Jeff Craib, President, The Feldman Agency (TFA) will be honoured for his career accomplishments in the music industry at the annual Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner at Rebel Nightclub in Toronto on Thursday, May 10th.
With the TFA organization for almost 30 years, he was named head of the agency in March 2013 and has been instrumental in plotting expansion of the firm’s talent portfolio and shaping career strategies for a wide range of Canadian acts that have transformed themselves from club to theatre and arena marquee draws.
"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a huge honour,” Craib said in a statement released Wednesday. “It's humbling to be acknowledged among the ranks of so many renowned past recipients. 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."
Starting as an agent, his ambition and sharp eye for effective strategies have successfully enhanced the careers of a great many of Canada's top stars, including The Tragically Hip, Alessia Cara, Hedley, Paul Anka, Nelly Furtado, Headstones, Barenaked Ladies, Matthew Good, The Tea Party, and Scott Helman.
Craib is also the man behind the scenes of some of Canadian music's most luminous events, including The Tragically Hip's Man Machine Poem national tour that wound up in a final hometown concert in Kingston televised and viewed by 12 million-plus Canadians.
Craib's career kicked off at Frontline Attractions and William Seip Management in 1989. His early days focused on building relationships while booking hard rock bands managed by Seip like Helix and Kick Axe. His roster expanded to include Razor, Sacrifice, and Anvil, placing him at the helm of many national tours.
In a short period, a label was launched, and invaluable experience was gained at a time when working in the industry meant management, agent, promotion, and recording all happened under the same roof. With early mentors such as Seip, Tim O'Donnell, Steve Propas, and Donnie Blais in his corner, his career took its next step when he left Frontline after four years to take a job as one of the original agents at The Feldman Agency in Toronto.
The cast 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 and Bernie Breen, who became essential partners and remain so to this day.
With guidance from Sam Feldman and Bruce Allen, TFA evolved to become a company to reckon with, flush with rising and established domestic and international artists. The star system at TFA produced more arena level artists than ever, and in the '90s, its roster made up the soundtrack for a generation of teenagers. Craib played a role in initiating properties like Edge Fest, an event that would eventually become a national tour. This event was key for many TFA clients who have remained on Craib's roster for 20-plus-years. Among these: Big Wreck, Matthew Good, Moist and The Tea Party.
In 2001, this success continued with breakthrough artists like Nelly Furtado selling 20 million records, headlining arenas across the country and selling out tours in Mexico and South America that were put together by Craib and Smith.
Today, Craib continues to reinvent creative opportunities for established artists but is still keen on finding, developing and nurturing new talent to work with on a personal level and with his agency cohorts. Having spent the better part of three decades helping artists navigate and succeed in a rapidly changing industry, he is demonstrative in how he takes pride in mentoring and developing a best-in-class staff that works seamlessly to create opportunities for artists in innovative ways.
TFA is now known as the top music agency in Canada and has forged strong ties on the global market.
Craib sits on the Board of Directors for CARAS and MECC and the Advisory Board for (medical marijuana firm) Newstrike.