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Music Monday 2014: On May 5th, join the Canada-wide celebration of music in our lives & schools

On Monday, May 5, 2014, join the Canada-wide celebration of music when schools and communities from coast to coast unite in singing and performing the Music Monday theme song ‘I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing.’ This year, Music Monday celebrates its 10th anniversary with a live webcast of simultaneous events happening across the country, concluding with a synchronized performance of ‘I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing’ with former Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield and Maestro Bramwell Tovey of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Music MondayMusic-Monday-Poster-ENG-JPG is an initiative of Music Makes Us: Coalition for Music Education, a national advocacy organization promoting quality music education for all young people. The annual event takes place on the first Monday in May, with the goal of celebrating the galvanizing power of music in Canada and demonstrating how that power is rooted in school music programs. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Canadians take part in the event through their schools and communities; last year’s event engaged approximately one million people in Canada and abroad.

The Coalition for Music Education expects this year’s Music Monday to have record numbers of participants, with confirmed events happening in St. John’s, NL, Halifax, NS, Charlottetown, PEI, Toronto, ON, Winnipeg, MB, Edmonton, AB, Vancouver, BC, Whitehorse, YT, Ottawa, ON, Montreal, QC, and more cities and towns across Canada.

To get involved with Music Monday, download the Participation Toolkit, and register your event online. To find an event happening in your area, search the Music Monday Map, which already dotted with events from coast to coast.

To prepare for sing-along, download the arrangements for ‘ISS – Is Somebody Singing’: there are vocal lead sheets as well as scores for bands, drumlines, ensembles, guitar, steel pans, strings, and much more. There are also translations available for the song in eleven different languages, including American Sign Language, Cree, Dutch, French, Gaelic, German, Inuktitut, Italian, Japanese, Ojibway, Russian, and Spanish.

The Coalition for Music Education is also looking for youth reporters to cover Music Monday 2014, and has launched a new essay contest to find thirteen students from across Canada, who will represent their province as a Music Monday Roving Youth Reporter and be given the opportunity to interview a prominent Canadian on the subject of music and music education.

In the above video, Commander Hadfield articulates why music education is so important:

“I bought my first record at about nine or ten years old, and listening to music introduced me to cultures and people who were different than I was. And learning to play the guitar taught me to improvise and to be creative, and to be able to be play with a group. And practicing on that guitar, that taught me self-discipline. And these were all fundamental skills that I have used throughout my career. And that’s why I can confidently say that music helped me be a better astronaut.”

Music education is a key priority of Music Canada as one of our five strategies in The Next Big Bang report, which recommends that given the strong evidence that music education prepares workers who are more creative, better problem-solvers, and possess soft skills that are critical in the digital economy, as well as the correlation between music scenes and tech clusters, governments should invest more in music education and should consider music scenes as a tool for economic development.

For more information on Music Monday, visit http://www.musicmonday.ca/, and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter for future updates.

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In Australia, Victorian Coalition Government announces red tape reduction reforms to boost live music sector

Today in Australia, the Victoria Coalition Government announced a series of red tape reduction reforms in an effort to boost productivity and reduce costs for businesses in the state, including reforms for live music venues.

The reforms will make it easier for venues to host live music by easing unnecessary regulations related to liquor licenses.

”The hospitality sector will see the removal of an unnecessary regulation that requires liquor licensees to apply for approval to hold alcohol-free underage concerts on licensed premises, while other processes, including those around hosting live music, will be simplified,” said acting Premier and Minister for State Development Peter Ryan.

The main reforms affecting music include:

Under age venues : Currently licensees must obtain approval to hold alcohol-free underage and mix-aged live music events on licensed premises. This reform will remove that requirement

Small live music venues: Currently small live music venues wishing to undertake work to adapt or renovate to host live venues music attract permit and approval requirements based on the Building Code of Australia, Building Classification 9(b). This reform will simplify and reduce planning approval for change of land use for small venues seeking to host live music.

Temporary liquor licences: Currently a temporary limited liquor licence application must be lodged at least 8 weeks before an event. This reform will streamline the approval process for temporary liquor licences and examine the feasibility of introducing a notification process for repeat and low risk events run by licensees with a sound reputation.

The government has also promised to do whatever it can to implement an “agent-of-change” planning principle that would require residents who move into an area with established live music venues to foot the bill for any desired soundproofing.

Calling live music “one of Melbourne’s greatest tourism and cultural assets,’ Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the government would find a way to “give certainty” to the live music industry and its patrons.

Victoria’s State Government says the reforms were accepted following extensive consultation by Red Tape Commissioner John Lloyd, who met with 25 associations, including Music Victoria .

