Keeping Canada Creative (Uniter Weekly, Winnipeg, MB, 13.02.2014)
- Kreative Kontrol (Kreative Kontrol, Guelph, ON, 13.02.2014)
- Weird Canada Curates Fall Dronescape (Blouin Art Info, Ottawa, ON, 21.10.2013)
- How Weird Canada Will use $50k to Rethink Indie Music Distribution (BlogTO, Toronto, ON, 24.07.2013)
Wyrd/Weird Canada Executive Director (2010 – 2016)
Founded Wyrd Arts Initiatives and developed strategic plans to focus the voice and reach of and Weird Canada, our flagship volunteer-run, online publication.
- Founded Wyrd Arts Initiatives, a national nonprofit dedicated to encouraging, documenting, and connecting creative expression across Canada.
- Fundraised over $60,000 to launch Wyrd Distro, a national non-profit music distribution platform.
- Recruited 400+ volunteer artists, content creators, translators, and administrators all across Canada.
- Won award for Best Independent Music Website in Canada (CBC).
- Founded Drone Day, a national celebration of drone music.
- Planned and executed three nation-wide, volunteer-staffed events held simultaneously in every province and territory.
- Transitioned Weird Canada to bilingualism.
- Created an Empathy Council to address issues of inclusivity and accessibility in the Canadian arts community.
- Presented at conferences and events across Canada.
Artery Manager (2010 – 2011, Edmonton AB)
Initiated and organized operations and finances as the manager of a social enterprise/community art space.
- Managed operations, staff, and budgets, resulting in a direct increase in efficiency and profitability.
- Developed relations with stakeholders in many diverse communities, establishing The Artery as a resource and hub.
- Supervised over 120 music events, 3 festivals, 9 art shows, 6 literary talks, and 20 cultural events.
- Established The Artery’s online and social media presence through marketing and promotional initiatives.
CBC Communications (2011 – 2012 Edmonton AB)
Implemented communication strategies and initiatives in support of CBC North and CBC Edmonton radio, television, and new media.
- Developed promotional materials and press releases, and maintained daily social media presence for CBC North, ensuring that branding standards were consistent in all communications.
- Expanded outreach operations by documenting and establishing new relationships, brand awareness, and community relevance.
- Booked and coordinated 24 entertainment acts for the annual CBC fundraiser, which raised over $265,000 for The Food Bank.
NBFY Assistant Director (2008 – 2009, Ottawa ON)
Developed, managed, and grew programs and partnerships, licensing, finances, and administrative functions.
- Re-opened the Roasted Cherry, a volunteer-staffed cafe with all profits supporting alternative education for high-risk youth.
- Developed alternative education programs to encourage creative expression and empowerment in high-risk youth.
- Created a website, newsletter, and online presence for New Beginnings for Youth.
- Initiated collaboration and communication with individuals and groups interested in the empowerment and development of Canadian youth.
Trent University BA HONS. Global Studies: Focus in Communities & Identities
Exploration of identity, communication, and empowerment; and the way the relationships between these factors shape communities.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of working closely with Marie LeBlanc Flanagan for the past 18 months on a variety of projects concerning the volunteer-run, not-for-profit Weird Canada. This is slightly misleading; “Marie-run” would be more appropriate. It’s true that Weird Canada is supported by hundreds of volunteers, and it is doubly so that hundreds of volunteers are supported by Marie. She single handedly took Weird Canada from a handful of bloggers it used to be to the award-winning, grant receiving, change-the-Canadian-music-scene-works juggernaut that it is today. She is hard-working, organized, detail-oriented, intelligent, friendly, and resourceful. She is an asset. Period.
If you have any questions for me about Marie’s abilities, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
– David C Steinberg, Ph. D.
I had the pleasure of working with Marie LeBlanc Flanagan a few years ago at The Artery, a busy arts hub and music venue in Edmonton. I believe Marie’s title was House Manager: Administrator and Logistics Coordinator, but what she actually did was so much more. She came aboard at a transitional phase, where the owner operator had to decide between overhauling the entire business structure, and closing altogether and I firmly believe that Marie is the reason The Artery still exists today.
