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Posts by Bram Gonshor (174)

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MusiCounts Band Aid Program applications now open

The MusiCounts Band Aid Program is now accepting applications from Canadian schools whose music programs are in need of instruments. Canadian elementary, junior high, secondary, and separate schools can apply to receive up to $10,000 worth of instruments to ensure their program’s sustained growth. Whether your school offers concert or jazz bands, rock band programs or anything in between, this grant supports diverse music programs across Canada.

Schools that apply by the early application deadline of October 16, 2017 will receive a SHURE MV5 USB microphone (while supplies last, approximately $100 value). Submissions will officially close on November 20, 2017.

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Lido Pimienta wins 2017 Polaris Music Prize

Lido Pimienta accepting the 2017 Polaris Music Prize in Toronto

Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta was awarded the 2017 Polaris Music Prize Monday night in Toronto for her politically-charged and independently released album, La Papessa.

Determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals, the $50,000 Polaris Prize is awarded to the best Canadian album of the year “judged solely on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation.” $3,000 will be awarded to the nine Short List nominees.

Accepting the award from 2016 winner Kaytranda, Pimienta was joined on The Carlu stage by her son and mother, noting the struggles her family’s endured and overcome as immigrants to Canada. Pimienta thanked the Cree, Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee Indigenous groups, and “all the single mothers out there who inspire me.”

The evening was live streamed by CBC Music, and also featured performances from Feist, Lisa Leblanc, Tanya Tagaq, Leif Vollebekk, and Weaves. Lido Pimienta’s performance of “La Capacidad” from the winning album La Papessa can be viewed below.

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Brett Kissel reaches new career milestones with latest Gold plaques

Left to right: Jim Cressman (Invictus) , Adam Gonshor (Warner Music Canada), Brett Kissel, Louis O’Reilly (Invictus)

Brett Kissel was a big winner at last weekend’s CCMA Awards in Saskatoon, SK, taking home four awards including Male Artist, Interactive Artist, and Country Music Program or Special Of The Year. In addition to his Video Of The Year trophy for the ballad “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair,” the Alberta-born country star was surprised with a Gold plaque for the single at Saturday’s Invictus Entertainment Group party.

Earlier in August, Kissel was also surprised with his first two Gold album awards for Pick Me Up (2015) and Started With A Song (2013) prior to his headlining performance at Toronto’s CNE Bandshell. In an Instagram post, Kissel thanked the Warner Music Canada team, noting the album awards as an accomplished goal of his since signing with the label.

At the 2016 CCMA Awards in London, ON, Kissel became the first recipient of Music Canada’s new Single Award when he was surprised with a Gold plaque for “Airwaves” during CCMA FanFest. His latest single certification marks the fourth Canadian Gold track certification of his career.

Watch the CCMA-winning video for “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair” below.

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Canada’s Music Incubator and National Music Centre announce AE West program

Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) and the National Music Centre announced a new partnership today to bring CMI’s highly regarded Toronto-based Artist Entrepreneur Program to Studio Bell in Calgary, AB. Artist Entrepreneur (AE) West will launch this fall, and the organizations have put out a national call for submissions.

AE West is a five-week creative entrepreneurship program (Nov. 7, 2017 – Dec. 8, 2017) to help emerging professional artists, of all musical genres, develop sustainable businesses and careers via hands-on mentoring, networking, and collaboration.

“Over the past three years our outreach programs have regularly visited Alberta and Western Canada. The result has been many artists deciding to travel to Toronto to work with us more extensively. By establishing a presence in Calgary, we will be more easily accessible.” said Vel Omazic, Executive Director of CMI in a release. “We intend to complement the work being done by our partners at the National Music Centre, Alberta Music and the Western Canadian music industry by contributing high-level expertise, access to ongoing mentorship and connectivity to the music industry in Toronto.”

“This is another example of National Music Centre investing in our regional music industry, by bringing this level of expertise and support closer to home for western-Canadian artists,” said Adam Fox, Director of Programs, National Music Centre. The program will cost $1,600 for artists, which will allow them access to the NMC’s facilities, including three recording studios, live rooms, classrooms, and archival collections.”

“AE West represents a great opportunity for artists living and working in Alberta,” said Carly Klassen, Executive Director of Alberta Music. “Alberta Music is proud to partner on this pilot program and is excited for the creative support, business development, and networking that artists from Alberta and beyond will have access to.”

Eligible artists must be 18-years-old or over and actively writing, recording, releasing (or about to release) music and performing live. Interviews will be conducted with appropriate candidates prior to program admission. The program is valued at $7,500, with the majority of costs being offset thanks to the generous support of TD Bank and the Viewpoint Foundation. The AE West program application is available at: http://canadasmusicincubator.com/aewest 

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Dean Brody surprised with Canadian Gold/Platinum awards in Toronto

Photo credit: Open Road Recordings

Canadian country star Dean Brody returned to Toronto last week for a sold-out show at Budweiser Stage alongside Open Road Recordings label-mate Tim Hicks and rising Big Machine Records artist Carly Pearce. On Friday afternoon, Ron Kitchener, Brody’s manager and president of RGK Entertainment Group, surprised the artist with a custom award plaque commemorating his newly Canadian Gold-certified albums Gypsy Road (2015), Crop Circles (2013), and Trail In Life (2010). The plaque also commemorated Brody’s 2012 album Dirt, which was certified Gold in 2013.

