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Win a Vinyl or CD prize pack in our ‘Gold In Canada’ Back to School Contest!

Music Canada wants you to return to class with some fresh new vinyl in your collection from some of Canada’s favourite Gold-certified artists!

One lucky winner will receive our Grand Vinyl Bundle Prize, courtesy of Universal Music Canada, Sony Music Canada, and Warner Music Canada, which includes vinyl copies of:

  • Harry Styles Harry Styles
  • G Eazy The Beautiful & Damned
  • Arkells Morning Report
  • Lorde Melodrama
  • Khalid American Teen
  • Scott Helman Hotel D’Ville (featuring Gold single “PDA”)

Not too shabby, right?

If you’re not chosen as the Grand Prize winner, don’t fret! By entering the contest, you are also eligible to receive a CD prize pack of certified artists like Camila Cabello, Charlotte Cardin, P!nk, and more.

Each release included in the contest contains a track that has been certified #GoldinCanada by Music Canada. Every Thursday, Music Canada updates the Gold In Canada playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play with 50 of the latest tracks earning the coveted Gold certification.

HOW TO WIN

    1. Follow Gold/Platinum Canada on Instagram and/or Twitter,
    2. Like the contest post,
    3. Tell us your favourite song certified #GoldinCanada this summer (hint: follow our playlist for the latest tracks, or visit the Gold/Platinum Canada database),
    4. Tag a friend that you listened to it with!

Don’t forget to ‘Like’ Gold/Platinum Canada on Facebook for more updates on the latest certified releases.

Click here to view the Official Contest Rules.

Contest closes at 11:59 PM EST on September 18, 2018.

 

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Rescuing, Restoring, and Reuniting Instruments in Gravenhurst, Ontario

On Sunday, August 5th, Music Canada introduced the Three Rs Music Program at the second annual Sawdust City Music Festival in Gravenhurst, Ontario. The new program, which is rescuing gently used instruments, restoring them to fully-functional condition, and then reuniting them with students in publicly funded schools across Ontario, will be fully operational this Fall.

Instruments were collected from artists and concert-goers at Music Canada’s booth in the festival’s Vendor Village at Gull Lake Rotary Park. Among the collected instruments were acoustic and electric guitars, as well as ukulele, fiddle, flute, and snare drum.

The instruments will be restored by Currie’s Music, a local vintage music and repair shop. Once the instruments are fully-functional, they will be made available to publicly funded schools in the Gravenhurst area.

Music Canada would like to thank all the festival attendees who generously donated their instruments. Additional opportunities for instrument donation will be announced soon.

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Breakthrough collaboration between Bell Media, Music Canada and Re:Sound creates international gold standard with music creators at its heart

 

Toronto, Dec 6, 2017: Advancements in cross-platform reporting have ushered in a new era of cooperation between Canada’s music and media industries. Developed by Bell Media, Music Canada and Re:Sound, the new process aligns terrestrial broadcast data with digital, ensuring all music industry stakeholders are served with efficiency, transparency, and accountability, while setting a new industry standard for data reporting. With this game-changing initiative by Bell Media, the automation of the existing music content distribution tool allows the industry to streamline sound recording data within the Canadian music ecosystem.

The new system is part of an ongoing project to develop administrative efficiencies by Music Canada and Re:Sound. Through consolidating multiple data sets, maximizing the use of ISRC (International Standard Recording Codes), and other improvements, the project has so far resulted in faster payouts and 28% more revenue for major labels and members of CIMA (the Canadian Independent Music Association).

Beginning with a successful pilot program of the new system by Toronto’s 104.5 CHUM FM in early 2017, Bell Media radio stations are now tracking complete sound recording data including ISRC automatically on new tracks from major record labels and independent label partners. With the elimination of manual processes, the new reporting system has resulted in cleaner data, which significantly benefits all rights holders in the Canadian music industry including artists, background musicians, songwriters, and music publishers, through organizations (SOCAN, CMRRA, SODRAC, etc.) relying on broadcast data to get royalties to rights holders.

“I commend Bell Media, and specifically Randy Lennox, for showing remarkable leadership on this project,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Thanks to this collaboration, achievements in data efficiency from projects completed by the major record companies and Re:Sound will now yield even greater results, generating savings throughout the royalty chain, while resulting in more dollars in the pockets of creators.”

“As someone with love for Canada’s music industry, I am thrilled by the results of this project,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “When Music Canada’s Graham Henderson approached us to help resolve what has been a longstanding issue within Canada’s music industry, it was an easy decision to lend Bell Media’s resources and expertise. The automation of the tracking process establishes international best practices that benefit creators while making the entire system considerably more efficient.”