Over a year ago, Music Canada’s report highlighting the best practices in Austin, Texas hit Melbourne’s radar prompting city officials to contact Austin to learn more about their success .

Red Tape issues persist in Canadian live music sector:

In Toronto, some examples include:

  • Ambiguous licensing requirements: in response to concerns about dance clubs, the city created a new “entertainment license” that is not supposed to apply to live music venues, and yet, numerous venues have been fined for not having one.
  • Approvals for road closures often take many months, even for festivals that have a long track record.
  • Some public spaces are governed by Transportation, others by Parks Forestry Recreation. Lines of delineation are not clear.
  • Postering bylaw is ill-conceived and poorly enforced, with little understanding by City staff and bylaw enforcement personnel.

Music Canada and our partners in the live music sector have been advocating for the reduction in red tape at all three levels of government. Federally, we remain concerned about the effect of recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program that reduce the ability of bars and restaurants to hire international performers. We were pleased to see red tape reduction in the music sector identified as a priority in a recent whitepaper from the Ontario PC party. In Toronto, the establishment of the new Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council is a significant achievement for the music community, promising an opportunity to address concerns.

Music Canada is continuing to advocate for the creation of a Music Office at Toronto City Hall, which was one of the recommendations outlined in our aforementioned report, Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth – Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas , commissioned and released by Music Canada in 2012. A Music Office would “create a valuable alignment between the City and the commercial music industry in Toronto,” the report found.

The Music Office could provide coordination across the various city departments that deal with issues relating to live music events and venues, as well as act as an Ombudsman and clearing house for music business operators. The report notes this could make a significant impact in “re-engineering the business/government interface to stimulate job creation and investment attraction,” one of key recommendations made by the Toronto Prosperity Institute’s 2011 report, Establishing The Path To Growth . The Music Office could also play a strong business development role, stimulating the growth of activity in the music sector.

The groundwork for a Music Office has already been laid; the City of Toronto recently issued a job posting for a Sector Development Officer (Music) , working in the Economic Development & Culture division.

We will share today’s news out of Australia with our government contacts, and continue to advocate for music in Canada in 2014.

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2013 a banner year for Music Canada’s advocacy efforts

2013 was a banner year for Music Canada’s advocacy efforts, with Toronto City Council, the Government of Ontario, and the Government of Canada all showing they recognize the value of the Canadian music sector, with all levels taking several concrete steps to grow the industry.

Toronto:

In Toronto, 2013 began with a landmark commitment to arts funding, as the 2013 Capital and Operating Budgets include a boost in arts funding derived from the billboard tax. Toronto artists celebrated as the Executive Committee endorsed a plan to increase funding to $25 per capita on arts programs and grants by 2016. Among the priorities listed in the motion put forward to the Executive Committee by Councillor Gary Crawford was “support for Toronto’s music cluster.” Unfortunately, in November, a City staff report recommended pushing back the target to 2018, although Councillor Crawford said he believes the 2016 target is still attainable, and plans to put forward a motion before the 2014 budget is finalized to phase in the funding by 2016.

In June, artists and musicians joined leaders from music, tourism and City Hall to launch 4479 – a campaign to position Toronto as one of the greatest music cities in the world. 4479 is designed to promote Toronto as a world leader in live and recorded music and also to build a community that engages artists, industry supporters and fans who share the vision of Toronto as a vibrant and diverse music city.

Later in June, Austin City Council voted in favour of a music city alliance with Toronto, creating the catalyst for the partnership between the two cities.

In July, Toronto City Council responded in kind, unanimously supporting a motion to establish a Music City Alliance with Austin. Members of Toronto’s music community expressed strong support for the alliance in a release issued by the 4479 campaign.

The 4479 website officially launched in September, with a video showcasing Toronto’s world class music scene, and advocacy tools and campaigns to encourage Toronto city councillors to “say yes to music” at upcoming votes at City Council.

The Alliance was made official in October , during a music and cultural business mission led by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Councillors Gary Crawford, Josh Colle, Doug Ford, and Michael Thompson, as well as representatives from the music sector, travelled to Austin, Texas.

The Alliance agreement states that the two cities will “work collaboratively to develop and expand all elements of the music industry, including but not limited to artists, venues, festivals, studios, management and promotion.”

The groundwork for a Music Office at City Hall was laid in October, when the City of Toronto issued a job posting for a Sector Development Officer (Music) , working in the Economic Development & Culture division. The creation of this position is an important milestone as it sends a clear signal that the city now regards music as an important economic sector. The creation of a Music Office at City Hall was one of the recommendations outlined in the Accelerating Toronto’s Music Industry Growth – Leveraging Best Practices from Austin, Texas report, commissioned by Music Canada.

