Raising the Bar: Helping to Make Every Live Music Space a Safe Place

Raising the Bar is a first-of-its-kind, national training program brought to you by the Canadian Live Music Association and produced by industry veteran Samantha Slattery. It provides hands-on training and education to live music industry professionals to ensure safer spaces, harm reduction and event safety in Canada’s live music industry.

Lives Matter to Live Music

We live in a challenging, complex and sometimes terrifying world. The live music community has been the target of some of the most horrific acts of terrorism in recent years, and Canada is not immune to potential threats. Our weather is increasingly unpredictable. The opioid crisis continues to take lives, today. Fans (especially women) are harassed and/or assaulted (or worse) at our events and in our live music spaces, today. More can and must be done to combat these challenges, and to plan for those of tomorrow.

The Need

To educate live music industry professionals and provide them with hands-on tools they can use to make positive and meaningful change so that everyone working and attending music events are safe. Training is imperative to foster the overall growth and development of, and to build capacity in, Canada’s live music sector.

Raising the Bar will provide that much needed training and information.

The Goals

  • Increase capacity, knowledge and emergency preparedness of Canada’s live music professionals to prevent and manage crisis situations.
  • Decrease the incidence of drug overdoses, harassment, assault, discrimination and weather-related accidents at live music events.
  • Increase best practices, build community, and keep fans, artists and live music workers safe.

The Training

Training will be offered on the following:

Harm Reduction

A key component of this program will be focused on harm reduction as part of a comprehensive response to drugs. Harm Reduction is underpinned with the knowledge that many drug-related problems are not the result of the drugs themselves; rather they are the consequences of the unregulated manufacture and trade of drugs and the enduring commitment to failed policies and ill-thought-out and inequitably applied laws. Training will help to prevent or reduce harm and deaths related to substance use. An overall goal is creating increased awareness about the dangers of opioid use, overdose prevention, and responses to overdoses for all live music fans.

Safer Spaces

We join the many grassroots organizations doing important work at the ground level in our quest to end sexual assault and harassment in venues, bars, clubs and festivals across Canada. In partnership with some of them, this training will address perpetrator, community and corporate accountability as well as bystander intervention, and how to develop clear policies and procedures to ensure a safe space.

Event Safety

Our goal is to build on existing momentum in the industry by integrating safety into all activities so that both individual and group behaviors are affected. Specific programming will be inspired by any issues that may arise during the summer festival season, ensuring the delivery of specific training that ultimately helps to identify, assess and reduce risk at live music events.

A safer Canadian music industry is imperative – and good – for all artists, for fans and for the people working behind the scenes. A well-trained and knowledgeable Canadian live music workforce means safer, better touring experiences for artists and more positive, powerful, life-changing musical moments for fans.

About the Canadian Live Music Association

Founded in 2014, the Canadian Live Music Association is the voice of Canada’s live music industry, advancing and promoting its many economic, social and cultural benefits. The association stands behind the people behind live music and is the only trade association mandated to represent live music venues and organizations in Canada.

About Samantha Slattery, Producer

Samantha Slattery is Founder and Chairperson of Women in Music Canada. Samantha has been working in the music industry throughout North America and the UK for almost two decades. Her career has focused primarily on concert promoting, working for some of the largest promoters and festivals in the world, including; Mean Fiddler (Reading & Leeds Festivals), AEG Live (Coachella Music Festival, Stagecoach Music Festival and Virgin Music Festival), House of Blues (Edgefest) and Republic Live (WayHome and Boots & Hearts) to name just a few. She brings specialized knowledge of festival legal and risk management to Raising the Bar. Samantha also spent a number of years as a manager at Nettwerk Management’s UK office, working for major-label multi-platinum artists.


Harm Reduction
Creating increased awareness about the dangers of opioid use, overdose prevention, and responses to overdoses for all live music fans.

Safer Spaces
Addressing perpetrator, community and corporate accountability as well as bystander intervention, and how to develop clear policies and procedures to ensure a safe space.

Event Safety
Delivering training that ultimately helps to identify, assess and reduce risk at live music events.