In August of 2017, Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister, Navdeep Bains, in conjunction with Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced the launch of consultations on reforming the Copyright Board of Canada. According to the government’s release, the goal of Copyright Board reform is to “enable creators to get paid properly and on time.”
The first letter was submitted on behalf of “Canadian musicians, independent label owners and creative entrepreneurs – at all stages of their careers” 100 of whom added their names. The letter states “While only part of our income comes from royalties collected by collective societies, the rates set by the Board directly impact the value of our music, and our ability to earn a living from it.” The letter specifically supports three options outlined in the consultation’s Discussion Paper and points out that while the role of the Board has evolved, “at the end of the day, the Board is valuing our work, and setting rates that affect our livelihoods.”
The second letter was submitted to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and in addition to the list of supporting names, is signed directly by Mulholland, Jim Cuddy, Alan Doyle and Joel Plaskett. It stresses the need for real and meaningful change at the Board, calling for tariffs to be set faster and more in line with market values, and also thanks the government for embarking on the long overdue reform process.
Toronto, Nov. 2, 2017: In a ground-breaking report, Music Canada, a national trade organization, documents the scale of harm being caused by the Value Gap – defined as the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed, particularly through user upload content services like YouTube, and the revenues returned to the people and businesses who create it.
“This is the story you will not hear from Google,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “YouTube would never have emerged as the largest music service without distorting the use of safe harbour protections in copyright law that were created to protect ‘mere conduits’ or ‘dumb pipes.’ We now know that today’s digital platforms are the smartest pipes that have ever been imagined.”
Creators and governments around the world are taking notice, and taking action. In Canada, thousands of musicians, authors, poets, visual artists, playwrights and other members of the creative class, have urged the Canadian government to address the Value Gap in a campaign called Focus On Creators.
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!
The Music Canada President’s Award is presented to an individual working outside the music community who displays a deep passion for music and the people who make it.
The recent past has been filled with many firsts and milestones for music in London, Ontario. The city hosted an incredibly successful Country Music Week and the CCMA Awards in September 2016; completed its first ever music census; has taken steps to modernize noise bylaws for music and dancing on outdoor patios; and on November 17, will host its first Music Career Day. Credit for these outstanding accomplishments is due not only to one individual, but two passionate community leaders.
At Playback 2017, Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, London’s Music Industry Development Officer, Cory Crossman, and Chris Campbell, Director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism at Tourism London, were both presented with the 2017 President’s Award for their incredible commitment to making London a Music City.
Miranda Mulholland does it all. From running a record label and a music festival, to singing and playing fiddle in multiple acts, and even performing as a member of Toronto’s Soul Pepper Theatre Company, Miranda is the epitome of a multi-talented artist. On top of her artistic achievements, Miranda has emerged as a trailblazer in the global artists’ rights movement.
In recognition of her outstanding advocacy efforts to improve the livelihoods of music creators, Miranda Mulholland was presented with the inaugural Music Canada Artist Advocate Award at Playback 2017.
Watch Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, present Miranda Mulholland with the inaugural Music Canada Artist Advocate Award below.
Below is selection of photos of Miranda receiving the award.
The first panel at Playback 2017, Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, focused on strategies to improve inclusivity in the music industry.
Drawing on lessons learned from other industries, and current initiatives in music, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, led a discussion about concrete actions that can be taken to improve gender parity in all aspects of the music industry including boards of directors, senior executive positions, festival programming, and more.
Just before the panel, Amy announced a new direction that had just been passed by the Music Canada Board to examine ways our own organization can be more representative of the community:
Vanessa Vidas – an Associate Partner who is Deloitte’s Leader, Inclusion – Growth & Markets. Her objectives are to advance inclusion within the firm but also more broadly across Canada. Vanessa is also involved in The 30% Club, which aims to develop a diverse pool of talent for all businesses and whose members are committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organizations.
Keely Kemp – founder and President of CultureCap, and also co-founder of Across the Board, an advocacy movement committed to ensuring gender parity on the boards of directors of organizations that impact the Canadian music industry.
Catherine Tait – a veteran with over 25 years of experience in the film and television industries in Canada and the US. She is President of Duopoly and co-founder of iThentic whose recent projects include Epic Studios with Maker Studios and Save Me for CBC Comedy. Catherine released a CMPA study entitled Women & Leadership: Gender Parity in The Screen Based Industries early in 2017.
On October 17, at the first Playback event, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, launched the Playback 2017 site and highlighted some of Music Canada’s accomplishments from the past 12 months described in the publication.
Watch the full video below, and for a fuller picture of Music Canada’s work in the past year, check out the Playback 2017 website.
Below is a selection of photos from the Playback 2017 year in review.
Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, Playback, took place on October 17. At the event, Graham Henderson officially launched our latest research report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach. Following the launch of the report, Canadian recording artists Damhnait Doyle and Miranda Mulholland joined moderator Andrew Cash, a musician himself, for an honest discussion about their strategies for survival working as musicians in 2017.
Damhnait Doyle is an accomplished musician, songwriter, SOCAN Award winner, as well as a columnist and author. She has released multiple albums, both of solo material and as part of the group Shaye.
Andrew Cash is a JUNO and SOCAN Award winning musician and composer with over a dozen albums to his credit. He is also a former Member of Parliament and is co-founder of the Urban Worker Project.
Watch the full video below:
“Musicians, technically and for a very long time, have been undervalued.”
“What I did today – I sang on a television show – which I will only get paid for once, the same with your (Miranda’s) situation with Republic of Doyle…I’m getting paid a ridiculously small amount of money, but I’m doing it because – where else am I going to make money?”
