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The Unison Fund, the Canadian Live Music Association and Music Canada Welcome Direct Funding from the Province of Ontario

March 12th, 2021, Ottawa: The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA), and Music Canada welcome support received from Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries with today’s announcement of funding for the Unison Fund, Canada’s music industry charity and the CLMA, in support of the broader music community. 

$2M to the Unison Fund
Funding to Unison will provide much-needed emergency assistance to artists, creators, and industry from local communities across Ontario. Artists and the broader live music ecology have been deeply impacted, and this vital support to Unison comes at a time when it is desperately needed. 

“We sincerely thank Minister MacLeod and the Government of Ontario for their support and acknowledgement of the Unison Fund and the crucial and very necessary role the organization plays in providing critical assistance to vulnerable members of our music community in times of crisis. In March 2020, Unison, began the largest relief effort in our history and while we are no stranger to helping people during difficult times, truly nothing has reached the scope of the last twelve months. The investment will go a long way toward directly supporting those in the Ontario music community with the greatest need, as the urgency for assistance remains high,”  said Amanda Power, Executive Director, Unison Fund.

“As a provider of both emergency support and 24/7 free mental health counselling for the entire music industry, Unison has had and will continue to have a crucial role in making sure no one in our community falls through the cracks,” said Miranda Mulholland, artist and chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council.

$500k to the CLMA for Province-Wide Music Cities Framework Development
The CLMA has been working tirelessly since the beginning of the crisis to save cultural infrastructure and protect jobs, seeking ways for the industry at large to not only recover from the devastating blow COVID has dealt, but to ultimately return, bigger and stronger than ever.  Many continue to face a staggering 92% average revenue loss within the industry, and 64% say they are at risk of permanent closure. Today’s announcement creates the opportunity for the association to take additional action for, and on behalf of, live music’s collective future: 

“It has been a year, and it isn’t over, something our Minister recognizes. Minister MacLeod also understands that supporting the business of live music is essential so our industry can get back to doing what they do best: creating exponential economic, social and cultural impact for artists, communities and tourism. We were just beginning to harness the true power of live music when COVID struck,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the CLMA. “With this support we will be able to take all that we have learned and continue to entrench the value our members bring to cities, towns and neighbourhoods across the province through the Music Cities lens.” 

Music Canada’s ‘Music Cities’ framework will provide a proven model to help support communities across the province better leverage their own local live music assets. Designed with world-renowned research that identifies key strategies large and small cities have used to grow their music economies, plans will be implemented to guide the development of local policy and bylaws, and community support that focuses on artists, venues and festivals, the wider supply chain and tourism. 

“A strong, healthy music industry can generate diverse benefits for a community including economic growth, job creation, increased spending, greater tax revenues, and cultural health. Our Music Cities framework has helped communities achieve this success,” said Patrick Rogers, CEO of Music Canada. “Recent research conducted by Music Canada shows that Canadians view live music venues as economic and cultural lifelines within their communities, and they understand that the pandemic will have severe impacts on the long-term viability of the live music sector which affects Canadian culture in the long run. This announcement of support from the provincial government is timely, and necessary support.”

Aimed at bridging the gap to bring the live music sector out of the pandemic, CLMA and Music Canada will seek to explore and recommend initiatives for towns and cities across the province along several categories. These include:

  • Advancing policies that support music and musicians, 
  • Expanding music offices and music Advisory Boards across the province, 
  • Developing initiatives that engage a broader community, 
  • Furthering programs that provide access to music spaces, 
  • Developing audience retention strategies for when it is safe to return to venues, festivals and music spaces, 
  • Nurturing and leveraging strategic relationships with the tourism, business and other key sectors to align and advance rebuild and recovery efforts.

“As our experience in London has demonstrated, music can bring enormous value to the economic and social fabric of a community. The Ontario Government’s financial commitment to live music will create opportunities for artists, reinvigorate venues, delight audiences and will allow us all to revive live,” said Cory Crossman, Music Industry Development Officer, London Music Office.

Additionally, the CLMA and Music Canada will work with a range of organizations within the music community to ensure that our shared commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion remain at the forefront.

For more information on the announcement from Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries please click here.

