Music in Hamilton

Hamilton Music Advisory Team

The Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT) is a group of local music industry representatives. They represent many backgrounds to assist with the City’s Music Strategy

Patricia (Tricia) LeClair

Executive Director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir (HCC) (Chair)

Patricia has over 40 years of work experience in not-for-profits, human resources and organizational development. Drawing from this expertise, Tricia has built a sustainable and thriving children & youth music education program through increased membership, improved fund development, and strengthened resources that has contributed to the HCC’s international acclaim.  Actively involved in the Hamilton arts community, Tricia is a member of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team and is the managing coordinator of the Supercrawl Family Zone. In 2015, she was invited to sit on the JUNOS Host Committee to chair its Music Education Team and received the Choirs Ontario Leadership Award for Excellence. 

Lisa La Rocca

Director of Operations, Sonic Unyon Records, (Co-Chair)

Photo of Lisa La Rocca

Lisa La Rocca is currently Director of Operations at local independent record label Sonic Unyon Records, which includes working with local musicians, as well as producing Hamilton’s Supercrawl festival, and many other live music and cultural events year-round. Lisa serves as a board member of the Downtown Hamilton BIA and a member of the Hamilton Arts Advisory Commission. She is also a part-time PhD student in the Communication and Culture program at York University and holds an M.A. in Communication and New Media from McMaster University. Her research interests include the Canadian Music Industry, the dichotomy between record labels and independent artists, public music funding in Canada, and concert ticketing platforms. A born and raised Hamiltonian, Lisa loves being able to work on and enjoy music in this amazing city. 

Nimal Agalawatte

Audio Engineer/Musician

Photo of Nimal Agalawatte

Nimal is an audio engineer and musician based out of Hamilton Ontario. They operate Four String Audio and play bass/synth in Basement Revolver. Nimal studied applied music at Mohawk College and graduated in the year 2016. Since graduating Nimal has been working as both a live/studio engineer and session bass player. 

Marie Cassidy

Station Manager/Technologist 101.5 The Hawk and Ignite Radio, Mohawk College

Portrait image of Bry Webb

Marie Cassidy has been in the radio industry for about 15 years, and is an award-winning journalist and on-air personality. Marie is the Station Manager/Technologist for 101.5 The Hawk and Ignite Radio at Mohawk College. She’s also a Professor in the Media and Entertainment department and sits on the Program Advisory Committees for the Journalism and Radio Broadcasting programs. She has worked at radio stations from Owen Sound to Niagara Falls, with many stops in between. Marie has worked for companies including Bayshore Broadcasting, Haliburton Broadcasting Group and Vista Radio. Marie spent a decade with Vista Radio Ltd. and was the Regional Cluster News Director of Ontario for the chain's more than 20 stations across the province.

She was also the Assistant National News Director for the properties across Canada and Operations Manager for the two stations in Niagara Falls. She's an honours graduate of Mohawk College's Broadcast Journalism and Communications Media program and has helped many other grads get their start in the broadcasting industry.


Becky Katz 

Multidisciplinary Artist, Experimental Musician, Promoter, Activist, and Philanthropist

HMAT member portrait of Becky Katz

Becky is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Strangewaves Music Festival, and has worked as a community organizer and arts educator at Centre[3] for Artistic & Social Practice for the past 11 years. In 2018, she took home the Hamilton Arts Award for Art Education and Community Art. In her "free" time, Becky involves herself in numerous creative endeavours that have a particular focus on collaboration and shine a spotlight on the peculiarities of human nature.

Garrett LaJoie

Marketing Coordinator and Instructor, An Instrument For Every Child,  (Musician Sub-Committee Chair)

Garrett LaJoie - Hamilton Music Advisory Team

Garrett Lajoie is a singer-songwriter, arts administrator, and graduate from Mohawk College’s Contemporary Guitar program. Introduced to the guitar at age 9, Garrett quickly discovered his love of music in all styles. Recipient of the Academic Achievement award at Mohawk College’s Celebration of Learning ceremony, Garrett has since made his home in Hamilton as a freelance guitarist, songwriter, teacher, and tutor. Since 2016, he has been working with the Hamilton Music Collective, and currently works full time as Marketing Coordinator and Instructor for the An Instrument For Every Child program. He takes pride in leading the 'Jambassadors' youth band program, 'Beats BY U' music production class, and monthly Open Jam For Kids events.

Roman Marcone

Producer / Engineer

image of Roman Marcone

Roman started his music engineering and production career in the mid 90s at a small studio in Burlington under the very talented and knowledgeable Wolfegang Bonham. After this Roman took his musical abilities over to the Uk for 2 years to further his passion for touring and music production. Once back in Hamilton, his opportunities at major studios included being head engineer for Juno award winning producer and musician, Dan Achen, at Catherine North studio.

After Dan’s passing, a change was needed. Roman was quickly asked to become head engineer at Porcelain Records for Grammy award winning producer Steve Bigas. This change allowed Roman the fortune of working with and building friendships with talented artists such as Daniel Lanois, Mark Howard, Mark Mclean an many more.

Steve, having moved to the United States, it was time for Marcone to open his own studio, Halo Recording Production and Audio Engineering. With help from partner Corey Stevens and having brought to Hamilton a piece of music history, the SSL 4000 from Doppler studios,  Halo quickly became a multi year award winning space and creation spot for bands such as Rules and the Trews!