Marie created the administrative structure of The Artery as it exists currently, setting up systems and templates that are still being used very successfully. She personally liaised with every single artist and musician that interacted with the Artery, making sure contracts, payments, riders, load in times, special tech and everything else was ready so that artists could focus on their work.
Most impressively, Marie was able to be ultra-focused, ultra-organized, ultra-motivated and it was never at the cost of kindness. There was great care in all she did. She balanced the mechanics of running a complex and multi-faceted arts organization, strategizing for the future, and the dirty-hands work of running and promoting events, and did it all while building great relationships with the artists, staff and community partners of the Artery. It really was incredible to witness. She is a dynamo.
Marie is an outstanding resource and would greatly benefit any organization to which she applied her formidable skillset.
– Amelia Shultz-McPherson, Edmonton Arts Council
In my capacity as Executive Director at MusicYukon I was challenged to present a music industry conference to connect our members with some of the foremost innovators, guest speakers, and music industry experts in this rapidly-changing industry. One of my proudest achievements in that regard was bringing Marie LeBlanc Flanagan up to share her perspective as a game-changing organizer in her work with weirdcanada.com. Her rapid successes in terms of leading and organizing a national support network for outsider musicians in under-represented genres are manifold. Under her guidance, weirdcanada gave new music writers a place to build their practice, generated a tonne of web coverage for otherwise neglected music, and established an alternate collective national distribution system, all while remaining committed to principles of inclusion, sincere enthusiasm, and transparency.
Marie is a compelling speaker and a passionate advocate for artists, inspiring and challenging creative people to collaborate to reshape this world for the better. I was specifically thanked by multiple attendees for having included her in the panels because she gave voice to some of the concerns of attendees who were too shy to raise their hands. She respectfully but firmly asserted some of her reservations about exploitative corporate practices and business models that don’t suit everyone. In my opinion, the relevance of a music industry conference should be judged by the degree to which its content attracts and inspires the game-changers of the future industry; To that end, Marie LeBlanc Flanagan is an ideal panelist for any music industry conference that intends to rise to that challenge.
– Steven Reed, Executive Director – MusicYukon
Marie LeBlanc Flanagan’s involvement as a keynote speaker at the National Campus & Community Radio Association (NCRA) conference held in Victoria, BC in June 2014 was a distinct highlight of the week’s activities. Marie’s presentation provided great motivation to the attending delegates and was a conversation point that created positive changes throughout the duration of the conference. She took the time to understand her audience and connected with them in a very honest and sincere way. I do not believe our conference would have been nearly as successful without her contributions. I recommend her wholeheartedly for any future presentations or job opportunities, as I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact she can have on anything with which she is involved. I hope to have many more opportunities to work with her in the future.
– Johnnie Regalado, Vice-President – NCRA/ANREC Board of Directors
I hired Marie LeBlanc Flanagan to run a social enterprise (New Beginnings for Youth) and she singlehandedly resuscitated it and filled it with vision, passion, community, and life. She works tirelessly, and makes the impossible look easy. Strong people are drawn to help with any cause she champions. Whatever project or cause she chooses will blossom. Hire her.
– Patrick Doyle, Chief Executive Officer – Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation
When I first met her, I thought of her as the cool aunt. The kind that lets you eat candy before dinner, and lets you run in the mud with your nice shoes on. But she is also really smart. Every time I or my friends would go to her with a problem she would always encourage us to pay close attention to both sides of the story, and also to how others might be feeling about the situation. This would encourage us to go talk to the person involved and solve the problem like mature people. She gave me the possibility to be intelligent about my arguments, and not just screaming off something I thought was true, but could be debatable to others.
I was excited to come into work… even when I wasn’t getting paid. What new story was I going to hear? What new lesson was she going to teach me? Basically, she’s a great person. She’s done so many things, met so much people, saw many great places, and she’s learned from every experience life threw at her. She is also more the willing to teach and talk about those experiences, but never by stepping on your own life path.
You really need to meet her to see how special she is, and realize how much she can change someone’s life. I am therefore very encouraging of anyone hiring Marie for any job experience, since she will unquestionably make life better for everyone.
– Catherine Fougere, NBFY/RC
Marie has an amazing ability to connect with teens and youth. We developed weekly youth programs that were ran out of the café. Yoga and guitar lessons were the most popular, as were movie nights. All the programs were volunteer driven, including our instructors who donated their time. We even rallied local business to donate resources, such as yoga mats. Marie was instrumental in the success of these programs, and was a definite pleasure to work with!
