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Enablers and Barriers to Success in Canada’s Music Industry

To better understand the barriers to inclusion facing equity-seeking groups in the music industry, and to help develop innovative solutions, Music Canada engaged Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute to produce a report based on a national survey of industry professionals. 

The survey was designed with input from the Music Canada Advisory Council, the Canadian Live Music Association, the Canadian Country Music Association, Women in Music Canada, and ADVANCE, among other stakeholder groups. 

The resulting report finds that despite existing efforts in the industry, there remain practices which perpetuate inequalities for industry members defined by their gender and ethnocultural background. The report examines those challenges and provides a number of recommendations on meaningful ways for music industry organizations to embed EDI considerations into their governance, human resources processes, organizational culture, and elsewhere.

Learn more & download the report here


IFPI releases ‘Engaging with Music 2021’, a comprehensive report that explores the ways that people listen to, discover and engage with music around the world

Today, IFPI, the organization representing recorded music worldwide, released Engaging with Music 2021, a comprehensive report that explores the ways that people listen to, discover and engage with music around the world. Based on research conducted by IFPI across 21 of the world’s leading music markets, including Canada, the report is a global snapshot of music engagement in 2021. 

Engagement with streaming – particularly subscription audio streaming – continues to grow and is the most popular form of music consumption around the world. More than three-quarters of people (78%) said they listen to music through licensed audio streaming services (subscription and ad-supported). Globally, there was strong growth (51%) in time spent listening to music on subscription audio streaming services, reinforcing the strong attraction of streaming to music fans. Audio streaming services (paid and free models) made up the largest share of music listening for consumers in Canada and around the globe.

This rapid growth in streaming engagement is evident in Canada’s music marketplace. Last week, Music Canada was proud to present a panel on Canadian Music Data in 2021, as part of Canadian Music Week’s Virtual Voices Series. The panel highlighted that Canada’s music market is reaching a new major milestone. Canadians will soon stream 2 billion songs in a single week – a benchmark that reflects how much we all love and value music. The fact that these streams all come from licensed services reaffirms that there is a strong market for recorded music in Canada where creators are paid when their music is played. This rapid growth in the streaming marketplace is a Canadian success story. Record companies’ ongoing work and investments in artists, technology, infrastructure and staff have laid the foundations for the success in the digital marketplace today. 

IFPI’s Engaging With Music study paints a rich and diverse picture of the music engagement landscape today. Music plays an important role on short form video platforms like TikTok, where 68% of the time respondents spent on these apps involved music-dependent videos such as lip syncing and dance challenges.  The report also highlights music’s long standing relationship with gaming. 31% of gamers have attended a virtual concert on platforms like Fortnite, Roblox, or Minecraft.

The full Engaging with Music 2021 report is now available on IFPI’s website. An accompanying infographic illustrating key takeaways from the report is also available here.


Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing release new research report, Supporting Artist Entrepreneurs in the Evolving Music Economy

To help enable sustainable careers for artist entrepreneurs, Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing have released a new research report, titled Supporting Artist Entrepreneurs in the Evolving Music Economy.

The report summarizes the findings of a national research study of more than 300 artist entrepreneurs, conducted by Music Canada and CONNECT. The study shows that a lack of business and entrepreneurial training, as well as gaps in understanding of music sector structures, are key barriers to success for artists. 

“Too often overlooked in economic development conversations, artists are a remarkable segment of Canadian entrepreneurs who contribute to both the economic and cultural fabric of our society, and help create jobs for themselves and others in the Canadian music economy,” says Sarah Hashem, Music Canada’s Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. “According to the COVID-19 Artist Impact Survey we conducted with CONNECT earlier this year, each artist creates an average of 3.7 jobs. However, a gap exists in entrepreneurial support and training available to artists.”

The report identifies artists’ key business needs within an evolving music economy, outlines industry-wide strategies to promote artists’ business success, and makes recommendations that can be applied by government and artist-serving organizations to better support artists in sustaining their livelihoods through music. 

