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Posts by Bram Gonshor (185)


Macklemore receives first Canadian Diamond plaque in Toronto


Photo: Warner Music Canada

Seattle, WA rapper Macklemore was in Toronto last week for the sole Canadian date of his North American Gemini Tour. Prior to his show at REBEL, Macklemore was presented with a custom Diamond plaque by Warner Music Canada for “Thrift Shop,” his 2013 Grammy-winning breakthrough hit with Ryan Lewis from their Platinum-certified album The Heist. “Thrift Shop” was the seventh track to be certified Diamond in Canada and the sixth since Music Canada launched the new Single Award, which combines on-demand audio streams and digital track sales.

The rapper was also surprised with a Platinum plaque for his track “Glorious,” from his 2017 album Gemini. Since receiving the award, Macklemore has also earned a Gold certification for his Kesha collaboration, “Good Old Days.”


Amazon launches Prime Music streaming service in Canada

Canadian Amazon Prime customers can now enjoy the company’s on-demand music streaming service Prime Music, which launched today in Canada with over one million songs, hundreds of curated playlists, and personalized stations. The ad-free service is now available to Prime customers at no additional cost to their annual membership.

“Music plays such an important role in our customers’ lives, and we’re excited to provide an even better Prime experience for Canada with the launch of Prime Music,” said Mike Strauch, Country Manager for Amazon Canada.

To celebrate their expansion, Amazon Music has created several  “Made In Canada” playlists across genres and eras like PopRock and Alternative, Classic RockSinger-Songwriters, and 90s Alternative.

Other Canadian-only playlists include Classic Quebec Country, Chanteuses Québécoises, 60s Quebec, and Celtic Canada.

Prime Music can be accessed through the Amazon Music app on iPads, iPhones, Android devices, laptops or online at Mobile listeners can also save music for offline playback on their mobile device when they don’t have an internet connection.

In addition to Prime Music, the Amazon Echo is also now available for pre-order in Canada, which will be made available on December 5, 2017. The voice-activated Dolby speaker system will pair with Amazon Music, Spotify, Radioplayer, TuneIn, and more, providing a seamless, hands-free music experience.

Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can try Prime Music with a 30-day free trial.



Arcade Fire ‘infinitely content’ with latest Canadian Platinum plaques

Photo credit: Sony Music Canada

Montreal-based indie rockers Arcade Fire closed the North American leg of Infinite Content tour, which found the band perform in-the-round at more than two dozen arenas across the continent, with two shows last weekend at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Prior to the shows, the band were surprised with Platinum award plaques for their fifth studio album, Everything Now, by Sony Music Canada.

Everything Now is the bands fourth Canadian Platinum certification, joining their landmark 2003 debut Funeral, 2010’s Double Platinum album The Suburbs, and 2013’s Triple Platinum two-disc set Reflektor. 

The video for the album’s title track can be viewed below.



Toronto Live Music Industry Forum to focus on venue sustainability

On Monday, November 13, Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) chairs Jeff Cohen (Collective Concerts) and Jesse Kumagai (Live Nation) will moderate an open discussion about the most pressing issues facing live music venues in Toronto, focusing on ongoing venue sustainability and potential revenue growth.

This panel will explore traditional spaces and business models, while a later session will focus on the challenges facing DIY spaces.

In 2016, Toronto City Council unanimously approved TMAC’s Toronto Music Strategy, which aims to guide the short and long-term growth of Toronto’s music sector. Following a public consultation, the music strategy identified six major strategic areas for TMAC and the City of Toronto to focus on for supporting and growing Toronto’s music sector, with many of the key principles from the report expected to be discussed at the November 13 event.

