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Leading Canadian copyright lawyer says “support for Canada’s content creators is imperative” in Globe and Mail op-ed

Barry Sookman, one of Canada’s leading copyright lawyers, wrote an op-ed published in The Globe and Mail on January 18, addressing two of the major challenges facing the cultural industries in Canada: pirate streaming and the Value Gap. The piece was later posted in its full, unedited length on Sookman’s personal website.

Sookman says that “our outdated legal frameworks” are a significant contributing cause of these challenges. He references Music Canada’s 2017 report The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach, which shows that “the market value of music in Canada is still a fraction of what it once was, and equitable remuneration for access to music remains elusive.”

The report defines the Value Gap as the “significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers, and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it.”

As Sookman points out, the Value Gap is not only a problem for music creators. He says that most of Canada’s leading cultural industries are also affected, including journalism, television and film.

A coalition of author and publisher groups have documented the harm caused by the Value Gap to their sector, and in 2017 launched the I Value Canadian Stories campaign to urge Canadian lawmakers to “restore balance between the need to compensate our creators for educational copying and the need to promote access to quality content.” The campaign website notes that royalties to creators and publishers for copying of their works have declined by 80% since 2013.

Sookman concludes that, given the magnitude of this problem and the threat to Canada’s cultural industries, the issue, as well as practical solutions, “deserve the attention and support of Canadians.”

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A series of recommendations from Toronto Music Advisory Council are one step closer to policy after Economic Development Committee approval

Members of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee passed a suite of Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) recommendations today aimed at providing better support for the city’s live music venues, and facilitating the collection of data for an international study on night time economies.

Toronto’s Economic Development Committee is composed of councillors Fragedakis, Grimes, Hart, Holland, Kelly and Thompson (Chair), many of whom spoke passionately about the value of music and culture to the city’s identity and well-being, as well as music’s significant contribution to the local economy.

“Life without music, life without culture, would be no life,” said Committee Chair Michael Thompson, Councilor for Ward 37 (Scarborough Centre) and former TMAC Co-Chair.

Spencer Sutherland, current Co-Chair of TMAC, owner of Toronto music venue Nocturne and Chairman of the Queen West Business Improvement Area, gave a deputation at the meeting thanking the Committee and Council for its support thus far, and speaking to the progress TMAC has made to reach these recommendations.

Many of the recommendations were specifically created to address the challenges that live music venues face, like rising property taxes, as well as licensing and other logistical challenges. A sense of urgency to address the situation for venues came to a fever pitch in 2017.

“As you might recall at the same time last year our city was facing an unprecedented crisis of music venues closing at an alarming rate of one per week,” said Sutherland. “Thankfully, so far this year we have seen none of that.”

Later in the meeting Josh Colle, Councillor for Ward 15 (Eglinton-Lawrence) and TMAC Co-Chair, said the story that is not often told is about venues opening or re-opening, such as Hugh’s Room and The Hideout. Colle praised the work of TMAC, and specifically the venue sustainability working group, which he said “really lit a fire” under councillors to act to provide better protection and support for live music.

The agenda item up for consideration was titled “Night-time Economy – Collection of Data and Protection of Live Music Venues,” and recommendations made to the Committee by the TMAC were divided into two categories.

The first related to an international study of the night time economy being conducted by the Responsible Hospitality Institute examining effective and sustainable models for night time economy management.  TMAC requested that the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, in collaboration with the Director, Office of Emergency Management and the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, facilitate the collection of accurate data by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) to contribute to the international study.

Cities around the globe are examining various policies to best support their night time economies, and some cities, such as Amsterdam and New York, have appointed a Night Mayor to represent the businesses and cultures that thrive outside of the nine-to-five. In a 2016 Huffington Post blog, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill asked “Does Toronto need a Night Mayor?”

Councillor Thompson noted that Toronto is paying attention to initiatives in other cities, including New York and London, and felt the City could do more to maximize the potential of its night time economy. “There are many things that are taking place and in a city like ours – it never sleeps,” Thompson told the Committee. “People sleep at individual times but the city itself is always alive and vibrant.”