“Artist entrepreneurs represent more than 90% of CONNECT’s members, and the great majority of the creative middle class,” says Catherine Jones, Executive Director of CONNECT Music Licensing. “Like entrepreneurs in other fields, artists are creative, they are risk-takers, and they are job-creators. By supporting them with training and resources, we can help empower more artists to achieve their goals and earn a sustainable career.”

Music Canada and CONNECT have begun addressing some of the gaps with initiatives such as the Industry Insider Video Series. We hope the report can inspire artists serving organizations and government agencies to incorporate entrepreneurship and business  resources in their artist support offerings.

Download Report


Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing partner for Industry Insider Video Series hosted by Domanique Grant

The Industry Insider Video Series presented by Music Canada & CONNECT Music Licensing is an exciting new web series created in collaboration with Toronto-based artist Domanique Grant. The four episode series hosted by Domanique was developed to provide Canadian artist entrepreneurs with useful tips and resources from some of the industry’s top experts on how to navigate Canada’s music ecosystem, and give insight on how to effectively pivot during COVID-19. 

All the episodes are now streaming on Music Canada’s Facebook, Instagram TV, and YouTube channels, and the links are available below. 

Episode 1: Amanda Power (Unison Benevolent Fund)

In the first episode of the Industry Insider Video Series, Domanique speaks with Amanda Power, Executive Director of the Unison Benevolent Fund, to provide artists and members of the Canadian music community with critical information about the support programs available to them through Unison, including their free counselling services and COVID-19 financial relief program.

YouTube | Instagram | Facebook


Episode 2: Catherine Jones (CONNECT Music Licensing)

Catherine Jones, Executive Director of CONNECT Music Licensing, provides viewers with key information on the licensing landscape in Canada including copyright, distribution, ISRC codes, and registering with the correct collective management organizations. Visit the resources and infographics that Catherine references for more helpful information.

YouTube | Instagram | Facebook


Episode 3: Allan Reid (CARAS, The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts)

Domanique speaks with Allan Reid – President and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the not-for-profit umbrella organization for The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts, and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Allan discusses how artist entrepreneurs can build the foundations for success in the Canadian music business, and shares critical advice from his 30 year career.

YouTube | Instagram | Facebook


Episode 4: Shad (Artist, Host of Netflix’s Hip-Hop Evolution)

In this final episode of the Industry Insider Video Series, JUNO Award-winning rap artist Shad sits down for an in-depth discussion about an artist’s balance of sustaining a living in music while staying true to their artistic visions. Domanique and Shad share their beliefs on how artists can use their personal compass to navigate their career growth without compromising their creative output and social responsibility. 

YouTube | Instagram | Facebook


We hope you enjoyed the Industry Insider Video Series. Stay tuned to Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing for more information surrounding more tools and resources for artist entrepreneurs in Canada. 

The theme music for the Industry Insider Video Series was created and provided by Nick Fowler of TEKnology Productions.


OMDC announces key dates for Ontario Music Fund 2016-17

The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) has announced the key dates for the Ontario Music Fund’s 2016-17 period.

Timelines and deadlines for the four streams of the Ontario Music Fund (OMF) are as follows. The OMDC noted that the key dates for each stream vary, and all dates may be subject to change.

OMF Music Company Development Stream

  • Guidelines and Application Launch: Early March 2016
  • Deadline: May 17, 2016 (by 5 p.m.)
  • Activity Period: August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017


OMF Music Futures Stream
NEW Important 2016-17 Program Update
Note: Two separate deadlines for specific types of applicants:

For eligible Domestic Artist-Entrepreneurs, Music Managers, Music Publishers and Record Labels:

  • Guidelines and Application Launch: Early March 2016
  • Deadline: May 18, 2016 (by 5 p.m.)
  • Activity Period: August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017

For eligible Domestic Booking Agents and Music Promoters/Presenters:

  • Guidelines Launch: Early March 2016
  • Application Launch: Early June 2016
  • Deadline: October 4, 2016 (by 5 p.m.)
  • Activity Period: June 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017


OMF Music Industry Development Stream

  • Guidelines and Application Launch: Late March 2016
  • Rolling Deadline: Application evaluations occur throughout the year, from launch through to October 28, 2016
  • Activity Period: June 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications in advance of the program deadline date.


