Radio Starmaker Fund

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Radio Starmaker Fund Annual Report

2012 / 2013

Artist Profile: The Rural Alberta Advantage

The Rural Alberta Advantage

The Rural Alberta Advantage was born out of singer-songwriter Nils Edenloff’s move to Toronto from the province that inspired the band’s name. The band’s big break came when digital music retailer eMusic.com selected them and their album Hometowns for inclusion in the eMusic Selects program. This gave the band their first major publicity and exposure to 500,000 music fans and subscribers worldwide. The record became the highest selling Selects act in the history of the program, as well as a critical darling, appearing on dozens of “Best of 2008” lists across North America and Europe.

The band continued to gain momentum with a breakthrough performance at the 2009 South By Southwest Festival in Austin, getting the ultimate seal of approval from the influential Pitchfork music site (“this band could be huge”). Label deals with U.S. based Saddle Creek Records and Paper Bag Records in Canada followed suit, along with agent representation around the world. After a successful UK tour, they returned home in 2010 to be honoured with the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Canadian Music Fest’s Indie Awards.

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s sophomore album of early 2011, Departing, was a companion piece and bookend to their debut release. An extensive tour to support the album included noteworthy performances at the Coachella festival and sold out performances at their largest venues to date across North America and Europe. The album of percussive folk songs about hometowns and heartbreak was long-listed for the year’s Polaris Music Prize and the band was nominated for two Juno Awards: Best New Group and Video of the Year for their song “Stamp”.

The groundwork laid by the group over their first two albums and multiple tours earned them eligibility with the Radio Starmaker Fund in 2011. Toward the end of Departing’s album cycle, key priorities included exposing the band to new audiences, along with keeping their momentum moving forward in anticipation of their third album release. Starmaker’s domestic and international touring programs were instrumental in allowing The Rural Alberta Advantage to accomplish this. We were able to accept support offers for larger theatre and arena tours with artists including The Tragically Hip and the Sam Roberts Band, as well as do a co-headlining theatre run across Canada with Dan Mangan. We are grateful for this opportunity and the support of the Radio Starmaker Fund and hope these programs will also allow the band and their agents to incorporate critical markets in a meaningful way for their upcoming release.

Dara Kartz
Artist Manager
Go Kartz Management Inc.