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Felix Cartal receives first Canadian Gold plaque in Toronto

Photo Credit: Felix Cartal (Twitter)

Vancouver-based DJ and electronic producer Felix Cartal was surprised by Cadence Music Group with his first Canadian Gold Single Award plaque in Toronto this week for “Get What You Give,” his unique take on the 90’s New Radicals hit.

He shared his excitement for receiving the plaque with fans through Twitter and Instagram. Following his JUNO nominations, he tweeted:

Felix Cartal was a special guest at Tuesday’s 2018 JUNO Awards nomination press conference in Toronto, which found him with two nominations for the track in the Dance Recording of the Year and Producer of The Year categories.

View the video for “Get What You Give” below.

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Dua Lipa presented with Gold and Platinum plaques in Montreal

Photo Credit: Warner Music Canada

Ahead of her sold out show January 30 at Montreal’s MTELUS, British pop star Dua Lipa was presented with her first Canadian Gold and Platinum plaques for her breakout 2017 hits “New Rules” (Platinum) and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” (Gold) by Warner Music Canada.

The highly anticipated Montreal appearance was the English singer-songwriter’s first Canadian appearance of 2018 and the second Canadian show of her Norther American Self-Titled Tour, which brought her through Toronto last November. Lipa will return to Canada on February 16 for a sold out show at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.

Watch the video for “New Rules” below.

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2018 JUNO Award nominees announced at press conference in Toronto

Felix Cartal, who earned two JUNO nominations Tuesday, performs at The Great Hall in Toronto.

The 2018 JUNO Award nominees were revealed earlier today during a press conference at Toronto’s Great Hall. Arcade Fire and Jessie Reyez lead this year’s nominees with four nominations, followed by Arkells, Gord Downie, Hedley, and Ruth B with three nominations. Reyez, along with two-time nominee Daniel Caesar and Vancouver natives Hedley, were also revealed as the first performers for the 47th annual broadcast, which will take place Sunday, March 25, 2018 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.

Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor for the 2018 Album of the Year award, which includes Arcade Fire’s Everything Now, Johnny Reid’s Revival, Michael Bublé’s Nobody But Me, Ruth B’s Safe Haven, and Shania Twain’s Now. 

Tuesday’s event kicked off with a performance by Gold-certified electronic producer Felix Cartal, and was hosted by Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe of CBC Music, the exclusive broadcast and content partner of the 2018 JUNO Awards.

Following introductory remarks by CARAS and MusiCounts CEO & President Allan Reid, CBC’s Executive Vice President Heather Conway revealed the broadcaster’s plans for their 2018 JUNO coverage, which will include a worldwide broadcast of the award show, exclusive cover sessions, podcasts, and a livestream of the highly anticipated JUNO Songwriters’ Circle. Conway also revealed that Sunday, March 25, will be known as Music Day on CBC, featuring a celebration of Canadian music across all platforms leading up to the evening’s broadcast.

Reid then returned to the podium to outline CARAS’ leadership towards improving gender parity within the music industry.

“There are very important conversations happening in our world right now around gender equality and sexual harassment,” said Reid. “It is critical that we work collectively as an industry to support a larger representation of women in music and encourage a culture that nurtures their participation and success.”

Reid continued by outlining CARAS’ efforts within the organization, including the formation of a working group to evaluate their initiatives related to equality inclusion and respect, and a scholarship for women in the technical field of production and engineering, During JUNO Week, CARAS will work with Let’s Hear It, the 2018 JUNO host committee, on a program called “Good Night Out” to promote safety and prevent sexual harassment at clubs. As well, 2018 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award recipient Denise Donlon will host a panel and keynote during JUNO Week on paving a path to success for women in the industry.

More performers and additional details on JUNO Week concerts and events will be revealed in the coming weeks. A new block of tickets are now on-sale for the broadcast, with $1 from each ticket sale being donated to MusiCounts through a partnership with Plus 1.