OMF Live Music Stream
NEW Important 2016-17 Program Update
Note: Application deadline has moved to Fall 2016

  • Guidelines and Application Launch: early June 2016
  • Deadline: October 4, 2016 (by 5 p.m.)
  • Activity Period: June 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017


The OMDC also announced that information and webinar sessions on the OMF will be held between April to September 2016. Details and registration will be posted on the OMDC website in the near future.

For further information on the Ontario Music Fund, visit the OMDC’s website at


First-ever study of live music in Ontario to be released on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ontario’s live music industry is thriving, and for the first time, we have measured and recorded data that captures just how large of an impact it’s having in the province.

As some of our long-time readers may remember, in 2014 Music Canada – with the support of the Government of Ontario’s Ontario Music Fund – asked Nordicity to develop a profile and conduct an economic impact analysis of the live music industry in Ontario. Through this survey, we have been able to create a profile that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing this community, while also providing it with a critical tool that will assist individual and cooperative efforts to grow the industry.

On December 8th, 2015, we will release a study that is the first of its kind in the province. Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music In Ontario is a comprehensive look at Ontario’s live music sector. We asked the music community to stand up and be counted. Through a partnership with Nordicity, they have conducted research and interviews with artist managers, promoters, agents, music venues, and festivals from across the province to explore and better understand the revenue, audience, and economic impact of the sector.

The economic profile is organized into four key areas: revenue, audience, economic impact, and future outlook.

GDP - Insta-Facts B

Stay tuned via Twitter by following #MeasuringLiveMusic, or visit for the report’s release on December 8.


Music NB releases Sound IMPACT, a profile and economic impact assessment of New Brunswick’s music industry

Music NB has released an economic impact study of the New Brunswick music industry, including a sector profile and strategic recommendations for the industry going forward. The study, completed by Nordicity, builds upon a 2004 report and provides up to date information on the industry which has experienced significant changes over the last decade.

The study highlights the economic aspect of New Brunswick’s music industry which accounts for $65.2 million in GDP and contributes $19.6 million in tax revenues to all levels of government. The province’s music industry has also experienced an estimated 284 percent increase in revenues over the last decade, increasing from $19.9 million in 2003 to $76.5 million in 2013.

“This study will help us as an organization to better see the needs of our industry,” said Jean Surette, executive director of Music NB, in an interview with The Aquinian. “The music industry can be an economic engine to development.”

The findings of the report suggest that there are opportunities going forward for the music community and policy makers in New Brunswick to build links and work more closely. It is recommended that music industry education, identified as one of the province’s strengths, continue to be supported.

The full report is now available for download at


The first economic impact analysis of live music in Ontario to be released in November

The live music industry in Ontario is thriving, and continues to position itself as a growing industry relative to the wider music industry. It has wide reaching economic benefits, and is a major source of income for artists at all stages of their careers. At a time of increased investment and international success, the industry is seeking to take the next steps to develop its capacity, increase growth, and effectively harness its strengths. It is in this spirit, that we’re excited to announce the forthcoming economic profile of live music companies operating in Ontario.

As some of our long-time readers may remember, in 2014, Music Canada – with the support of the Government of Ontario’s Ontario Music Fund – asked Nordicity to develop a profile and conduct an economic impact analysis of the live music industry in Ontario. This study is the first of its kind in the province. Through this survey, we have been able to create a profile that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing this community, while also providing it with a critical tool that will assist individual and cooperative efforts to grow the industry.

We asked the music community to stand up and be counted. Nordicity conducted research and interviews with artist managers, promoters, agents, music venues, and festivals from across the province to explore and better understand the revenue, audience, and economic impact of the sector. It is with this research that the study hopes to identify new lines of business, new jurisdictions, factors to facilitate growth, and potential or existing barriers to growth.

