Art & Culture

Martin Mayer “Canada’s Prince of Piano”

“Canada’s Prince of Piano” – that’s how the Beijing Times, China’s leading English-language newspaper, described Canadian pianist and composer Martin Mayer.

His music has been defined as instrumental fusion – a combination of smooth jazz, classical, pop, and rock. Mayer’s European roots add a good share of thoughtful and longing soul, his North American education contributes a healthy dose of high-octane energy. An explosive mix.

After Mayer realized musicianship was who he was, he would study at Royal Conservatory of Music, major in piano performance at Grant MacEwan University and win the Rachel McKeown Memorial Award for composition. A Chinese Arts Agency took Martin Mayer on a 16-city six-week long concert tour in mainland China in 2001. It would become the biggest tour of any artist in China’s modern history, and all of his tour dates since then would be sold out. He entertained thousands in concert, and millions on Chinese TV.

The “Outstanding Alumnus” winner at the Alberta Provincial Awards Celebrating Excellence was also featured by the Czech National Radio Orchestra in a live concert of his music, recorded and broadcast live from one of Prague’s most historic music venues.

Mayer’s latest album, Unbreakable, was listed as one of the Top 25 New Music Critiques of 2018 (Music Connection Magazine, December 2018), attracting radio airplay from across the globe. It is one of the few independent Canadian records available on Chinese music-streaming platforms QQ, NetEase, QianQian and Kuwo.

Canada’s National Post predicts that Martin Mayer is “poised to take over the world stage,” while VOGUE of Taiwan opines that the pianist’s “passion for music … can only be described as breath-taking,” and an A&R Factory Music Blog concludes: “Thankfully there are artists such as Martin Mayer to inject a bit of excitement and panache into the format of the pop-piano.

Carmen Darley

Carmen Darley is an artist, mother, motivator, and an advocate for mental health and positive thinking. After years of having a sought-after corporate role at American Express, Carmen realized that her life needed to shift in a different direction. She had been painting and exploring art since she was a child, but never pursued it. Through life experiences and learning, in 2016, Carmen decided to take the leap and pursue a career as an artist, and founded Carli’s Paintings. She found solace in her art, and found her calling as an entrepreneur.

Carmen creates “shatter-proof”, original, and unique, resin décor that has become very popular in Toronto and is sold in over a dozen stores across the province, as well as online on Etsy. Carmen has an entrepreneurial mindset and is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities and where to grow her business next. She is a popular motivator and influencer in Toronto, with a passion for empowering other female entrepreneurs. Carmen was recently a keynote speaker at the Toronto Business Babes Conference 2019, telling her story about her struggles, at times difficult, and how they shaped the person and entrepreneur she is today.

Her mission is to continue to create beautiful pieces that transform into functional and versatile home décor, as well as to empower other dreamers to pursue their life-long aspirations.

Kirsta Franke

Kirsta Franke is founder and owner of Wild Heart Collective which has succeeded in Edmonton by creating from the heart. Offering mindfully curated community events like the 124 Grand Market, All is Bright and the Winter Shake-Up Festival & Market, as well as high level dynamic celebrations like Edmonton’s first Nuit Blanche.

Paul Van Ginkel

Paul Van Ginkel is a well-known and successful artist in Calgary known for his paintings depicting horses and western imagery such as cowboys and natives. He also is known for his paintings of flamenco dance and of Venice. On this podcast, Paul talks about juggling the artistic side of his personality with his business sense. Examples of his work can be found on his website.