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Playback 2018 panel: What can be done to help music creators who are living in the Value Gap?

On Tuesday, October 16, Music Canada hosted Playback 2018, our annual industry dialogue and celebration. Following an annual review from Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill, and a keynote from professor and author Debora Spar, Playback 2018 featured a panel discussion focused on what can be done to help music creators who are living in the Value Gap. The panel was moderated by Nam Kiwanuka, host and producer for TVO’s The Agenda and former Much Music VJ.

Joining Nam on the panel was:

  • Dr. George Barker – Visiting Fellow London School of Economics, and Honorary Associate Professor Australian National University, who has produced three studies on the Value Gap in Canada
  • Loreena McKennitt – Renowned Canadian musician, record label owner and long-time advocate for musicians’ rights
  • Maia Davies – Toronto/Montreal based songwriter, producer and performing artist, former founding member of Ladies of the Canyon, currently releasing solo recordings as MAÏA
  • Ian MacKay – President, Re:Sound Licensing Company, dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights

Dr. George Barker began the discussion outlining several key figures leading to the loss of revenues for the recording industry, while Ian MacKay spoke to the $1.25M commercial radio royalty exemption and the impact it has on Re:Sound’s performer and record label members. Loreena McKennitt and Maia Davies then provided insight into the struggles artists and label owners are facing as a result of the Value Gap, where, as Davies points out, even songwriting peers with writing credits for Drake’s albums can’t afford their rent.

Reflecting on how remuneration models for artists and labels have changed since she began her career before the advent of the internet, McKennitt said “I would say I’m luckier than most. Because I established it (her label) when I did, and reached success when I did and now I’m a kind of legacy artist and was able to sustain my career in the twilight of my career.” McKennitt continued, “But it’s very clear – I could never reach the height of my success were I to start up now.”

You can watch the full panel discussion below.

Select photos from the panel are posted below and a full Playback 2018 photo gallery can be viewed on Music Canada’s Facebook page.

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Playback 2018: Executive Vice President Amy Terrill recaps Music Canada’s accomplishments from the last 12 months

On October 16, 2018, at The Great Hall in Toronto, Music Canada hosted Playback 2018, our annual industry dialogue and celebration.

Close to 100 members of the Canadian music industry were in attendance, including representatives from record labels, awards programs, royalty collectives and funding institutions, as well as artists, journalists, politicians and other government representatives.

Universal Music Canada President Jeffrey Remedios opened the event with a reflection on the state of the industry before Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill recapped Music Canada’s major accomplishments and new initiatives from the last 12 months.

Those accomplishments include our work to close the Value Gap in Canada, the launch of Music Canada Cares and its first program, The Three Rs Music Program, exciting partnerships with other industry groups, and our latest research report, Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors.

You can watch Terrill’s full presentation below.

Near the end of the presentation, Terrill gave the audience a sneak peek of a just-released video taking you behind the scenes of the production process of our Gold and Platinum award plaques.

Following the annual review, Terrill invited Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson to the stage for a special announcement. Henderson shared preliminary results of Music Canada’s year-long, comprehensive governance review that Terrill had announced a year earlier at Playback 2017. To learn more about the changes resulting from the review, read our release.

Stay tuned for more video content from Playback 2018 in the coming days, including a keynote presentation from professor and author Debora Spar, and a ‘fireside chat’ between Recording Industry Association of America Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman and musician, label owner and festival founder, Miranda Mulholland.

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Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage releases new report examining cultural hubs and cultural districts

Earlier this month, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released a report entitled A Vision For Cultural Hubs And Districts In Canada. This report was the outcome of a Committee study on cultural districts and hubs in Canada, with a particular focus on determining the role they play in city building, their economic impacts, their effects on arts and culture, and how the federal government can better foster and support the development of these spaces.

The Committee held eight meetings earlier this year, with Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill appearing as a witness during this process.

The report provides a summary of the federal government’s current initiatives regarding cultural hubs and districts, and outlines various policy perspectives on key related topics including: the social and economic impact of cultural hubs and districts, the various collaborative approaches to developing cultural hubs and districts, barriers to securing funding, and the important role of infrastructure considerations. The report also contains 18 Committee recommendations to the Government of Canada.

