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ATX6 return to Toronto for Indie Week 2017

Toronto is gearing up for Indie Week Canada, with over two hundred acts set to play in more than twenty venues across the city from November 7 – 12, 2017.

On Friday, November 10, six unique and diverse artists will play The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Ave.) as part of Project ATX6 – a music export and documentary film production that selects six Austin, TX musicians annually to showcase at international music festivals in France, Germany, England, Japan, and Canada.

The ATX6 first traveled to Toronto in 2014 for the North By Northeast festival following the world’s first Music City Alliance signing between the two cities. The ATX6 have since returned to Toronto for the last four years, teaming up with local musicians to support the travelling artists as their backing band. Since 2014, the ATX6 have played venues in Kensington Market, Queen West, and even helped launched Downtown Yonge BIA’s Play The Parks 2015 season with a free showcase in Trinity Square.

Now its fourth year, the 2017 class of the AT6 will feature Taylor Wilkins (Otis The Destroyer), Sisi Berry (Torino Black), Lindsey Verrill (Little Mazarn), Acey Monaro (Go Fever), Mobley, and Corey Baum (Croy and the Boys). Each musician will perform individual sets of original music from their Austin-based bands. As with previous years, the artists will be accompanied by a film crew who will be documenting the group’s travels for a web series, directed and produced by the project’s founder Chris Brecht.

In addition to their Dakota Tavern showcase, the ATX will also play The Cameron House (408 Queen St. W) on Saturday, November 11, at 6pm. Visit the ATX6 website for more information about this year’s group, and you can buy tickets for the shows or festival wristbands at Indie Week’s website.

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Feedback sought for Barrie-Simcoe Music Strategy

A new music strategy is being developed for Simcoe County in partnership between Regional Tourism Organization 7, Simcoe County, City of Barrie, City of Orillia, Town of Collingwood and MusicCO.

The announcement that funding has been secured to develop a 3-year music strategy for Barrie & Simcoe County (including Collingwood, Orillia, and many other municipalities) was made at Staying in Tune, a music summit hosted by the City of Barrie and MusicCO on October 24.

To inform the strategy, Nordicity and CultureCap are conducting a survey to gather as much information as possible about the regional music scene, and the two organizations have also been engaged to produce the final report.

Feedback is being sought from songwriters, musicians, venues, festivals, studios, record companies, fans and everyone else involved in the Simcoe County music industry. The survey website states that they would like opinions on:

  • What’s great about the local music scene, and what could be better.
  • How are you involved in the music scene? We’re gathering detailed statistics to better inform decision-making and illustrate all the activity out there.
  • Most of all, we’re looking for fresh thinking about how to make Simcoe County a better place for music!

To complete the survey, visit the Barrie-Simcoe Music Strategy survey website. For additional information or questions, you can email simcoemusic@culturecap.ca

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Toronto’s influence on Canadian music celebrated with Fall concert series

From Queen West to Little Jamaica, the unique sounds of Toronto’s music history are being showcased with a free concert series this Fall. MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto celebrates Toronto’s influence on Canadian music, and is produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario’s Ontario 150 Program.

The series kicked off on October 18 with two roots-rock nights; one at The Horseshoe, headlined by Whitney Rose, and the other at Hugh’s Room, featuring legendary singer/songwriter Sylvia Tyson. Curated by renowned music journalist and historian Nicholas Jennings, the remaining shows will span a wide range of genres including reggae, world, jazz, and hip hop. These shows can be viewed below. While tickets are free, some shows will sell out and unclaimed tickets will be released at the door the night of the shows.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 – Roots, Rock, Regg’Eh @ Sanfoka Restaurant (1653 Eglinton Ave W.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 – Where Global Goes Local @ Lula Lounge (1285 Dundas St. W)

Friday, November 10, 2017 – Jazz Generations of Toronto  @ Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto (80 Queen’s Park)

Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Hip Hop House Party: From the T-dot to the Six @ BAND (Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue) (19 Brock Ave)

 

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Playback 2017: Music Canada President’s Award presented to Cory Crossman and Chris Campbell

The Music Canada President’s Award is presented to an individual working outside the music community who displays a deep passion for music and the people who make it.

The recent past has been filled with many firsts and milestones for music in London, Ontario. The city hosted an incredibly successful Country Music Week and the CCMA Awards in September 2016; completed its first ever music census; has taken steps to modernize noise bylaws for music and dancing on outdoor patios; and on November 17, will host its first Music Career Day. Credit for these outstanding accomplishments is due not only to one individual, but two passionate community leaders.

At Playback 2017, Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, London’s Music Industry Development Officer, Cory Crossman, and Chris Campbell, Director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism at Tourism London, were both presented with the 2017 President’s Award for their incredible commitment to making London a Music City.

