Heritage Toronto has announced 18 nominees for its 2018 Historical Writing prize, recognizing English language non-fiction books or e-books. The Heritage Toronto Awards “showcase extraordinary contributions to the conservation and promotion of Toronto’s heritage, honouring individuals, groups and organizations for their efforts.”
Three of this year’s nominees for the Historical Writing: Book category pay homage to Toronto’s legendary musicians and music history:
Peter Goddard: The Great Gould
“The Great Gould, with the support of the Glenn Gould Estate, draws on interviews with Glenn Gould to present a freshly revealing portrait of the musician’s unsettled life, his radical decision to stop playing concerts, his career as a radio innovator, and his deep response to the Canadian environment. “
Goddard is an accomplished Canadian music journalist and historian who won the 1973 JUNO Award for Music Journalist of the Year. He has also written books on Ronnie Hawkins, Triumph, David Bowie, and many more musicians, as well as his 1989 book Shakin’ All Over: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years in Canada.
David McPherson: The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
“From country and rockabilly to rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and more, the live music venue has evolved with the times and trends—always keeping pace with the music. This book celebrates the legacy of the Horseshoe Tavern, and its importance to Toronto music culture today.”
David McPherson is an author specializing in music and golf. His most recent book, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern explores the 70-year legacy of the storied Queen Street West venue. In an interview with NOW Magazine, McPherson said “When it comes to live music in North America, there are few places that can match the storied building at 370 Queen West. The Horseshoe is a beacon for music lovers, a pilgrimage place for those who love and understand its significance as part of Toronto’s rich musical landscape.”
Nicholas Jennings: Lightfoot
“Lightfoot chronicles the life and career of Gordon Lightfoot, unquestionably one of Canada’s greatest songwriters. No matter how much his fame grew abroad, Lightfoot has always come home to Toronto.”
Nicholas Jennings is a renowned music journalist and historian who has written on music for Maclean’s, Billboard, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, among many others. His books on Canadian music include Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound (Penguin) and Fifty Years of Music: The Story of EMI Music Canada (Macmillan). He is passionate about the preservation of Toronto’s music history and in addition to his writing, he also leads walking tours on the musical history of Yorkville and the Yonge Street strip, and he was instrumental in the preservation of the historic “Sam the Record Man” sign which now hangs above Yonge Dundas Square.
In Music Canada’s globe-spanning research, music history was found to be an important element of building a Music City, and many Music Cities, including Liverpool, New Orleans and Nashville are steeped in music history. As Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson notes in The Mastering of a Music City, “A great Music City knows its music history – you need to know your own story.”
Congratulations to these outstanding Heritage Toronto Awards Historical Writing: Book nominees, and thank you for your work to preserve Toronto’s rich musical history. Congratulations are also due to all other nominees for the 2018 Historical Writing: Book Award – Bruce Newton, John Lorinc, Jane Farrow, Stephanie Chambers, Maureen Fitzgerald, Ed Jackson, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Rahim Thawer, Tatum Taylor, Tim Morawetz, Scott Kennedy, Shawn Micallef, Robert C. Vipond, Roberto Perin, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Lance Hornby, Adam Bunch, Timothy J. Stewart, Pedro Mendes, Terry Beauchamp, Trevor Cole and Gare Joyce.
The Heritage Toronto Awards ceremony takes place on Monday, October 29 at the Carlu (444 Yonge Street). Tickets can be purchased on the Heritage Toronto website.
The Government of Alberta has officially declared July 19-26, 2018 the first ever Alberta Music Week. The announcement was made Thursday morning by The Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, at the launch of the weekly Music at McDougall: Summer Concert Series at McDougall Centre in Calgary.
“Alberta is home to some of the best songwriters, music producers and performers in the world,” said Minister Miranda in a release. “Alberta’s recording industry is an important contributor to our culture, as well as our economy, and is something worth celebrating. Alberta Music Week is an opportunity to highlight and discover Alberta musicians and get ready for another music-filled summer.”