The live music industry forum will run from 4-6pm at Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St. W), and is open to all live music industry professionals, venue owners and operators, musicians, agents, touring professionals, city councillors and officials. If you are interested in attending the discussion, you can RSVP through the Facebook event or by e-mailing



Niall Horan receives Gold plaque for debut album ahead of intimate Toronto show

Universal Music Canada staff pose with Niall Horan at Massey Hall

On Wednesday, November 1, pop sensation Niall Horan paid his Toronto die-hards a special visit for an intimate show at Massey Hall in support of his debut solo album, Flicker. Prior to the highly anticipated performance, Horan was surprised with a Gold plaque for the album by Universal Music Canada, which also commemorates his Double Platinum singles “Slow Hands” and “This Town.”

Following the presentation, the former One Direction member went on to perform tracks off his latest album for the excited Toronto crowd, including a cover of the 1D hit “Fool’s Gold.” As a member of the pop group, Horan earned four Canadian Gold Album Award certifications, with Take Me Home and Up All Night both earning Triple Platinum status.

The Irish singer-songwriter will return to Toronto next year for a show at Budweiser Stage on September 5, 2018.

Watch the lyric video for “Slow Hands” from the Gold-certified album Flicker below.


ATX6 return to Toronto for Indie Week 2017

Toronto is gearing up for Indie Week Canada, with over two hundred acts set to play in more than twenty venues across the city from November 7 – 12, 2017.

On Friday, November 10, six unique and diverse artists will play The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Ave.) as part of Project ATX6 – a music export and documentary film production that selects six Austin, TX musicians annually to showcase at international music festivals in France, Germany, England, Japan, and Canada.

The ATX6 first traveled to Toronto in 2014 for the North By Northeast festival following the world’s first Music City Alliance signing between the two cities. The ATX6 have since returned to Toronto for the last four years, teaming up with local musicians to support the travelling artists as their backing band. Since 2014, the ATX6 have played venues in Kensington Market, Queen West, and even helped launched Downtown Yonge BIA’s Play The Parks 2015 season with a free showcase in Trinity Square.

Now its fourth year, the 2017 class of the AT6 will feature Taylor Wilkins (Otis The Destroyer), Sisi Berry (Torino Black), Lindsey Verrill (Little Mazarn), Acey Monaro (Go Fever), Mobley, and Corey Baum (Croy and the Boys). Each musician will perform individual sets of original music from their Austin-based bands. As with previous years, the artists will be accompanied by a film crew who will be documenting the group’s travels for a web series, directed and produced by the project’s founder Chris Brecht.

In addition to their Dakota Tavern showcase, the ATX will also play The Cameron House (408 Queen St. W) on Saturday, November 11, at 6pm. Visit the ATX6 website for more information about this year’s group, and you can buy tickets for the shows or festival wristbands at Indie Week’s website.


CMW 2018 announces Hall Of Fame inductees at Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards

Canadian Music Week has announced the first round of 2018 inductions to the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame, who will be honoured at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, May 10, at Rebel Nightclub in Toronto.

This week, CMW announced David Farrell, who has covered the music industry for over four decades with his publications The Record and website FYI Music News, will be one of this year’s inductees. In addition to his industry coverage, Farrell is also credited as one of the founders of the festival and conference, which is now in its 36th year.

“David has always had a strong voice in the music industry, especially when it comes to delivering to the latest and most important news, says CMW President Neill Dixon. “I am very excited and honoured that David is being inducted into the 2018 Canadian Music Industry Awards Hall of Fame at CMW, the event that he helped start.”

“Being honoured by my peers in this way is beyond anything I could or would have asked for, and I’m grateful for those who have appreciated what I have done,” says Farrell. “It’s wonderful to be rewarded with an acknowledgement that my crazy life has, after all, meant something to the community that I’ve tried – for all these years – to serve in a meaningful, consistent way.”