The first ever President’s Award was presented to Mark Garner, Executive Director of Downtown Yonge BIA in 2015.

Watch below as Chris Campbell and Cory Crossman accept their awards, presented by Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson.

News of the award presentation received cheers and praise on social media.

https://twitter.com/_woodbethany/status/920702993896321024

Below is a selection of photos from the award presentation.

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Playback 2017: Executive Vice President Amy Terrill launches Music Canada’s inaugural annual review site

Playback is not only the new name for Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, it is also the name of our inaugural annual review publication.

On October 17, at the first Playback event, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, launched the Playback 2017 site and highlighted some of Music Canada’s accomplishments from the past 12 months described in the publication.

Watch the full video below, and for a fuller picture of Music Canada’s work in the past year, check out the Playback 2017 website.

Below is a selection of photos from the Playback 2017 year in review.

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Musical instrument lending library to launch in Barrie, Ontario, on October 1

On Sunday, October 1, Barrie will be the latest Canadian city to open a musical instrument lending library. The Huronia Symphony Orchestra and The Barrie Public Library are partnering on the project, with the generous support of the County of Simcoe and MusicPro Barrie. In addition to the lending library, the project will include youth drop in programs, intended to help young musicians network and learn from one another and local musicians.

The project will launch with a Grand Opening Celebration at the downtown branch of the Barrie Public Library that will feature performances by members of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra, as well as special guest performances by Jason McCoy of The Roadhammers and country singer/songwriter Dani Strong. The celebration is free and open to everyone, and will also include a musical instrument petting zoo and other activities.

The team behind the project is planning to expand the program to Orillia and other libraries in the region so that a greater number of young people, cultural organizations, and adults are able to access musical instruments and learning opportunities.

Barrie music lovers, anyone looking to learn a new instrument, or anyone curious is encouraged to attend the Grand Opening Celebration, happening from 2-4pm at 60 Worsley Street in downtown Barrie.

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City of Toronto seeking public input for new culture strategy

Photo credit: City of Toronto

The City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division (EDC) is developing a new Divisional Strategy to establish priorities over the next five years (2018-2022). In order to develop a comprehensive strategy, the EDC is seeking the input of the public on emerging opportunities, challenges, and areas of focus as they relate to Toronto’s economic development and culture.

As a starting point, they have created a Conversation Guide that highlights key emerging economic and cultural trends and challenges facing Toronto and are asking our stakeholders for their input via an online survey or written submission.

“There is an opportunity to clearly define the public benefit to artistic and cultural events,” the EDC states in the Conversation Guide. “This lens will help evaluate how artists and cultural leaders can leverage technology to support growth and new firm formation within strategic sectors of the local economy. A focus on creativity can involve the Division thinking through the City’s role in funding and/or helping to develop creativity.”

The City’s previous strategies – 2011’s Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan For Toronto and 2013’s Collaborating for Competitiveness: A Strategic Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth and Job Creation in Toronto – helped lead to the establishment of Music and Film Sector Development Teams, and the Toronto Music Strategy.

With the threat of venue closures still looming large over Toronto’s music scene, the EDC’s call for input for their new strategy is a welcomed opportunity for musicians, venue owners, and label owners to express their concerns to City staff.

In addition to the survey and written submissions, a series of public Town Hall consultations have also been scheduled for September. Written submissions will be accepted until October 2, 2017, and it is encouraged to register for the Town Hall meetings listed below:

Thursday September 14 (Register online)
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Assembly Hall, Performance Hall
1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive

Tuesday September 19 (Register online)
9:00 am – 11:00 am
North York Civic Centre, Burgundy Room
5100 Yonge Street

Saturday September 23 (Register online)
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Scarborough Civic Centre, Rotunda
150 Borough Drive

Wednesday September 27 (Register online)
9:00 – 11:00 am
Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon
789 Yonge Street

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Downtown Yonge BIA pays tribute to Toronto music heritage with second 22-storey mural

Today, the Downtown Yonge BIA announced a second Music Mural will be added to Yonge Street in Toronto, which will pay tribute to the music legends that played the area in the 1970s & ‘80s. The 22-storey fresco mural will cover the entire south wall of the Toronto Community Housing building at 432 Yonge St.

The mural, which is being developed by artist and musician Adrian Hayles, celebrates artists The Band, David Clayton-Thomas, Rush, GODDO, Carole Pope, Kim Mitchell, Salome Bey and Lonnie Johnson, as well as the landmark venues from the era, including Brown Derby Tavern, Gasworks, Piccadilly Tube and A&A Records. The 70-metre-tall piece is expected to take two to three months to complete.

“These murals are dazzling sights to celebrate amazing sounds,” said Downtown Yonge BIA’s Mark Garner in a release “They are a stunning visual reminder of the long, vibrant history of music in Downtown Yonge, which continues today.”