Accompanying the declaration of Alberta Music Week was the announcement that $300,000 in additional funding for Alberta’s music industry, which in 2016 contributed more than $300 million to Alberta’s GDP and provided more than 7,300 jobs. The Alberta government will work with music industry leaders in the coming months to determine how the money can best benefit Albertans.
“Alberta Music Week highlights the vibrancy and activity of the music industry in our province,” said Carly Klassen, Executive Director of Alberta Music. “Alberta artists are creating musical works of a national and international caliber, alongside professionals working in many types of support roles within the industry. We are proud to acknowledge Alberta Music Week and the diverse artists who call Alberta home.”
Alberta’s cultural industries have been identified as a key area to support the government’s economic diversification and job creation priorities.
“Alberta’s cultural industries, including music and sound recording, are significant contributors to our economy, and have tremendous opportunity for growth and economic diversification,” said Minister Miranda. “With this funding, we continue to support that growth, provide jobs to Albertans, and help share our stories and songs with the world.”
@_RicardoYYC announcing today that July 19th – 26th is the start of Alberta Music Week and that the Alberta Govt. is putting an additional $300,000 into the Alberta Music Industry. #yycpic.twitter.com/MIHW25NpnI
The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport announced today the 2018 recipients of the Ontario Music Fund, which aims to help increase music production and attract new audiences to discover local artists. Glenn Thibeault, MPP for Sudbury, made the announcement on behalf of Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at Sudbury’s Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario.
The Ontario Music Fund, which is managed by the Ontario Media Development Corporation, has contributed to the creation of over 1,800 full-time equivalent positions for Ontario’s music industry between 2013 and 2016. This year, Ontario is investing over $14 million to provide more than 200 new grants to 198 music companies and organizations that help produce, distribute, present and promote Ontario-based music, and to help them compete internationally.
“Our government recognizes that the music industry is a key economic driver in Ontario, as well as an important part of Ontario’s cultural landscape,” said Vernile in a release. “The Ontario Music Fund supports an environment where our music companies and organizations – both large and small – can innovate and expand, raising the profiles and boosting the careers of talented artists from many musical genres and backgrounds.”
As mentioned in the release, artists supported by the fund between 2013 and 2016 sold over 5.6 million recordings domestically and a further 7 million recordings internationally. Almost 4 million people have attended live music events supported by the fund, featuring performances by more than 4,000 Ontario artists.
“The Ontario Music Fund has been a real game-changer for music companies and artists in Ontario,” says Karen Thorne-Stone, OMDC President & CEO, in the release. “OMDC is proud to invest in building this important sector and ensuring that local talent reaches audiences around the world. The popularity of Ontario music is reflected in more than 100 JUNO nominations this year alone, with seven out of nine artists in the JUNO Fan’s Choice award category from Ontario.”
The full list of 2018 Ontario Music Fund recipients is now available on the OMDC website.
Vancouver, March 22, 2018: Music BC and Music Canada today applaud the Government of British Columbia’s announcement of a new music fund for the province called AMPLIFY BC. Administered through Creative BC, the new Fund will provide much-needed support for the development of BC artists and musicians, music companies, skills development and live music production, stimulating economic growth and activity in the sector.
“Music Canada would like to applaud the Government of BC and Minister Beare for this important investment which demonstrates their confidence in the music sector,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “The intense interest in the former BC Music Fund’s suite of programs underscores that BC is home to a vibrant, diverse and engaged music community ready to take their songs and businesses to the next level. With this new investment BC will continue to benefit from leveraged private and other government dollars, and ensure the BC music sector remains competitive with other jurisdictions.”
The announcement was made during JUNOs Week, as the Canadian music industry was congregated in Vancouver for the 47th annual JUNO Awards, celebrating excellence in Canadian music while also showcasing Vancouver, and the province’s music sector to the rest of the country.