“It costs me an incredible amount of money to go out on the road, and to earn money, which is now kind of the only allotted place where artists earn money. Well, you’re not making money off the radio, you’re not making money off publishing, you’re not making money off records. So the only place you’re going to make money is playing live.”
“We’re really, really fortunate in this country to have things like FACTOR and to have things like Slaight Music who support our artists. In that one sense we are in a very rarified earth up here in Canada, that we do have an industry that supports us. It supports us in the creation of the art itself, but there, it falls off…It would be an artist’s dream to not have to apply to FACTOR. That would be a great milestone.”
“The fact that the government has not changed or amended this legislation is laughable, I mean, someone made a mistake and no one’s willing to clean up the mess. It’s a mistake.”
“There’s no bylaws and standards regulating a rock-n-roll band. And by and large, that’s been probably a problem.”
“One of the reasons we’re all here is that we love music, and we want music to happen. And it can’t happen unless artists can make a decent living and be healthy and happy in their lives.”
“I find my days are taken up with so much administration…I’m updating my Facebook and I’m doing my Spotify work. I’m selling their product basically, through my music, and trying to get people to subscribe to Spotify so that I can get paid .004 extra cents per stream.”
“Granting is great, and it’s amazing that we have those capabilities in Canada, but what we want is a sustainable working marketplace where we are creating art and we are being remunerated for it properly. And that is not happening for a variety of reasons.”
“Policy must change. The government needs to make some pretty swift cuts to end some of these subsidies, and that’s a big deal. And I love that people are actually having this conversation now and asking about what our lives look like, that it isn’t flashy parties, you know, and being more honest on Instagram and Facebook about what touring actually looks like because it doesn’t look the way that I think most people picture it.”
“If you look at France – they have very strong opinions about Spotify and about a lot of the streaming services, and they’ve taken some really harsh stances, and I feel as though our government is still in a lot of conversations, and they’re being very polite with a lot of these giant tech companies, where there actually could be some pretty significant…maybe further than conversations, but actually drawing a line in the sand. That would be appreciated by us and that would definitely change our livelihoods.”
Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, Playback, took place on October 17. The headlining portion of this year’s event was the launch of Music Canada’s latest research report The Value Gap: It’s Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach. This new report is the first comprehensive collection of information about the Value Gap, and the solutions available to Canadian policy makers.
At Playback 2017, Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, shared highlights from the report and described the four concrete recommendations contained within for the Government of Canada to address the Value Gap plaguing Canadian music creators and other cultural industries.
Watch the full video below:
The Value Gap is the most pressing global phenomenon hurting creative industries, including publishing, journalism, film and television production, and music. It is an issue of critical importance to the current and future health of Canadian culture, our nation’s cultural industries, and the creators of our cultural works.
Many of our creative industry partners affected by the Value Gap, some of whom are supporting partners in the Focus On Creators coalition, attended Playback and shared their reaction to the report:
On Sunday, October 1, Barrie will be the latest Canadian city to open a musical instrument lending library. The Huronia Symphony Orchestra and The Barrie Public Library are partnering on the project, with the generous support of the County of Simcoe and MusicPro Barrie. In addition to the lending library, the project will include youth drop in programs, intended to help young musicians network and learn from one another and local musicians.
The project will launch with a Grand Opening Celebration at the downtown branch of the Barrie Public Library that will feature performances by members of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra, as well as special guest performances by Jason McCoy of The Roadhammers and country singer/songwriter Dani Strong. The celebration is free and open to everyone, and will also include a musical instrument petting zoo and other activities.
The team behind the project is planning to expand the program to Orillia and other libraries in the region so that a greater number of young people, cultural organizations, and adults are able to access musical instruments and learning opportunities.
Barrie music lovers, anyone looking to learn a new instrument, or anyone curious is encouraged to attend the Grand Opening Celebration, happening from 2-4pm at 60 Worsley Street in downtown Barrie.
canadian musicians! ⚡️last day to take this survey to inform this important study about how we feel about returning to work and the support we will need. ⚡️ #canadianmusicians #COVID19 https://twitter.com/miramulholland/status/1271115106982780929
It's the final day of our survey:
Canadian musicians, please help by sharing your perspectives on returning to work during the COVID-19 recovery phase.
Happy #NationalIndigenousPeoplesDay! Celebrate together (while apart) at 6pm ET with @aptn’s #SummerSolstice2020 Concert ft. performances from Indigenous artists across the country including multi-Platinum artist @S_Aglukark! https://www.aptn.ca/summersolstice/ #NIPD2020
Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day! Today, we encourage Canadians to recognize & celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures & outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit & Métis peoples. #NIPDCanada
We've partnered with @abacusdataca to get artists’ perspectives on returning to work during the COVID-19 recovery phase.
Canadian musicians, please take the time to fill out this survey:
Canadian musicians, please take the time to fill out this survey. Data from this study will be added to consumer data that @Music_Canada's gathering to give decision makers a complete picture of the recovery phase.
if you missed the artist focused 'legal and licensing' webinar from @gowlingwlg_ca @Music_Canada @CONNECTml you can access it here!
want to understand force majeure, where do you go to sign up for your royalties and so much more!
Video from the ‘Press pause: COVID-19 strategies for artists’ webinar, presented by @gowlingwlg_ca’s Entertainment and Sports Law Group, in partnership with @CONNECTml and Music Canada, is now available: https://youtu.be/hFNN209mWuM