This mural compliments the first Music Mural on the north side of the same building, which was unveiled last year, and features luminaries from the 1950s & 60s, including Glenn Gould, Diane Brooks, Jackie Shane, Muddy Waters, Shirley Matthews, B.B. King, and Oscar Peterson. That mural was also created by Hayles, as was the mural on Reggae Lane, located at 1529 Eglinton St. West, Toronto, which honours the history and origins of Toronto’s reggae music scene.

“Great cities all over the world have murals as part of their public realm,” said Garner. “We think the music mural fits perfectly with the vision for a vibrant Yonge Street – combining visual and musical artistry.”

The mural is part of the Downtown Yonge BIA’s Music Strategy, the BIA’s multi-pronged vision to re-establish Yonge Street as a ‘Music Mecca.’ The three core components of the strategy, broadly, are:

  • Homage to Toronto’s Music Legacy
  • Activating Live Music
  • Paving the Way to Toronto’s Music Future

The mural is supported by StreetARToronto, a division of the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division, whose mission is to revitalize and engage communities through street art.

An artist rendering of the final version of the mural is available now on the Downtown Yonge website.

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Polyphonic Ground seeks input on diversity in Toronto’s live music industry

On July 19, a new initiative called Polyphonic Ground was announced, with the aim of strengthening Toronto’s culturally-diverse music industry. The initiative is spearheaded by Small World Music, and is composed of 12 Toronto live music presenters: Ashkenaz Foundation, Batuki Music Society, Good Kind Productions, iNative, Link Music Lab, Lula Music & Arts Centre, MonstrARTity Creative Community, Music Africa, Revolutions Per Minute, Small World Music Society, Uma Nota Culture, and World Fiddle Day Toronto. The collective plans to foster engagement with a monthly collaborative concert series and diverse professional development programming.

In partnership with Music Ontario, City Hall Live, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) and Music Canada Live, Polyphonic Ground will be hosting a series of conversations about diversity in the live music industry. To inform these conversations, and ensure as many voices as possible are heard, Polyphonic Ground has launched an online survey.

The survey states:

The lack of gender and cultural diversity reflected by the larger Toronto music industry has been a hot topic of late. Ad hoc conversations around these issues have taken place at recent panels and forums focused on topics such as venue closures, noise bylaws, the media etc. However, there have been few opportunities to deal with these issues head on and explore how inequities can be addressed.

Have your say and help shape these important conversations. The survey closes Friday, August 11th at 5pm.

Complete Polyphonic Ground’s Diversity & Live Music Conversation Series Survey.

For more information on Polyphonic Ground, check out the press release and follow their Twitter and Facebook pages.

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YYZ Live performance series launches at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Toronto Mayor John Tory was on hand Tuesday morning for the launch of YYZ Live, a new daily concert series greeting international arrivals at Pearson International Airport’s Terminal 1. In celebration of Canada 150, the event will run from June 26 to September 15, with 150 performances by 75 emerging artists from Toronto’s music scene.

“The first exposure a lot of people have to Toronto and Canada is in this building,” said Mayor John Tory, echoing earlier remarks by Greater Toronto Airports Authority CEO Howard Eng. “I’m proud that, thanks to this program, the first exposure people have to our culture is through music played by Toronto artists.”

Pearson is Canada’s largest airport, seeing more than 44 million passengers travel through the airport in 2016. As identified in Music Canada’s The Mastering Of A Music City report, airports in cities like Austin, Melbourne, and Seattle have already successfully hosted music performances. In Seattle, the trial program generated USD$259,000 for the artists from wages, tips and merchandise. The program’s success guaranteed its continuation for another three years, and helped permit the opening of a Sub Pop record store in the airport.

“As an independent musician, I’ve traveled over 50,000 miles sharing my music with audiences from Nashville to the Netherlands, because as many Toronto musicians know, it’s often easier to build a fan base abroad and online than it is in a city as big and as diverse as ours,” said acclaimed indie soul artist AHI in a release, who concluded today’s launch event with a performance. “I appreciate that the City of Toronto is working to develop creative opportunities for live music to become an accessible part of the community, and I’ve been privileged to participate in several events where I can share my music and build my audience right here at home.”

Mayor Tory concluded his remarks by reinstating his commitment to the future success of music in Toronto, noting the success of its artists and the arts sector help the “soul of the city” and attract more talented people to Toronto. Mayor Tory and Councillor Josh Colle, Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council, also acknowledged the efforts of Councillor John Filion, who was absent from Tuesday’s announcement, but instrumental in making YYZ Live a reality.

There will be two opportunities daily to catch the performances, with a 7pm show at the YYZ Live Stage (Terminal 1, International Arrivals), and an 8pm show at the YYZ Live Acoustic Stage (Terminal Link train platform). For artists interested in performing, applications are still being accepted by submitting this application to perform@toronto.ca.

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