There was always something to be done; Managing the café, the volunteers who worked at the Cafe, filling product orders, finances and orchestrating the youth programming, Marie always went forward with a smile, and a sensitivity that I know inspired all of us that she worked with! Regardless of how busy Marie was, or any many things piled on her plate, she worked hard to make sure that everyone (volunteers, customers, and the youth involved in the programs), was satisfied, comfortable, and enjoyed coming into the Roasted Cherry Cafe.
– Matt Lambert, NBFY/RC
I have had the pleasure of working with Marie last summer at the Roasted Cherry Cafe in Ottawa where she ran this cafe in conjunction with New Beginnings for Youth. Marie, to say the least, did a fantastic job. Not only was she a great manager with extraordinary interpersonal skills who worked well with the customers, she worked well with the volunteers. Volunteering at the Roasted Cherry gave my summer purpose. Instead of sleeping in past noon like most teenagers would during their last summer of high school, I would wake up to be at the Cherry where me and my friends would call home. The lovely things New Beginnings offered such as free guitar lessons and yoga were also a blast, but my favorite part was the way the cafe brought together the youth (us, the volunteers) and the community. None of this would’ve been possible without Marie’s help. The Cherry gave my summer a purpose, taught me new things, gave me work experience and most of all gave me confidence in myself. None of this would’ve been possible without Marie.
– Catherine Lalonde, NBFY/RC
I started working for The Roasted Cherry Cafe in February of 2009. It was a social enterprise, where all the profits went to supporting youth. The Roasted Cherry was one of the best things to happen to my friends and I. While I worked there I had so many ideas of how to improve the cafe, Marie always supported them wholeheartedly and encouraged me to be creative. When I became interested in accounting and bookkeeping, Marie gave me some of the cafe’s bookkeeping to do, she trusted that I could do it and it made me self-assured that I could handle any task she gave me.
Working with Marie at the Roasted Cherry Cafe gave us all such confidence because Marie trusted us to run the cafe part of the operation by ourselves. We felt like we were appreciated, we felt like we were needed and we felt like actual people and not just a bunch of sixteen year old kids. The Roasted Cherry gave us a place to congregate and be safe, I did not have a house where people could hang out at, and my mother was not the kind you wanted to hang around. Many times I would feel like I had no place to go, until the Roasted Cherry, then I always had some place to go. If anyone could support, mentor, and be a good influence on youth, it is Marie LeBlanc-Flanagan. Anytime my friends or I ever needed anything, anytime, Marie was always there for us, she became all of our mentors because she was so intelligent, giving and wise. Whether Marie was driving us to a festival, buying us ingredients for our new culinary creations, listening to our sob stories, or teenage dilemmas, she always did it with a smile on her face and with confidence in us that we were great people. She brought out the best in all of us, my friends and I all agree that the summer we spent together between grade 11 and grade 12 was the best summer of our lives because of the Roasted Cherry. Marie made us see that we were all wonderful, capable, beautiful people. I hope she gets the chance to make other people feel the way we did that summer.
– Thea Cooke, NBFY/RC
Marie has been a dedicated volunteer for the new peer advisory initiative, Trail Blazers. She was invited to join the program as a result of her dynamic personality, willingness to help others and her outstanding academic achievements. As an advisor, her tasks included attending office hours weekly and advising students who were facing academic difficulties. Even though Marie was only expected to complete these tasks, she always went above and beyond the expectations of this position by promoting the new program to students that were not aware of its existence. She tried to assist any students who were struggling academically, even outside of her required office hours. Marie, as a fully trained peer advisor, assisted students with great compassion, honesty and sincerity. There was nothing that she would not do to help a student in need, whether she had to contact the administration at Trent University herself, accompany a student or arrange appointments. She was incredibly reliable and always ensured that each student’s problems were solved quickly and efficiently. In closing, I would highly recommend Marie for any position or program that she so wishes to pursue. She is a capable and responsible individual, who I am sure will be very successful in any position that she is given.
– Jenilee Ruch, Trail Blazer Founder, Trent University