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Industry News (288)

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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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Public Research Findings: Threat to live music extended as more Canadians to avoid public events for longer

August 10, 2020, Toronto: Music Canada commissioned Abacus Data to conduct public opinion research to determine how the music industry is being impacted by Canadians’ changing feelings around music, during the pandemic. The second round of the national public opinion survey found that an increasing number of Canadians are concerned about COVID-19, and a growing number of them plan to avoid public events even after restrictions are lifted, resulting in a longer threat to live music.

“The ongoing triple threat facing the live music industry, and all mass gathering industries, requires government action,” said Patrick Rogers, Interim co-Chief Executive Officer. “This threat includes the medical concerns that Canadians have about the virus, that government restrictions on large gatherings will remain well into recovery, and that even after government restrictions are lifted, confidence in returning to live events will continue to be low.”

“Live music was one of the first sectors impacted by the pandemic, and it will continue to feel the impacts long after restrictions are lifted,” continued Rogers. “Artists, venues and support staff will require further support long after other elements of the economy have reopened.”

Concern among Canadians about the pandemic remains elevated, with more believing that “the worst is yet to come” than did in April. The research shows that even as economies begin to slowly re-open, more Canadians expect to stay away from live music events long after physical distancing restrictions are lifted. Even those who regularly attended live music events before the pandemic, 55% said that they will wait at least 6 months or longer to attend a music festival after physical restrictions end – and for large concert venues, it was 60%. Perceptions of risk for attending these types of events are rising over time – instead of declining. The findings ultimately point to the prolonged threat faced by the live music industry.

“This research confirms that Canadians continue to worry about the health impacts of COVID-19. While both artists and fans dearly miss the live music experience, it is clear that ongoing concerns about the virus will continue to significantly impact live events well into 2021,” said Jackie Dean, Music Canada’s Interim co-Chief Executive Officer. “The results show that certain safety measures will help attract some live music lovers back to live events – but many will remain hesitant.” 

Many Canadians want to get back to enjoying live music when it’s safe to do so. As the pandemic continues, the research found that self-identified “live music lovers” now miss live music even more than they did in April. 90% of respondents in this group now say “I really miss going to concerts” – and 89% of this group agree that digital content will never replace the feeling of seeing live music (an increase of 5% from polling conducted at the end of April). 

This research builds upon Abacus Data’s findings from earlier in the pandemic. In May, Abacus’ national public opinion survey identified the triple threat the music industry faces in its recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. 

Music Canada also commissioned Abacus Data to conduct national research that explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the experience of Canada’s artists. That research found that professional musicians are feeling increasing pressure as a result of the pandemic, due to a reduction in income and their ability to produce music that threatens their ability to survive.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on artists’ ability to perform, to create, and to earn a living from their music,” said Miranda Mulholland, artist and Chair of the Music Canada Advisory Council. “While the findings are bleak, this series of research is providing valuable insights for artists, industry, and government as we look for safe ways to return to work. It is clear that artists and those who work closely with them in the live performance space will need further support as the economy begins to reopen.”

For more information on the findings released from Abacus Data, please visit: https://abacusdata.ca/live-music-threat-pandemic-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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National Research: Musicians Feeling the Pressure to Perform in a Continuing Pandemic

July 16, 2020, Toronto –  Music Canada has commissioned Abacus Data to conduct national research that explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the experience of Canada’s artists. Professional musicians are feeling increasing pressure as a result of the pandemic, due to a reduction in income and their ability to produce music that threatens their ability to survive.

“Musicians are experiencing severe, short-term impacts due to the restrictions on live, in-person events that many of us rely on as a main source of income,” said Miranda Mulholland, Artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council. “While live music is crucial to Canada’s professional musicians, both financially and as an outlet for their creativity, artists have strong concerns about the health risk of the virus and its impact on their ability to perform. And over the longer-term, the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way artists earn a living and create music.”

The report found that professional musicians perform, on average, 96 times a year, typically traveling across Canada and the world. Revenue generated from live performances in turn helps support an average of 11.5 other people, such as band members, technicians, and other industry jobs. A staggering 85% have agreed that without live performances, they will have difficulty earning enough to pay their bills. To further highlight the full impact of the pandemic, for the remainder of 2020, the average number of bookings is eight, down from last year’s average of 87. More than half of musicians surveyed have zero performances booked for the remainder of the year. 

Music Canada thanks all participants who shared their experiences with Abacus Data. On behalf of Music Canada, Abacus Data conducted an online focus group to help guide the construction of the survey in order to accurately capture the impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on the careers, emotional and financial well-being of professional musicians in Canada.