Brody was then surprised with two more Music Canada plaques for the Double Platinum certification of his 2015 hit “Bring Down The House,” and a Gold plaque for 2016 hit “Bush Party.”

https://twitter.com/GoldPlatCA/status/902542320846954496

The video for Brody’s Double Platinum hit “Bring Down The House” can be viewed below.

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K. Flay receives first Canadian Gold plaque in Elora, ON

American singer-songwriter K. Flay was surprised with her first Canadian Gold Single Award plaque last Saturday for her breakout debut single “Blood In The Cut.” K. Flay was presented with the plaque by Universal Music Canada prior to her set on the Main Stage at Riverfest in Elora, ON, headlined later that evening by Gold-certified psychedelic rockers MGMT.

K. Flay shared the exciting news with her fans through her social media channels.

The video for “Blood In The Cut” can be viewed below.

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Portugal. The Man receive first Canadian Gold plaques for ‘Feel It Still’ in Toronto

Photo Credit: Katherine Kwan / Warner Music Canada

Prior to two sold-out headlining shows last week at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall, Portland, OR-based band Portugal. The Man were surprised with their first Canadian Gold award plaques by Warner Music Canada for their summer hit “Feel It Still.” The track comes off their eighth full length studio album Woodstock, released earlier in 2017.

The band shared the news with their fans through their Instagram and Twitter accounts.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BX6n1NxgfSD/?taken-by=kawaiiathy

“We love this song,” the band said in an Instagram post earlier in the week, when they were also presented with Gold RIAA plaques. “It’s the most natural thing we’ve ever done.”

Watch the video for “Feel It Still” below.

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City of Toronto seeking public input for new culture strategy

Photo credit: City of Toronto

The City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division (EDC) is developing a new Divisional Strategy to establish priorities over the next five years (2018-2022). In order to develop a comprehensive strategy, the EDC is seeking the input of the public on emerging opportunities, challenges, and areas of focus as they relate to Toronto’s economic development and culture.

As a starting point, they have created a Conversation Guide that highlights key emerging economic and cultural trends and challenges facing Toronto and are asking our stakeholders for their input via an online survey or written submission.

“There is an opportunity to clearly define the public benefit to artistic and cultural events,” the EDC states in the Conversation Guide. “This lens will help evaluate how artists and cultural leaders can leverage technology to support growth and new firm formation within strategic sectors of the local economy. A focus on creativity can involve the Division thinking through the City’s role in funding and/or helping to develop creativity.”

The City’s previous strategies – 2011’s Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan For Toronto and 2013’s Collaborating for Competitiveness: A Strategic Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth and Job Creation in Toronto – helped lead to the establishment of Music and Film Sector Development Teams, and the Toronto Music Strategy.

With the threat of venue closures still looming large over Toronto’s music scene, the EDC’s call for input for their new strategy is a welcomed opportunity for musicians, venue owners, and label owners to express their concerns to City staff.

In addition to the survey and written submissions, a series of public Town Hall consultations have also been scheduled for September. Written submissions will be accepted until October 2, 2017, and it is encouraged to register for the Town Hall meetings listed below:

Thursday September 14 (Register online)
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Assembly Hall, Performance Hall
1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive

Tuesday September 19 (Register online)
9:00 am – 11:00 am
North York Civic Centre, Burgundy Room
5100 Yonge Street

Saturday September 23 (Register online)
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Scarborough Civic Centre, Rotunda
150 Borough Drive

Wednesday September 27 (Register online)
9:00 – 11:00 am
Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon
789 Yonge Street

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Brett Eldredge receives Canadian Gold/Platinum awards at Boots & Hearts Music Festival

The 2017 Boots & Hearts Music Festival took place over the weekend, bringing some of country music’s biggest names to Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, ON.

On Sunday, August 13, headliner Brett Eldredge was surprised with two Canadian Gold/Platinum award plaques by Warner Music Canada.

The American singer-songwriter was presented with a Platinum award plaque for his 2016 single “Drunk On Your Love,” and Gold award plaque for his 2015 single “Wanna Be That Song.”

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Fitz and the Tantrums receive first Canadian Double Platinum plaque in Toronto

Prior to their set at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage Saturday opening for OneRepublic, Los Angeles neo-soul band Fitz and the Tantrums were surprised with Double Platinum award plaques for their hit single “HandClap.”

“HandClap,” which is the lead single from their 2016 self-titled album, is the first track by the band to be certified Double Platinum in Canada, with their hit “The Walker” reaching Platinum status in 2016.

The band shared a short video of the plaque presentation with their fans through their Twitter page.

The video for “HandClap” can be viewed below.

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