“We can’t wait to share – for the first time – data that attests to the growing success of Ontario’s live music industry. Live music contributes to the livelihoods of so many Ontarians – from promoters, to artist managers, to hotels and restaurants. Venues and festivals of all sizes and in all contexts, in communities large and small, provide critical opportunities for artists to develop and benefit from live performance.  And in turn, the depth of our live music offering fuels tourism in Ontario  Our soon-to-be-released report will put numbers behind these statements while also identifying opportunities for further growth,” said Music Canada’s VP Public Affairs Amy Terrill.

Stay tuned for a release of the full report in November.


Music Canada’s Graham Henderson on “The Mastering of a Music City” at the Canadian Club of Toronto

Yesterday, Music Canada President & CEO Graham Henderson delivered a speech at the Canadian Club of Toronto on ‘The Mastering of a Music City’, a new report that sets out how cities worldwide can take simple steps to help develop their music economies.

Video from the speech is now available online, courtesy of the Canadian Club of Toronto.

In his speech, Henderson highlighted some of the effective strategies outlined in the report, the benefits of a vibrant music economy, and early reactions to the report.

“There is a growing interest in Music City strategies,” said Henderson, as evidenced by the municipal leaders from around Ontario in attendance, as well as the recent Music Cities Convention in Brighton, UK, which was attended by representatives of 49 cities, as well as the widespread use of Music Canada’s 2012 Austin-Toronto report.

The Austin-Toronto report was cited in places as far away as Sydney, Australia, and adopted by cities like Chicago, explained Henderson. Community leaders in Tampere, Finland, and Kuala Lumpur, as well as throughout Ontario began asking for a road map, said Henderson. In order to satisfy this demand, Music Canada and IFPI set out to study music cities around the world, said Henderson.

In recapping reaction to the report, Henderson cited quotes from Kate Becker, Director of Seattle’s Film and Music Office, who said the Music Cities report is “brilliant and so important to advancing music cities and the music industry overall.” Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live, called the report “a powerful tool for the live sector especially, to leverage ongoing and future conversations in our cities and towns across the country.”

Henderson also shared a quote from Toronto Mayor John Tory, who said:

“The Mastering of a Music City report reinforces in my mind the real potential of what supporting the music industry can do to transform and grow a real 21st century city. The report will provide the City recommendations on how to support the industry as we work on our aggressive timeline to develop a music strategy in consultation with the music community.”

On the topic of what makes Toronto a great Music City, Henderson cited elements identified in the development of the 4479 Toronto brand: “our city’s unique offering is that we have the most diverse – globally sourced music experience of any city in the world. Period. Our venues, many, like Massey Hall, steeped in music lore, range from intimate to world tour-worthy. Our audience is informed, passionate and open minded. And all of this is housed in this amazing, culturally diverse metropolis.”

On top of that, Toronto is “a city where music leaders and advocates are working alongside municipal leaders to enhance the music economy,” said Henderson. To that point, Henderson citied the City’s recent review of its postering regulations, an issue first raised in Music Canada’s Austin-Toronto report. Henderson then gave a shout out to Mike Tanner, Toronto’s Music Sector Development Officer, and Zaib Shaikh, Toronto’s Commissioner for Film and Entertainment Industries, for their efforts on this file.

Henderson also gave credit to London, Ontario, who recently announced a new music incubator, and Kitchener, who has established Music Works, a world-class ten point plan developed through a grassroots community consultation.

“Ontario communities are in the forefront of work being done to stimulate growth of the commercial music sector,” said Henderson, citing town hall meetings in Barrie, Collingwood, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Toronto and Windsor. The Government of Ontario has fostered these initiatives through the Live Music Strategy, said Henderson, which is intended to make Ontario a global destination for music tourism.

Henderson then went through some of the effective strategies identified in the report.