You can watch CBC Music’s full archived livestream of the press conference below:

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Music Canada proud to return as sponsor of Album of the Year category at the 2018 JUNO Awards

Earlier today the nominees for the 2018 JUNO Awards were revealed at a press conference at Toronto’s Great Hall. Music Canada is proud to return as sponsor of the Album of the Year category for the 47th annual JUNO Awards. The 2018 Album of the Year nominees are:

  • Everything Now – Arcade Fire (Sony)
  • Revival – Johnny Reid (Halo*Universal)
  • Nobody But Me – Michael Bublé (Warner)
  • Safe Haven – Ruth B (Sony)
  • Now – Shania Twain (Mercury*Universal)

“Congratulations to everyone involved in the making of these fantastic albums. We at Music Canada are incredibly proud to help recognize Canadian artists, their record label teams, and other individuals who have helped them reach the pinnacle of celebration and achievement in Canadian music,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“Whether celebrating success at the highest level through our support for institutions like the JUNO Awards and our Gold/Platinum program or fostering the next generation of artists through music education in Canadian schools, Music Canada’s advocacy supports artists at every stage of their career,” says Henderson. “Our Music Cities work aims to make cities more music and musician friendly, promoting sustainability and growth of music ecosystems at the municipal level. And through our federal copyright advocacy, we strive to ensure music creators are properly compensated whenever their work is commercialized by others.”

In addition to the Album of the Year, Music Canada will return as sponsor of the 2018 Welcome Reception for JUNOs weekend, happening Saturday, March 23 in Vancouver. The 47th annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast live on CBC beginning at 5pm PT and 8pm EST on Sunday, March 25. You can also watch the live steam on CBC Music’s Facebook page.

Ticket information for the 2018 JUNO Awards broadcast and other 2018 JUNO Awards events is available on the JUNOs website.

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Webequie First Nation youth share their dreams and hopes in ‘Anishinaabe Dreams’ music video

The ‘Anishinaabe Dreams’ music video by Webequie First Nations youth was officially released by DAREarts on January 25. The video begins with young people sharing their dreams to become a hockey player, a doctor and a baseball player. The youth then begin to sing “We know ourselves through our dreams. We know ourselves through this land where we’ve been.”

The video was produced by the national children’s charity DAREarts, which works with 9-19 year olds from schools in underserved communities to build courage, confidence and leadership skills. DAREarts (which stands for Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence) began its Indigenous Program ten years ago in Webequie First Nation and has returned to the community every year.

Last year DAREarts undertook a special project called Spirit Bear which travelled through four remote communities – Marten Falls First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation, Attawapiskat First Nation and Webequie First Nation – and according to DAREarts “transformed into a metaphor for the circle between culture, history and youth.”

Watch the inspiring ‘Anishinaabe Dreams’ video below.

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CARAS announces that London, Ontario, will host the 2019 JUNO Awards

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today that London will host the 2019 JUNO Awards, as well as all the JUNO Week events, from March 11 through March 19, 2019. JUNO Week 2019 is supported by the Province of Ontario, the City of London, Tourism London, and the 2019 Host Committee.

“We’re excited to be bringing the 2019 JUNOS to London. This city has seen incredible growth with its music scene and as such, is the perfect platform to celebrate Canadian talent,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “We want to thank the Government of Ontario for their support in bringing the JUNOS back to Ontario. We look forward to supporting and showcasing the city’s diverse music scene.”

While this marks the first time that London has hosted Canada’s music awards, the Forest City is well-positioned to deliver strong results as host of the JUNO Awards, thanks to several years of steady progress on music-friendly policies and programs via the London Music Strategy. In recent years, London has hosted an incredibly successful Country Music Week and CCMA Awards; completed its first ever music census;  taken steps to modernize noise bylaws for music and dancing on outdoor patios; and hosted its first Music Career Day. In recognition of these efforts, Music Canada presented London’s Music Industry Development Officer, Cory Crossman, and Chris Campbell, Director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism at Tourism London, with our 2017 President’s Award for their incredible commitment to making London a Music City.

“We are thrilled to host the 2019 JUNO Week celebrations here in London. As one of Canada’s emerging cultural scenes we are excited to show the world how culturally rich and diverse London is,” said Chris Campbell. “The JUNO Awards is London’s opportunity to bring artists and music fans to our great city to showcase our hospitality and our growing music scene and we could not be happier to be the 2019 Host City.”

JUNO Week 2019 is expected to drive approximately $10 million in economic impact in London, a figure which is consistent with results in previous host cities. The CARAS release states that since the JUNOS began touring across Canada in 2002, the awards have driven more than $120 million in economic impact.

