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Industry News (283)

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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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Music Canada Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020

Every year on March 8th, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day, and at Music Canada we’re showing our commitment to gender equality by celebrating this year’s theme of #EachForEqual. The theme draws from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism,’ and the way that our individual actions can collectively make change and help create a gender equal world. Music Canada is also celebrating the phenomenal female artists and creators across Canada and beyond, who have helped to give the world a soundtrack for empowerment. 

With a few days until the JUNO Awards in Saskatoon, Music Canada recognizes Alessia Cara as just one of those empowering Canadians. The multi-platinum singer-songwriter is set to host the 49th annual awards ceremony on March 15th. She’s a music phenomenon who maintains well over 15 million monthly listeners. Alessia is also a two-time JUNO Award winner, and the first Canadian-born artist to win the Best New Artist award at the Grammys.

Music Canada applauds organizations in the sector who have created policies and programs that have improved representation across the industry. Recognition of female artists, gender parity on boards, a commitment to safe and respectful workplaces and an industry free of harassment are positive steps that have seen real results.

“We’ve taken action to promote gender diversity on our Board of Directors, amending bylaws to allow for additional independent outside directors, and to introduce a Board Diversity Policy,” said Jackie Dean, Chief Operating Officer at Music Canada. “We have created an Advisory Council, made up of 15 exceptional and passionate individuals from a gender inclusive and diverse cross-section of the music industry. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce nominated Music Canada for the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Award, in recognition of our changes. We were honoured to be nominated for the award, which celebrates business excellence in supporting the creation of diverse and inclusive workplaces.” 

Significant progress has been made around the globe to protect and promote women’s rights. Yet, there is sadly still nowhere in the world where women can claim to have the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the United Nations. Of the world’s 1.3 billion absolute poor, the majority of this population are women. Women also receive between 30 to 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work.

Music Canada congratulates the progress that has been made in the music industry, but recognizes there is still more to accomplish. We will continue to champion the rights of women, and we will do this while celebrating the unstoppable Canadian female artists and creators who have left permanent footsteps on the international music scene.

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Taylor Swift named 2019’s best-selling global recording artist by IFPI

IFPI, the organization representing the recorded music industry worldwide, announced their Top 10 Global Recording Artist Chart yesterday. Taylor Swift has been recognized with the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, as the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2019. The Award and the Top 10 chart is the only ranking to accurately measure music consumption across all formats (including streaming channels, digital and physical album and singles sales), and across all countries. It is weighted based on the relative value of each method of consumption.

Swift released her seventh studio album, Lover, in August 2019, which debuted at number one in more than 10 countries, including Canada. The album reached three million album-equivalent sales worldwide by the end of its first week of release.

“Taylor Swift is the epitome of a truly global star,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI. “She continues to grow as an artist and maintains an incredibly strong connection with her fanbase, whilst continuing to evolve her sound with each album. It is a pleasure to be able to present her with the Global Recording Artist of the Year award for the second time.”

Swift was previously recognized with the Award in 2014. She joins Drake as the only two artists to earn the recognition multiple times. The Canadian rapper topped the chart in 2016 and 2018. Drake placed 8th on this year’s chart, marking five consecutive years that he has been in the Top 10.

“The ‘top ten’ showcases some of the brightest and most talented artists from around the world, from newer stars, such as Billie Eilish and BTS, to legacy acts like The Beatles and Queen,” added Moore. “This range demonstrates how people’s love of music can be continually ignited by new and diverse artists and yet endures across decades. I congratulate all the artists in the chart.”

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

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2019

1 Taylor Swift
2 Ed Sheeran
3 Post Malone
4 Billie Eilish
5 Queen
6 Ariana Grande
7 BTS
8 Drake
9 Lady Gaga
10 The Beatles

Source: IFPI

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Miranda Mulholland named runner-up for the Globe and Mail’s Canadian Artist of 2019

Music Canada extends our congratulations to Miranda Mulholland on being named a runner-up for The Globe and Mail’s Canadian artist of 2019!

In the article, John Doyle highlights Mulholland’s acclaimed solo album, By Appointment or Chance; the continued growth of the Muskoka Music Festival, which Muholland founded in 2017; and the galvanizing artist advocacy work she has conducted as examples of why Miranda was one of the most exciting Canadian artists of 2019.