One of the key issues discussed in the report is how exactly a cultural hub and cultural district can be defined. Witnesses throughout the eight Committee meetings provided a number of different interpretations of what constitutes a hub or district, offering definitions that ranged from fairly encompassing to more rigidly defined. Music Canada has submitted our own recommendation regarding how cultural hubs and cultural districts should be categorized, in addition to recommending that the Department of Canadian Heritage’s definition for cultural hubs be expanded. It was encouraging to see that the official Committee recommendation reflected this assertion, with the specific language calling on the Department to “broaden the definition of a cultural hub to, among others, consider new technological art forms.”

Another important topic highlighted in the report outlined the various collaborative approaches that can be taken to developing cultural hubs and cultural districts. Alongside the role of the government, partnerships have been found to be the key to the successful creation of projects relating to cultural hubs or districts. Indeed, as EVP Amy Terrill highlighted in her testimony before the Committee, collaboration between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors is a critical component of cultivating a flourishing network of cultural spaces and sustaining a vibrant cultural sector.

Other key issues that were outlined in the report include:

  • The social impact of cultural hubs and cultural districts, such as their role in empowering local communities and contribution to fostering inclusion
  • The economic impact of cultural districts and hubs, with a particular focus on their role as economic drivers and tourism generators
  • The distinct roles of federal, provincial, and municipal governments in encouraging the development of cultural hubs and districts
  • The barriers to securing operational funding for cultural spaces
  • The potential of introducing tax measures and incentives to support the development of cultural hubs and districts, and other types of social public spaces
  • The challenges posed by a lack of affordable spaces in urban centres and the impact of rising real estate prices on public spaces

Read the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s full report on the House of Commons website.

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Behind The Scenes: The Making of a Canadian Gold Record Plaque

Since the launch of our Gold/Platinum program in 1975, record labels across Canada have celebrated the success of their artists’ hit single or album with the presentation of an official Gold, Platinum, or Diamond certification plaque. These highly coveted plaques, which are also presented to the teams behind the certified release, are created by Music Canada’s exclusive manufacturers Frameworth Sports Marketing (Toronto, ON) and PIXSL Inc. (Montreal, QC).

Sandra Falcone has been designing Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum plaques at Frameworth for nearly a decade. In this new video, Sandra takes us behind the scenes of Frameworth Sports Marketing’s manufacturing facility in Toronto and shows the unique process of how those Gold or Platinum vinyl record plaques are created before making it to the hands of your favourite artists.

Watch and share the video on Gold/Platinum Canada’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, or view on YouTube below.

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Release: Music Canada commits to diversity and equality with changes to governance structure

October 16, 2018, Toronto: Today at Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, Playback 2018, President and CEO Graham Henderson announced the results of a year-long comprehensive governance review to ensure organizational excellence and representation at the company. The review has resulted in three concrete actions to promote diversity and equality.

Music Canada’s Board of Directors has approved the addition of two new, independent members who will assume the positions of Director and Chair.  Between them, these women bring to the Board outstanding expertise in corporate governance, finance and accountability, government relations, and general business. This change will improve representation of women on Music Canada’s Board of Directors to 40%.

Music Canada has also adopted a Diversity Policy that will guide the organization in governance decision-making, and Music Canada will constitute an Industry Advisory Group that will provide an inclusive forum to give voice to diverse constituencies in the music industry. The Industry Advisory Group will report to the President & CEO and will provide input into our programs and policies.

“We all have a responsibility, as individuals and organizationally, to align our practices with our values,” says Graham Henderson. “Music Canada and our members are committed to inclusion and equality, but change at the governance level can be the slowest to happen organically. With the changes we’ve announced today, our core values will be reflected at every level of our organization, ensuring balanced decision-making resulting in competitive advantage.”

Music Canada looks forward to announcing more details of its governance review as they become available.

 

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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.

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Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund celebrates 25 years with exciting fundraiser concert

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, The Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund will celebrate their 25th birthday with an intimate Toronto event headlined by indie rock band Born Ruffians at Propeller Coffee Co (50 Wade Ave).

Beginning at 7:30pm, attendees will be treated to a night of music, drinks, food, photos and more, with all proceeds going towards increasing the access to music therapy for all Canadians. Prior to Born Ruffians taking the stage, guests will be treated to an opening set from CMTTF artist ambassador Mponda Kalunga. The event will also be hosted by Much Music alumni and Canadian media personality Master T!

If you can’t make the event, you can still donate to CMTTF here to aid their mission of promoting, developing, and supporting music therapy services and research in order to improve the quality of life for Canadians.

