#WeWantToKnow: Jackie Dean, COO of CARAS/The Juno Awards & MusiCounts... 


Meet Jackie Dean — COO of CARAS (The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. She began working with these organizations when she was a CPA and CARAS was a client of the accounting company she worked for. She was eventually asked to do some business development for them, and when she met with the chairman, he hired her on the spot (and started the job with MusiCounts the same week!). That was in June of 2002 and she has been a leader of these organizations ever since. Jackie is intensely passionate about music and about the music industry, and has the coolest career of any accountant I know. It’s a pleasure to introduce you to Jackie! 

What really stood out to me about Jackie throughout our conversation was her love of giving back. It’s evident that Jackie cares very deeply about the artists in the music industry and wants to see them succeed, and she’s able to provide support to these artists with the help of her mandate at CARAS: Educate (through her work with the MusiCounts charity); Develop (creating post-secondary scholarships); Celebrate (with the JUNO Awards, of course!); and Honour (hall of fame). Nothing brings Jackie greater satisfaction in her job than seeing an artist accepting an award onstage and then watching his or her career unfold. Jackie’s work also takes her beyond the artists and into communities, and she’s proud of the one million dollars in brand new instruments that MusiCounts disperses annually to schools across the country. Jackie understands the importance of music in a child’s life — she herself grew up taking piano lessons and now teaches her daughter to play. 

This year’s JUNO Awards take place in Vancouver on March 25th, 2018, and Jackie is honoured that this is the 17th production that she’s worked on. Her organization has partnered with the CBC to bring additional programming to Canadians throughout the year — although there are 42 different categories within the JUNO Awards, only seven of them are aired, so this is an especially important partnership that further aids Jackie’s initiatives to support the Canadian music industry and the artists she is so passionate about. 

It was such a pleasure to speak with Jackie — someone who is so passionate about what she does and takes joy in the success of others. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know her! 

Want more? Here’s what #WeWantToKnow about Jackie: 

I can't start my morning without...my Fitbit and coffee

I have a weakness for...my kids and dogs

Most people don't know that I...used to live in Iran as a child and am one of Corey Hart’s biggest fans

Currently reading... Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

An important lesson I learned from a challenge I faced…Life throws you curves, you learn to swerve and each time you do there is a lesson that teaches you about yourself and how to be better. 

I want...to help make change in the discussion on diversity in our industry, to one day write a book and again teach at the University

Thanks Jackie, for participating in #WeWantToKnow! 

*** Many thanks to Distillery District Magazine for re-publishing this article in your June 2018 issue! Distillery District Magazine is a digital magazine highlighting art, design, culture and technology. ***