Many professional musicians have been able to take advantage of government emergency aid to pay for everyday expenses. As these programs come to a close, the outlook for 2021 is immensely uncertain. Many live events have been cancelled or postponed for the remainder of 2020, and well into 2021. Musicians are not expecting a quick return to the stage because of continuing government restrictions, and for many- their own concerns of performing while the health risk of the virus remains.

“As reopening begins and many focus on the impacts on businesses and the consumer experience, we asked artists’ how the pandemic is impacting them, and how they feel about performing again, after restrictions are lifted,” said Jackie Dean, Interim co-Chief Executive Officer & Chief Operating Officer. “What we hear is that for many, the pandemic feels like a choice that no one should have to make, a choice between earning a living or keeping family and loved ones safe. As governments move forward with plans to reopen the spaces artists work and perform, the concerns of artists must be included in the process.”

“Not only are musicians anxious about the financial implications resulting from cancelled concerts and impossible profit margins due to social distancing restrictions, they are also worried about the health risks associated with the pandemic,” continued Mulholland. “They are concerned about their families, their fans, audiences, and themselves. Even when safety precautions are being taken, the risk of COVID-19 is still too great for many musicians to consider touring for the foreseeable future.”

These findings reflect the feelings of musicians in the industry, and are significant for the prospects of the industry as a whole. As governments continue to implement physical distancing requirements, and live performances remain limited, many professional musicians in Canada will struggle to get by. This is having a long-term impact on their creativity, and ability to create new music.

For more information on the findings released from Abacus Data, please visit: https://abacusdata.ca/crowded-out-musicians-live-performances-covid19-pandemic/.

Initial Public Research Findings from Music Canada and Abacus Data on the pandemic, and the effect it is having on live music are available here.

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Erica Meekes
Director of Public Relations and Events
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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Press pause: COVID-19 strategies for artists – On-Demand Webinar

The music industry is confronting particularly harsh and long-term challenges in the wake of the global pandemic. Cancelled and postponed concerts and tours have led to a dramatic drop in revenue. That being said, the demand for streamed music and performances could not be stronger, with people looking for comfort and content as they isolate at home.

To provide insight into the many legal issues that surround this widespread industry upheaval, Gowling WLG’s Entertainment and Sports Law Group – in partnership with CONNECT Music Licensing and Music Canada – recently presented a live Q&A webinar.  Featuring Susan Abramovitch, head of Gowling WLG’s Entertainment and Sports Law Group, Catherine Jones, executive director of CONNECT Music Licensing, and moderated by Miranda Mulholland, JUNO-nominated artist and advocate, the panel discussed timely and important topics for artists, including:

  • Protecting copyright in your works
  • Music licensing
  • Royalty collection

Video from the webinar is now available, and is embedded below. 

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Music Monday @ Home shines a spotlight on the importance of equitable access to music education

Today marks Music Monday, an annual event in which thousands of Canadians come together in song and in support of music education. Hosted by the Coalition for Music Education, Music Monday unites musicians in communities from coast to coast to make a powerful statement about the importance of equitable access to quality music education for all students. This year, the celebration will move online with Music Monday @ Home, allowing all Canadians to participate safely while practicing social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year on Music Monday, students, educators, and music makers from across the country participate in the collective singing of the Music Monday Anthem, an original song written by a Canadian artist. This year’s anthem is “Hymn to Freedom,” the iconic civil rights anthem by Oscar Peterson and Hariette Hamilton, in a new bilingual translation. Resources to perform the anthem, including sheet music, lyrics, and translations are available on the Coalition website.

“Music Monday celebrates the power of music, and the importance of music education. Equitable access to music education is important to Music Canada, which is why we have partnered with the Coalition for Music Education, the Canadian Music Educators Association, MusiCounts / CARAS, People For Education, and the Canadian Network Arts and Learning on a national study to assess the state of music education in every province and territory,” said Sarah Hashem, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Music Canada. “This research will help all stakeholders to better understand the state of K-12 Music Education from region to region, and to provide information to support its future growth and development.”

Music Monday @ Home begins at 9am EST, with a series of regional broadcasts, including live performances, messages from prominent Canadians, interactive activities for children of all ages, and more. To join in the celebration and add your voice, tune into the Coalition’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

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Canada’s major record companies announce support for Unison Benevolent Fund

April 29th, 2020, Toronto: In response to the impact on the lives of artists and their teams caused by COVID-19, Canada’s major record companies, Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada have announced direct financial support for the Unison Benevolent Fund, Canada’s leading music community support program. Unison is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to individuals working in the Canadian music community.

