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2018 JUNO Host Committee releases BC education program resources

The 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver are just around the corner, and communities across British Columbia are invited to be part of Canada’s biggest annual celebration of music and musicians.

Let’s Hear It BC, the 2018 JUNO Host Committee, recently unveiled learning resources designed by BC music educators Jilaine Orton, Carol Dirianni, Adam J. Con, and Mark Reid for use in classrooms across the province and developed using BC’s redesigned curriculum. Teachers can use the resources to improve students’ awareness of the music industry, and outline the importance of investing in Canada’s growing music economy.

For grades 4 through 7, students are encouraged to study recipients of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, analyzing their major contributions to both local and international communities through social activism and humanitarian work. For high school students grades 10 through 12, the program outlines ways to improve students’ awareness of the music industry and career opportunities through examining emerging and evolving trends in music.

Students and teachers are invited and encouraged to share their expertise and experience through social media with the hashtag #JUNOLearning.

The resources can be viewed here:

Grade 4 to 7 classrooms

Grade 10 to 12 classrooms

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Graham Henderson’s introductory remarks from Ontario Provincial Arts Education Roundtable

Below are introductory remarks delivered by Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, at the Provincial Arts Education Roundtable hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport on October 16, 2017.

It sometimes feels today as though the liberal arts and the humanities are under siege. Right across the United States, Republican governors are rolling back support for state universities that offer liberal arts education. And we must be vigilant – because if it can happen there, it can happen here.

Culture and the arts are worth fighting for. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley believed that the arts can reform the world.  He developed a theory of the imagination.  He believed that what he called the “cultivated imagination” can see the world differently – through a lens of love and empathy.  And how do you get one of those “cultivated imaginations”? Well through exposure to culture.

Now, it might be said that we live in a technology obsessed world.  And you, know, Percy’s wife, Mary had something to say about that.  She wrote Frankenstein, a book whose central message seems to be that the unmediated, unexamined introduction of technology into our lives is fraught with risk and danger. It can, not always, but it can create monsters.

Poets today continue to operate in this tradition.  If you don’t know the Texan poet and performance artist Arielle Cottingham, you should. Cottingham, now living in Melbourne, won the 2016 edition of the Australian Poetry Slam with an electrifying performance. She was recently interviewed for the magazine ArtsHub. In an article meaningfully entitled, “Why We Need Poets More Than Ever Before”, Cottingham cited Shelley as an inspiration for her work and pointed to his famous comment in A Defense of Poetry: Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

Shelley used the term “legislator” in a special sense. Not as someone who “makes laws” but as someone who is a “representative” of the people. In this sense creators must be thought of as the voice of the people; as a critical foundation of our society and of our democracy. They offer insights into our world and provide potential solutions – they underpin our future.

Cottingham agrees and explained it this way:

[Shelley] argues that poets are the moral barometers of their times and circumstances – and look at the well-known poets today. Bob Dylan is lauded as the voice of a generation. Maya Angelou elevated the voice of the black woman to an unprecedented visibility. Gil Scott Heron wrote a single line of poetry so prescient that it became more famous than he himself did – “The revolution will not be televised.” To quote Miles Merrill, “poets are more honest than politicians.”

A liberal arts education and an education in the humanities – STEM blended into STEAM – is therefore essential to a healthy society and one that is governed by empathy and love.

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Music Monday to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary with new anthem in support of music education

On Monday, May 1, 2017, the Coalition for Music Education will celebrate Music Monday with a cross-country sing-along to raise awareness for music education. The annual event celebrates the unifying power of music as thousands of Canadians join in singing and performing the Music Monday anthem at their schools and other community centres.

This year, inspired by Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Music Monday sing-along will be led by a live-streamed showcase from the nation’s capital. In recognition of the sesquicentennial year, the 2017 Music Monday anthem will celebrate Canada’s musical heritage in its lyrics and instrumentation. The anthem, titled Sing It Together, focuses on the power of voices, and “asks us to sing for joy, for truth, for healing, and for freedom,” explains the event press release. The recording features Inuit throat singing, Métis fiddling, Indigenous drumming, and children’s choirs in celebration of Canadian musical heritages.

