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2016 JUNO Award nominees announced

JUNO nominee Scott Helman performing his Gold-certified song “Bungalow”

The nominees for the 2016 JUNO Awards were announced today by The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) at a press conference at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto.

Celebrating its 45th year, the JUNO Awards broadcast will take place in Calgary, AB, on Sunday, April 3, 2016, with scheduled performances from 2016 JUNO nominees The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes, Dean Brody, and Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Adams. Singer/songwriter and 2016 JUNO nominee Scott Helman closed out the event, which also included a performance by Calgary hip hop artist Transit.

Music Canada is proud to return as sponsor of the Album of the Year award, which includes nominees:

  • The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness
  • Shawn Mendes – Handwritten
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose
  • Jean Leloup – À Paradis City
  • Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

“Music Canada is proud to work alongside record labels who invest in great Canadian talent by helping them create an album, develop as artists, and build a passionate fan base,” says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. “This kind of support gives Canadian artists what it takes to not only break into the international market – but as we saw in 2015 – rule it.”

JUNOs/CARAS President Alan Reid provided opening remarks and thanked Calgary for allowing the 45th JUNOs to be apart of the city’s Year Of Music festivities, which celebrates the opening of the National Music Centre, the anniversaries of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Sled Island and much more. “Things out west haven’t exactly been easy in Alberta and I just want to thank Mayor Nenshi as well as the people of Calgary for recognizing how important music can be to a city and for making 2016 the Year Of Music.”

Leading up to the broadcast, Calgary will host JUNO Week March 28 – April 3, 2016, featuring events like the JUNO Cup, JUNO Fan Fare presented by HMV, JUNO Songwriters’ Circle co-presented by SOCAN & Yamaha Canada Music and the two-day music celebration JUNOFest.

Fans will be able to vote for their favourite artist in the JUNO Fan Choice Awards presented by TD. Voting is open now through April 3 at and through Twitter using their favourite artists JUNO hashtag.

The full list of nominees for the 2016 JUNO Awards can be viewed here.


Ottawa’s MEGAPHONO to feature Music Cities panel


From February 2-5, 2016, Ottawa will host the 2nd annual MEGAPHONO music festival, showcasing the nation’s capital’s burgeoning music scene to fans and industry professionals alike. The festival will feature a packed schedule of club gigs, free shows in the Centretown & Hintonburg neighbourhoods, and daily panel discussions beginning February 3.

On Thursday February 4, the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) presents the panel In Search Of The Music City: What Does Local Business Have To Gain? at Live On Elgin (230 Elgin, 2nd Floor). The discussion will be moderated by Music Canada Live‘s Erin Benjamin and will feature panelists Mark Garner (Downtown Yonge BIA), Councillor Jeff Leiper (City of Ottawa), Amy Terrill (Music Canada) and Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon / Supercrawl).

The discussion comes at a crucial point in Ottawa’s push towards growing its thriving music scene, an effort panelist Councillor Jeff Leiper has shown favourable support for. At MEGAPHONO 2015, festival director and Kelp Records’ Jon Bartlett revealed the Ottawa music report Connecting Ottawa Music: A Profile of Ottawa’s Music Industries.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in music in Ottawa,” said Jon Bartlett at the report’s launch. “It’s like nothing I’ve felt in 15 years of living here. We are in the middle of a musical boom here in Ottawa.”

Also in 2015, Music Canada released its Live Music Measures Up report analyzing the economic impact of live music in Ontario, as well as the report The Mastering Of A Music City.

Panel attendance is open to delegate pass holders and MEGAPHONO artists. Delegate badges are still available for $100, as well as general festival passes for $50.


Calgary kicks off Year of Music

2016 is now, officially, the Year of Music in Calgary. Mayor Naheed Nenshi issued a proclamation outlining the multitude of music events taking place in Calgary this year, as well as recognizing the talents of Calgary musicians and the economic benefits of the music sector, at an event in the observation deck of the Calgary Tower yesterday.

“Calgary is home to a vibrant music scene. Each year our city produces hundreds of festivals, events, concerts, shows and performances in venues ranging from elegant concert halls to local parks to vintage clubs filled with character,” the proclamation reads. “This year we celebrate the extraordinary talents of musicians who make their living here, the burgeoning music economy and all those whose efforts contribute to the musical vitality of our community.”