In September, CMW announced Montreal radio DJ Robert “TooTall” Wagenaar as the first inductee for 2018, who retired from the mic after 40 years at CHOM 97.7 FM. To celebrate his career and Hall Of Fame induction, CHOM threw a retirement party for the “Made In Canada” host at Montreal’s Club Soda, featuring performances from Sam Roberts, The Pursuit Of Happiness, and video tributes from Alex Lifeson, Tom Cochrane, Blondie, Raine Maida, DMC, Gil Moore, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


blackbear receives first Canadian Platinum plaque

Photo courtesy of Universal Music Canada

American hip hop artist and producer blackbear was surprised by Universal Music Canada last week with a Platinum plaque for his track “do re mi.” Blackbear was presented with the award in Toronto on Wednesday, October 25, prior to his set opening for multi-Platinum rock band Fall Out Boy at the Air Canada Centre.

“Do re mi” represents blackbear’s first certification as a solo artist. He was previously certified in Canada for Justin Bieber’s Triple Platinum 2012 hit “Boyfriend,” which he co-wrote along with Bieber, Mike Posner, and Mason Levy.

blackbear will return to Toronto and the Air Canada Centre on May 2, 2018, when he hits the road with electronic producer KYGO for the Kids In Love Tour.

Watch the video for “do re mi (ft. Gucci Mane)” below.


Canada’s Walk of Fame reveals 2017 inductees and honourees

Canada’s Walk Of Fame has announced the 2017 inductees who will be honoured at the Beyond Famous Gala on November 15 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto, ON. With the announcement of this year’s inductees, Canada’s Walk Of Fame will have honoured 173 Canadians who have a permanent place of tribute in the streets of Toronto’s Entertainment District.

The 2017 Canada’s Walk of Fame inductees, who represent the organization’s five pillars of recognition, are:

  • legendary Olympic champion sprinter Donovan Bailey (Sports and Athletics);
  • civil-rights pioneer Viola Desmond (Philanthropy and Humanities);
  • award-winning film, television and theater actress Anna Paquin (Arts and Entertainment);
  • communications pioneer Ted Rogers (Business and Entrepreneurship), and;
  • global environmental activist David Suzuki (Science and Technology).

Iconic songwriter and musician Stompin’ Tom Connors, who passed away in 2013, will be honoured as the 2017 Cineplex Legends Inductee.

In addition to the inductees, multi-Platinum JUNO-nominated artist Shawn Hook will be awarded the 2017 Allan Slaight Honour, which recognizes young, inspirational Canadians who have achieved international success in the music industry. Past recipients include Brett Kissel, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen, Melanie Fiona, Drake, and Nikki Yanofsky.

On Sunday, December 3, Global will broadcast a one-hour documentary special Beyond Famous: Canada’s Walk of Fame hosted by Emmy Award winning actor Eric McCormack, showcasing the 19-year history of inductions. The documentary also examines the impact of Canadian talent on the arts, science, entertainment and technology industries on a national and international scale.


Toronto’s influence on Canadian music celebrated with Fall concert series

From Queen West to Little Jamaica, the unique sounds of Toronto’s music history are being showcased with a free concert series this Fall. MomenTO: Sounds Like Toronto celebrates Toronto’s influence on Canadian music, and is produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario’s Ontario 150 Program.

The series kicked off on October 18 with two roots-rock nights; one at The Horseshoe, headlined by Whitney Rose, and the other at Hugh’s Room, featuring legendary singer/songwriter Sylvia Tyson. Curated by renowned music journalist and historian Nicholas Jennings, the remaining shows will span a wide range of genres including reggae, world, jazz, and hip hop. These shows can be viewed below. While tickets are free, some shows will sell out and unclaimed tickets will be released at the door the night of the shows.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 – Roots, Rock, Regg’Eh @ Sanfoka Restaurant (1653 Eglinton Ave W.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 – Where Global Goes Local @ Lula Lounge (1285 Dundas St. W)

Friday, November 10, 2017 – Jazz Generations of Toronto  @ Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, University of Toronto (80 Queen’s Park)

Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Hip Hop House Party: From the T-dot to the Six @ BAND (Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue) (19 Brock Ave)


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