The ten album Short List for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize was announced earlier today at CBC headquarters in Toronto. CBC Music Morning host and Polaris juror Raina Douris, who will host the 2018 Polaris Music Prize Gala, announced this year’s list alongside Polaris founder and Executive Director Steve Jordan.
The 2018 Polaris Music Prize Short List is:
Alvvays – Antisocialites
Jean-Michel Blais – Dans ma main
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Jeremy Dutcher – Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Pierre Kwenders – MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time
Hubert Lenoir – Darlène
Partner – In Search Of Lost Time
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Average Savage
U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
Weaves – Wide Open
The annual Polaris Music Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian music based solely on artistic merit, judged by a panel of music critics, with no regard for sales, popularity, or genre. This year’s winning artist will be awarded a $50,000 prize, while the nine other acts on the Short list will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music. The winning album will be announced at the Polaris Gala at The Carlu in Toronto on September 17, and will also be live streamed by CBC Music.
The 2018 Polaris Music Prize Short List reveal can we viewed below.
On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship.Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit.
The morning featured a panel entitled From Scratch: Imagining and Implementing New Programs and Partnerships, which discussed lessons imparted by successful music industry leaders on topics including identifying the needs in their communities, strategies to persuade partners and funders, and methods of benchmarking programs for sustainability.
The discussion was moderated by Gene Meneray of the The ELLA Project, and included panelists Elizabeth Cawein, Founder/Director of Music Export Memphis; Enzo Mazza, CEO of the Federation of Italian Music Industry (FIMI); Kelly Symes, Ontario Festival of Small Halls; Madalena Salazar, IMTour, Western States Arts Federation.
The panel kicked off with a conversation of the importance of engaging both the music and wider community when building up the programs. Kelly Symes discussed on how for an initiative like the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, securing community buy-in was an essential component of the process.
Elizabeth Cawein similarly touched on the role of audience development for a project like Music Export Memphis, which acts as an international export office to create opportunities for Memphis musicians to showcase outside the city.
Another major topic of discussion was the role of funding for non-profit initiatives, and strategies that can be utilized to help ensure proposed funding is robust enough for the program’s needs, and consistent enough to start building towards sustainability.
Madalena Salazar described how the US-based organization IMTour worked to diversify their funding sources to not only rely on the National Endowment for the Arts, but to also utilize fundraising and other strategies.
The panelists also touched on the positive impact that fostering strategic partnerships can have on a growing organization. Enzo Mazza discussed the important role that local political support had on the organization FIMI in its early stages, and how this attracted the interests of other prominent companies. Mazza highlighted how media organizations in particular were crucial to FIMI’s success, as the support of companies like VH1 helped lead to sponsorships by other major companies.
Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.
On Tuesday, May 29, Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as they heard testimony from witnesses on remuneration models for artists and creative industries. The study is part of the five-year statutory review of the Canadian Copyright Act.
Music Canada’s President & CEO @GFHenderson will appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage this morning as they study remuneration models for artists & creative industries as part of the Copyright Act review. Listen live at 8:45am EST: https://t.co/IYyBSpd4TZ
Henderson joined Dominic Trudel, Chief Executive Officer of the Conseil québécois de la musique, and Andrew Morrison of The Jerry Cans for the first session of the day, which took place from 8:45am – 9:45am. An archived audio recording of the meeting is available on the House of Commons website and the full text of Henderson’s testimony has been published on the Music Canada website. The meeting featured testimonies from the three witnesses as well as a Q&A period, where Committee Members posed questions to the witnesses.
A selection of quotes from the meeting is included below. Any translations have been taken directly from the House of Commons audio archive.
Dominic Trudel, Chief Executive Officer of the Conseil québécois de la musique
“The promise of the digital era was that it would eliminate intermediaries in the distribution and production chain and directly link creators to their fans. Others said we would achieve a golden age of stage performances that would supersede the sales of sound recordings as a motor of the industry. All of these promises have not borne fruit and there are still problems in transforming digital content into significant revenue.” – Trudel quoting Guillaume Sirois’ report Le développement de contenus numériques dans le domaine de la musique de concert.
“Although the application of copyright and the payment of royalties in the digital era remain a main issue for the remuneration of musicians, digital change has also had a significant impact on their ability to produce, broadcast and promote music. The pay of creators is therefore affected throughout the process.”
“New methods of consuming music are almost exclusively designed for popular music and are poorly tailored to the realities of classical music. This can impact composers, musicians and a number of different components of the classical domain.”
Andrew Morrison, The Jerry Cans
“We incorporate throat singing and we are very weary now because throat singing is now becoming an internationally-known art form with Tanya Tagaq and her collaborations and with The Jerry Cans and a few other artists. But we wonder how that kind of relates and how that throat singing can be used and how traditional art forms should be protected and should be ensured that they’re compensated when they’re being performed on international scales.”
“Songs that we make and songs that we produce – it’s such a small part of our income generation – and I think that’s because of what’s happening in the copyright world. We’re losing such control and such power over our own music and our own creative forms. And we’re very confused, I think, about what to do about it, cause we feel a bit powerless about where our money’s coming from.”
“I am hopeful that we can figure out a way, because I do think that we’ve toured with some international artists and they see Canada as a very special place and they think that the support for music in this country is very strong and we need to keep it that way. But I also think we need to figure out how to more properly compensate artists for their music specifically, because touring is TIRING as you can see.”
“I do think it’s important to present the artist’s perspective. Sometimes I think that we get lost in the conversations because these things are quite complex and we struggle to understand the world of copyright. I think that there’s lots to be done and when Graham was talking about middle class artists I was like ‘I want to be one of those.’ (laughs) If we had a pie chart out…our revenue, what comes from copyright, is so little now. And that’s young artists. The older generation is telling me of the glory days of getting royalty cheques and I say ‘sweet, what’s that? I’ll buy you a coffee with mine.’ I do think there’s potential to figure it out…”
L to R: Gareth Jones (VP, DMD Entertainment), Asim Awesome Awan (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada) Tucker Halpern, Sophie Hawley-Weld, Adrian Strong (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada / President, DMD Entertainment), Matt Attfield (Artist Marketing, Ultra Music Canada / Head of Marketing & PR, DMD Entertainment), Andreas Rizek (A&R, Ultra Music Publishing) Photographer: Stephen Kazumi
New York-based dance duo Sofi Tukker were surprised with their first ever Platinum plaque in Toronto over the weekend for their breakout hit single “Best Friend (ft. NERVO, The Knocks & Alisa Ueno).” The group was presented with the plaque ahead of their highly anticipated show in Toronto by Ultra Music Canada and DMD Entertainment.
Sofi Tukker, which includes members Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, shared the news with their fans through their social media channels, where they are seen posing with the plaque outside the Danforth Music Hall. They also brought the plaque on stage with them during the show in front of the roaring sold-out crowd.
Minister Joly, Ministers Beare and James, Mayor Robertson, Mark, Allan, industry colleagues and friends, it is my pleasure to speak to you this evening on behalf of Music Canada.
Before I go any further I also want to thank the BC government for its confidence in the music sector and continued investment. The excitement is palpable. Amplify BC will produce great dividends for BC communities, artists and the broader ecosystem. Thank you.
Tonight I’d like to focus my remarks on the idea of challenging the status quo.
And to underline the importance of action – both individual and organizational.
Music Canada is proud to have made a commitment to leadership in our industry by among other things – refusing to do things one way simply because it’s the way it has always been done.
Our board – Shane, Steve and Jeffrey – and our staff team led by Graham are proud of our efforts to embrace and encourage new ideas with a bias towards action.
But don’t just take my word for it. Let me give you a few examples.
It’s why we did something no one had done before in taking on the issue of Music Cities.
Why in 2011 we began to examine the way municipalities interact with their music communities and how they can grow the music economy for the benefit of the entire city but also specifically for artists and the larger music ecosystem.
Challenging the status quo is why our work resonated and is used on every continent. It has led a dozen cities in Canada alone to begin the process of developing music strategies – most recently reflected in the exciting announcement yesterday by Mayor Robertson.
Our commitment to challenge the status quo also led us to broaden the conversation with provincial governments, stressing the importance of music as a regional economic driver, in addition to a cultural powerhouse.
Our commitment to challenge the status quo is why we won’t give up on our advocacy for quality music education for all young people – no matter where they live, or their family’s income. There are simply too many benefits. The focus on STEM – Science – technology- engineering and math – is deficient. Arts and humanities must be on equal footing. STEAM should be our goal.
Our commitment to challenge the status quo has also led us to help artists voice their concerns and solutions. It’s why we champion the work of the brilliant artist advocate Miranda Mulholland and encourage creators to get involved in the current copyright review.
And it’s why the theme of our JUNOs participation this weekend is our advocacy support for artists at every stage of their career.
One of the biggest challenges for music creators is the Value Gap. In an era of unprecedented music access and consumption, creators are receiving a fraction of what they should be paid for the use of their music, and a middle class of musicians – the JUNO nominees of today and tomorrow – is in serious jeopardy.
But we don’t have to simply accept the outdated laws that contribute to the Value Gap.
The status quo.
No. We should all call upon the federal government to address safe harbours and industry cross-subsidies that undermine a viable marketplace. And we – our friends at SOCAN and other partners – are doing just that.
And finally challenging the status quo is why we’ve begun an organizational review to ensure that we are ready to tackle current issues facing our community and to prioritize the values of inclusion and diversity. It’s why we have led conversations on these vital topics – including last year at CMW’s global forum when we focused on indigenous communities – and at our fall meeting – on gender inequality. We’ll continue the conversation on inclusion and accountability in May at CMW.
Change will not happen naturally. If it did, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In our industry. Or in society. We would not be faced with inequality.
We can’t wait for a natural evolution to occur.
Sometimes change needs to be forced even if it’s uncomfortable and each one of us – as individuals – and as organizations have a responsibility to do our share.
So, to all our partners in the room who are also challenging the status quo, whether by diversifying your boards, mentoring and empowering women or other underrepresented groups to have a greater presence in music production or management, or across nominations categories right here at the JUNOs, we stand with you and we support you. To all who understand the contribution of Canadian artists and believe in the power of music to our economy, our culture and our educational system, let’s continue to work together to create the change we all believe in. Thank you.
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
Leading up to the 47th annual JUNO Awards, Music Canada is highlighting the ways in which our advocacy supports Canadian artists at every stage of their careers. So far, we have profiled our work regarding music education and Music Cities. In this week’s edition, we highlight our advocacy efforts regarding copyright, which is crucial for all artists.
Copyright effectively underpins the entire music ecosystem – it is copyright that allows creators to sell and license their music in today’s wide array of platforms, and it is copyright that protects the investment that artists and labels make in their career. As the Canadian Intellectual Property Office outlines in the video below, copyright allows creators to control how their work is used and allows them to monetize their work when it is used.
Music Canada represents Canada’s recording industry to government and public agencies on many different fronts, including how laws, regulations and policies affect music creators. Federally, copyright advocacy is a big part of that role. In addition, Music Canada plays an important role as a collaborator with artists and other industry organizations in the Canadian music and cultural industries to advocate for the creation of a functioning marketplace where creators are paid fairly every time their work is used. Music Canada is a thought-leader on the importance of strong support for creators in the Copyright Act, particularly in highlighting the real-world effects it has on artists and their livelihoods. Reforming Canada’s Copyright Act to ensure that creators are paid when their work is commercialized by others is our top priority.
Currently, the biggest challenge for the music industry in Canada and around the world is known as the Value Gap. The Value Gap is defined as the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers, and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it.
At the heart of the Value Gap for music is misapplied and outdated “safe harbour” provisions in copyright law, which result in creators having to forego copyright royalty payments to which they should be entitled, and amount to a system of subsidies to other industries.
Music Canada’s recent report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, examines the Value Gap and its causes, and demonstrates how it impacts artists, businesses and our nation’s cultural foundations, with a particular focus on music. The report includes recommended steps that Canada’s federal government can take today to address the inequities that artists face due to the Value Gap.
In addition to our Value Gap research, Music Canada has been a lead advocate for reforming the Copyright Board. This is another priority for the music sector, as the rates set by the Board directly impact the value of music and the amount that artists and labels receive for their music and investments. Music Canada is calling on the federal government to reform the Board so that tariff rates are set faster, more efficiently and more predictably – all in the name of royalties that better reflect the true value of music in a functioning music marketplace.
As part of Music Canada’s advocacy on Board reform, we have participated in the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, the government consultation on reforming the Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry, each time appearing as a key stakeholder in favour of full and meaningful reforms. Music Canada’s Graham Henderson also raised the issue in a recent Policy Options op-ed, and in a speech before the Economic Club of Canada citing the need for reform of the Copyright Board as a key priority for government.
Next week, as JUNO Week kicks off in Vancouver, we’ll conclude our #EveryStage series by profiling Music Canada’s efforts to celebrate success in Canada’s music sector, including our Gold/Platinum program and partnerships with the JUNOS and other awards that celebrate Canadian music.
Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen (couch) with Robbie Lackritz (Manager), Jeffrey Remedios (Universal), Rob Zifarelli (Paradigm Agency), Erik Hoffman (Live Nation), James Trauzzi (Universal)
Afie Jurvanen, better known by his stage name Bahamas, was presented with his first two Canadian Gold award plaques earlier this week at a private event by Universal Music Canada. The Barrie, ON-raised artist received a Gold album plaque for his 2012 album Barchords, which was nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year at the 2013 JUNO Awards, along with a Gold single plaque for the album’s lead track “Lost In The Light.”
Bahamas will release a new album in 2018 entitled Earthtones, and will tour through North America beginning January 12 in Halifax, NS.
The music video for “Lost In The Light” can be viewed below.
“Music unites us, bridges linguistic, cultural and income divides. Music heals. It connects. It provides a soundtrack to our greatest struggles and our highest triumphs.
Since the arrival of the digital age, music is more readily created, released and shared. It is available at our fingertips and it’s reaching more people than ever before.
With music’s intrinsic value in our lives and this new accessibility, one would expect that the people who create this unifying force would be thriving. There is a widely held perception that the advent of the digital revolution has enhanced how music is created, money is made and creators’ lives are lived. There is a perception of a level playing field. But it’s time for a reality check.
Join Artist and Entrepreneur, Miranda Mulholland as she talks about the creative process, reveals actual numbers, discusses how creators are faring in this new landscape and suggests a way forward.”
Following Mulholland’s speech, a panel of creators and representatives from various cultural industries will discuss how the digital marketplace has affected their industry and their own careers. The panel will include:
Alan Frew – Songwriter, Public Speaker & Author
Ari Posner – Film & Television Composer
Roanie Levy – President & CEO, Access Copyright
This will be the second time Mulholland addresses the Economic Club, following her speech in Toronto in May 2017. Her powerful and honest speech resonated with the crowd, earning her a standing ovation and social media praise by many of the artists in the room. That speech was covered by the Globe and Mail’s Kate Taylor, in an insightful column titled “What happens when we starve our artists.”
A new music strategy is being developed for Simcoe County in partnership between Regional Tourism Organization 7, Simcoe County, City of Barrie, City of Orillia, Town of Collingwood and MusicCO.
The announcement that funding has been secured to develop a 3-year music strategy for Barrie & Simcoe County (including Collingwood, Orillia, and many other municipalities) was made at Staying in Tune, a music summit hosted by the City of Barrie and MusicCO on October 24.
To inform the strategy, Nordicity and CultureCap are conducting a survey to gather as much information as possible about the regional music scene, and the two organizations have also been engaged to produce the final report.
Feedback is being sought from songwriters, musicians, venues, festivals, studios, record companies, fans and everyone else involved in the Simcoe County music industry. The survey website states that they would like opinions on:
What’s great about the local music scene, and what could be better.
How are you involved in the music scene? We’re gathering detailed statistics to better inform decision-making and illustrate all the activity out there.
Most of all, we’re looking for fresh thinking about how to make Simcoe County a better place for music!