Cited among the reasons that 2016 will be such a remarkable year for music in Calgary are:

  • The 45th annual JUNO Awards, taking place April 3rd at the Scotiabank Saddledome
  • The launch of Studio Bell, home of Canada’s National Music Centre, opening in East Village this summer
  • The 60th Anniversary of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
  • The 50th Anniversary of the Alberta Ballet
  • The 30-plus musical festivals that take place in Calgary annually and enrich the city’s cultural environment

The announcement coincided with the launch of this year’s One Yellow Rabbit High Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016. The event runs from January 7th through 31st, at 14 venues across Calgary.

The event also revealed the songs that make up the Calgary Songs Project, which compiles 30 songs released by Calgary artists over the past 30 years, in celebration of the High Performance Rodeo’s 30th anniversary. The list, compiled by the High Performance Rodeo, songwriter Kenna Burima, and the Calgary Cassette Preservation Society, can be heard in a variety of ways during the Rodeo:

As part of the Year of Music celebrations, Tourism Calgary has launched a new website,, which features live music listings and markets Calgary as a destination for music tourists. The Year of Music could bring an economic boost to Calgary’s tourism economy, said Tourism Calgary’s Jeff Hessel in MetroNews.

“What makes next year special is that we have the Junos, and the opening of the National Music Centre definitely makes it a very special year,” said Hessel. “We’re here to increase the economic impact of tourism for Calgary. If we can do anything that increases incremental visitation and spending for Calgary, then we’ll do that.”

Mayor Nenshi also touted the economic and city-branding benefits of music in an address at the Calgary City of Commerce last month.

“At a time when the Canadian dollar is low, it’s an opportunity to attract tourism right now. I love music, but it’s also a marketing opportunity to rebrand ourselves to a national and international audience about the culture, the vitality and the life here in the city,” the mayor is quoted as saying in MetroNews.

In the same article, the National Music Centre’s Andrew Mosker backs up the mayor’s statements on music’s economic impact, pointing to the Alberta Music Cities Initiative’s Fertile Ground report, which outlines a strategy for a stronger provincial music sector. Music Canada authored the report in 2014 after being commissioned by the NMC to take a critical look at Alberta’s music landscape.

The Year of Music celebrations continue tonight, with the launch of Music Mile, which recognizes the stretch of Calgary’s 9th Avenue from the Blues Can in Inglewood to Studio Bell in East Village as a music mecca. Home to live music venues such as Ironwood Stage & Grill, The Lantern Church, Festival Hall, and Vagabond Calgary, Music Mile brands the area as a formal music district where fans can find live music any day of the week.

Invoking the success of music districts such as Nashville’s Broadway and New Orleans’ French Quarter, Music Mile organizers spoke of the value of branding the location of Calgary’s music scene in an interview with Global Calgary.

“All over the world there’s this notion of a place where you go for music, not just a venue,” said Bob Chartier.

”Everybody sees this as a place-making project – having a district, rather than just a club to go to,” added Meg Van Rosendaal.

With all of the action happening in Calgary in 2016, it’s clear that Year of Music is more than a slogan. It’s a reflection of Calgary’s rise as a cultural hotspot and live music destination. For more on all the events happening in Calgary this year, see the video below, and visit


Music Cities article featured in Huffington Post

Music Cities bannerWhat is music’s place in our heritage? How important is its preservation? In Making Music History Work For The Present, Music Canada’s first article published on Huffington Post Canada, Amy Terrill (VP Public Affairs) discusses music’s importance in honouring a city’s cultural heritage as well as ensuring a healthy and vibrant future, citing specific examples from Music Cities around the world like London, Nashville, New Orleans, and Toronto.

For further information on the topic of Music Cities, you can download Music Canada and IFPI’s 2015 report The Mastering Of A Music City.


Ottawa To Host 2017 JUNO Awards










As Ottawa begins preparations for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and broadcast partner CTV have announced that the nation’s capital will host the 2017 JUNO Awards and JUNO Week celebrations, taking place March 27 – April 2, 2017.

The 46th annual JUNO Awards marks the third time the city has hosted Canada’s music awards show, which will broadcast on CTV from the Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Ottawa previously hosted the awards in 2003 and 2012.

“As Ottawa 2017 commemorates Canada’s incredible heritage and values, the JUNO Awards will pay tribute to this important milestone,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards & MusiCounts. “The Capital’s devoted music fans are proudly supportive of both their local and the national music scene, making Ottawa the perfect home for the JUNO Awards in 2017.”