“Artists and musicians are undoubtedly the heart of a music city,” said Henderson, recapping a discussion with artist Miranda Mulholland, who said “it’s one thing to be music-friendly; let’s make sure it’s also musician-friendly.”

To this point, “you only need to look at the current musical landscape to understand why this piece is so critical today,” said Henderson, citing a study from the Canadian Independent Music Association, which found the average annual income of a musician is $7,000.

“In this environment, affordability becomes increasing crucial,” said Henderson. The Music Cities report provides recommendations on musician-friendly policies that cities like Austin are exploring to find a solution for artists’ growing costs of living.

Henderson also discussed the range of “music-friendly” policies outlined in the report, such as loading zones for musicians, progressive planning laws, and transportation or transit that facilitate access to venues for fans.

Most important for a music city is the establishment of a music advisory council, said Henderson, which creates the opportunity for two-way dialogue between the city, the music community, and other interested groups like tourism or BIAs.

On the topic of music tourism, Henderson cited Austin, Memphis, and Nashville as beneficiaries of an effective music tourism plan. Music provides one of the most compelling tourism products, said Henderson, calling it a “24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year opportunity.”

“Music tourism packs a punch,” said Henderson, noting that tourism is the largest employer of young people in the province. “It generates millions of dollars in concert and festival tickets, merchandise, hotels and restaurants – it creates jobs at all these businesses – and builds a city’s global brand.”

On the topic of why a city would want to grow its music economy, Henderson cited social and cultural benefits, as well as the unifying aspect of music, which is outlined in the report with examples from South Africa and Finland.

Henderson also outlined the tangible financial benefits of music, such as job creation, investment attraction, and dollars spent in the community. Examples from the Music Cities report include:

  • In Melbourne, live music alone generates over 116,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in spending at small venues, concerts, and festivals;
  • Music tourism in Austin accounts for almost half of their $1.6 billion economic output and contributes $38 million in tax revenue to the city
  • In 2013, the music industry helped to create and sustain more than 56,000 jobs within the Nashville area, supported more than $3.2billion of annual labour income, and contributed $5.5billion to the local economy.

While Toronto is cited throughout the report in terms of initiatives that could be emulated in other cities, Henderson also outlined some recommendations from other cities that could be adopted here, such as:

  • affordable housing for musicians as well as, additional training and professional development;
  • a plan to address the compliance issues that crop up on a frequent basis; and,
  • land use planning that takes into account culturally significant zones.

In addition, Toronto should develop:

  • An inventory of existing venues, recording studios, etc. in order to identify gaps; and,
  • A music hub or accelerator.

Henderson closed with another portion of Mayor John Tory’s reaction to the report, as an example of Toronto’s commitment to developing music and music-friendly policies.

“As City Hall pursues its vigorous agenda in supporting Toronto’s music sector, we look to sector leaders like Music Canada to continue their invaluable work in elevating and solidifying Toronto’s position as a world-leading music city. It is partnerships between the City and the music industry that will ensure Toronto becomes a thriving music city.” – Toronto Mayor John Tory

The full report is now available, and we welcome music leaders and advocates to utilize the recommendations – because the global music community only stands to gain if music-friendly, musician-friendly cities dot the globe.


Many in the audience tweeted highlights from the speech; below is some of the social media reaction:

@music_canada honcho Graham Henderson speaking about the The Mastering Of A Music City report. Impressive, as usual.

A photo posted by Stephen Coady (@commandercoady) on


Backgrounder: Term Extension for Sound Recordings

How Copyright Works & Canadian Copyright Law

Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided to a creator who expresses an idea in a creative work such as a sound recording. The owner of copyright in the creative work has the exclusive right to copy, use, distribute, and receive compensation for such uses of the work for a defined period of time. The copyright owner uses the time during which the creative work is protected by copyright to extract value from it and earn a living.