The second recommendation from TMAC was all about live music and was made up of a suite of nine recommendations included in a previously requested report on protecting live music venues in Toronto. The General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, was asked to consider the following:

  1. Create tax benefits for local live music venues.
  2. Initiate and expand music pilot programs including ideas for artist tour bus parking, musician load in/out zones and artist poster zones.
  3. Create a music venue certification program.
  4. Amend zoning and licensing to protect existing venues and encourage new ones including a clarification of what business license music venues require.
  5. Create a panel, consisting of a member of the Film and Entertainment Office, members of the Live Working Group, and senior members of planning, building and licensing, with regard to providing advice to individuals and/or organizations wishing to establish new and/or grow existing live music venues.
  6. Review Municipal Licensing Regulations governing parks, green spaces, and city owned outdoor venues.
  7. Support Night-time Economy initiatives with The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI).
  8. Financial support for an economic impact study of local live music venues.
  9. Financial support for a local Music Passport event series.

All recommendations in the agenda item passed with the support of the Economic Development Committee and will now be brought to Toronto City Council at a yet to be determined date.

“I hope that these suggestions are embraced and supported by Committee and then by Council,” commented Councillor Colle. “I hope we see the continuation of what I think is – well, what the challenge is – the healthiest and most robust Music City in the world.”

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Barenaked Ladies & Steven Page announced as 2018 Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Inductees

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and CBC have announced world-renowned rock band Barenaked Ladies as the 2018 inductees into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. The induction, which will take place during the 47th Annual JUNO Awards, will find Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, and Tyler Stewart come together for a one-time special appearance with original member, co-founder, and singer-songwriter Steven Page in celebration of the group’s 30th anniversary.

“We are thrilled to be inducting the Barenaked Ladies, alongside Steven Page, into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. For nearly 30 years, their work has dominated charts both globally and domestically as they have grown to become one of the country’s most celebrated musical acts,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “We look forward to celebrating all of their achievements and welcoming them into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver.“

Formed in 1988 in Scarborough, ON, the band has sold nearly 15 million records worldwide and earned countless accolades including eight JUNO Awards, two Billboard Music Awards and multiple Grammy nominations. Following the massive success of their self-titled independently released demo tape, known to fans as The Yellow Tape, the band released their debut studio album Gordon through Sire Records, which went on to earn Diamond certification status (1 million albums sold) in Canada. Eight of the bands albums have been certified Canadian Gold, along with two of their DVD releases.

“We are honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame,” said Ed Robertson. “For almost 30 years we’ve worked hard to write the best songs we can, make the best records we can make, and do the best shows possible. We’ve traveled the world with our music, but Canada has always been home. This is very special for us.”

“I have so many great memories of my years with Barenaked Ladies, from our beginning in our parents’ basements to playing our songs for audiences all over the world,” said Steven Page. “I’m incredibly proud of all we achieved together, the greatest of all being the fact that our music continues to be a part of so many Canadians’ lives. Congratulations to the guys – I’m humbled by our induction into the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping that next year we will be inducted into Hall and Oates.”

Barenaked Ladies will join the ranks of Canadian music icons in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, including Alanis Morissette, Anne Murray, Blue Rodeo, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Oscar Peterson, RUSH, The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip, Shania Twain and 2017 inductee Sarah McLachlan. In 2016 the Canadian Music Hall of Fame found a permanent home with the opening of Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.

Tickets are on-sale now for the 47th Annual JUNO Awards, which will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.

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Canadian venues to support music therapy programs with A Night Out For Music Heals 2018

Music therapy charity Music Heals has revealed details for the 2018 edition of their annual A Night Out For Music Heals event, which invites bars, venues, nightclubs, pubs, and breweries across Canada to come together on one night (March 3, 2018) to support the organization’s initiatives.