“Surely there is no better way to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary than honouring the best in Canadian music, this country’s greatest cultural export,” said Randy Lennox, President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media.

“The 2017 JUNO Awards on CTV will be a special one as we broadcast from the nation’s capital during Canada’s sesquicentennial year,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks and CraveTV. “We look forward to inviting the entire country to celebrate with us in Ottawa.”

From 2007 to 2015 the JUNO Awards have created a total economic impact of almost $99 million, including $11 million for the 2012 JUNO Awards in Ottawa, $14 million for the 2011 JUNO Awards in Toronto, and $10 million for the 2015 JUNO Awards in Hamilton.

“We have so much talent in this city and we want to share your gifts, with Canada and the world,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, who has also issued a challenge for the local arts and music community to begin planning an unprecedented week of music in the Capital. “Yes, we want to fill every venue, but we also want workshops, clinics and classroom programming. This is your chance to inspire the next generation of Canadian artists and contribute to the legacy of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.”


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!


Alt-J Presented With Gold Awards For Sophomore Release


Over 35,000 music fans gathered together in Oro-Medonte, ON over the weekend for the inaugural WayHome Music & Arts Festival featuring Neil Young, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Hozier and many other Canadian Gold/Platinum certified artists. Prior to their 8:15 PM performance on the WayBright stage Friday night, English indie rock outfit alt-J were presented with Canadian Gold award plaques by Warner Music Canada staff representing the sales of over 40,000 units for their latest album This Is All Yours. It is the second Canadian certification for the group, with their first album An Awesome Wave earning Gold status in 2013.

The album features the hit single “Left Hand Free”, which can be heard below.


Discussing Building a Scene / Maintaining a Music City at the Summit at Pemberton Music Festival

There are music cities dotting the globe – from Toronto to Melbourne to Liverpool. Music Canada has spent the last year researching best practices from 22 of them on how to foster a music city. From musician-friendly practices, to the creation of designated cultural districts, to affordable housing incentives, there are many ways that we can encourage music in the heart of the city. In this series, we’ll be profiling our travels to various music cities worldwide to present our report, The Mastering of a Music City. We’ll also be featuring countless cities around the globe and what they’re doing that’s unique to foster the principles found in our report.IMG_0830

First stop: The Summit – a gathering of leaders from various music cities at the Pemberton Music Festival in British Columbia!

Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre

In the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre, an inspiring museum dedicated to telling the stories of the Squamish and Lil’Wat First Nations, about 200 people gathered to hear presentations by music leaders from Washington, New York City, Los Angeles, Adelaide, Vancouver and Toronto. We delivered our stories in the Japanese Pecha Kucha style: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide. They were both personal and analytical. I was privileged to provide highlights of The Mastering of a Music City.

Drawn from their personal experience, the presentation by Katrina Jones and Adam Nanji of The Belle Game was a definite highlight. With a clear sense of responsibility, Kat and Adam, chronicled the challenges facing musicians in BC’s largest city – boiling it down to money and space. Finding affordable living space and rehearsal space is a definite challenge for artists.

Vancouver is not alone. In The Mastering of a Music City we contrast the critical importance of creating an environment that attracts and retains artists and musicians who are the heart of a music city, with the tendency for living costs to rise as inner cities become more attractive, often as a result of the level of creativity occurring there. Affordable housing, like that found in Nashville, is a key way to address this challenge. Kat and Adam contrast Vancouver with Montreal and indeed, our report points out that the lower cost of living in Montreal has been a key factor in its ongoing attractiveness for the creative community.

The Future of Music Coalition’s Casey Rae identified affordability as a key concern in the US as well. Rae suggests that cities can find solutions in adaptive reuse – repurposing empty buildings for creative activities without a large arts or infrastructure budget commitment.

Adaptive reuse is the goal behind a project in Marrickville, an area in Sydney, Australia, where the Marrickville/Sydenham Industrial Lands have been identified for development as a creative industries hub. Development proposals will only be considered that plan to use the business and industrial spaces for creative industries.