“At Re:Sound, we only exist for the artists and sound recording owners we represent,” says Ian MacKay, President of Re:Sound. “Ensuring that the absolute best quality data flows through the entire music ecosystem is a huge step forward for rights holders, and will help us (and other organizations) to ensure that we pay the right people as quickly and efficiently as possible. We couldn’t have done this without the strong leadership of Bell Media and Music Canada.”

 

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For more information:

Siobhan Özege, Re:Sound
sozege@resound.ca
+1 (416) 968-8870 ext 369

Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359

Renee Dupuis-Macht, Bell Media
Renee.dupuismacht@bellmedia.ca
+1 (416) 384-3154

 

About Re:Sound
Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights.  Re:Sound advocates for music creators, educates music users, licenses businesses and distributes public performance and broadcast royalties to creators – all to help build a thriving and sustainable music industry in Canada. For more on Re:Sound Music Licensing, please visit www.resound.ca

 

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com

 

About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

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Music Canada calls on the Government of Canada to take steps to address the Value Gap in new, first-of-its-kind report

At its annual general meeting, Playback 2017, Music Canada today released The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, the first comprehensive collection of information about the Value Gap, and the solutions available to Canadian policy makers.

The Value Gap is defined 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.

“The Value Gap challenges the livelihood and sustainability of an entire global social class, and threatens the future of Canadian culture,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Our creative industries and the Government of Canada need to come together to acknowledge that the problem facing our creators is real, that the landscape has dramatically changed, and that we need to adapt our rules and regulations before full-time creativity becomes a thing of the past.”

At the heart of the Value Gap for music is misapplied and outdated “safe harbour” provisions in copyright law, which result in creators having to forego copyright royalty payments to which they should be entitled, and amount to a system of subsidies to other industries.

Creators and governments around the world are taking notice, and taking action. The European Commission has pinpointed the Value Gap as the cause of a marketplace that isn’t functioning properly, and acknowledged that a legislative fix is needed. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. music creators have agreed that the safe harbour provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act need to be changed.

In Canada, thousands of musicians, authors, poets, visual artists, playwrights and other members of the creative class, have urged The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, to put creators at the heart of future policy in a campaign called Focus On Creators.

The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach provides important insights into how policy makers can reverse the Value Gap. For instance, the Canadian Copyright Act contains provisions that allow and, in some cases, even encourage the commercialization of creators’ work without the need for proper remuneration, undercutting one of its overarching principles: to ensure that creators receive a just reward for the use of their works.

To address these inequities, the federal government should take the following actions:

  1. Focus on the Effects of Safe Harbour Laws and Exceptions

The Canadian government should, like its international counterparts, review and address safe harbour laws and exceptions, and their subsequent misapplication by some technology companies, as well as the cross-subsidies that have been added to the Copyright Act.

  1. Canada’s Creative Industries are Asking for Meaningful Reforms

During the mandated five-year review of the Copyright Act slated to begin in late 2017, the government should review the Act for instances that allow others to commercialize creative works without properly remunerating artists, and end these cross-subsidies.

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption

Since 1997, commercial radio stations have only been required to pay $100 in performance royalties on their first $1.25 million advertising revenue. This exemption should be eliminated. It amounts to a subsidy being paid by artists to large vertically-integrated media companies.

  1. Amend the Definition of Sound Recording

In the Copyright Act, recorded music is actually not considered a ‘sound recording’ (and thus not entitled to royalties) when it is included in a TV or film soundtrack. The definition should be changed to allow performers and creators of recorded music to collect royalties when music is part of a TV/film soundtrack.

The full report can be downloaded at this link.

 

 

Music Canada demande au gouvernement du Canada de prendre des mesures pour remédier à l’écart de valeur dans un nouveau rapport pas comme les autres

Dans le cadre de son assemblée générale annuelle intitulée Playback 2017, Music Canada a annoncé aujourd’hui le lancement de L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada, le premier recueil de renseignements exhaustifs sur l’écart de valeur et les solutions qui sont à la portée des décideurs politiques canadiens pour y remédier.

L’écart de valeur se définit comme l’importante disparité qui existe entre la valeur du contenu créatif que les consommateurs consultent et apprécient, et les revenus qui sont réacheminés vers les personnes et les entreprises qui l’ont créé.

« L’écart de valeur menace le gagne-pain et la durabilité de toute une classe sociale à travers le monde et met en péril l’avenir de la culture canadienne », soutient Graham Henderson, président et chef de la direction de Music Canada. « Nos industries créatives et le gouvernement du Canada doivent s’unir pour reconnaître que le problème auquel sont confrontés nos créateurs est bien réel, que le paysage a profondément évolué et que nous devons adapter nos règles et règlements avant que la créativité à temps plein ne devienne chose du passé. »

L’écart de valeur tient essentiellement à l’application erronée de dispositions dépassées de la législation sur le droit d’auteur en matière d’exemptions de responsabilité (les safe harbours de la loi américaine) qui forcent les créateurs à sacrifier des redevances auxquelles ils devraient avoir droit, ce qui revient à un système de subventions accordées à d’autres industries.