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About Unison Benevolent Fund
Unison Fund, Canada’s music industry charity, provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community in times of hardship or difficulties. For over a decade, Unison has been committed to helping producers, engineers, singers/songwriters, musicians, production crews, and thousands more through our financial assistance and counselling and health solutions programs. For more information, please visit: www.unisonfund.ca. If you can, PLEASE make a donation by visiting www.unisonfund.ca or text the word ‘UNISON’ to 45678 and follow the prompts to donate $10, $20, or $25.  Every donation counts.  Every donation helps.  Let’s keep Canadian music and entertainment ALIVE.

About The Canadian Live Music Association
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of Canada’s live music industry. Established in response to an identified need in the live music industry, the CLMA represents venues, clubs, concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, arenas, performing arts centres, industry associations and networks, as well as suppliers to the sector. Its mission is to entrench the economic, social and cultural value of live music – creating the conditions for concerts to thrive, from coast to coast to coast.

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada:  Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Charlotte Thompson, Red Umbrella P.R.
Unison Fund
charlotte@redumbrellapr.com

Erin Benjamin
Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA)
ebenjamin@canadianlivemusic.ca
(613) 769-5559

Erica Meekes, Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com / (416) 462-1485

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BTS announced as 2020’s IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award recipients

IFPI, the organization representing the recorded music industry worldwide, announced their Top 10 Global Recording Artist Chart today, which recognizes the top-selling artists around the world, and across all formats. Topping the chart as the Global Recording Artist of the Year is BTS, whose album MAP OF THE SOUL : 7 was released in February 2020 as one of the most pre-ordered albums of all time, and quickly reached #1 on the charts in more than 20 countries, including Canada. BTS are the first Korean act to win the accolade, as well as the first winner to perform primarily in a language other than English.

The unique award is calculated based on an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the year, from streams to vinyl, and covers their entire body of work. The IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award and the Top 10 chart is the only ranking to accurately measure consumption across all formats (including streaming channels, digital and physical album and singles sales) and all countries. It is weighted based on the relative value of each method of consumption.

“BTS are a global phenomenon,” said Frances Moore, IFPI’s Chief Executive. “They have had another outstanding year, releasing three albums, and continually finding creative and engaging ways to share their story with the world. They truly show the power that music has to bring joy and happiness to people the world over.”

Following BTS in the Top 3 were two-time winners Taylor Swift, who earned the #1 spot on the chart in 2019 and 2014, and Drake, who was #1 in both 2018 and 2016. Drake has now reached the Top 10 on this chart for 6 consecutive years. 

Fellow Canadians The Weeknd and Justin Bieber also return to the Top 10, with The Weeknd earning the #4 position in large part due to the global success of his album After Hours, which was the #1 album in Canada for 6 non-consecutive weeks in 2020. Justin Bieber made his third career appearance on IFPI’s Top 10 chart, earning the #10 spot following the success of his album Changes

The full Top 10 list, which was counted down by the IFPI on social media, is available below.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2020

1 BTS
2 Taylor Swift
3 Drake
4 The Weeknd
5 Billie Eilish
6 Eminem
7 Post Malone
8 Ariana Grande
9 Juice WRLD
10 Justin Bieber

Previous Winners

2019 Taylor Swift
2018 Drake
2017 Ed Sheeran
2016 Drake
2015 Adele
2014 Taylor Swift
2013 One Direction
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Public Research Findings: Canadians understand the cultural and economic impacts of the pandemic on live music – and its need for continued support

February 8, 2021, Toronto: Music Canada has partnered with Abacus Data to check back in with Canadians on their understanding of COVID-19’s ongoing impact on Canada’s live music sector — and the effects that venue closures have on those working in the music sector and its lasting impact on communities, arts and culture. The public opinion research also explored how Canadians feel about venue closures and their views on the need for continued support for those working in the sector. The findings show that Canadians are concerned that without additional support, more live music spaces will be lost before the music community can recover, resulting in a longer threat to the industry and a negative impact on Canadian culture.