Sing It Together was co-written by JUNO Award winners Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas, and was recorded at Canterbury Music in Toronto, with additional layers recorded at Ottawa’s Audio Valley Recording Studio, and Hamilton’s St. James Anglican Church.

“Music is the landscape of Canada,” said Marc Jordan. “We hope it will be a song that illuminates the mosaic of music and cultures that thrive in every corner of the country.”

To join the Canada-wide chorus of students and community groups in singing and performing the song on Music Monday, visit the Get Involved section of the Music Monday website.  Arrangements, audio-visual learning tools, and lyrics in several languages will be made available on the website ahead of the event.

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Nominations open for Canada’s Volunteer Awards

Header 625x190Nominations are now open for Canada’s Volunteer Awards, which recognizes a not-for-profit organization, an individual, a group, or a business who is making a positive impact in their community. As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017, it is important to acknowledge the tireless efforts volunteers put in to improve lives in our communities and country.

Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • One (1) national award – Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award;
  • Five (5) regional awards – Emerging Leader, for young volunteers aged 18 to 30;
  • Five (5) regional awards – Community Leader, for individuals or groups of volunteers;
  • Five (5) regional awards – Business Leader, to recognize businesses that demonstrate social responsibility; and
  • Five (5) regional awards – Social Innovator, to recognize the contributions of not-for-profit organizations.

Nominees will be assessed according to six criteria: role, impact, reach, engagement, challenges, and inspiration. Award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony and will be able to choose a not-for-profit organization to receive a grant of $5,000 (regional awards) or $10,000 (national award).

The nomination period closes Friday, February 3, 2016.

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Music Canada AGM 2016: Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eleanor McMahon, delivers opening remarks

At Music Canada’s 2016 Annual General Meeting, held Oct 18 at Revival in Toronto, we were privileged to have the Honourable Eleanor McMahon deliver opening remarks to our guests.

Minister McMahon was introduced by Shane Carter, President of Sony Music Canada, who noted the passion for music she has shown since being appointed Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport in June of 2016.

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The MPP for Burlington is a booster of music education, and believes her own musical training helped her to be a better politician.

“I took vocal lessons right up into university…music was everywhere in our home,” said the Minister. “And singing with others, whether in our church choir, or around a campfire taught me the value of personal expression, creativity, discipline and craft, as well as harmony and teamwork.”

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“Having the opportunity to express myself through music was integral for me to understand who I was growing up, and who I am today,” said Minister McMahon.

It was the first opportunity for many in attendance to meet the Minister, who spoke with guests including Universal Music Canada recording artist Alx Veliz, who would later perform at the event.

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Minister McMahon speaks with Universal Music Canada recording artist Alx Veliz

In her remarks, she addressed the connection between culture and the economy, saying “our culture and our economy are inextricably linked.”

“Our government recognizes the many opportunities for the province’s music scenes to build up our cultural sector and our economy, to mobilize Ontario’s wealth of talent, our state-of-the-art production facilities, the wide range of venues, and vibrant festivals, with the aim to make it Canada’s largest – and one of the world’s most diversified music jurisdictions.”

The Ontario Government has indeed displayed recognition of the value our music sector brings to the province. The Minister referenced the formulation of Ontario’s Culture Strategy, which per the Minister “commits the government to continue to build Ontario as a leading North American center for music production and performance,” and OntarioLiveMusic.ca, which promotes Ontario’s live music events. Minister McMahon called the Ontario Music Fund “something truly unique in Canada,” a leveraging of talent and economic opportunity that other jurisdictions are now looking to replicate. The Ontario Music Fund has resulted in “1,274 full-time equivalent jobs, supporting events attended by 1.6 million people, while giving a platform to more than 1,900 Ontario artists to show the world what they do best,” remarked the Minister.

Music Canada’s President & CEO, Graham Henderson, thanked Minster McMahon for her remarks, adding how great it is that she has displayed a belief in the power of music to change society, a belief no doubt shared by many in the room.

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Music Canada’s 2016 AGM with (L-R) Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill, The Honourable Minister Eleanor McMahon, Sony Music Canada’s President Shane Carter, Music Canada’s President and CEO Graham Henderson, and Universal Music Canada President Jeffrey Remedios.

Below is the full video of Minister McMahon’s opening remarks.

For more photos from the Annual General Meeting, visit our photo album on Facebook.