Music Canada is proud to participate in the event as a Rock Star sponsor, and wish to congratulate CMTTF on 25 incredible years of funding music therapy programs across Canada.

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Amazon Music Unlimited launches in Canada

Amazon has announced the arrival of Amazon Music Unlimited streaming service in Canada, which launched today with millions of songs, thousands of playlists and personalized stations. The new service joins Amazon’s previously launched Prime Music, the ad-free service available to Prime customers at no additional cost to their annual membership.

With Unlimited, Amazon customers can now discover new music easier than ever with more ways to access music through voice with Alexa on the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android, and on all Echo devices.

“We’ve seen such a positive customer response from the launch of Prime Music for Canada last year, and with today’s launch we’re excited to bring more customers even more choice and ways of discovering music with Alexa,” stated Sean McMullan, Head of International Expansion for Amazon Music. “We’re thrilled for our Canadian customers to start streaming with Unlimited today, and begin enjoying expanded voice controls to play music for every moment.”

A 90-day free trial is available now for eligible customers for a limited time, with plans starting at $7.99/month.

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At Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, Miranda Mulholland illustrates why urgent action to address the Value Gap is needed

Last Thursday, musician, label owner and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study of remuneration models for artists and creative industries, where she shared her personal experience as an artist living in the Value Gap.

She began by making Committee members aware that although they may not recognize her, they had most certainly heard her play. “Over the last 19 years, I have played or sung on hundreds of recorded songs on over 50 records including many JUNO Award nominated or winning albums,” she said. “I have done film and television work – you can hear my fiddle playing on every episode of Republic of Doyle and in the film Maudie and on the Good Things Grow in Ontario jingle.”

Mulholland then stated that creators are storytellers and that the story she would tell them today had a beginning, a middle and that she hoped that she and the Committee members would write the end together.

After outlining how she got her start in music, becoming a fiddle player as the digital revolution took off, Mulholland spoke about the Value Gap, and what it has meant to her career.

Mulholland then referenced previous testimonies that the Committee has heard, from artists like Andrew Morrison of the JUNO-nominated group The Jerry Cans, and Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson, who both spoke of the disappearance of middle class artists.
Mulholland underscored this point, stating: “The musician middle class is gone – and even the ladder to get there is gone.”

In the middle of her dynamic and authentic presentation, Mulholland proposed four immediately actionable solutions that Committee members could recommend to help improve the framework, which are captured in the video embedded below.


Approaching the end of her story, Mulholland expressed hope that the Committee would help write the ending. Referencing the recent actions that lawmakers in Europe and the United States have taken to help close the Value Gap, Mulholland expressed hope that the Heritage and Industry Committees can work with artists like herself to fix the broken framework and update the laws to reflect artists’ day to day lives.

Her testimony was encapsulated by one of her closing remarks: “Artists have adapted and we need our laws to do the same.”

Mulholland’s dynamic and authentic presentation seemed to truly engage members of the Committee. Following her testimony, Pierre Breton, Member of Parliament for Shefford, Quebec, commented:

Wow, thank you for your excellent presentations. It’s really from the heart, and I would say that you are excellent at explaining the issues – so if there is anyone who had a hard time understanding the scope of the challenge that you’ve been living through, well, now they understand it. Thank you for your testimony – it was exceptional. These are very sensible recommendations in my opinion, and they could be implemented very quickly.

Martin Shields, Member of Parliament for Bow River, Alberta, said:

I think you’re passionate, I think you’re great – but I understand fairness, and what we have is an industry that needs fairness, and we need legislation changed.

During the question and answer portion of the hearing, Breton asked Mulholland which of the recommendations she offered could have a quick impact if enacted by government. Mulholland replied:

Each one would have an immediate effect. The first one, the radio royalty exemption, getting rid of that subsidy – and again, subsidizing – artists are subsidizing the big media conglomerates – that needs to stop. And if that ended, that money would be filtered through into artists pockets immediately.

Same with sound recording … I just played with Alan Doyle on a new kids show that he’s writing the music for… if this was enacted and the sound recording wording was changed, as soon as that is played, I will get paid for my work – so that would help me immediately.

The private copying – that would help immediately as well.

And having a term extension would help me value my work for longer, so I would be able to leverage that if I was talking to a publisher or a label about my catalog. So all four would help me right now.”

Anju Dhillon, Member of Parliament for Dorval — Lachine — LaSalle, asked Mulholland:

In many interviews you’ve done, I noticed that you’re talking about how the Copyright Act is not protecting creators and artists – what concrete changes would you like to see to the Copyright Act so that we can have more fairness and money can be distributed from the distributors to the creators?”

