Winnipeg native Zack Werner has enjoyed a varied and extensive career in the music industry as an artist, producer, entertainment lawyer and manager.
He is President of Toronto-based Venus Management and Venus Records (distributed by EMI).
The company provides personal management for artists including esthero (Warner), Robin Black (Venus/EMI), Ali Milner (Venus/EMI), Down With Webster, The Johnstones and producer James Robertson (EMI Music Publishing).
"Zack is intelligent and mercurial -- just when you think he's going to zig, he zags," said Canadian Idol Executive Producer John Brunton. "He's our wild card. I love his passion -- he's a natural-born killer."
With a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from the University of British Columbia, Werner put the "law" on hold upon moving to Toronto and joined local rock band The Ringing.
Managed by Gary Pring (Glass Tiger), the group worked in the studio with producer Garth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and secured a development deal with Capitol Records.
Werner formed the group Thick As Thieves and relocated to Los Angeles. The group opened for Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam and negotiated a distribution deal through BMG.
When the band broke up Werner returned to Toronto and signed a development deal with MCA as a solo-artist and worked with producer John Punter (The Spoons, Japan).
Putting his legal training to use, Werner practiced entertainment law with the firm of Sanderson, Taylor which became the pre-eminent entertainment law firm in Canada, counting among their clients superstars such as Sum 41, Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado.
He soon built a strong reputation for finding, showcasing and representing new talent across Canada. His clients included The Philosopher Kings, Chris Smith Management, Sky, Ron Sexsmith and Sass Jordan.
During his legal career Zack presented showcases for record companies that were among the first exposure for K-OS, The Rascalz, Sarah Harmer and Finger 11 (then known as The Rainbow Butt Monkeys).
In December 2003, Werner represented Canada in the World Idol competition in London, England.
Meanwhile, Venus has had much success in the last year.
Highlights included: gold recording artist esthero scoring two top five singles, including a number one hit, on Billboard's Dance Chart and touring with six-time Grammy nominee John Legend recording with Andre 3000 of Outkast and placing songs in Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Sex and The City and Miss Congeniality II; signing The Johnstones who are currently working on their first album for Venus.
The future? Look for the debut from 15 year old Ali Milner from Whistler BC in early 2006.