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CBC Music and MusiCounts announce Canadian Music Class Challenge

Photo courtesy of CBC / Radio-Canada

Photo courtesy of CBC / Radio-Canada

As students nationwide return to the classroom this week, CBC Music, in association with MusiCounts, has opened registration to music classes, music clubs, and after-school programs for the Canadian Music Class Challenge (formerly Canada’s Greatest Music Class).

Music classes from elementary through high school nationwide are encouraged to learn and upload a video of their class performing one of 16 selected Canadian songs to the CBC Music website between September 30 and November 23, 2016. A panel of musicians and CBC Music journalists will evaluate applications, with the winning classes receiving a commemorative plaque, and a high-tech classroom recording kit that includes a laptop computer, recording software, speakers, a keyboard, microphones, and more.

The regional shortlist will be revealed on December 7, and the winning classes will be announced on Radio 2 Morning on December 16.

Schools who participate in the Canadian Music Class Challenge also have the opportunity to apply for new instruments and equipment through MusiCounts’ Band Aid Program. Through this program, MusiCounts provides musical instruments in $5,000 and $10,000 value allotments to support public (elementary, secondary, and separate) school programs across Canada.

To enter the contest, a supervising teacher (the “Registrant”) of an eligible music class, after school program, or music club (the “Music Class”) must register their music class by completing the entry form and submit an eligible video performance and “publicity” photo during the submission period.

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Submissions now open for 2017 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class

Following a successful inaugural year, the JUNO Awards and Slaight Music have announced the return of the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class leading up to the 2017 JUNO Awards in Ottawa, ON. The unique artist development program aims to provide three Canadian artists or groups with essential tools, opportunities, and connections to amplify their careers.

The top three artists will be selected by the Super Jury consisting of JUNO Award winners Kardinal Offishall, Max Kerman of Arkells, Lights, and producer Gavin Brown, as well as A&R representative Ali Slaight of Slaight Music, and President/CEO of CARAS and MusiCounts, Allan Reid.

“Looking back on the early years of the band, I was pretty frazzled about 98% of the time. If I can offer some advice to a young artist to get that number down to 95%, then this is a job worth doing,” said 2016/17 Super Jury member Max Kerman. “The Master Class provides very practical utilities for artists hoping to get their foot in the door. I’m happy to be involved again this year.”

The three finalists will receive an all-inclusive trip to Toronto for an intensive mentorship week with Canada’s Music Incubator at Coalition Music, culminating with a music industry showcase night. The finalists will also receive an all-inclusive trip to the 2017 JUNOS in Ottawa, ON, showcase opportunities during JUNOfest, a mini-doc on JUNOTV.ca, studio time at Slaight Music Recording Studios, and a $10,000 MuchFACT Online Music Video Award.

Submissions for 2017 are open and will close on June 30, 2016 at 5:00 PM ET. The top 10 finalists, selected by representatives from major and independent music labels, publishers, agents, managers and media partners, will be announced August 3 at www.junomasterclass.ca. The three winners will be revealed on September 13.

“We are excited to continue our support of the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class program,” said Gary Slaight, CEO/President Slaight Communications, in a press release. “Slaight Music is dedicated to initiatives that provide unique opportunities for Canadian music artists to succeed.  Last year’s winners were a great example of the rising talent we have in Canada and we look forward to carrying on my father Allan’s passion for Canadian talent.”

2016 winners Fortunate Ones, Derrival, and Slow Leaves discussed their experiences since completing the program and attending The 2016 JUNO Awards in Calgary, AB, in the following video:

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Music Monday to host nationwide sing-a-long and Toronto youth rally May 2

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On Monday May 2, 2016, thousands of students from coast to coast will come together to participate in Music Monday and celebrate the impact music education has on our lives. The nationwide event will begin when schools open on the Eastern shores of Newfoundland, moving across the country to closing school bells by the Western shores of British Columbia. At 12:30 PM EST, students will join in on the official singing of the Music Monday Anthem, “We Are One.”

Beginning at Noon ET, student supporters and Coalition For Music Education’s Youth4Music ambassadors will gather outside Toronto City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square for the Toronto Lives Music rally and showcase concert, hosted by Céline Peterson. Toronto Mayor John Tory, entertainers Sharon & Bram, and JUNO-nominee Scott Helman will be in attendance for the rally, which will also feature performances from Canadian Brass, Melanie Doane & The Uschool, Dijah SB, Charlotte Siegel, and more.