The Canadian Copyright Act sets out the time limitations for exclusive uses of compositions, written works, films, and sound recordings. Section 23 of the Copyright Act currently states that performers and producers of sound recordings are provided a term of protection of 50 years. In comparison, other copyrighted works such as books, films, and musical compositions are protected for 50 years after the creator’s death. When the term of copyright has expired, the works are commonly said to be in the public domain, meaning that they may be freely used, distributed and copied without knowledge of, or compensation to, the creator or other rights holder.

International Comparisons

Over 60 countries worldwide protect copyright in sound recordings for a term of 70 years or longer from the time of the recording (see list attached). Until today, Canada, with only 50 years of copyright protection, has been an outlier amongst developed countries.

Implications for Artists

A term of 70 years will mean that artists and other rights holders retain control of their sound recordings and can profit from them into their elder years. Without term extension for sound recordings, the early works of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Anne Murray would be in public domain over the next five years.

For younger artists, additional profits derived by rights holders from older recordings will be reinvested in developing artists. The music industry is second to none in terms of reinvestment in new talent, with over 28% of revenue reinvested in 2014. As IFPI’s latest Investing in Music report illustrates, this is a greater percentage of revenue than the pharmaceutical, biotech, computer software or high tech hardware industries each invest in R&D.

Implications for Consumers

Public domain works, instead of being cheaper for the consumer, simply shift the value between different parties in the value chain. In the case of copyright-protected recordings, the performers continue to get paid for their work and profits are reinvested in new artists. Whereas for a public domain recording, the performer receives nothing; the additional value is instead taken as increased profit for the company distributing the public domain music. Consumers further benefit from copyright-protected works as businesses are incentivized to digitize and reissue classic recordings, often with remastering and additional and enhanced features and previously unreleased recordings. Studies have shown that there was no significant difference in the average price of recordings still under copyright compared to those in the public domain.   This is further demonstrated through a comparison of the price of recordings in the public and copyright-protected recordings of a similar quality: 1950s recordings in the public domain on iTunes are priced no differently than protected 1960s or 1970s recordings. In countries that have extended the term of copyright in sound recordings, as Europe did in 2012, term extension has not resulted in an increase to consumer pricing.


Appendix A:

Countries with copyright protection for sound recordings over 50 years

  1. United States (95)
  2. Mexico (75)
  3. United Kingdom (70)
  4. France (70)
  5. ermany (70)
  6. South Korea (70)
  7. Australia (70)
  8. Argentina (70)
  9. Austria (70)
  10. Netherlands (70)
  11. Spain (70)
  12. Italy (70)
  13. Norway (70)
  14. Slovenia (70)
  15. Sweden (70)
  16. Slovakia (70)
  17. Romania (70)
  18. Portugal (70)
  19. Poland (70)
  20. Lithuania (70)
  21. Latvia (70)
  22. Ireland (70)
  23. Bahamas (70/100)
  24. Saint Vincent (75)
  25. Samoa (75)
  26. Bahrain (70)
  27. Brazil (70)
  28. Burkina Faso (70)
  29. Chile (70)
  30. Costa Rica (70)
  31. Cote d’Ivoire (99)
  32. Micronesia (75/100)
  33. Morocco (70)
  34. Nicaragua (70)
  35. Oman (95/120)
  36. Palau (75/100)
  37. Colombia (80/50)
  38. Panama (70)
  39. Paraguay (70)
  40. Dominican Republic (70)
  41. Ecuador (70)
  42. El Salvador (70)
  43. Ghana (70)
  44. Grenadine (75)
  45. Guatemala (75)
  46. Honduras (75)
  47. Hungary (70)
  48. Greece (70)
  49. Finland (70)
  50. Estonia (70)
  51. Denmark(70)
  52. Czech Republic (70)
  53. Cyprus (70)
  54. Croatia (70)
  55. Bulgaria (70)
  56. Belgium (70)
  57. Peru (70)
  58. Singapore (70)
  59. Turkey (70)
  60. Iceland (70)
  61. Liechtenstein (70)
  62. Malta (70)
  63. Luxembourg (70)
  64. India (60)
  65. Venezuela (60)
  66. Bangladesh (60)