Daniel Seligman of Pop Montreal provided a very positive overview of his Music City, including describing the city’s alternative spaces that are available for occupation permits – places like the space underneath the city’s bridges that have been used for Bridge Burner parties. Montreal is featured in The Mastering of a Music City for a number of its best practices including the single office at the city that handles special events including music, making navigating City Hall an easy undertaking. Seligman confirms that Montreal is a very music-friendly city.

IMG_0908The balance of presenters shared positive elements of their Music Cities – great spaces and places for performance, favourite haunts of musicians and the industry professionals who support them, memorable moments in the cities’ musical past, and iconic bands and artists who have put their cities on the map.

The only thing left, after a day of sharing inspiring stories and discussing common challenges, was to spend time at one of BC’s terrific music festivals. More than 115,000 people attended the Pemberton Music Festival last weekend – some from nearby in parts of British Columbia while others travelled many miles to get there. The hotels and restaurants in nearby Whistler and Squamish were jammed. It’s a classic story of music tourism. The 2014 festival is estimated to have injected more than $40 million into the BC economy. Not bad. And a beautiful location for a music festival.

Each of these themes appears in The Mastering of a Music City. If you haven’t had a chance to read our full report, you can find it here. Want to share your story of how your organization is helping to foster a music city? Contact us – we’d love to hear from you!


Best Practices from ‘Mastering of a Music City’ Report Applied in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Music community advocates in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, have taken the Mastering of a Music City report and used it as a roadmap in the development of their own Music City.

Earlier this month, Volume One magazine published its “Music Capital of the North – Let’s Invest” themed issue. The articles within look at how The Mastering of a Music City report can be applied to Eau Claire, and makes the case for investment and support of the city’s growing music community.

Following the advice of the report, the magazine spoke with artists in the local community and took inventory of Eau Claire’s music assets, looking at how the city’s local musicians ranked Eau Claire on several key indicators: artists and musicians, the local music scene, access to spaces and places, a receptive and engaged audience, music-related businesses, government support for music, broader city infrastructure, music education, and music history.

The article goes on to outline a case for investment in Eau Claire’s music economy by examining the benefits that a Music City can bring and then proposing 13 recommendations that would help make Eau Claire a thriving Music City.

The Mastering of a Music City is a global report that is intended as a universal roadmap that can be used to create and develop Music Cities anywhere in the world. The strategies and recommendations are flexible in order to recognize local variations in music, culture, economies, and politics. They can be applied equally to well-established Music Cities seeking to further enhance their music economies and to nascent, aspiring Music Cities. They are relevant to communities both large and small.

We are thrilled at the response that The Mastering of a Music City has generated in music communities around the world. It was always our hope that the report would inspire others to build and strengthen Music Cities in their own communities, and Eau Claire is a great example of that in practice.



PANAMANIA Set to Take Over Toronto this July and August

Toronto’s over-flowing music scene is set to get even busier this summer thanks to the announcement of PANAMANIA. The arts and culture celebration runs in conjunction with the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games – running July 10-26 and August 7-15, respectively.

At a press event on Wednesday, organizers detailed the extensive programming that runs the gamut of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and fashion. The PANAMANIA activity will be highlighted by free shows at Nathan Phillips Square, CIBC Pan Am Park at the Exhibition Grounds, and the Distillery District, as well as ticketed presentations (including 28 commissioned world premieres) happening across Toronto.

It’s great news for music fans who will have the opportunity to see headlining performances from acts representing Toronto’s rich cultural diversity. It’s not just Toronto artists that will take the stage though, with PANAMANIA roping in some major acts from across the 41 PASO member nations.

Included are performances by The Flaming Lips, The Roots, Janelle Monae, Death From Above 1979, Chromeo, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Lights, Half Moon Run, Cold Specks, Jully Black, Kassav’, Tanya Tagaq, Jann Arden, A Tribe Called Red, Explosions in the Sky, USS, Trombone Shorty, Colin James, Dragonette, ChocQuibTown, Ondatropica, Lila Downs, Luciano, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Café Tacvba, Antibalas, Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires, Calle 13, Damien Robitaille, Radio Radio, BADBADNOTGOOD, Brigitte Boisjoli, and much more.

With 35 days of entertainment on the schedule, the programming is an exciting reminder of Toronto’s vibrant music scene – something the government and Pan Am organizers are eager to showcase. Speaking at the press event, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Coteau said: “The world will be looking at Ontario.”

To see the entire lineup, we have full listings at


More information on PANAMANIA can be found on the TO2015 site.


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