Mulholland replied that right now, she and her creator colleagues are subsidizing billionaires. She told Dhilllon, “the subsidies need to stop – so that would be the radio royalty exemption… it was supposed to be temporary, and it needs to be removed… We just want to have a functioning marketplace.

Following the hearing, Committee members enthusiastically thanked and congratulated Mulholland for her concise and moving testimony.

(l-r) Members of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Julie Dabrusin, Anju Dhillon and Pierre Breton with Miranda Mulholland

 


Full video of the September 20, 2018, Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearing is available on the House of Commons website.

 

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Unanimous U.S. Senate support for Music Modernization Act is further evidence Canada must act to close the Value Gap

Music Canada joins our American counterparts in applauding the United States Senate following its unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) yesterday evening. The MMA, which was broadly supported by music organizations across the United States, is a comprehensive bill that includes the CLASSICS Act, legislation that guarantees artists and labels who recorded music before 1972 a federal right to be paid for those recordings when played by digital radio outlets.

The U.S. music community was united in its support of the MMA, with organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America, the National Music Publishers Association, ASCAP, SoundExchange, musicFIRST, and the Recording Academy advocating strongly for the bipartisan bill. Thousands of artists spoke up in support of the legislation, including Roseanne Cash and Dionne Warwick, who advocated for the bill in the House of Representatives; Smokey Robinson, who testified at the U.S. Senate; and Maren Morris and Adam Levine, who were vocal supporters of the bill on social media.

“We congratulate all of the artists and advocates who spoke up so passionately in support of the Music Modernization Act. As we saw with the European Parliament vote, governments are listening to creators and recognizing the need to update the legislation that affects their careers,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“In the past week, we have seen overwhelming support for this type of legislation from Canada’s two largest trading partners, further underlining the need for Canada to follow through with meaningful reforms,” adds Henderson. “Our government has heard from creators – the Value Gap is an urgent issue that must be addressed. It’s now time for our government to seize the opportunity and close the Value Gap in Canada.”

Music Canada has been the leading advocate for addressing the Value Gap in Canada. Our recent report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, examines the Value Gap and its causes, and demonstrates how it impacts artists, businesses and our nation’s cultural foundations, with a particular focus on music. The report includes recommended steps that Canada’s federal government can take today to address the inequities that artists face due to the Value Gap.

Music Canada is encouraged by the progress made in the U.S. and EU, and remains committed to continuing to work with the government of Canada to close the Value Gap here at home.

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Landslide European Copyright Directive vote is a call to action for legislators globally to fix the Value Gap

Music Canada joins our European counterparts in applauding the European Parliament for today’s historic vote on the European Copyright Directive. The vote is a vital step towards ensuring Europe’s creators are paid fairly when their work is consumed online, and provides a strong example for other governments to follow to support their own creators.

“Congratulations to the European Parliament on today’s historic vote to create a framework for creativity to flourish in the digital marketplace. We also need to acknowledge the incredible impact of creator voices to this campaign – thank you to all of the artists who spoke up with such passion and honesty,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“Today’s landslide vote is a call to action for governments around the world – We must all act with urgency. The Value Gap is a global issue of critical importance to the current and future health of creators and the creative industries. Here in Canada, our Heritage and Industry’s committees have heard loud and clear from creators that the Value Gap threatens Canadian culture and needs to be fixed. These committees have done excellent work so far and they must seize this opportunity. Let’s close the Value Gap NOW!”

In 2017 Music Canada released The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach. The first-of-its-kind report describes 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.” To protect the livelihoods of creators, businesses and cultures, creators and creative groups around the globe have been urging governments to enact legislative changes to ensure creators receive fair compensation for the use of their works.

The European vote comes as the Canadian government is conducting its own review of the Copyright Act. Numerous stakeholders have raised the Value Gap as a key issue at the Standing Committee for Industry, Science and Technology, as well as the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries. Additionally, through Focus On Creators, more than 3,700 creators have signed a letter urging the government to place creators at the heart of our country’s cultural policy.

A release from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada states that a “well-functioning copyright framework should enable Canada’s creators to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by digital technology, provide a supportive environment for business and investment, and position creators for success in a competitive marketplace.”

Music Canada is committed to continuing to work with the government of Canada throughout the review process to close the Value Gap here at home.

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