“This support helps Unison help the music community- and with the support of our member labels, Music Canada is proud to work even more closely with Unison to provide targeted support for the benefit of our creative industry,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

Additionally, Music Canada has announced that it has expanded its supporting role for the organization. In response to COVID-19, Music Canada has provided Unison financial and administrative resource support, together with government relations expertise and guidance. “As one of the founding supporters of Unison, we have seen the crucial need for their services,” continued Henderson, “and we have seen the impact of their relief on those who come to Unison for help.” 

“Unison is enormously grateful for the continuous support from some of the biggest players in the Canadian music industry,” said Unison Fund Executive Director, Amanda Power. “The direct and valued efforts from Canada’s major record labels ensures that we can continue to provide discreet counselling and health services in addition to immediate financial relief for the most vulnerable in our industry at this very critical time.”

Unison is an assistance program – created and administered for the music community, by the music community. It provides discreet, dignified and meaningful relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis. Unison’s COVID-19 Relief Program is making $1,000 grants available to members of the music industry. The relief fund is allocated toward housing costs, medical expenses, groceries, and other necessities for those who are eligible.

Professionals in any role within the Canadian music community are eligible and are encouraged to register at https://unisonfund.ca/index.php/register

 

Erica Meekes
Director of Public Relations
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.

About Unison Benevolent Fund
Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. We are here to help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Unison Benevolent Fund is an assistance program – created and administered for the music community, by the music community – designed to provide discreet relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis through financial assistance and counselling and health solutions.

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COVID-19 continues to hit the music industry’s most vulnerable: Music Canada survey

The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented challenge for the music community, and has shed light on the sad realities faced by artists everyday. As Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, I partnered with Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing to conduct an Artist Impact Survey. Developed in consultation with artist members of the Advisory Council and with Deloitte, the survey received responses from artists from across the country and across all stages of their careers. The preliminary results are in and they make crystal clear the serious and possibly irreparable harm the pandemic has had on Canada’s artists. The majority were already living in a precarious state – and this pandemic has only exacerbated their challenges. 

The financial impacts of this crisis on artists are widespread, and significant. When asked whether they would lose income due to the crisis, the answer was a nearly unanimous yes. Canada’s entire artist community is concerned about making ends meet: more than 80% of artists are in need of financial assistance. Many artists already live close to the poverty line, and now the pandemic has pulled the rug out from under them financially: almost half of the respondents reported that they have lost more than 75% of their income.

The impact on artists will ripple throughout our communities: Artists are entrepreneurs, and job creators. Respondents to the survey create an average of 3.7 jobs per artist – with artists unable to perform or create, these jobs will be lost as well.

There have been further impacts to the creative process. A majority of artists also stress that they are struggling to find the creativity and inspiration needed to generate work. This is especially true for those who are caring for children or loved ones at home. 

Also alarming is the significant number of people in our music community who report that they must go deeper into debt just to survive this moment in their lives. It’s clear that these losses are threatening the survival of entire sectors of the industry, and that the impact will be felt long after the pandemic ends. 

The Federal Government has taken important first steps for providing immediate relief to many individuals, including the self-employed, who have lost income due to COVID-19. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is a key component for helping the hardest hit as they try to weather this storm. However, a post-COVID-19 environment needs to be one where artists can thrive. Artists have the power to generate massive economic growth – when they are supported. As concert halls, venues and theatres remain closed for the coming months, artists will need our sustainable support to ensure that they can cross the bridge over this chasm. 

The Unison Benevolent Fund offers a free 24/7 toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals and their immediate family with counselling and health solutions in both English and French as well as emergency financial assistance, and I encourage those who may find this useful to reach out. 

It is a frightening time for everyone but heartening to note that we are collectively turning to art to make our way through this. Let’s support our creators however we can. For those who are quarantined at home, I encourage you to please continue to stream music over paid platforms and purchase merchandise online from your favorite artists to support them.   

Miranda Mulholland
Artist Advocate & Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council
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Music Canada statement regarding JUNO Week 2020 Cancellation

The JUNOS are a nationwide celebration of Canadian music. But they are far more than what Canadians see on a Sunday evening telecast once a year. JUNO Week provides opportunities for artists and the rest of the music community from every corner of the country to gather and connect, to perform, and to be honoured for their achievements.

“We at Music Canada fully support the action taken by our partners at the JUNOS. We understand how difficult this decision must have been but how necessary and prudent it was due to the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “We extend our heartfelt sympathy to everyone who has been affected by the cancellation. In particular our thoughts are with the artist community. They exist in an often precarious state and are at the heart of our industry. And we must not forget that the music community at large will feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for a considerable period of time. We need to work together and take care of each other.”

“We at Music Canada affirm our commitment to the spirit of the JUNOS and we pledge to work hand in hand with our partners at CARAS to find a way forward,” added Henderson. “We can and will honour the 2020 JUNO Award nominees and Special Award Recipients.”

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