Kristen Burke has been appointed as president of Warner Music Canada.
She will take up the appointment on October 18 and be based in the company’s Toronto office, reporting to Simon Robson, president, international, recorded music at Warner Music Group.
Burke succeeds Steve Kane, who has served as president, Warner Music Canada since 2004. During his time in charge of the company, Kane has signed and developed artists including Billy Talent, Brett Kissel, Charmaine, Just John and Scott Helman.
Under his leadership, Warner Music Canada was named Label of the Year threeyears running at the Canadian Country Music Awards. More recently, Kane was instrumental in the launch of 4N Records, a JV label fronted by the artist Ikky Singh which focuses on the fast-growing genre of Punjabi music. He was inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2015.
Burke joins the company from Universal Music Canada, where she worked for more than 20 years, most recently serving as EVP and general manager.
Kristen Burke says: “I’m honoured to be asked to head up Warner Music Canada. As a country, we’ve always been a hotbed for talent that goes on to find a global stage and I want to make sure that we’re tapping into the diverse music scenes across Canada to help develop the next generation of talent. Steve has built an incredible team here and I know we’re going to do him proud as we write the next chapter in Warner Music Canada’s story.”
Simon Robson added: “We’re so excited that Kristen is coming onboard to lead Warner Music Canada. It’s such a key territory given the incredible talent which has come out of Canada over the years. Kristen has a great reputation across the industry, combining great strategic insight with an instinctive empathy for artists.
“And, of course, I want to pay a huge tribute to Steve for almost two decades of service. He’s a hugely respected figure in the Canadian music industry, and a much valued colleague, who has signed and worked with some of the most compelling acts in Canada over the years. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Steve Kane said: “I’ve had an amazing time at Warner Music Canada, working with some of the most gifted artists and talented execs in the business. We’ve created something special and I just know that its future is in safe hands. I’m going to take some time to recentre and look forward to devoting more focus and energy to social justice issues, as well as my other passions including, of course, music!”
Burke began her career at Universal Music Canada in 2000, joining the company as an assistant in national sales. She rose through the ranks to become VP of marketing in 2014, and was further promoted to SVP of marketing in 2016. She was named EVP and general manager of Universal Music Canada in January 2018.
Burke is on the board of directors of the Canadian Country Music Association and The Remix Project, which offers programmes and services for young people from marginalised and underserved communities who are trying to enter the creative industries or further their formal education.