Good + Plenty WPG was founded in January 2020 as a vehicle to promote local music and live events by women, non-binary and trans artists. With a full programming schedule planned, mass cancellations led the creative team to rethink their plans to connect with the music community through a recently launched Producer’s Club and a corresponding podcast.
Lana Winterhalt, the podcast host and one of Good + Plenty WPG’s co-founders, explains that her personal experience with representation within the Manitoba production scene was practically non-existent.
Drawn by the questions surrounding diversity within music and film production, Good + Plenty Producer’s Club became a platform to help ensure those who are underrepresented in Winnipeg’s music scene are given space to thrive and address solutions for barriers that are still standing.
“I’ve been a producer for the past couple years and wasn’t seeing much diversity within the city. I was trying to find a mentor for myself that was a woman or non-binary or a trans producer in Manitoba, who was working professionally for a few years. I was thinking that there must be someone that is working and that I don’t know yet,” she says.
To Winterhalt’s surprise, she was told she was one of the few most qualified producers that fit the profile in the local scene. This led her to discuss the obstacles preventing women, non-binary and trans production students from pursuing a career in the industry with mentors John Paul Peters and Vanessa Peters. A few identified reasons involve a lack of funding and approvals.
In addition to the club, the podcast is an outlet for producers to share their experiences in the industry and inspire young people to pursue this career. Artist, songwriter and producer Sarah MacDougall is based in Ontario and joined the podcast for its second episode.
“There has been a lack of support and role models for gender minorities in the audio engineering and production world for a long time, and I think podcasts such as this one are really important for visibility and community,” MacDougall says in an email to The Uniter.
To make sure listeners receive the affirmation to carry on, Winterhalt reminds them at the end of every episode that their art, music, poetry and perspective in life matter. She is convinced this will somewhat remedy the usual feeling of imposter syndrome that might prevent them from wondering if their work is good enough.
As of Jan. 23, the Producer’s Club includes 50 members involved in the production process. The upcoming podcast episodes include a solid lineup of women, non-binary and trans professionals both in and out of the province.
“Production is already an isolated job as it is, but through this initiative we saw how many people are in the field, and there are a lot more people interested in being in this field,” Winterhalt says.
Tune in to The Good + Plenty Producer’s Club Podcast on all major streaming platforms.
Published in Volume 76, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 27, 2022)