“This latest research confirms that Canadians view live music venues, like festivals, concert halls and pubs, as economic and cultural lifelines within their communities,” said Patrick Rogers, CEO of Music Canada. “Canadians also understand that the pandemic will have severe impacts on the long-term viability of the live music sector which affects Canadian culture in the long run.”

“The research also confirmed what we have long believed to be true: music lovers can’t wait to get back to seeing live shows, once it’s safe to do so. But Canadians also believe that artists, live music venues, crews and others working in the industry will require continued support long after other sectors of the economy can reopen. Notably, most Canadians will be “disappointed” if more venues go out of business.”

According to the report, one in five Canadians has a favourite live music venue in their community where they attend events, and half believe it is likely the venue will close due to impacts of the pandemic. Canadians believe that further live music venue closures will mean thousands of jobs lost, fewer musicians and music will be created, and new and upcoming musicians will be lost without the opportunity of playing in live music venues. These impacts are felt across Canada, and even more strongly in Quebec.

“This research substantiates everything we’ve been hearing – Canadians are deeply saddened by the loss of live music venues,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “Venues are closing their doors in increasing numbers, for circumstances beyond their control and people are recognizing the extent of the loss, and what that loss means – economically, culturally, and socially. Direct financial support today from governments is urgently needed; it can keep more venues alive, helping us to preserve as much of our vital cultural infrastructure as possible until the industry can fully recover.”

“As an artist, it is devastating to see the severe and long-term impact the pandemic is having on the music community, after nearly a year of living with restrictions due to COVID-19,” said Miranda Mulholland, artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council. “Artists, and emerging artists especially, depend on live performances to develop their craft, generate a following, and gain income. The opportunity to do that, at every milestone in your career, is only possible with multiple venues from the smallest locations to the larger stages and concert halls.”

In a separate report expected to be released in the coming weeks, Music Canada is checking back in with Canadian artists and creators for a renewed perspective on how their profession has evolved at this stage of the pandemic. Data for these two studies will continue to be shared with government and industry partners in 2021. The findings are helping to shape Music Canada’s advocacy message, and give decision makers a complete and up-to-date picture of the recovery phase in the music industry. 

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA), the people behind live music in Canada are also working to bring awareness to the damage COVID-19 shutdowns have caused Canada’s live music industry and will make further information available here.

For more information on earlier study findings please visit Music Canada’s website here

For more information on the findings released from Abacus Data, please visit: https://abacusdata.ca/live-music-government-support-music-canada/.

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Erica Meekes
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485

 

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada:  Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.

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Music Canada appears before Heritage Committee as part of Study on Challenges and Issues Faced by the Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, Patrick Rogers, interim co-CEO of Music Canada, appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as part of its comprehensive study on the challenges and issues faced by the Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic

In his remarks, Rogers spoke of the work that Music Canada has been doing since March – when the Canadian music industry was forced to cancel the JUNOs the same week as North American sports were shut down — and as Canadians stopped gathering in large numbers. At that time, Music Canada’s members directed us to focus our efforts and resources on helping the most vulnerable individuals in our industry: artists, crews and everyone working in the live music space. 

“To help ensure that Governments at all levels had accurate information to understand the Pandemic’s impacts and to develop effective relief measures, we partnered with Abacus Data to conduct national polling about how the pandemic was affecting artists and our fans,” said Rogers. 

That research included a national study that surveyed over 700 professional musicians, so we could better understand the impacts through their lens. 

“Here are some important numbers,” said Rogers. “The report found that professional musicians perform, on average, nearly 100 times a year, typically traveling across Canada and the world. 

Revenue generated from live performances in turn helps support an average of 11 other people, such as band members, technicians, and other industry jobs. And a staggering 85% of musicians agreed that without live performances, they will have difficulty earning enough to pay their bills. 

But the most important number is zero. Zero live shows. Zero festivals. Zero “gigs” as artists, fans and the industry understood them for generations.  With this in mind, we have spent the pandemic amplifying the voices of artists in settings like this and assisting colleagues and organizations like Erin Benjamin of the Canadian Live Music Association as they work to highlight the difficulties being faced by venues and the artists who play in them.”

Music Canada also commissioned a separate national survey of Canadians, with a first round released in May and an update in August. Those results were similarly startling. They underscored that the virus will keep Canadians, including identified music lovers, home long after they are allowed to attend events.