In 2019, Mulholland was named a Global IP Champion by the Global IP Center, and spoke about artist advocacy at events in Canada and around the world, including the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal, the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva, at Midem and the MaMa Festival and Convention in France, and Canadian Music Week in Toronto.

The Globe named literary icon Margaret Atwood the Canadian Artist of 2019, recognizing the success of her highly anticipated book The Testaments, the success of the television adaptation of her classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Atwood’s book tour and philanthropic endeavors amidst a time of great personal loss following the passing of long-time partner Graeme Gibson. 

Joining Mulholland as runners-up for the Globe’s recognition include actor and director Philip Akin, film performer, writer, and director Deragh Campbell, artist and sculptor Brian Jungen, and masked country musician Orville Peck. 

Congratulations, Miranda! We are proud and grateful to have such a talented artist and strong advocate for creators as Chair of the Music Canada Advisory Council.

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Music Canada proud to serve as partner for APTN’s landmark National Indigenous Music Impact Study

On November 13th, 2019, APTN published the first-ever National Indigenous Music Impact Study. This landmark report demonstrates the contributions made by the Indigenous music community to the wider music industry, as well as to the overall Canadian economy. 

“We set out to gain a better understanding of this group of professionals, and what we found is that this industry has a significant impact on the economic and social fabric of Canada,” said Jean La Rose, CEO of APTN, in the news release. “However, the industry also faces challenges, which creates many opportunities for growth. We see this study as a starting point for in-depth and informed discussions that will help the industry reach its full potential.”

“Music Canada was proud to partner with APTN on this study, which highlights the important impact Indigenous artists have on the music ecosystem,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “As the first comprehensive study of the Indigenous music industry in Canada to date, this report is contributing to a better understanding of the Indigenous music community’s impact from an economic, social, and cultural perspective.”

The study surveyed 620 respondents from the Indigenous music community in Canada and produced key findings, including the following:

  • Indigenous music contributed a total of almost $78 million to Canada’s economy (GDP) in 2018. 
  • Indigenous music also supports more than 3,000 full time positions across Canada.
  • Annually, Indigenous musicians (including both full time and part-time artists) earn an average of $47,200 from all sources. However – like many other musicians – almost half of income earned by Indigenous artists is derived from non-music work. 
  • Companies in the Indigenous music community reported that almost half (47%) of their activities last year were related to developing Indigenous music. These activities incurred $17.5 million in expenditures directly related to music by Indigenous artists.

Notably, the study found that there is no agreed-upon definition of Indigenous music. It cannot be constrained into a single genre, as the Indigenous music community today is characterized by an immense diversity of styles and experiences.

The report concludes that the Indigenous music community is vibrant and thriving. However, the Indigenous music industry (made up of Indigenous-owned, Indigenous-directed music companies and supporting organizations) is still early in its development process – and is in need of support to achieve robust growth.

To read the full National Indigenous Music Impact Study, download the report from APTN’s website.

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Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins calls out sexism in the music industry at Canadian Music Hall of Fame Ceremony

At the inaugural Canadian Music Hall of Fame Ceremony Presented by Music Canada, which took place at the National Music Centre on October 27th, legendary alternative country group Cowboy Junkies were one of four inductees into the Hall of Fame. 

In her acceptance speech, Cowboy Junkies’  lead vocalist Margo Timmins used the band’s moment of celebration to put a spotlight on the issue of sexism in the music industry, and issue a call for change. 

“I know we would all like to think that a boys’ club does not exist in our industry, but just look around you,” said Timmins. “Even tonight, there are 10 inductees, and one woman. And with my count, after tonight, there will be around 100 men and 10 women in the Hall of Fame. That’s not right.”

Timmins took the opportunity to encourage those in attendance, many of whom are leaders in the Canadian music industry, to take action to correct this long-standing imbalance

“I know that there are many men and women in our industry who struggle every day to create change, and to you I give you my respect and my support,” continued Timmins. “But there are also many women and men who think that with time, things will become equal and all will be well eventually. And perhaps they’re right. But what I say to that is, if you are thinking in this way, you have to remember, as we wait, the next generation of talented and creative women will be asked or allowed to join our industry by going through the side door — the way that women have entered the world of men for centuries, and it’s just wrong. So all I ask is that you people who are here, who are so powerful, you lead our industry, to think about it. And that somehow we have to bring in more women. Allow our daughters to know that if they want to be riggers, sound engineers, lighting techs, they can do it and they can join us on the road.”

Watch Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins powerful acceptance speech at the Canadian Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

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