Feldman Agency President to Be Inducted Into Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame

 David Bastedo
Jeff Craib

Jeff Craib, president of The Feldman Agency, whose clients include The Tragically Hip, Nelly Furtado, Alessia Cara, Paul Anka and Barenaked Ladies, will be inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame later this year, in recognition of more than 25 years as a booking agent. This year marks his 26th with TFA.

The ceremony will take place as part of the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards gala dinner at Toronto's Rebel Nightclub May 10, during Canadian Music Week.

"I am excited to honour Jeff Craib at the 2018 Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards as Jeff has been at the head of the live music business for decades, influencing the careers of Canada's most recognized live touring artists," CMW president Neill Dixon said in a statement.

Craib, who is out there scouting and supporting new talent, like rising singer-songwriter Scott Helman, as much as he is at the arenas for shows by his headlining acts like pop band Hedley, called the induction "a huge honour" and "humbling to be acknowledged among the ranks of so many renowned past recipients."

In the statement, he added, "Throughout my career I have been extremely fortunate to be around, and work with and for people who are passionate, creative and very bright.  At times, this career choice has presented challenges, but it has been a remarkable, rewarding experience, that I would not change and look forward to continuing. The best in my opinion is still ahead."

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Craib was drawn to the live music world in his teens, as the self-appointed promoter of his friends' bands. He officially entered the industry at Frontline Attractions and William Seip Management in or around 1989, in Kitchener, Ontario, focusing on building relationships, while booking hard rock bands such as Helix and Kick Axe, managed by Seip. His roster expanded to include other heavy acts, like Razor, Sacrifice, and Anvil, which put Craib at the helm of many national tours.

Soon a record label was launched, and Craib was able to gain invaluable experience with the advantage of manager, agent, promotion, and recording all under the same roof. With mentors like Seip, Tim O'Donnell, Steve Propas, and Donnie Blais in his corner, Craib took the next step, leaving Frontline after four years, to take a job in 1993 as one of the original agents at The Feldman Agency (then called S.L. Feldman & Associates, a.k.a. SLFA) in Toronto.

The staff at TFA in 1993 included Bernie Breen, Richard Mills and, not long after, Vinny Cinquemani, Tom Kemp, and Olivia Ootes. These early days found Craib forging strong relationships with managers Chris Smith (then manager of Nelly Furtado; now Alessia Cara) and Breen (the Headstones, most recent manager of The Tragically Hip), who became essential partners, and still remain so to this day. With guidance from Sam Feldman and Bruce Allen, TFA became a growing company of rising and established domestic and international artists. 

Craib played a role in initiating properties like Edge Fest, a music festival that would eventually tour nationally, playing to hundreds of thousands of people. This event was key for many TFA clients who have remained on his roster for more than 20 years; Big Wreck, Matthew Good, Moist and The Tea Party. In 2001, this success continued with breakthrough artists like Nelly Furtado, selling 20 million albums, headlining arenas across the country, and selling out tours in Mexico and South America that were put together by Craib and Smith. 

Craib, who was appointed president of TFA in 2013, is also the man behind the scenes of some of Canadian music's most iconic events, including The Tragically Hip's Man Machine Poem sold out national tour, whose final live concert was seen by more than 12 million Canadians, on TV, online, and in person.

Having spent the past 25-plus years helping artists navigate and succeed in a rapidly changing industry, he takes pride in mentoring and developing a staff that create opportunities for TFA's roster in innovative ways. TFA is now the largest music agency in Canada, representing more than 250 artists of all genres.

Craib also sits on the Board of Directors for The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences  (CARAS) and Music Education Charity of Canada (MECC, a.k.a. MusiCounts), and the Advisory Board for Newstrike, owner of Up Cannabis Inc. (The Tragically Hip's medical marijuana brand).