“This is a great day for the province’s music scene allowing us to build on the momentum of the last two years,” says Alex Grigg, Executive Director of Music BC. “In this time, our industry has focused on helping BC artists develop their careers and showcase their talent around the world, boost business in BC studios, create greater opportunities for live music performances that bolster activity in our communities, and facilitate professional development so that we can build a stronger, more sustainable industry. On behalf of the staff, board of directors and the BC music industry we extend our gratitude to the Government of BC and Minister Beare for their continued support and investment into the BC Music sector.”
Music BC and Music Canada would also like to thank all members of the BC music community who participated in the effort to secure provincial funding and shared their insights, experiences and success stories. The one-year investment of $7.5 million will contribute to BC’s strong and vibrant communities and also benefit BC tourism, arts and creative industries, and small business development.
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. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com
About Music BC Music BC Industry Association is a not for profit association serving the for profit and non-profit music industry, including artists from all genres, industry professionals, service providers, studios, promoters, venues, festivals, producers, agents, managers and educational institutions. For more on Music BC, please visit www.musicbc.org
Toronto joined an exclusive club made up of 180 cities worldwide last week when the City of Toronto and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) announced that Toronto has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. While there may not have been much media coverage of the pronouncement, the city’s creative industries ought to be paying attention.
This makes Toronto one of the first cities in Canada to join the network, which was started in 2004 and includes designations for Media Arts, Music, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Design and Crafts and Folk Art. Toronto’s designation of Media Arts is an attempt to capture the city’s achievements in not one, but several disciplines: “film, music, digital media and forms of cultural expression using technology”.
Few people in Canada may be familiar with UNESCO’s Creative City Network and are perhaps more familiar with its historical site designations or research. This is not a surprise as North America has been relatively slower to join this party. In fact, despite much attention given to Music Cities in North America, including many cities that build their brand on the artform, the first UNESCO City of Music in North America (Kansas City) has only just now been designated.
The international recognition of Toronto’s creative sector efforts is cause for celebration. However, the designation should not be seen as the finish line, but as a springboard for further action. Based on our worldwide scan of Music City strategies, it is clear that the UNESCO designation has the potential of falling into the category of a public relations exercise. But only if we let it.
In some cities, the designation has mobilized a comprehensive program for the promotion, protection and growth of the creative industry for which it is earned. The UNESCO designation has, in other cases, ensured sustained political leadership on creative industry development and investment. The network itself has afforded some cities with practical sharing of knowledge and best practices.
Toronto’s entire music community – including artists and industry – has an opportunity to make sure that the UNESCO designation has meaning. We can leverage the UNESCO designation to secure an ongoing commitment to our music strategy and key priorities like venue sustainability, regulatory red tape reduction, livability for artists and musicians and access to spaces and places for the creation, rehearsal and production of music. We can also use it to reinforce music’s equal standing alongside our partners in film and digital media.
UNESCO’s Creative City Network is definitely what we make it. Let’s take ownership of this opportunity, and prove what we already know: Toronto can be the greatest Music City in the world. We define it, and now we have another tool to help us build it.
UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network promotes cooperation between global cities that place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans.
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.
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.
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of confederation, free and family-friendly celebrations featuring exciting musical performances are taking place all over the country. From Deadmau5 in Halifax to Bruce Cockburn in Yellowknife, there is something for everyone this Canada Day weekend.
Toronto’s Queen’s Park Canada Day celebrations have been a tradition since 1967, and this year will feature artists like Ginger Ale and the Monowhales on top of fun activities, workshops, and meet and greets. Exciting performances from the Barenaked Ladies, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many more will be featured at Nathan Phillips Square. Mel Lastman Square, Humber Bay Park West, and the Scarborough Civic Centre will also host amazing performances by local, national and international artists.