Now in its sixth year, A Night Out For Music Heals takes place on the first Saturday of every March, and kicks off Music Therapy Awareness Month. The initiative raises funds and awareness for Canadian music therapy programs, with $1 from each patron at a participating venue donated to support music therapy programs across the country.

90 venues across Canada participated in 2017, helping raise over $19,900 for music therapy. The Vancouver-based organization hopes to see over 150 venues participating in 2018, and anticipates growth of international audiences as Music Heals spearheads the launch of the first ever World Music Therapy Day in March 2018.

RSVP to Music Heals’ Facebook event page to stay up to date with the latest venues joining the initiative. Venues that are interested in participating in 2018 can contact Music Heals at nightout@musicheals.ca.

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Gary Slaight announced as 2018 Humanitarian Award recipient

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced broadcasting executive, music industry leader, and philanthropist Gary Slaight as the recipient of the 2018 Humanitarian Award. The award, formally known as the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, recognizes an outstanding individual in the music community whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada and/or whose impact can be felt worldwide.

“We are honoured to present Gary Slaight with the Humanitarian Award,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “His commitment to helping others and continued selflessness places him in a category of his own. Gary’s dedication to making the world a better place is truly inspiring; from The Slaight Family Foundation’s work with charities to his support for emerging artists, and music industry organizations like MusiCounts and Unison Benevolent fund, Gary has dedicated his time and resources to providing others with the opportunity to grow. We look forward to commemorating Gary’s philanthropic work at the 2018 JUNO Awards.”

Slaight was born in Edmonton, AB, and began his career with McLaren Advertising before serving as General Manager of Toronto rock station Q107. As President of Standard Broadcasting, Gary developed a successful growth expansion strategy, which led to the sale of the company to Astral Media. With the proceeds of the sale, Gary, along with his father Allan, made the decision to fund philanthropic initiatives with the establishment of the Slaight Family Foundation and to support the Canadian music industry and emerging artists through Slaight Music.

“I am truly honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Humanitarian Award,” said Slaight. ”Our family has had a tradition of giving back to the community that transcends from my parents Allan and Ada Slaight. The Slaight Family Foundation, created as a result of the sale of Standard Broadcasting, is a tribute to my parents commitment to community and of which I am proud to lead. Whether it is supporting a local music program for children or helping to advance key health care priorities, our goal is to make a positive difference on the lives of those around us and those needing our support globally. We truly want to make an impact and help those who need it the most.”

Slaight’s ongoing efforts within the Canadian music industry have led to the development of the Polaris Music Prize via The Slaight Family Heritage Prize, The Slaight Family Music Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, The Allan Slaight Stage at Massey Hall, The Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class, Canadian Music Week Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award, The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame via The Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award, and Slaight Music’s It’s Your Shot competition.

This year’s award will be presented at the 2018 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards Presented by SOCAN on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Brian Robertson, long-time President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, appointed to the Order of Canada

On December 29, 2017, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, the Governor General of Canada, announced 125 new appointments to the Order of Canada.

Among those appointments is Brian Robertson, former long-time President of CRIA (The Canadian Recording Industry Association), which became Music Canada in July of 2011.

“We at Music Canada would like to offer our sincere congratulations to all of the new appointees to the Order of Canada,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “And specifically to Mr. Robertson, I would like to congratulate and thank him for his 30 years of service at CRIA, as well as his passion for the Canadian music industry and celebrating our country’s incredibly talented and diverse performing artists.”

Brian Robertson served as President of CRIA from 1974 to 2004. During his tenure at the organization, he is also credited as one of the founders of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), which administers the JUNO Awards, where he also served as President from 1978 to 1983, and as Executive Producer of the nationally televised JUNOs broadcast for eight years.

Mr. Robertson is also the co-creator of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, which acknowledges lifetimes of achievement in the performing arts and showcases the top Canadian performing artists in both official languages. Robertson also served as President of the Audio-Video Licensing Agency (now CONNECT Music Licensing), governor of the Corporation of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall, was a member of the Dean’s Committee at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, and honourary chair of the Regent Park inner-city music school.