The Coalition For Music Education will also be presenting the NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Awards at the rally, which are given to students who have made a special positive impact in their school music program.

In 2013, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield helped lead a nationwide sing-a-long of his Music Monday anthem “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing),” co-written by Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, aboard the International Space Station. Following a nationwide search in 2014, Bolton, Ontario’s Connor Ross penned his winning anthem “We Are One,” which will be performed again in 2016 across Canada.

Participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #MMC2C to share their Music Monday experiences, and can find the links to the nationwide rally and sing-a-long webcasts beginning Monday morning on the Music Monday website.

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Universal Music Canada donates EMI Music Canada archive to University of Calgary

Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources) at the University of Calgary

Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources) at the University of Calgary

As the city prepares for this weekend’s JUNO Awards festivities, the University of Calgary revealed today that Universal Music Canada (UMC) has donated EMI Music Canada’s complete archives to the university’s Libraries and Cultural Resources, which were acquired by the label in 2012 when Universal Music Group purchased EMI Music.

The University of Calgary has also partnered with the National Music Centre, which played a leading role in bringing the EMI archive to Calgary by connecting UMC with the university. The partnership will allow for collaboration on opportunities for the public to celebrate music in Canada through educational programming and exhibitions that highlight the archive.

“Plans for an educational component around music and the ambitions for this archive are tremendously exciting,” said Jeffrey Remedios, President and CEO of UMC, who spoke at Thursday’s announcement along with Deane Cameron, former President and CEO of EMI Music Canada, and celebrated Canadian artist Tom Cochrane. “EMI Music Canada became the source of the music many Canadians grew up listening to. It’s such a rich and treasured history and it’s terrific that generations to come will have the opportunity to explore that.”

In addition to the gift of the EMI Music Canada Archive, Universal Music Canada will provide substantial funding over several years to support the preservation and management of the collection.

“We are eager to work with Universal Music Canada and the University of Calgary to explore programming and exhibition opportunities that bring the wealth of this collection to Canadians,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO for the National Music Centre. “From our burgeoning music scene, the opening of Studio Bell this summer and this incredible archive, it is safe to say that Calgary is becoming a serious music city.”

Spanning from 1949 to 2012, the EMI Music Canada Archive collection consists of 5,500 boxes containing more than 18,000 video recordings, 21,000 audio recordings and more than two million documents and photographs. Over 2,500 Canadian and international artists are represented in the archive, which includes master recordings, publicity photos, demo tapes, album cover art, creative outlines for music videos, marketing plans, awards, drafts of song lyrics and correspondence between artists, producers, engineers and EMI Music Canada executives.

Established in 1949, EMI Music Canada included Capitol Records Canada and was the recording company for a range of Canadian artists, including Anne Murray, Tom Cochrane, Sarah McLachlan, Nickelback, Glass Tiger, Kim Mitchell, Helix and the Rankin Family. The company was also the Canadian distributor for major international acts such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Heart, Smashing Pumpkins, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Queen and Iron Maiden.

Visit the University of Calgary’s website for more information on the archive acquisition and view the video below for a sample of what the collection has to offer.

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Ontario College Of Trades’ ‘Tune In Trade Up’ Campaign Highlights Skilled Trade Careers in the Music Industry

There’s nothing quite like catching your favourite band at an outdoor music festival, but the real headliners are the hundreds of hard-working skilled tradespeople preparing the grounds before you and the artists arrive. With the launch of their new Tune In Trade Up! campaign, the Ontario College Of Trades aims to attract prospective tradespeople looking for a new and fulfilling adventure in the music industry.

Highlighting the tradespeople behind Republic Live’s WayHome and Boots & Hearts festivals in their new promotional video, the College showcases the benefits of earning a skilled trades certificate for carpenters, electricians, chefs, equipment operators, and more. The video features interviews with The Road Hammers, For Esme and Cross Dog, who stress the importance and appreciation for the trade work that gives them a stage to play on.

View the Tune In Trade Up! video below and click here to learn more about how you can work towards making next summer’s music festivals rock!

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