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Gryphon Gallery: Piers Henwood

He was a quiet, bright, accomplished academic and athletic student, happily participating and helping in all aspects of school life. In fact, in his graduation year, he was Prefect-in-charge of Community Service, a testament to his interests, willingness and quiet manner—so much so, that to ever hear about his ‘hidden’ talents in tennis or interest in music was rare.

On the back of a junior national ranking, Piers went to Stanford which opened a door to a possible tennis career path. Not so, however—he must have been learning to play the guitar on his tennis racquet instead because he ‘found’ music!

While developing his piano and guitar skills, Piers graduated with a BA in Philosophy and imagined a career in the management-consulting world. In his final year in LA, he took on an internship with Virgin Records but wanted to play in a band. Upon returning to Victoria in 1995, he met up with a cousin, Adam Kittredge, and they put together a group known as the Special Guests, later reorganized and renamed Jets Overhead in 2002. Their self-titled debut arrived in 2003 and they had good success locally and internationally through to their last recording, The Timing in 2018. Piers was guitar, keyboards, sometimes songwriter and manager of the group. It was this early experience in the managerial side of the business that led to co-founding Amelia Artists also in 2002. 

During the past 20 years, Piers and his partner at Amelia Artists, Nick Blasko, have guided the careers of Bedouin Soundclash, Tegan and Sara, Luca Fogale, The Librarian, Buck 65, Funk Hunters as well as Piers’ own bands, Jets Overhead and now, Astrocolor. In collaboration with these artists and label partners, their work has resulted in over 1.5 million albums sold in the pre-streaming era, hundreds of millions of track streams, seven Gold certifications, twelve JUNO Award nominations with four wins, and a diverse set of accomplishments with Tegan and Sara— a Grammy nomination, an Academy Awards nomination, a New York Times Best Seller, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award recognizing cultural contributions in Canada and abroad, and the Honour Roll Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements and excellence in Canadian and international artist management.

From a GNS grad who once thought his probable destiny would be a net cord judge at Wimbledon, Piers has certainly accomplished much, much more in the world of music!