His dedication to the arts in Canada extends far beyond music. Mr. Robertson is regarded as one of Canada’s most prolific television, theatre and special events producers. In addition to his JUNOs broadcast achievements, he served as Executive Producer for the CBC’s Royal Canadian Air Farce, co-produced the nationally televised Golden Jubilee Gala for Queen Elizabeth II at Roy Thomson Hall in 2002, and has acted as executive producer of numerous theatrical productions in Canada.

Other music-related appointments announced on December 29 include Jann Arden, Valerie Tryon, Jay Switzer, William Shatner, Alain Caron, Oliver Gannon and Gordon Stobbe. FYI Music News has published a brief run-down of the musical accomplishments of the new appointees.

The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours, recognizing “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.” Congratulations to all of the new appointees!

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Slaight Music launches It’s Your Shot 2017 competition

Submissions for It’s Your Shot 2017 are now being accepted, as Canadian music company Slaight Music has officially opened the national songwriting and artist development competition. Launched in 2010, the content is open to all musical genres, and encourages artists to submit a song and/or video for a chance to win a Grand Prize valued at $100,000 in total.

This year, Slaight Music is partnering with Hidden Pony/Universal Music Canada, providing the winning artist with recording, distribution, radio promotion, publicity, and marketing support, along with a professionally produced photo shoot, artist biography and two music videos.  The winner will also receive business mentoring, performance opportunities, and brand development across the artist’s website and social media platforms.

Past winners of the contest include Notifi (2016, Sony Music Canada), Kayla Diamond (2015, Cadence), Sam Drysdale (2014, Warner Music Canada), Jillea (2013, Universal Music Canada), Liteyears (2012, Maple Music), and Liz Coyles (2011, Maple Music).

Submissions will be open until March 15, 2018, with the winning submission announced in May 2018.

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Music Canada applauds Ministers Bains and Joly for initiating the statutory review of Copyright Act

Toronto, Dec 13, 2017: Music Canada applauds today’s announcement by The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in conjunction with The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, regarding the review of the Copyright Act, to be conducted by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

“I applaud Minister Bains and Minister Joly for initiating this review of the Copyright Act,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Music creators, and all creators who depend on copyright, deserve a Copyright Act that protects their rights when their works are commercialized by others. This is our chance to address the Value Gap threatening the livelihood of Canadian creators and the future of Canadian culture.”

Music Canada recently examined the significant changes in business models that are impacting the value chains for copyrighted content in our report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach.

“A modern copyright framework containing strong IP and copyright provisions is essential for an effective marketplace for music creators,” says Artist Advocate Miranda Mulholland. “This Copyright Act review is an important first step in ensuring artists and labels are able to earn a fair market value for their work. Canadian creators have been eagerly awaiting this review.”

Music Canada looks forward to participating in the process to ensure that creators are fairly compensated for the use of their works under the revised Act.

Adds Henderson, “We must ensure this review yields meaningful results.”

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For more information:
Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359

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. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com

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Breakthrough collaboration between Bell Media, Music Canada and Re:Sound creates international gold standard with music creators at its heart

 

Toronto, Dec 6, 2017: Advancements in cross-platform reporting have ushered in a new era of cooperation between Canada’s music and media industries. Developed by Bell Media, Music Canada and Re:Sound, the new process aligns terrestrial broadcast data with digital, ensuring all music industry stakeholders are served with efficiency, transparency, and accountability, while setting a new industry standard for data reporting. With this game-changing initiative by Bell Media, the automation of the existing music content distribution tool allows the industry to streamline sound recording data within the Canadian music ecosystem.

The new system is part of an ongoing project to develop administrative efficiencies by Music Canada and Re:Sound. Through consolidating multiple data sets, maximizing the use of ISRC (International Standard Recording Codes), and other improvements, the project has so far resulted in faster payouts and 28% more revenue for major labels and members of CIMA (the Canadian Independent Music Association).

