Boots and Hearts Producer Republic Live Launches Management Arm, RLive
The new division will be based in Nashville, with B.C. country artist Tyler Joe Miller the first signing.
Republic Live, producers of the annual multi-day Boots and Hearts country music festival north of Toronto, has launched a management division called RLive with newly appointed Alberta native Casadie Pederson named as Director of Artist Management and Development.
With offices in Toronto and Nashville, RLive will be based in Nashville, where Pederson will work alongside Republic Live’s festival booker Brooke Dunford. The Republic Live Canadian office has also added Hannah Buske in Toronto. She will support Dunford in future festival bookings and support management and marketing initiatives. Marketing and brand strategy for both artist and festival endeavours will be led by Anne Stirk, while creative direction will remain with Eva Dunford.
RLive is a natural extension of the festival’s opening night emerging artist showcase. In an earlier interview, Dunford stated that promoting Canadian talent at Boots and Hearts Music Festival — which annually attracts 40,000 a night and offers on-site camping, carnival rides, food trucks and other amenities — has always been one of its chief mandates.
“If we really work ahead, we can develop Canadian artists so they can become headliners, and we can grow as an industry,” she told Nick Krewen in a Toronto Star article.
Ron Kitchener, an award-winning country music impresario and manager to acts such as Tim Hicks and the Hunter Brothers, says the annual emerging artists component to the festival has been a big win for the performers. “That contest has spawned many artists that have gone on to recording deals and management with other companies,” he says, adding that “it’s arguably the No. 1 Canadian country discovery platform of the last 10 years.”
The first signing for RLive is Tyler Joe Miller, a Surrey, B.C. singer-songwriter who has scored seven top 10 Canadian country hits since launching himself in 2019 with two back-to-back No. 1 hits – “Pillow Talkin” and “I Would Be Over Me Too.” Miller joins fellow CanCountry stars Shawn Austin and Andrew Hyatt on a 20-city, west-to-east Country MixTape Tour of casinos, theatres and concert venues that opens April 9 at Victoria’s Capitol Ballroom and winds up May 4 at The Venue in Peterborough, ON.
Republic Live is a privately held Canadian company formed by the Dunford family that owns the 585-acre Burl’s Creek Event Grounds north of Toronto, where Boots and Hearts is staged annually.
Canadian venture capitalist Stan Dunford and Nashville-based live music promoter Nick Kulb were early backers of what has become one of the largest multi-day festivals in North America.