Rogers also spoke of the need for copyright reform. Last year, Music Canada and our industry colleagues came to the Heritage Committee to discuss the need for copyright reform. 

“Virtually the entire Canadian music industry asked that a few simple amendments be made to the Copyright Act to help ensure that artists are paid when their music is played,” said Rogers. “The report from this committee Shifting Paradigms provides a great roadmap to upholding that principle. I hope that this Committee and the Government will return to that work soon, because with the Pandemic eliminating opportunities to tour for artists – the fallacy that artists don’t need copyright protection has been exposed for the myth that it is,” said Rogers.

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CEO Search

Are you infatuated with music and cultural arts?  Can you skillfully walk the tightrope between arts and commerce?  Music Canada is searching for a dynamic leader to shape the future of music in this country!

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer will effectively lead the overall organization to achieve its mission of providing resources, support, and advocacy to Music Canada’s member organizations and their partners, the artists.

As the public figure and brand ambassador of Music Canada, we are looking for a dynamic CEO with a strong leadership presence that instills a sense of immediate trust. The music industry is undergoing incredible transformation requiring forward-thinking and strategically focused leadership.  With a combined passion for culture and a business leadership approach, the CEO will effectively lead the economic growth of this complex and vibrant industry.  Promoting and protecting the value of music and its production in Canada by strengthening legislative relationships in order to influence policy change will be at the forefront of priorities. Working in partnership with local and international affiliates and the Music Canada team, the CEO will create an ambitious vision that will lead the music business into a bright and successful future.

* Music Canada values diversity and is committed to inclusion in all areas, every day.

To learn more about this role, please contact our Search Partner, Sandra Wrycraft: sandra@findinc.ca

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Interim co-CEO Patrick Rogers on Behind-the-Scenes Negotiations During a Pandemic with Canadian Musician

As the pandemic continues across the country, Canadians have remained hesitant to return to public gatherings, in regions of the country where they have been possible.  In this recent episode of the Canadian Musician podcast Patrick Rogers, interim co-CEO of Music Canada offers a deep dive on how the music industry has been impacted, ranging from what we have learned about the artists experience to the particular threat posed to live music.

Rogers offers a unique insider’s perspective on the negotiation process that Music Canada has engaged in with government partners and industry stakeholders, to secure short term and broad support for the music community. He further assesses results of several public opinion surveys of music fans and professional musicians conducted with Abacus Data at several stages of the pandemic. Featuring the work of the Music Canada team to leverage strategic initiatives, research, and advocacy, Rogers and host Michael Raine further discuss how we can work together to advance the industry’s interests and work toward recovery.

Catch the full episode here: https://www.canadianmusician.com/

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Government announces details of Canada Recovery Benefit to support Employed and Self-Employed Individuals Impacted by COVID-19

The Government of Canada has announced details of the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI). The program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

Applications are now open at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html. Applicants may apply for a retroactive period dating back to September 27, 2020.

Eligible applicants can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. Applicants may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Who is eligible? 

Full eligibility criteria is available on the Government of Canada website.

To be eligible for the CRB, applicants must meet all the following conditions for the 2-week period they are applying for:

  • During the period you’re applying for:
    • you were not working for reasons related to COVID-19

Or

    • you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19
  • You did not apply for or receive any of the following:
    • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
    • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    • short-term disability benefits
    • workers’ compensation benefits
    • Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
    • Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  • You reside in Canada
  • You were present in Canada
  • You are at least 15 years old
  • You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You earned at least $5,000 (before deductions) in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources:
    • employment income
    • self-employment income
    • maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits
  • You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020
  • You were seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment
  • You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period you’re applying for

What are the eligibility periods?

Each Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) eligibility period is a specific 2-week period. The first period is September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021.

The CRB does not renew automatically. You must apply for each period between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021 separately. You can apply for a maximum of 13 periods out of the total 26 periods available. The 13 periods do not have to be taken consecutively.

You may start applying on the Monday after the 2-week period has ended. If your situation continues, you must re-apply for another 2-week period. You may apply for benefits retroactively for any period up to 60 days after that period has ended.


