A true entrepreneur, Ron Sakamoto’s 50+ year concert portfolio bulges with tours and shows across Canada with top country artists from across the continent. From stadium tours with Keith Urban back to working with Shania Twain’s first show before becoming a world superstar, he’s played a cruicial role in the careers of countless artists. His love for Canadian country artists carries through to today in his work creating development opportunities for emerging Canadian artists, and managing multi-award winning country artists The Washboard Union.
Ron has been honoured with induction into the CCMA Hall of Fame, after receiving the CCMA ‘Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year’ Award for 17 consecutive years, resulting in the award being re-named in his honour. Ron has also received the CCMA’s Hank Smith Award of Excellence, CMA Intl Promoter/Talent Buyer of the Year, and IEBA’s Intl Promoter/Talent Buyer of the Year and Intl Talent Buyer of the Year Award. Ron has served on the Board of Directors for both the CCMA and the CMA in Nashville. He is currently on the Board of Directors for IEBA. Ron’s career began as a teenager, expanding to start Gold & Gold Productions Ltd, a company he still operates today. Ron also started Sakamoto Agency along with partner Paul Biro in 2013, as the two share the same values and passion for Canadian music.
Paul BiroOperating Partner/VP
An industry veteran of over 25 years, Paul Biro heads up the team at Sakamoto Agency as Operating Partner and Vice President, responsible for day to day management and operation of the company, as well as artist touring and development as Senior Agent. He’s been nominated no less than 19 times by various music industry organizations including the Canadian Country Music Awards, and has played a major role in developing breakout groups like The Washboard Union, booking the band’s touring dates from France to PEI to BC over the last few years. Paul has also helped break new artists like Platinum Artist Aaron Goodvin, and continues to book a well rounded roster of both established and up and coming artists, as well as multimedia tribute-style shows and comedic sensations like singing impressionist Andre-Philippé Gagnon.
As well as representing the artists on the roster, Paul programs several major events across Canada as a senior entertainment buyer, and promotes his own shows and tours regionally. Acting as entertainment programmer and buyer, Paul has delivered artists from Willie Nelson to KISS to Tom Cochrane, and he continues to invest in relationships with artists, managers and agencies from around the world. His focus on nurturing relationships has allowed him to build a solid foundation in the global music industry working with both domestic and international artists in the form of booking, promoting and management. Over the years Paul has worked as a agent with Patricia Conroy, Rick Tippe, Gord Bamford, Aaron Pritchett, Johnny Reid and countless others, he is passionate about art and believes strongly in the amazing talent of Canadian artists.
Paul Biro is also an active volunteer in his community, having participated as Vice Chair for a local arts festival, as Arts director at a large church overseeing 100 volunteers and staff, and works diligently to support his community and local church whenever called upon. He has articulated the values and vision of Sakamoto Agency that both he and his business partner Ron Sakamoto, who Paul holds in the highest regard, live out daily. Though his passion and dedication towards music is undeniable, Paul’s foremost commitment and greatest joy comes from his relationship with his wife Sonia and his sons William and Kingston.
Booking Agent Carla Hackman has over 20 years of experience various facets of both the music and film industry. Moving her focus over time from administration and marketing into management and booking, Carla got her introduction to the music world in 1998 while working production for a classic rock festival in High River, AB. She never looked back. Her keen interest in all aspects of the arts saw her dabble in logistics and marketing positions, management and admin, booking, and as an assistant producer filming commercials and videos. She started her independent management company Elevation in 2007, consulting with a wide range of artists in grant writing, artist development, bookings and management, while maintaining a position as an award-winning Marketing Director for a real estate development firm in Calgary.
Carla brought her knowledge and experience to Sakamoto Agency in 2015, and maintains a development roster as well as contributing to bookings for all current roster artists. She is also a current board member of ATAA in Alberta, and has served on the board of the ACMA as well. Carla is a current member of ATAA, ACMA and CCMA.
Joelle MayPromotions & Logistics Manager
A devoted music-lover, Joelle May left behind the corporate professional world in 2007/2008 and started ModMay Promotions, operating as an independent publicist, executing publicity campaigns, marketing initiatives, and various management tasks for no less than 40 artists and bands from Canada, the US, UK, and Australia, as well as not-for-profit music organizations, labels, conferences, festivals, and contests in both Canada and the US. Joelle has also worked in marketing and sponsorship, event management and coordination, and regularly contributes as an industry guest speaker, juror, and consultant. She has contracted to Folk Alliance International (5 yrs), BreakOut West, Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express, Project WILD Country, MusicYukon, Light Organ Records, Borealis Records, Nimbus School of Recording & Media, Access to Music Foundation, Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, Mountain View Music Fest, FolkWest (festival), and countless indie artists. Joelle is a member of Music BC, CARAS, CIMA, CCMA and has sat as a board member for FolkWest and Folk Music Canada.
Starting with Sakamoto Agency in 2017, Joelle coordinates logistics for hundreds of shows per year, and handles various promotions for artists and the agency itself. She is also an adept writer, having been published in several music magazines in addition to writing artist bios, press releases and her own bio in the third person.
Franck BoucheraudEuropean Coordinator
Known in the Canadian country scene as a Talent Buyer for the American Tours Festival in France, and producing the Canadian Music Night at the festival since 2008, Franck Boucheraud is a buyer and agent whose his history and ongoing effort in assisting the aims and initiatives of Canadian country music in an international setting is award winning. He took home the 2017 Leonard T Rambeau Award at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and in July 2018, received an honour from the Mayor of Tours, France, for the continued success of the Canadian Music Night.
Despite having spent time in the US earlier in his career, Franck focuses his efforts on elevating Canadian Music across Europe, from his home in France. In addition to becoming Sakamoto Agency’s European Coordinator, Franck also acts as an independent promoter for select artists all around Europe.