Also in October, Toronto City Council voted unanimously to request the Federal Government extend the Temporary Worker Fee exemptions for musicians to all venues, including bars, restaurants and coffee shops, adding weight to the concerns raised throughout the music community.

In November, Toronto’s Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to adopt the Terms of Reference for a Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council. The City of Toronto then solicited applications for membership on the Council, with an invitation to apply, membership application, and background materials posted on the City of Toronto’s website .

This week, Toronto City Council has approved the establishment of the new Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council , marking a significant success for the music community.

According to the staff report, the “Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council will provide a forum for the discussion of opportunities and challenges, exchange of ideas, input and advice, and collaborative development of recommendations and a unifying voice to advance the music sector in Toronto.”

Ontario:

Ontario made it clear in 2013 that the province recognizes music is an integral part of Ontario’s cultural landscape and an innovative economic driver:

In January, the Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, announced that the government of Ontario would be developing a live music strategy that will strengthen the province’s position as a global leader for live music.

Minister Chan made the announcement at an event at Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern, which featured performances by DJ Clymaxxx, The Good Lovelies, and the Skydiggers. The room was packed with leaders from the live and recorded music sectors as well as artists and musicians. Minister Chan also announced an Industry Working Group to develop the strategy and strengthen Ontario’s position as a global capital for live music.

Minister Chan’s announcement was buoyed by a report from the Ontario Arts Council, who released the Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile in January. The report provides a comprehensive profile of Ontario’s arts and culture tourists and their economic impact. The report shows that arts and culture tourism has a significant economic impact in Ontario, with arts/culture tourist spending generating $3.7 billion in GDP in Ontario in 2010, supporting 67,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in wages and generating $1.7 billion in taxes for all levels of government.

The music industry was recognized as a key economic driver during the Ontario Liberal leadership debate in January, as Kathleen Wynne noted that the music industry is “absolutely an important economic driver for the GTA, for the City of Toronto.”

In February, Premier Wynne highlighted the music sector in a key economic section of the Speech from the Throne, among traditional Ontario powerhouse industries like agriculture and the automotive sector.

In May, the Ontario government announced plans to create the Ontario Music Fund that would help support and create jobs and position the province as a leading place to record and perform music. Speaking at Lee’s Palace, Finance Minister Charles Sousa revealed that the new Ontario Music Fund is a proposed $45 million grant program over three years, starting in 2013-14.

Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke at Music Canada’s Annual General Meeting in July, where she expressed her desire to make Ontario a place where artists and musicians can succeed. She reaffirmed her government’s commitment to the Ontario Music Fund and the Live Music Strategy, emphasizing the importance of music to our economy and our culture.

In August, the Ontario government launched its Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Promotion, Celebration and Legacy Strategy, which aims to increase the economic benefits of the 2015 Games and support them in becoming the People’s Games. A key part of the strategy is a plan to celebrate and showcase Ontario talent from “the stage to the stadium” in local communities. This includes enhancing support for live music, celebrations and festivals, adding to Ontario’s reputation as a live music destination.

The Ontario Music Fund was officially launched in October, with the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport making the announcement at Revolution Recording studio in Toronto. As per the release, the new fund will support Ontario-based music companies and music production and distribution through four streams:

The Ontario Music Fund is administrated by the Ontario Music Office, with more information available on their website.

Canada:

In July, Prime Minister Stephen Harper named The Honourable Shelley Glover as Minister of Canadian Heritage, with the Honourable James Moore moving to a new role as Minister of Industry Canada.

Both Minister Glover and Minister Moore underscored music’s importance to Canadian culture and Canada’s economy at two Minister’s Music Nights in 2013, which were produced by Music Canada and Quebecor.

The most recent event was hosted by the Honourable Shelly Glover, and featured terrific performances by Kaïn & Brett Kissel at the Museum of Civilization (History). The event also featured music from students of Hillcrest High School, an Ottawa, ON, school that features music education as a key part of their community and curriculum.
At the event, Minister Glover spoke passionately about the talent and diversity of Canada’s music scene, as well as the economic and cultural benefits of our music sector.
“I have always been very impressed by the talent and diversity of the artists who shape the music scene in Canada. I am particularly inspired by the number of talented young artists who keep music new and exciting,” said Minister Glover. “Canada’s recording industry is the seventh-largest in the world, generating almost $3 billion in economic activity every year. Thanks to the talent and creativity of our artists, Canada is the third-largest exporter of musical talent in the world.”