“Ontario is a key music hub in Canada and North America,” said Daiene Vernile, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Our vibrant culture is driven by our exceptional talent and diversity, making Ontario a great fit for hosting the JUNO Awards in 2019. We have a thriving music industry that makes a significant contribution to Ontario’s economy by creating jobs, generating sales and building the province’s profile at an international level. I am thrilled to welcome the JUNOS to London.”

The 48th Annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast live on CBC from Budweiser Gardens, on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

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New research from SOCAN provides more evidence for the value of Music Cities strategies

The results of a new survey commissioned by SOCAN provide new evidence to support the development of Music City strategies, like those detailed in Music Canada’s landmark study, The Mastering of a Music City.

The SOCAN study titled Live Music & Urban Canadians confirms that most Canadians living in urban centres think it is important to live in a neighbourhood “with a vibrant local arts scene that includes live music” and support a portion of funds from new property developments going to community arts and culture developments.

Some details of the survey were initially shared in an opinion piece for the Toronto Star by SOCAN’s CEO Eric Baptiste titled Cities can create conditions for live music to thrive. The article was followed by another release expanding on the results of the survey and proposing ways that municipalities and music fans can support live music.

Results from SOCAN’s research include:

  • “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of urban Canadians agree that it is important to live in a neighbourhood with a vibrant arts scene that includes live music.”

Respondents with a university degree (71%) were more likely to agree with this sentiment versus those with a college (58%) or high school (49%) education. Urban residents in Atlantic Canada (74%) were also most in agreement versus residents in other parts of Canada, followed by Quebec (68%), British Columbia (67%), Ontario (63%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (54%) and Alberta (50%).

  • “The vast majority (80%) of urban Canadians would support a portion of funds going to community arts & culture developments.”

SOCAN’s survey stated that “currently new property developers in some municipalities are required to put a portion of funds towards community development, city parks, etc,” and asked respondents whether they would support a portion of these funds being put towards arts & culture developments like live music venues and local theatres.

Urban Canadians who agreed that living in a neighbourhood with a vibrant arts and live music scene was important to them were significantly more likely to agree (91%) that development fees should support arts & culture developments than those who did not agree (62%).

  • “Roughly half (49%) of urban Canadians would enjoy owning and living in a condo that offered live music in the lobby.”

SOCAN’s survey noted that many condos in the US and Europe have restaurants and bars in their lobbies. Of the urban Canadians who responded that they would enjoy live music in their lobby, young Canadians aged 18-34 were most likely to agree (66%) and respondents living in Quebec were less likely to agree (39%) than Canadian outside of Quebec (55%).

As noted in The Mastering of a Music City, music can play a powerful role in city brand building, and also in attracting and retaining talent and investment in a city’s broader economy. In a world where talent is highly mobile, some cities are focusing on the vibrancy of their music and arts scene as a way to stand out from the competition. SOCAN’s research adds further evidence to support this observation.

Access to the spaces and places in which music can be made – from education to rehearsal to recording to performance – is also one of the seven key strategies to grow and strengthen a local music economy identified in The Mastering of a Music City.

But the relationship between residential buildings and these spaces, including live music venues, rehearsal spaces, and arts hubs, is one in which cities across the world are attempting to strike the right balance. New residential developments have, in some cases, been developed on properties formerly occupied by live venues or community arts hubs. Other venues have been threatened by rising rents, property values and taxes that do not consider the social value of these cultural spaces.

What tools are at a city’s disposal that might be, given SOCAN’s research, supported by urban Canadians?

401 Richmond, a live-work community arts hub in Toronto, was recently confronted with a property tax increase that threatened its closure. Recognizing the cultural significance of venues such as 401 Richmond, the Province of Ontario announced it was prepared to, in conjunction with the City, develop a new tax class for heritage properties.

Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy then brought a successful motion to council to formally begin the process of establishing “Toronto’s new Culture and Creative property tax sub-class.”

Another tool adopted by cities like Melbourne, San Francisco, Montreal and London is the Agent of Change principle in land use planning. The Mastering of a Music City describes the principle as such:

“The Agent of Change Principle determines which party is required to adopt noise mitigation measures in situations of mixed land use. If the ‘agent of change’ is a new apartment building that is being built near a pre-existing music venue, the apartment building is responsible for sound attenuation. On the other hand, if the music venue is undergoing renovations and therefore is the ‘agent of change’ in the neighbourhood, it is responsible for noise mitigation.”