To be followed by a fireworks celebration, the Old Port of Montreal will feature fun activities for families and musical acts like Charles Papasoff. At another historic site, The Forks in Winnipeg, there will be fun and free programming taking place on five stages. Musical acts include the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and headlining duo Whitehorse. Meanwhile, Sam Roberts Band will be one of many musical acts featured at Canada Place in Vancouver.
On Riverfront Avenue, in Calgary, Tegan and Sara are returning to their hometown to join a lineup including a Multicultural Orchestra and Inuit throat singers. Alberta Legislature in Edmonton will feature artists at both a Diversity stage, showcasing the richness of Alberta’s cultural landscape, and a Discovered Stage, featuring performances from exciting musicians including another Edmonton native, Alyssa Reid.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Friday, policymakers, city planners and global music industry representatives took part in Music Canada’s and Canadian Music Week’s international music cities summit, “The Mastering of a Music City.”
The summit was based on Music Canada’s 2015 report of the same name, which set out a roadmap for cities to become Music Cities—by supporting the music sector and realizing the often-huge economic dividends from the creation, performance, and reception of music. The Mastering of a Music City Summit was curated and hosted by Music Canada Executive Vice President Amy Terrill.
In its second year, the event was a remarkable success, attended by a cross section of people from all over the world—from Canada and the United States to Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Jamaica, Columbia, and more. While the summit was attended in person by nearly 200 entrepreneurs, city planners, music industry executives, artists, and musicians, over 5,000 people from around the world tuned in to watch the livestream of the event.
One of the many highlights of the day was an opening address from Toronto Mayor John Tory which functioned as a ‘state of the music industry’ for the Music City. The mayor highlighted the strength of the music scene and the progress the city has made so far, including: creating the music in parks permit, changes to musician loading/unloading zones, the mayor’s evening for the arts, and attaching local music to city services like 311.
The city will aim to lead more live music events, including showcases, abroad and at home, and will create over 200 city-led opportunities for artists over the next year.
The city will make music part of the planning process at city hall by putting a motion to council that would notify new developments of existing nearby music venues. The mayor will also classify music as an eligible activity in the city’s employment lands.
The city will support music tourism by bringing local musicians to the city’s airports, and programming a Winterlicious-style music event to boost activity in the off-season.
“The creativity, the joy, the talent that music brings to a big city lies at the heart of what makes Toronto dynamic and innovative,” Tory said. “I am absolutely committed to the music industry and playing the part city hall is meant to play.”
The Role of Advocates
Helen Marcou, owner of Bakehouse Studio in Melbourne, Australia, delivered the opening keynote presentation on The Role of Advocates: A Story of Successfully Fighting for Your Music City.
When stringent and high cost regulations forced a storied punk rock venue in Melbourne to close, and another 126 venues to reduce their programming, Marcou began a movement called Save Live Australia’s Music, or SLAM.
The campaign had a simple but effective message, “don’t kill live music,” was inclusive and non-partisan, and brought over 20,000 supporters out to the steps of the legislature. When the campaign was over, laws were amended and a permanent voice for the music community created in the form of a music advisory body.
Marcou continues to advocate for live music, but spoke about her more recent efforts to combat sexual assault and harassment of women in live music venues and at music festivals. When Marcou penned a letter to government calling for action, the state created a taskforce to combat sexual harassment at live music venues.
Music City Leaders
The Music City Leaders Panel asked key questions of elected officials who have identified music as a key strategy or economic sector in their cities. Panelists included Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville; John Tory, Mayor of Toronto; Filippo del Corno, Assessore alla Cultura, City of Milan; Maria Claudia Lopez Sorzano, Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports, City of Bogota; Delroy Williams, Mayor of Kingston, Jamaica; and Manon Gauthier, Member of the City of Montreal Executive Committee, City of Montreal.
The panelists gave critical advice to would-be Music City advocates, and industry cooperation and collaboration emerged as a key theme. Tory said that advocates must focus on the issue, and speak with one voice if they want to be heard. This sentiment was echoed by Gauthier and del Corno.
Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville, remarked upon his work establishing affordable housing specifically for artists. Music Cities, according to Dean, are strong and thrive because of the creative people that they attract. He pointed to music education and raising creative audiences and creative people as key principles.
Following a presentation on the need for restoration and protection of Detroit’s music venues, moderator Vel Omazic, Executive Director of Canada’s Music Incubator, led the Music Ecosystem Panel. The panel discussed how cities should go about identifying and solving gaps in their Music City ecosystems.
Omazic was joined by Andreas Kalogiannides, a business entertainment lawyer and co-chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC); Christina Fitzgerald, CIND-FM (Indie 88); Didier Zerath, Artist Mgmt & Music Industry Consultant; Dino Lupelli, CEO of Linecheck Music Meeting & Festival; and Jesse Elliot, Director of The Music District.
One of the key themes that emerged from this panel was the importance of the grassroots music community driving change. According to Elliot, community engagement for The Music District—a Fort Collins music hub for musicians and music related businesses—lasted over one and a half years and was a key reason for the success of the program.
Andreas spoke to the results of the widely responded to survey that TMAC used to identify issues when formulating the Toronto Music Strategy. The survey, which was answered by over 6,000 individuals, emphasized the city’s need for livability and affordability for its creative class and a need for accessible rehearsal and performance spaces.
The Music Ecosystem Panel was followed by a series of presentations on the value of the UNESCO Cities of Music. The presentations were delivered by representatives of member cities, Kingston, Jamaica, Bogota, Columbia, and Katowice, Poland.
The Mastering of a Music City report touted music tourism as a key part of the equation for cities looking to generate economic benefits from live music. Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live, led the Music Tourism Panel along with:
Andras Berta, International Relations Director, Sziget Festival, Hungary
Michael Crockatt, President & CEO, Ottawa Tourism, Canada
The panel talked about how music can be a powerful motivator for travel, especially when associated with powerful and memorable experiences. Rollo spoke to the opportunities that music provides. Artists and musicians are able to create experiences for their fans that no other sector can provide, and it can be a significant draw for visitors. Furthermore, music tourists spend significantly more on travel and associated expenses than other types of tourists, according to Beukema’s experience.
A presentation from Molly Neuman, Head of Music at Kickstarter, followed the panel. Neuman spoke to the crowd-funding company’s desire to support the creative independence of artists and music communities.
The conference closed with a panel moderated by Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle which asked panelists to investigate the competition for space between developers and music venues—an issue that developing cities around the world, including Toronto, are dealing with. The panel included members of the music industry, city officials, and a representative of a US development company.
Shain Shapiro, Managing Director of Sound Diplomacy, and Jocelyn Kane, Executive Director of San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission, told the conference about their cities’ experiences with the ‘Agent of Change’ policy. In San Francisco, this means that new developments must do acoustic tests and implement sound mitigation if they are built within 300 ft. of a music venue. The Entertainment Commission also ensures that new tenants cannot sue nearby venues for noise issues.
Shapiro put forward that many developers want to support music and that the industry and government’s role is to facilitate that. As new developments in London are mandated to have cultural space components, Shapiro’s organization has created guides for developers on how to make those components music-related.
Watch the live recording of the How to Work with the Development Community panel (part 1 and part 2).
The @CityofVancouver is hosting a free, public conversation series to learn more about the Vancouver Music Strategy & help shape the future of music in Vancouver. The sessions will take place from 6-9pm on May 29 and June 26.
thank you so much for the committee’s thoughtful analysis of the testimony. you have accurately encapsulated the challenges creators face and proposed solutions that will change our lives for the better! https://t.co/tgWtqgw7W8
@juliedabrusin This is a brilliant report, Julie. You and the committee have boldly asserted your leadership and stepped to the forefront of a worldwide movement that seeks to redress imbalances in the digital economy. We can’t wait for your proposals to become the law of land.