Backbeat: Music Execs Go Dog Sledding, Eat Bison During Canada's Breakout West
Backbeat: Music Execs Go Dog Sledding, Eat Bison During Canada's Breakout West

Dog Sledding
Top L to R: Brian Hetherman (president, Cerberus Management and Consulting); Bob D'Eith (president, Music BC); Amine Ramer (music supervisor, States of Sound); Natasha Duprey (director of music supervision, S.L. Feldman & Associates); Samuel Diaz (associate director of music supervision, CBS Television Studios); Brent Oliver (Paquin Entertainment Group); Karen Bliss (Billboard); Velma Barkwell (music supervisor, East End Music). Bottom L to R: Greig Nori (music, producer, songwriter); Shauna de Cartier (artist manager, Six Shooter Records); Quinn Best (Music BC); and Barbara Sedun (senior vice-president, EMI Music Publishing Canada).

On some free time from Breakout West, the Canadian music conference, festival and awards shows celebrating Western Canadian music, a group of music industry mushers braved the snowy terrain, just a 30-minute drive north of Whitehorse, Yukon, to go dog-sledding at Sky High Wilderness Ranch.

Dog Sledding
L to R: Karen Bliss (Billboard), Velma Barkwell (music supervisor, East End Music), Barbara Sedun (senior vice-president, EMI Music Publishing Canada). (Photo: Velma Barkwell)

Bundled up like the Michelin tire man - except stylish music supervisor Velma Barkwell and manager/label owner Brian Hetherman - about half of the group laid claim to some spectacular wipe outs, as four Yukon huskies led the way for each one-person sled. Once word got out about the fabulous adventure, more BreakOut West participants went up there over the weekend.

Dog Sledding
Samuel Diaz (associate director of music supervision, CBS Television Studios) and Natasha Duprey (director of music supervision, S.L. Feldman & Associates). (Photo: Velma Barkwell)

Los Angeles-based Samuel Diaz, associate director of music supervision for CBS Television Studios, had only seen snow once, briefly, on a school trip as a teenager and was suitably geared up for the morning with the dogs. "There are some conferences you speak at and the whole time you are booked," he told Billboard.biz. "You maybe have an hour or two to walk around and that's it. I ate bison for dinner, went to the museum, the Yukon River, but nothing as exciting as going dog-sledding. That was one for the books."

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Added fellow music supervisor Natasha Duprey of S.L. feldman & Associates, "Last night when we got back from the dinner was the first time that Sam had ever seen snow falling." We even caught him eating some (the white stuff) when he got back from dog-sledding, a far more strenuous exercise than one would imagine, and he was thirsty and a bit out of breath.

Dog Sledding
With arms wide open: Natasha Duprey, director of music supervision, S.L. Feldman & Associates. (Photo: Velma Barkwell)