In Toronto, while various measures are under consideration and review, the City’s Film & Entertainment Industries’ Music Unit can now add comments to applications circulated by the Planning Division for any new development within 120 metres of an existing live music venue so that staff can identify any potential conflicts and make recommendations.

These and other policies, like reviewing noise bylaws, can go a long way in allowing live music venues and residential properties to coexist, facilitating the conditions for the vibrant arts and cultural communities that SOCAN’s research has shown are important to nearly two-thirds of urban Canadians.

This research comes as regions across Canada, including London, Vancouver, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex, Moncton, Ottawa, Barrie-Simcoe County, and more have implemented or are considering strategies to better support and grow their music ecosystems. SOCAN’s new findings provide even more evidence for the value in municipal strategies that create the environment for music ecosystems to flourish.

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Leading Canadian copyright lawyer says “support for Canada’s content creators is imperative” in Globe and Mail op-ed

Barry Sookman, one of Canada’s leading copyright lawyers, wrote an op-ed published in The Globe and Mail on January 18, addressing two of the major challenges facing the cultural industries in Canada: pirate streaming and the Value Gap. The piece was later posted in its full, unedited length on Sookman’s personal website.

Sookman says that “our outdated legal frameworks” are a significant contributing cause of these challenges. He references Music Canada’s 2017 report The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach, which shows that “the market value of music in Canada is still a fraction of what it once was, and equitable remuneration for access to music remains elusive.”

The report defines the Value Gap 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.”

As Sookman points out, the Value Gap is not only a problem for music creators. He says that most of Canada’s leading cultural industries are also affected, including journalism, television and film.

A coalition of author and publisher groups have documented the harm caused by the Value Gap to their sector, and in 2017 launched the I Value Canadian Stories campaign to urge Canadian lawmakers to “restore balance between the need to compensate our creators for educational copying and the need to promote access to quality content.” The campaign website notes that royalties to creators and publishers for copying of their works have declined by 80% since 2013.

Sookman concludes that, given the magnitude of this problem and the threat to Canada’s cultural industries, the issue, as well as practical solutions, “deserve the attention and support of Canadians.”

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A series of recommendations from Toronto Music Advisory Council are one step closer to policy after Economic Development Committee approval

Members of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee passed a suite of Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) recommendations today aimed at providing better support for the city’s live music venues, and facilitating the collection of data for an international study on night time economies.

Toronto’s Economic Development Committee is composed of councillors Fragedakis, Grimes, Hart, Holland, Kelly and Thompson (Chair), many of whom spoke passionately about the value of music and culture to the city’s identity and well-being, as well as music’s significant contribution to the local economy.

“Life without music, life without culture, would be no life,” said Committee Chair Michael Thompson, Councilor for Ward 37 (Scarborough Centre) and former TMAC Co-Chair.

Spencer Sutherland, current Co-Chair of TMAC, owner of Toronto music venue Nocturne and Chairman of the Queen West Business Improvement Area, gave a deputation at the meeting thanking the Committee and Council for its support thus far, and speaking to the progress TMAC has made to reach these recommendations.

Many of the recommendations were specifically created to address the challenges that live music venues face, like rising property taxes, as well as licensing and other logistical challenges. A sense of urgency to address the situation for venues came to a fever pitch in 2017.

“As you might recall at the same time last year our city was facing an unprecedented crisis of music venues closing at an alarming rate of one per week,” said Sutherland. “Thankfully, so far this year we have seen none of that.”

Later in the meeting Josh Colle, Councillor for Ward 15 (Eglinton-Lawrence) and TMAC Co-Chair, said the story that is not often told is about venues opening or re-opening, such as Hugh’s Room and The Hideout. Colle praised the work of TMAC, and specifically the venue sustainability working group, which he said “really lit a fire” under councillors to act to provide better protection and support for live music.

The agenda item up for consideration was titled “Night-time Economy – Collection of Data and Protection of Live Music Venues,” and recommendations made to the Committee by the TMAC were divided into two categories.