Beginning with a successful pilot program of the new system by Toronto’s 104.5 CHUM FM in early 2017, Bell Media radio stations are now tracking complete sound recording data including ISRC automatically on new tracks from major record labels and independent label partners. With the elimination of manual processes, the new reporting system has resulted in cleaner data, which significantly benefits all rights holders in the Canadian music industry including artists, background musicians, songwriters, and music publishers, through organizations (SOCAN, CMRRA, SODRAC, etc.) relying on broadcast data to get royalties to rights holders.

“I commend Bell Media, and specifically Randy Lennox, for showing remarkable leadership on this project,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Thanks to this collaboration, achievements in data efficiency from projects completed by the major record companies and Re:Sound will now yield even greater results, generating savings throughout the royalty chain, while resulting in more dollars in the pockets of creators.”

“As someone with love for Canada’s music industry, I am thrilled by the results of this project,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “When Music Canada’s Graham Henderson approached us to help resolve what has been a longstanding issue within Canada’s music industry, it was an easy decision to lend Bell Media’s resources and expertise. The automation of the tracking process establishes international best practices that benefit creators while making the entire system considerably more efficient.”

“At Re:Sound, we only exist for the artists and sound recording owners we represent,” says Ian MacKay, President of Re:Sound. “Ensuring that the absolute best quality data flows through the entire music ecosystem is a huge step forward for rights holders, and will help us (and other organizations) to ensure that we pay the right people as quickly and efficiently as possible. We couldn’t have done this without the strong leadership of Bell Media and Music Canada.”

 

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For more information:

Siobhan Özege, Re:Sound
sozege@resound.ca
+1 (416) 968-8870 ext 369

Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359

Renee Dupuis-Macht, Bell Media
Renee.dupuismacht@bellmedia.ca
+1 (416) 384-3154

 

About Re:Sound
Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights.  Re:Sound advocates for music creators, educates music users, licenses businesses and distributes public performance and broadcast royalties to creators – all to help build a thriving and sustainable music industry in Canada. For more on Re:Sound Music Licensing, please visit www.resound.ca

 

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. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com

 

About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

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Applications for the PASSPORT: Music Export Summit are now open

Canadian self-managed artists, artist managers, and music company entrepreneurs active in artist management have until December 15, 2017, to apply for the PASSPORT: Music Export Summit, a new program designed to prepare export-ready artists and entrepreneurs with training in business skills and artistic product development.

The program will begin with parallel East and West summits. The Music Export Summit West will take place in Winnipeg from February 21-25, 2018, and will also include a stream for Indigenous artists and companies. The Music Export Summit East will take place in Halifax from February 28 to March 4, 2018.

The PASSPORT website provides the following training overview:

  1. Importance and value of export for the Canadian music industry
  2. The challenges and opportunities of the global release landscape
  3. Market intelligence and specifics for target markets (UK, EU, USA)
  4. Developing an export marketing plan

Selected participants from these initial sessions will be chosen to attend a follow-up Masterclass event from April 8-12, 2018, at the National Music Centre in Calgary, in which they will conduct follow-ups on their export plans and create media assets for international marketing. The Masterclass will also include streamed live performances.

The eligibility guidelines on the PASSPORT website state that “Submissions will be accepted from export-ready artists and artist managers who are preparing for market development and export activities. Participants will have made initial inroads into international markets or are preparing for their first international showcase festival or tour in the coming 6-18 months. Participants will have taken part in foundational business training through their provincial music industry association, Canada’s Music Incubator, or regional music conferences, and have experience with basic administrative and music marketing tasks.”

The PASSPORT: Music Export Summit is produced by Manitoba Music in partnership with Music Nova ScotiaCanada’s Music Incubator, and the National Music Centre, and the project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

For more information on eligibility, scheduling, and to apply, visit the PASSPORT: Music Export Summit website.

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