How do I apply? 

Details about when and how to apply will be made available on October 12, 2020. The easiest way to apply will be online through CRA My Account. Applicants can prepare to apply by completing this questionnaire on the government website


I am receiving some income from royalties for my work; does this mean I am ineligible for the CRB?

You may earn employment or self-employment income while you receive the CRB. If you earn more than $38,000 in the calendar year, you will have to reimburse $0.50 of the CRB for every dollar of net income you earned above $38,000 on your income tax return. If your net income is $38,000 or less, you will not have to reimburse the CRB. 


Where can I find more information on the CRB?

For more information on the CRB, including how and when to apply, eligibility period dates, and tax information, visit the government website at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html. For questions, contact the CRA through your CRA My Account, or by phone at the numbers listed at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-contact.html

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Jackie Dean, Music Canada’s COO/Interim co-CEO, named Chair of the CCMA Board of Directors

Today, at the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Annual General Meeting, the CCMA announced their 2020-21 Board of Directors. 

Music Canada would like to congratulate our COO/Interim co-CEO Jackie Dean on being named Chair of the CCMA Board. Your vision and leadership will be a great asset to Canada’s country music community. 

“I am honoured to step into a new role as Chair of the Canadian Country Music Association Board of Directors,” said Jackie Dean. “This is a challenging year for so many in the country music community, as all aspects of the music ecosystem are impacted by the effects of the pandemic. The CCMA Board, staff, and members have shown their ingenuity and resilience in pivoting seamlessly to a virtual Country Music Week that celebrates our great artists. I look forward to working with the CCMA team and fellow Board members to continue to build upon the CCMA’s foundation of educating, elevating and celebrating Canadian talent.”

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Music Canada, and its Advisory Council congratulate Meghan Symsyk, incoming President and CEO of FACTOR

Music Canada, and its Advisory Council congratulate FACTOR and Meghan Symsyk on their recent announcement of her role as incoming President and CEO, effective in 2021. Symsyk is a recognized leader within the music industry, starting her career at Universal Music Canada in 1998. 

Symsyk’s previous roles include Vice President, International Marketing and Artist Management at eOne, and with SRO/Anthem also in Artist Management, as well as Director of Creative, Marketing & Media. She brings a wealth of experience and insight that encompass a broad range of skills and relationships from all segments of the music sector, both domestic and international.

This appointment comes at a pivotal time within the music industry, and signals a further positive step forward for gender inclusion at the executive level.

Music Canada looks forward to continuing to work with FACTOR and Meghan Symsyk in her new role.

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Town Hall Invitation: Share your recovery measures ideas with Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault

Dear members and music industry stakeholders, 

Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with ADISQ, CIMA and Music Canada, would like to invite you to a virtual town hall on September 9, 2020, from 3 to 4 p.m. EST. This event is an opportunity for you to share your ideas with the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, on recovery measures that would ensure the music sector’s economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stuart Johnston, CIMA President and Solange Drouin, ADISQ Public Affairs Vice-President and General Director, will be moderating the meeting in both official languages. Participants are encouraged to speak in the language of their choice as simultaneous interpretation and closed captioning will be available during the town hall.

REGISTRATION 

Ahead of this town hall, participants are invited to submit their ideas and suggestions regarding the recovery measures that should be taken by the government.

Click here to register and submit your suggestions.

Panelists will be invited in advance to speak to their specific recommendations during the town hall.

You can register any time before the event.  If you would like to be considered to present your ideas during the town hall, please submit your comments by 5.p.m. September 1st through the registration link above.

Individuals and organizations are invited to propose recovery measures that meet some or all of the pillars of the framework developed by Canadian Heritage:

  • Foster the sustainability of the arts and culture ecosystem by ensuring more stable sources of income for organizations and better remuneration for artists, creators and cultural workers;
  • Increase demand for Canadian art, productions and cultural products;
  • Increase the number of people from under-represented and equity-seeking groups who can earn a living through the creation and production of art and culture, including in leadership and leadership positions;
  • Reduce the ecological footprint of arts, culture, and heritage.

For any questions, please contact Erica Meekes at emeekes@musiccanada.com.

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