How We Operate

We are a borderless arts presenter utilizing cooperative strategies to manage risk; support festivals and event activites; and showcase artists to new markets. We develop opportunities for international networking and presenter support, in partnership with industry leaders in the United States, Canada, and abroad. We execute audience development strategies for artists, and develop strong touring routes with dynamic, multicycle tactics in target markets. Our long term strategies for international marketing are customized to cultivate and grow audiences over several seasons.

"Trade Routes is an organization with a focus on developing touring routes for artists going across borders. The organization was conceived out of necessity, partly from trying to navigate crossing borders as an artist myself and feeling as though there was no infrastructure to offer support and guidance."


View Trade Routes policies here


To support music in performance, especially in the space where cultures intersect and current descriptions fail.


Our vision is to provide a framework of significant infrastructure that enables borderless collaboration in event and audience development.


  • To enable performing artists and arts professionals to have more sustainable careers
  • To support borderless cooperation between Canada, the United States, and the international marketplace
  • To present more culturally diverse artists to audiences and areas that lack access.
  • To promote increased cross cultural understanding and empathy within and across communities

Board of Directors


Michael Owen

Michael is a Juno Award-nominee producer, composer, and musician. He has been a music entrepreneur for over 20 years. He has toured Canada, the USA, Mexico, and Europe and worked with international partners on worldwide record releases and marketing campaigns. In 2011 Michael created Made With Pencil Crayons, a company providing administrative production, and marketing support to various Canadian projects in the music industry.


Maria Grajales

Maria is a writer and music enthusiast with a background in marketing analytics and creative copywriting. Her 10+ years of experience in client relations have led her to build loyal partnerships and solid client relationships on a B2B and B2C basis. She has also worked alongside digital marketing agencies on a consultancy basis, managing projects and building out campaigns for clients in a number of different industries. Passionate about music and a strong supporter of Canadian artists, she is excited for the opportunity to further support the music community through Trade Routes.


Lyle Crilly

A&R/VP Marketing Roland Canada and a Juno Award Nominated musician with Battle of Santiago, Lyle has been kicking around the Toronto music scene for the last 20 years, primarily as an audio manipulator and producer for acts like Stop Die and CcenturiersS. Several albums and 12 inchers were released under the Stop Die name and Lyle has done numerous remixes and production projects for acts like Tegan & Sara, Buck 64, Die Mannequin, Little Dragon, New Buffalo, Apostle Of Hustle, and You Say Party We Say Die to name just a few. Lyle’s approach to music has always had an experimental side, often featuring live shows and recording with unique instrumentation, live sampling and noise.


Patrice Agbokou

Patrice is a touring artist, manager, and booking agent based out of the South shore of Montreal, Canada. Fostering creativity and diversity, his agency serves as a springboard for Canadian artists involved in innovative music and related arts. With one foot in the indie scene and the other in the flourishing world music scene, Patrice is always expanding and on the lookout for new and original talent. Connecting ideas and cultures, his agency approaches the music industry from a fresh angle with cultivation the art of innovation.


Michael Butler

Michael is an internationally touring musician and Juno Award Nominee born with Caribbean, French, and Mohawk Indian Backgrounds and with strong musical ability carrying him to Humber College’s Jazz program. Michael has mastered the soprano saxophone, flute, keyboards, electric bass, trombone, trumpet, drums, and various percussion instruments. He has also demonstrated success on his own and with projects such as All I See Is Red, High Water Mark, Beats Massive, Battle of Santiago, and Michael B solo.