The first related to an international study of the night time economy being conducted by the Responsible Hospitality Institute examining effective and sustainable models for night time economy management.  TMAC requested that the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, in collaboration with the Director, Office of Emergency Management and the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, facilitate the collection of accurate data by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) to contribute to the international study.

Cities around the globe are examining various policies to best support their night time economies, and some cities, such as Amsterdam and New York, have appointed a Night Mayor to represent the businesses and cultures that thrive outside of the nine-to-five. In a 2016 Huffington Post blog, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill asked “Does Toronto need a Night Mayor?”

Councillor Thompson noted that Toronto is paying attention to initiatives in other cities, including New York and London, and felt the City could do more to maximize the potential of its night time economy. “There are many things that are taking place and in a city like ours – it never sleeps,” Thompson told the Committee. “People sleep at individual times but the city itself is always alive and vibrant.”

The second recommendation from TMAC was all about live music and was made up of a suite of nine recommendations included in a previously requested report on protecting live music venues in Toronto. The General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, was asked to consider the following:

  1. Create tax benefits for local live music venues.
  2. Initiate and expand music pilot programs including ideas for artist tour bus parking, musician load in/out zones and artist poster zones.
  3. Create a music venue certification program.
  4. Amend zoning and licensing to protect existing venues and encourage new ones including a clarification of what business license music venues require.
  5. Create a panel, consisting of a member of the Film and Entertainment Office, members of the Live Working Group, and senior members of planning, building and licensing, with regard to providing advice to individuals and/or organizations wishing to establish new and/or grow existing live music venues.
  6. Review Municipal Licensing Regulations governing parks, green spaces, and city owned outdoor venues.
  7. Support Night-time Economy initiatives with The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI).
  8. Financial support for an economic impact study of local live music venues.
  9. Financial support for a local Music Passport event series.

All recommendations in the agenda item passed with the support of the Economic Development Committee and will now be brought to Toronto City Council at a yet to be determined date.

“I hope that these suggestions are embraced and supported by Committee and then by Council,” commented Councillor Colle. “I hope we see the continuation of what I think is – well, what the challenge is – the healthiest and most robust Music City in the world.”

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Barenaked Ladies & Steven Page announced as 2018 Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Inductees

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and CBC have announced world-renowned rock band Barenaked Ladies as the 2018 inductees into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. The induction, which will take place during the 47th Annual JUNO Awards, will find Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, and Tyler Stewart come together for a one-time special appearance with original member, co-founder, and singer-songwriter Steven Page in celebration of the group’s 30th anniversary.

“We are thrilled to be inducting the Barenaked Ladies, alongside Steven Page, into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. For nearly 30 years, their work has dominated charts both globally and domestically as they have grown to become one of the country’s most celebrated musical acts,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “We look forward to celebrating all of their achievements and welcoming them into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver.“

Formed in 1988 in Scarborough, ON, the band has sold nearly 15 million records worldwide and earned countless accolades including eight JUNO Awards, two Billboard Music Awards and multiple Grammy nominations. Following the massive success of their self-titled independently released demo tape, known to fans as The Yellow Tape, the band released their debut studio album Gordon through Sire Records, which went on to earn Diamond certification status (1 million albums sold) in Canada. Eight of the bands albums have been certified Canadian Gold, along with two of their DVD releases.

“We are honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame,” said Ed Robertson. “For almost 30 years we’ve worked hard to write the best songs we can, make the best records we can make, and do the best shows possible. We’ve traveled the world with our music, but Canada has always been home. This is very special for us.”

“I have so many great memories of my years with Barenaked Ladies, from our beginning in our parents’ basements to playing our songs for audiences all over the world,” said Steven Page. “I’m incredibly proud of all we achieved together, the greatest of all being the fact that our music continues to be a part of so many Canadians’ lives. Congratulations to the guys – I’m humbled by our induction into the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping that next year we will be inducted into Hall and Oates.”

Barenaked Ladies will join the ranks of Canadian music icons in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, including Alanis Morissette, Anne Murray, Blue Rodeo, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Oscar Peterson, RUSH, The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip, Shania Twain and 2017 inductee Sarah McLachlan. In 2016 the Canadian Music Hall of Fame found a permanent home with the opening of Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.

Tickets are on-sale now for the 47th Annual JUNO Awards, which will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.

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