Janna Malseed

Vice President, Hamilton Musicians Guild

Portrait image of Janna Malseed

Janna has been part of the music business since birth. Her father was a full time musician/band leader working 6 nights a week in Hamilton for many years. Her brother played piano and her sister was the vocalist in the band as well so it certainly was a family affair. She started working for the Hamilton Musicians Guild in 1975 eventually taking on the role of Music Performance Trust Fund Administrator in 1982. In that role, she developed new programs for live musical performances that were open to the public and provided work opportunities for members of the Hamilton Musicians Guild. Actively involved in the Hamilton musical community, Janna is a member of the Arts Advisory Commission.

In 1991 she was elected as Secretary-Treasurer/Business Agent of the Guild and in that capacity served on several Committees in Hamilton. She was on the Mohawk Music Advisory Committee, Chairperson of the Music Advisory Committee for the City of Hamilton from 1993-1995. Janna was a founding Member and Canadian Advisory for the Organization of Professional Women in Music and was also a team member with the Organization and Recruiting Task Force for the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

Judy Marsales

Musician and Music Advocate

Portrait image of Judy Marsales

Judy has enjoyed 38 years of active real estate involvement and will be celebrating 30 years as Broker/Owner of Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd. in January. Judy is a former MPP representing Hamilton West from 2003 to 2007 in addition to being Past President of the Hamilton-Burlington Real Estate Board, The Hamilton & District Chamber of Commerce, and the Hamilton Business Executives Organization. She has been the recipient of many awards including:

  • 2011 Inductee into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction
  • Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington in 2003
  • Athena Award in 2001
  • Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995
  • Award of Merit from the Realtors Association in 1987
  • Past President and Advisory CEO Member of the Hamilton & District Chamber of Commerce
  • As a proud Hamiltonian, Judy enjoys promoting Hamilton through her radio show "Sold on Hamilton".
  • Music is a passion and Judy sings regularly with a group known as Judy and The Noteworthies - performing every Wednesday at The Coach & Lantern as well as several other local venues.
  • Judy is also proud to be a member of the St. Joseph's Choir. Judy enjoys supporting many organizations and volunteered as an Elvis singer in support of Theatre Aquarius as well as hosting a music night over the past few years called Paint the Town Red in support of the Bob Kemp Hospice 
  • Diamond Jubilee Recipient

Marie Nash

Chief Operating Officer, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Portrait image of Marie Nash

Marie Nash is the Chief Operating Officer for the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, where she works to further elevate the institution’s operations, communications, advocacy efforts, value proposition and engagement with all members of the business community, large and small. Marie is a lifelong Hamiltonian, completing both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees at McMaster University. She is an avid supporter of the creative industries in the city, sitting on the board for Culture for Kids in the Arts and is a member of the HPO Young Patrons Circle. On weekends, Marie loves exploring the city with her husband, Nathan, and their two young daughters..

Mark Pongetti

Owner, The Acoustic Room

Born and raised in Hamilton, Mark has been a vital part of the music retail industry since the early 1970’s - beginning with his family owned business (Pongetti Musical Instruments) on Barton Street. He is presently the owner of The Acoustic Room on James Street South, specializing in acoustic instruments. Mark has brought community engagement through social events, fundraisers, workshops, and clinics - bringing his passion for music back to his hometown. 

Brodie Schwendiman

Owner, The Casbah

Portrait image of Brodie Schwendiman

Brodie has been a promoter of live & local music since 1999 in our city. A former school teacher, he transitioned into a new career of live music promotion, and he's never turned back. Responsible for bringing Hamilton audiences their first glimpses of such bands as The Arcade Fire, The Arkells, Monster Truck, Alexisonfire, The Sadies & July Talk, he has also booked & promoted  hundreds of local acts. Presently a member of the Hamilton Music Advisory Team (HMAT), and co-chair of the Hamilton Live Music Venue Alliance, he was a member of the Juno Host Committee (2015) and The Festival of Friends Board (2015-2016). Brodie is a Hamilton resident from birth, and a father of three boys, Tobin, Cooper & Quinn.

Kim Varian

 Executive Director, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

HMAT - Kim Varian

Kim Varian is an accomplished leader with more than 20 years of senior management experience across public and private sectors. Currently, Kim is the Executive Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Kim’s corporate background includes roles in strategic development at multinational education firms and large corporate software companies like Apple and Hewlett Packard. More than twelve years ago, Kim moved into the not-for-profit arts and education sectors working in senior management roles at The Art Gallery of Burlington, Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario, and as a Management Consultant supporting arts organizations and educational institutions across Canada. In 2016, Kim joined the HPO as the Director of Development and Communications. Recognized for her expertise in strategic management, program development and community partnerships, Kim’s career is grounded in arts and culture and education sectors.

Hamilton Public Library

Hamilton Public Library Logo

Hamilton Public Library (HPL) is a proud supporter of Hamilton’s vibrant music scene, which is filled with a pool of diverse talent from musicians to songwriters to festivals. Our HPL Communications team is committed to help strengthen, preserve and promote our ever-growing musical movement in our city where we work, live and play. We look forward to collaborating with Hamilton City of Music in forging a solid path to highlight what Hamilton’s music community has to offer.