World Music Development Program

With support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Presents is pleased to offer Ontario-based presenters the chance to participate in a new World Music Development Program. This curatorial development program is designed to support the programming of World Music genres in communities across Ontario through grants to selected presenters.

We aim to develop presenters’ capacities to better connect with their new audiences while simultaneously providing opportunities for communities to experience vibrant music during this COVID-19 recovery period. This project will also provide opportunities for World Music artists and collectives to build audiences in their local communities. 

As part of this program, 5 presenters will be supported by Ontario Presents to present world music concerts in spring of 2022. This includes professional development led by Project Consultant, Alfredo Caxaj, as well as direct grants toward artist fees to mitigate risk for the presentations.

Alfredo Caxaj has served as the Executive and Artistic Director of the non-profit Sunfest-London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts Inc. for more than two decades. SUNFEST World Music & Jazz Summer Festival is a free-admission festival of music, dance, crafts and cuisine from around the globe that has grown into “Canada’s Premier Celebration of World Cultures”.

A note on the definition of World Music:

World Music usually refers to non-commercial or mainstream music that is rooted in a folk/ cultural tradition. While this term has become controversial during the last several years, it remains the term that festivals, presenters, and artists associate with music that is based in the traditional or Indigenous roots of a culture and stands apart from commercial or mainstream genres such as rock, indie, pop, and others. With this program, we are particularly focused on supporting the work of IBPOC artists within world music genres.


The presenter cohort of 2022 and 2023 were selected independently by our project consultant based on applications. The current program participants are: 

  1. John French & Dan Broome - Brookside Music Association & Midland Cultural Centre
  2. Michele Law - Kingsville Music Society
  3. Jahn Fawcett - Shenkman Arts Cente, Ottawa
  4. Claire Senko - Old Town Hall, Waterford

The 2022 participants were:

  1. Kalaisan Kalaichelvan - Aurora Cultural Centre
  2. John French & Dan Broome - Brookside Music Association & Midland Cultural Centre
  3. Michele Law - Kingsville Music Society
  4. Jahn Fawcett - Shenkman Arts Cente, Ottawa
  5. Claire Senko - Old Town Hall, Waterford

This program is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage: