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Niall Horan receives first solo Canadian Double Platinum plaque at MMVAs

During the 2017 iHeartRadio MMVAs celebrations, Irish singer-songwriter Niall Horan was presented with a Canadian Double Platinum award plaque for his single “This Town.” The track is Horan’s first Canadian award plaque since debuting as a solo artist following his departure from multi-Platinum pop group One Direction.

Horan is pictured above with Universal Music Canada President Jeffrey Remedios, which was shared through Remedios’ Twitter page. Universal also shared a photo of their team with Horan and his plaque.

A live video of Niall Horan performing “This Town” can be viewed below.


Julia Michaels presented with first Canadian award plaque at 2017 iHeartRadio MMVAS

American singer-songwriter Julia Michaels received her first Canadian Double Platinum plaque in Toronto at the iHeartRadio MMVAs this past Sunday for her breakout track “Issues.” Michaels was presented with the plaque by her Universal Music Canada team, and can be seen posing with President & CEO Jeffrey Remedios above.

Michaels shared the news with her fans through an Instagram featuring the whole Universal team, thanking them for their work with the hit.

Michaels’ performance of “Issues” from the iHeartRADIO MMVAs can be viewed below.



Chris Janson receives first Canadian Platinum award plaque in Toronto

Country star Chris Janson‘s 2015 hit “Buy Me A Boat” is now officially a Platinum Single in Canada! During a stop at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on his summer tour with Sam Hunt and Maren Morris, the 31 year old singer-songwriter was surprised with a Platinum plaque by Warner Music Canada, which he shared with his fans through his Twitter account.

“Buy Me A Boat” appears on Janson’s debut album of the same name, and the music video for the track can be viewed below.


Graham Henderson calls for full and meaningful review of the Copyright Act in 2017 in Policy Options Op-Ed

In an op-ed published today for Policy Options, a digital magazine published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson details the Value Gap, which is an issue affecting all cultural creators, and warns that action must be taken to restore integrity to the marketplace.

Henderson describes what led to the Value Gap, defined as “the gross mismatch between the volume of music being enjoyed by consumers and the revenues being returned to the music community.” Identifying the problem as “a product of decisions made by governments around the world that have allowed cultural content to be distributed, made available, consumed and monetized by others without proper payment to creators,” Henderson points to out-of-date rules and regulations, such as exemptions that have benefited broadcast and technology industries to the detriment of creators.

Henderson outlines a series of policy recommendations that the government should consider immediately to restore balance to the world in which creators live.

Some of the actions are:

  • Ending all cross-subsidies paid by creators that subsidize corporations – the outdated $1.25 million radio royalty exemption in the Copyright Act is one example in Canada.
  • Consider federal policies to attract foreign direct investment in the domestic music economy, as Ontario, British Columbia, and municipalities across Canada have done.
  • Examine and reform the Copyright Board of Canada, the tribunal that is responsible for setting royalty rates that many in the cultural industries rely on. A recent Senate of Canada report found the Board to be “dated, dysfunctional and in dire need of reform,” signalling that reforms are urgently needed. “The government needs to turn the Copyright Board into a true business development office for the creative and user communities,” writes Henderson.

Henderson concludes by calling for “a full and meaningful review that identifies and recommends necessary amendments to the Act,” and reiterates that “the only way the government can restore integrity to the marketplace is to curtail all cross-subsidies and the outdated exemptions on which they are based.”

Read the full article on the Policy Options website.


Polaris Music Prize reveals 2017 Long List in Ottawa

The Long List for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize was revealed Tuesday during a press conference at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. The announcement, hosted by Polaris founder and Executive Director Steve Jordan, was livestreamed on Facebook Live.

The announcement capped off an exciting week for Jordan, who was also presented with the Unsung Hero Award Monday evening at the Canadian Independent Music Association’s third annual Celebration & Awards Gala in Toronto.

The 10 album Short List will be revealed on July 13, while the winning album will be announced at the Polaris Gala at The Carlu in Toronto on September 18. Both events will be streamed by CBC Music.

The 2017 Polaris Music Prize Long List is:

  • A Tribe Called Red – We Are The Halluci Nation
  • Alaclair Ensemble – Les Frères Cueilleurs
  • Anciients – Voice of the Void
  • Arkells – Morning Report
  • Philippe B – La grande nuit vidéo
  • Louise Burns – Young Mopes
  • Chocolat – Rencontrer Looloo
  • Clairmont The Second – Quest For Milk and Honey
  • Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  • Antoine Corriveau – Cette chose qui cognait au creux de sa poitrine sans vouloir s’arrêter
  • Le Couleur – P.O.P.
  • Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor
  • Mac Demarco – This Old Dog
  • Gord Downie – Secret Path
  • Drake – More Life
  • Feist – Pleasure
  • Figure Walking – The Big Other
  • Fiver – Audible Songs From Rockwood
  • Geoffroy – Coastline
  • Hannah Georgas – For Evelyn
  • Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – E.MO.TION Side B
  • B.A. Johnston – Gremlins III
  • Lisa LeBlanc – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
  • The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions
  • Klô Pelgag – L’Étoile thoracique
  • Peter Peter – Noir Éden
  • Lido Pimienta – La Papessa
  • Jessie Reyez – Kiddo
  • Daniel Romano – Modern Pressure
  • The Sadies – Northern Passages
  • John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
  • Tanya Tagaq – Retribution
  • The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
  • Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude
  • Weaves – Weaves
  • The Weeknd – Starboy
  • Charlotte Day Wilson – CDW

Constructive dialogue emerges at June meeting of Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council

The Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council’s (TMAC) June 5 meeting was dominated by a positive and constructive atmosphere that resulted in decisions on key issues facing the sector, and an important dialogue with members of the local music community.

The meeting provided a forum for members of the local music community to raise new ideas.   Deputations addressed such topics as the use of alternative spaces for live music performances and DIY-music spaces (for instance, public libraries and empty storefronts), the challenges posed to affordability of housing and music hubs, commercial rent caps, the integration of diverse voices and the importance of prohibiting anonymous complaints. The tone of discussion was helpful and constructive.

TMAC Co-Chair, Councillor Josh Colle, encouraged members of the public to consider participating in TMAC sub-committees, which, as discussed at the meeting are going to be realigned in order to develop a leaner and more effective sub-committee structure.

TMAC also passed several resolutions at the meeting which constitute advisory motions to the Economic Development Committee which would then need to consider and refer to City Council:

A recommendation that City Council request the economic development department partner with Music Canada Live which is planning to gather data about the impact of live music venues in Toronto, from an economic, social, and cultural perspective; That the city’s economic development department provide marketing support for the “Toronto Music Passport,” a new industry-led event series that was floated by Mayor John Tory at Music Canada’s and Canadian Music Week’s “The Mastering of a Music City Summit.”

A recommendation that the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, advise the Director, Affordable Housing Office and local councillors considering ‘shovel-ready’ affordable housing projects, to include those with music hubs, in partnership with local music community stakeholders and non-profit organizations.

Monday’s meeting was also the last for Andreas Kalogiannides as Co-Chair, who resigned his executive position—a position he had held since June 2015. Andreas has been a tireless advocate for Toronto’s music industry, continuously touting the value of the sector and TMAC to City Council and the music community.

TMAC was established by City Council to provide recommendations and advice to enhance the attractiveness, competitiveness, and growth of Toronto’s music industry; be a forum for the music industry and provide coherent advice to City Council on issues and opportunities for the sector; and to promote Toronto’s music industry and monitor and advise on marketing strategies to strengthen the viability of the music sector.

You can view the minutes of the meeting on the City of Toronto’s website.


Ontario Arts Council study confirms support for arts in Ontario

A new Ontario Arts Council (OAC) study conducted by Nanos Research has found that the arts maintain a high level of support among Ontarians. According to the report, Ontario residents recognize the important contribution of the arts—music included—to vibrant, liveable communities. This report is a follow up to OAC’s 2010 provincial survey, and offers an important perspective on arts in the public eye.

The survey, based on a random sample of 1,004 individuals, found that a majority of Ontarians recognize the positive impact that the arts have on quality of life, community well-being, identity and belonging, and government investment.

“The results of the Quality of Life report confirm what we heard as we developed the province’s first Culture Strategy, and show that Ontarians intuitively understand that culture is a fundamentally important part of our lives and communities,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I’m proud that our government is taking steps to strengthen the arts and culture sector as we implement the initiatives outlined in the Culture Strategy, and the Ontario Arts Council is an important part of that work.”

“This study clearly demonstrates that people across Ontario believe that the arts make an important contribution to their quality of life and social well-being and that arts activities are key factors in increasing the attractiveness of their communities as places to live and work,” said Rita Davies, Chair, Ontario Arts Council.

Highlights of the survey are as follows:

Arts and quality of life

  • 93% of Ontarians agree that arts activities help enrich the quality of our lives.
  • 90% of Ontarians say that the arts are important to improving the quality of life in their communities.
  • 85% say that the arts are important to improving the quality of their own lives.

Arts and identity and belonging

  • 91% of Ontarians agree that the arts help us to understand other cultures better.
  • 88% agree that participating in arts activities builds a shared sense of community identity.

Arts and community well-being

  • 90% agree that an active local arts scene helps make a community a better place to live.
  • 97% agree that engaging children in the arts is important to their overall development.
  • 80% of Ontarians agree that an active local arts scene helps communities attract businesses.

Government investment in the arts

  • 82% of Ontarians agree that helping make the arts available to people in Ontario is an important government investment.
  • 79% agree that government should spend public dollars to invest in the arts.

You can read the report’s executive summary on the OAC website.


VIDEO: 2017 Global Forum at CMW – Indigenous artists discuss music’s ability to unite, inspire, and heal

On April 20, 2017, JUNO and Polaris Prize winning experimental vocalist Tanya Tagaq delivered a brilliant and emotional keynote during the 2017 Global Forum at Canadian Music Week. Following her keynote, Tanya joined acclaimed Canadian musicians Susan Aglukark and Bear Witness of A Tribe Called Red, as well as Mike Downie, co-founder of the Secret Path project and the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, for a panel discussion moderated by John Kim Bell. The profound, honest, and moving discussion covered a wide range of topics such as culture, identity, residential schools, reconciliation, and the responsibility and pressure Indigenous artists feel to assume activist roles.

Before Tanya’s keynote, the Global Forum began with a stunning performance by Hamilton-based experimental trip-hop artist IsKwé, a welcome from Music Canada’s President and CEO Graham Henderson, and opening remarks from Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park.

For more than a decade Music Canada has been proud to sponsor the Global Forum at Canadian Music Week, which brings together Canadian music professionals and international delegates for a networking breakfast and discussion. Over the last few years the Global Forum’s theme has been “music can help,” and in 2017 the focus shifted from a global outlook to an inward exploration of the role music has played for Indigenous musicians in Canada, bridging cultural divides and bringing national attention to Indigenous issues.

Watch the full video of the Global Forum panel discussion below.


Susan Aglukark on the role music has played in her life:

The thing that music and art has done for me over the last twenty five years; it’s opened up this place and space where all opinions, thoughts, cultures, everything matters. Everything is a part of recovering and building bridges.

Bear Witness on visibility of Indigenous artists in mainstream culture:

We always get asked all these things about Indigenous issues, and it’s such a broad thing in trying to figure out what to talk about, and I kind of decided that in the kind of work I’m doing, the thing I can affect most is visibility and how I present myself to the world and how I want to be seen. And that’s something that goes back to how I grew up. We were actually talking before we came out about seeing a poster of you (John Kim Bell) that was up in a high school guidance office, or something like that. Seeing that poster was a huge inspiration for me. Because it was that idea of seeing an Indigenous person who was visible, who was getting recognition for excellence in their craft. I come from a long line of Indigenous artists and I’m probably the most visible out of any of them. By far not the most talented. So that idea that there’s been all of these talented Indigenous artists, generations of them, that have gone unnoticed, and to be noticed meant to give up your Indigeneity often. It’s a really new thing for us to be up here, representing the way that we all are.

Tanya Tagaq on identity in her music:

There shouldn’t be pressure culturally for us to get out of a box, stay in a box, or anything. We’re allowed to be what we want to be – cultural freedom – that’s what I want. And I don’t expect people to comprehend or even enjoy my music, because I was born and raised up there, but yeah I went to residential school for high school, and since we started touring I’m really into going to contemporary art galleries and I like applying concept to pieces. I like contemporary music. I like noise music. I love Cindy Sherman. Anish Kapoor is one of my favourite artists. So why is it that, because I’m an Inuk, what I’m doing in a contemporary sense is applied to this pan-Inuit concept? I think it’s total bullshit, and that I’m allowed to be free and do what I want and not bear the burden of people saying I’m a traditional artist, cause I’m not.

Mike Downie on Secret Path and using the platform music and fame provides to draw attention to social and political issues:

Our feeling was – maybe this can be an on-ramp for people to learn more, because the stories keep coming and they get a lot darker than a little boy by himself on the tracks. And so, I think we did feel like there was an opportunity to use this story to get it out to not just Gord’s fans, but to the country, and also I think, just come with a message too that if you’re coming to this now, it’s OK, but keep coming, don’t turn away, and keep following that path.

Bear Witness on the sense of responsibility Indigenous artists feel:

As Indigenous artists we take on a lot of responsibility to represent and speak about Indigenous issues, especially when we’re using our culture in our work. And one of the things you (John Kim Bell) said right away was that feeling of responsibility, that this isn’t a choice, this is something that we have to do. That filled me with so much confidence and so much happiness to hear you say that, because I say that all the time, to feel that there’s other artists who’ve gone through those same feelings.”

Tanya Tagaq on the way art affects collective consciousness and politics:

Our cultural climate is dictated by the individual and then by the school of fish that we are, so there’s a collective social consciousness that’s being affected by art right now, by people waking up, so I think that the way the government is going to change is by every single one of us taking the opportunity to learn and understand and cry out. I remember growing up it was still bad to be gay, and now you’re an idiot if you’re a homophobe, right? So I’m hoping that with all of us working together we’ll force the hand of the government into making it easier for us and I think it’s up to the youth to pick up the mantle and it’s up to every single one of us to bear some of the weight because it’s a little bit unfair for the people that are already hurting to have to bear the additional pressure, and that’s why I’m so appreciative of what you (Mike and Gord Downie) have done in your work.



Performers revealed for Canada 150 Weekend in Ottawa

Photo courtesy of Canada Heritage

On Thursday, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly revealed two major events taking place in Ottawa over Canada Day and Canada 150 weekend.

On July 1, legendary singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot will join Platinum Canadian artists Alessia Cara, Dean Brody, Ruth B, Serena Ryder, Walk Off The Earth and many more for the Canada Day In The Capital annual concert. Appearing across three official sites – Parliament Hill, the Canadian Museum of History, Major’s Hill Park, all the performances will be free for the whole family, concluding with a breathtaking fireworks display across the Ottawa-Gatineau skyline.

On July 2, Parliament Hill will host a massive WE Day rally, with Barenaked Ladies, Hedley, Alanis Morissette, Kardinal Offishall, astronaut Chris Hadfield, former first lady Margaret Trudeau, humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, YouTube comedian Lilly Singh and more scheduled to appear.

The breakdown of artists performing free for Canada Day can be viewed below.

Parliament Hill

July 1

  • Walk Off The Earth
  • Dean Brody
  • Serena Ryder
  • Alessia Cara
  • Kelly Bado
  • Kinnie Starr
  • Marie Mai
  • Louis-Jean Cormier
  • Lisa Leblanc
  • Gordon Lightfoot
  • Mike Tompkins
  • Cirque du Soleil
Major’s Hill Park

June 30

  • Moon Vs Sun featuring Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk

July 1

  • Mother Mother
  • Laurence Nerbonne
  • Jonathan Painchaud
  • Ruth B
Canadian Museum Of History

July 1

  • The Lost Fingers
  • Souljazz Orchestra



The Chainsmokers celebrate first Canadian Diamond certification in Toronto

The Chainsmokers with manager Adam Alpert (left) backstage at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

The Chainsmokers are now Diamond-certified artists in Canada! Prior to their show at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, the American DJ/producer duo was presented with custom plaques commemorating the Diamond certification of their smash hit “Closer,” as well as seven of their other Canadian-certified hits.

“Closer” joins Drake’s “One Dance” and Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” as the third track in 2017 to be certified Diamond, which combines on-demand streams and digital download sales. The new certification guidelines were launched in September 2016, with Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” becoming the first track certified under the new criteria.

The full list of certifications included in The Chainsmokers’ award plaques is:

  • “Closer” ft. Halsey (Diamond)
  • “Don’t Let Me Down” ft. Daya (8x Platinum)
  • “Roses” ft. ROZES (5x Platinum)
  • “Paris” (3x Platinum)
  • “Something Just Like This” with Coldplay (2x Platinum)
  • “All We Know” ft. Phoebe Ryan (Platinum)
  • “Inside Out” ft Charlee (Gold)
  • “Until You Were Gone” (Gold)

The video for “Closer” can be viewed below.

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