Back in February, then-Heritage Minister James Moore hosted invited guests at the National Arts Centre as Johnny Reid and Étienne Drapeau performed. Prior to the concert, both artists toured Parliament Hill with Minister Moore, and met with several MPs and Senators in a reception hosted by The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons.

In August, Music Canada expressed concern about changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers program that affect some Canadian music venues featuring international performers. It is our belief that these impacts are unintended consequences of regulations designed to protect jobs for Canadians. While this policy is borne out of a valid concern for Canadian employment, it will reduce the ability of bars and restaurants that host live music to hire international performers. Music Canada is optimistic that insightful exceptions can be extended to musicians performing in all venues, and look forward to the resolution of this issue.

Looking back, 2013 was a banner year for Music Canada’s advocacy efforts in Toronto, Ontario, and Canada, which we hope will lead to greater opportunities for Canadian artists and musicians and the teams that work with them. With all levels of government taking several concrete steps towards growing our music sector this year, the stage is set for a terrific 2014.

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The Rambler by Graham Henderson: David Lowery & Chris Ruen Shine a Light on Brand Supported Piracy at Canadian Music Week’s Global Forum

Graham_headphones3Blog ThumbnailThe Rambler is a column by Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. Graham writes from time to time about developments in the music industry, new trends or just about music! Let’s face it, Graham has been around for a long time and has a lot to ramble on about.

Last month during Canadian Music Week, Music Canada was pleased to bring two of today’s foremost advocates for artist rights together for a discussion on brand-sponsored piracy. Music Canada has been sponsoring the Global Forum for several years now, because we feel it’s important to bring people who are connected with our world together to talk about the problems that we face. 

Brand supported piracy is a practice whereby Fortune 500 companies, either knowingly or unknowingly, purchase advertisements on illegal sites, providing the pirate sites with ad revenue while ad agencies, exchanges, and networks also make money in the process. The only ones who are not compensated are the artists whose works are exploited on these pirate sites.

This year, we were honoured to have two keynote speakers who have emerged as essential voices for musicians and creators in David Lowery and Chris Ruen. 

Many will know David Lowery as lead singer of the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, although he has also worked as a producer and started several music-related businesses including a studio, a record company, and a publishing company. Recently, he has emerged as one of the most articulate voices championing artist rights in the digital age, penning a series of blogs at The Trichordist, including Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered and Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss?.

Chris Ruen is the author of the new book, ‘Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Appetite for Free Content Starves Creativity’, which is an essential read for those working in the music industry. His essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The New York Press and Stereogum, and he brings both a music fan’s perspective and a journalist’s point of view to an issue that affects both creators and consumers. 

We were pleased to once again have Chris Castle moderate the discussion. Chris has been as one of the real, great artist advocates over the past several years, and I would encourage everyone to follow him on Twitter and his blog at www.musictechpolicy.com/. 

The video from the Global Forum is now available and embedded below; I would encourage all creators and those working in music to watch it and share it widely.


Graham Henderson is the President and CEO of Music Canada. He also writes on an eclectic range of topics on his personal blog at www.grahamhenderson.ca.

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Global Forum 2013: Brand Supported Piracy with David Lowery, Chris Ruen, and Chris Castle

Writer and musician David Lowery and Author Chris Ruen do not shy away from identifying major companies that support the pirate sites that damage creators every day by distributing unlicensed copies of music and movies.

On March 22, 2013 at Canadian Music Week’s Global Forum, the pair will discuss brand-sponsored piracy, a practice whereby Fortune 500 companies, whether knowingly or unknowingly, purchase advertising inventory from illegal sites. Advertising revenues keep these sites in business while ad agencies, exchanges and networks also make money in the process. The only ones left without compensation are the artists, songwriters and filmmakers.

David Lowery of the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, has emerged as one of the strongest artist advocates through his contributions to the blog, The Trichordist. The blog has begun a “name and shame” campaign which identifies major brands that are supporting piracy by placing ads on illegal sites.

Chris Ruen, whose essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The New York Press and Stereogum, recently published his first book, Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Appetite For Free Content Is Starving Creativity.

First brought to the attention of CMW delegates in 2011 by indie filmmaker Ellen Seidler, brand-sponsored piracy will be discussed during the Global Forum Networking Breakfast, a ticketed event, with moderator Chris Castle. David Lowery and Chris Ruen will be available for one-on-one interviews upon request.

For ticket and registration details, please visit www.cmw.net, or visit the registration office onsite at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel during posted hours.

The Global Forum is sponsored by Music Canada.

Update: Video from the Global Forum is now available below:

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