Judges come from a pool of local music industry professionals including musicians, songwriters, producers, recording engineers, music publishers, booking agents, program and music directors, talent coordinators/judges and music marketing professionals. All judges are music industry professionals within Hamilton.

Max Francis

Being involved is one of Max’s mantras. His True Hamiltonian apparel business actively supports the TiCats and Bulldogs. True Hamiltonian partners with organizations and businesses like Centre3, and Collective Arts. Max enthusiastically supports arts events at AGH and ArtCrawls, and promotes the arts every chance he gets. Max founded True Hamiltonian in 2013 with a simple idea to bring strength and pride to a budding community. Max is the co-host of the infamous CFL team, Hamilton Tiger Cats at Tim Horton's stadium. He has led True Hamiltonian to partnering with local businesses and organizations continuing to build upon the success of the community. He leads a team of talented, creative and welcoming individuals at True Hamiltonian who are working hard to bring the vision and values of Hamiltonian's to communities globally.

Tracee Lee-Holloway

Tracee Lee-Holloway is an arts advocate and creative community builder here in Hamilton. A past Hamilton Art Awards nominee for Arts Innovation, a fervent supporter of the grassroots art and music scene. Past affiliations include the Hamilton Music Awards, Hamilton Independent Media Awards, the 2014 Hamilton World Music Festival, the Mid Summers Dream Festival, former faculty member at Dundas Valley School of Arts. Most recently the Arts and Entertainment columnist for the North End Breezes Community Newspaper 2017-2019.. Tracee is also the founder of Think Tank Tuesdays with Tracee a 50 weeks a year meetup that just wrapped up it's 8th year. When not working, reading or sleeping, Tracee can be found everyday on all the usual social media channels promoting events, sharing food for thought and hoping to inspire others to shop local, support live music, attend events and purchase art to live their best lives.

Jack Pedler

Born Oct. 7, 1953 in Hamilton, Canada, drummer / songwriter extraordinaire Jack Pedler started his career as a teenager playing in the Warner Bros. / RCA recording band, Buxton Kastle. He continued on with Canadian icons The Mercy Brothers, Ray Materick and finally with the nationally acclaimed punk band, Teenage Head, with whom he still performs after a twenty-year association. During his years with "The Head", Jack relocated to NY city and recorded his first solo CD, Fairyland It Ain't for Mutiny Records. Then, switching labels and producers, he found his way to Race Records where he created his critically acclaimd CD, D. T. Delinquent. Jack is also recognized as one of the hottest session drummers on the Canadian music scene.
Joey Balducchi

Joey Balducchi

Joey Balducchi has been a musician for 25+ years, went to the Music Industry Arts Program at Fanshawe College from 1996-98, played in Golden Lake Diner on the Sonic Unyon Record Label around the same time, went solo in 1998, and toured Canada 5 times as a solo artist. Joey then started a Canadian Independent Booking Agency in 2002 called Spherical Productions, which helps out great Canadian Independent musicians tour throughout Canada, where he has booked over 150 tours and represented 60+ acts to date, and is still going strong. Joey's current band Blind Mule have toured Canada 9 times and played many festivals with them since their incarnation in 2007. He has been an in-house booking agent at 5 music venues between 2002-2006, was a freelance sound man for many years, has been the festival manager at the Hamilton Music Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2012-2015, co-founded and was the artistic director for "A Celebration of Hamilton" Festival (2009 and 2010), teaches music business at Seneca College once a week, and is also a IATSE local 129 member, where he helps set up and tear down arena/theatre/festival stages for big name acts.