10 years, a bounty of art, and a job that still thrills me
from Founder & President, Megan Wendell
Canary Promotion turned 10 this fall. Over the years we’ve been fortunate to work with a dazzling array of talented artists, cultural institutions, nonprofit organizations and mission-driven businesses.
What started out as a sort of side business created by a couple of DIY musicians turned into a full time passion and you could even say, a calling. My partner in music, business and life, Mason Wendell and I started Canary Promotion out of a desire to help artists gain a higher level of exposure and to pass along what we’d learned being in the trenches ourselves.
Our core mission has never changed. We promote what we believe in, what has an impact on our culture and our community and simply what shakes up our souls.
Today, Canary has a decade of experience working with the media – from national broadcast and print outlets to bloggers – and managing successful communications campaigns through social media, community outreach and more traditional marketing. But it’s our slightly unusual path into the business side of arts & culture that has always set us apart from other communications shops.
We understand the inspiration to create, how a passion can drive you and the desire to innovate within your field. We’ve never been afraid to try new things or to adapt on the fly, and that’s kept us on top of industry and communications trends over the years.
And while it’s remarkable how much the tools we use have changed, the heart of our work remains the same - telling great stories with passion, creativity and authenticity.
That’s us in a promo shot for our band, the Method and Result, circa 2002. (Photo by James Wendell.)
Our first projects were often run from wherever we happened to be in the country at the time, with a cell phone (well before my now irreplaceable iPhone), and late nights after band gigs in 24-hour Kinko’s (remember those, before free wi-fi was the norm?). Even then, I knew we were on to something.
We wanted to do work we enjoyed (because I truly believe you have to love what you do to do it well) while supporting ourselves as musicians, so we convinced some independent bands and record labels to hire us, and then we convinced some larger labels to hire us, and that turned into city-wide festivals, theater and dance companies, museums, universities, nonprofits and foundations.
To this day I’m grateful to those early clients who trusted us, and to every client who trusts us with their message, mission and brand. I think Canary is the special company it is because we always take that trust seriously.
Anyone who has worked with us will tell you we aren’t content to rest on our laurels here at Canary. Just as arts and culture and their place in the community and the economy are evolving, so are we. These days, we have a real office, expanded communications services, a smart, creative and dedicated staff, and I’ve traded late nights in clubs for early nights with my 4 year old, Lyra – but my passion for this work hasn’t waned.
10 years and over 60 clients later, this job is still thrilling to me.
Lyra: future Canary Promotion CEO, rock star… or both?
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