Les créateurs et les gouvernements du monde entier réagissent et passent à l’action. La Commission européenne a identifié l’écart de valeur comme étant la cause du dysfonctionnement du marché, et elle a reconnu qu’une correction législative s’impose. Des centaines de milliers de créateurs de musique américains s’entendent pour réclamer la modification des exemptions de responsabilité de la loi américaine sur le droit d’auteur, le Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Au Canada, des milliers de musiciens, auteurs, poètes, artistes visuels, dramaturges et autres membres de la classe créative ont instamment prié l’honorable Mélanie Joly, ministre du Patrimoine canadien, de mettre les créateurs au cœur de la future politique culturelle dans le cadre d’une campagne nommée Pleins feux sur les créateurs.

L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada apporte un éclairage important sur les mesures que les décideurs politiques peuvent  prendre pour inverser l’écart de valeur. La Loi sur le droit d’auteur du Canada, par exemple, contient des dispositions qui permettent, et même encouragent dans certains cas, la commercialisation des œuvres des créateurs sans l’obligation de leur accorder une rémunération équitable, ce qui va à l’encontre d’un de ses principes fondamentaux : assurer que les créateurs reçoivent une juste récompense pour l’utilisation de leurs œuvres.

Le gouvernement fédéral devrait prendre les mesures suivantes pour remédier à ces inégalités :

  1. Se concentrer sur les effets des lois et des exceptions en matière d’exemption de responsabilité

À l’instar de ses homologues internationaux, le gouvernement du Canada devrait examiner et réviser les lois et exceptions en matière d’exonération de responsabilité, leur application erronée par certaines entreprises spécialisées dans la technologue et les pratiques d’interfinancement qui ont été ajoutées à la Loi sur le droit d’auteur.

  1. Les industries créatives canadiennes réclament des réformes authentiques

Lors de l’examen quinquennal de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur qui doit débuter à la fin de 2017, le gouvernement devrait étudier l’ensemble des dispositions permettant à des tiers de commercialiser des œuvres créatives sans rémunérer équitablement les artistes, et ce, en plus de mettre fin à l’interfinancement.

  1. Éliminer l’exemption de redevances de 1,25 million $ de la radio commerciale

Depuis 1997, les stations de radio commerciales ne versent qu’une redevance nominale de 100 $ sur la partie de leurs recettes publicitaires annuelles qui ne dépasse pas 1,25 million $. Cette exemption devrait être éliminée. Elle revient à une subvention faite par les artistes à de vastes entreprises médiatiques verticalement intégrées.

  1. Modifier la définition d’« enregistrement sonore »

Dans la Loi sur le droit d’auteur, la musique enregistrée n’est pas reconnue comme étant un « enregistrement sonore » (et n’ouvre donc pas droit à rémunération) lorsqu’elle fait partie de la bande sonore d’une œuvre télévisuelle ou cinématographique. La définition devrait être modifiée pour permettre aux artistes-interprètes et aux créateurs de musique enregistrée de toucher des redevances lorsque leur musique fait partie de la bande sonore d’une œuvre télévisuelle ou cinématographique.

On peut télécharger le rapport intégral à ce lien.

 

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Celebrate Canada Day 2017 with free live music across the country

Photo Credit: City of Calgary

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of confederation, free and family-friendly celebrations featuring exciting musical performances are taking place all over the country.  From Deadmau5 in Halifax to Bruce Cockburn in Yellowknife, there is something for everyone this Canada Day weekend.

Toronto’s Queen’s Park Canada Day celebrations have been a tradition since 1967, and this year will feature artists like Ginger Ale and the Monowhales on top of fun activities, workshops, and meet and greets.  Exciting performances from the Barenaked Ladies, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many more will be featured at Nathan Phillips SquareMel Lastman Square, Humber Bay Park West, and the Scarborough Civic Centre will also host amazing performances by local, national and international artists.

Canadian music legend Gordon Lightfoot will be joined by rising Canadian superstar Alessia Cara and many more for performances at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  Meanwhile, Canadian acts like Ruth B will be playing at Major’s Hill Park and The Lost Fingers will be featured at the Canadian Museum of History.

To be followed by a fireworks celebration, the Old Port of Montreal will feature fun activities for families and musical acts like Charles Papasoff.  At another historic site, The Forks in Winnipeg, there will be fun and free programming taking place on five stages. Musical acts include the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and headlining duo Whitehorse.  Meanwhile, Sam Roberts Band will be one of many musical acts featured at Canada Place in Vancouver.

On Riverfront Avenue, in Calgary, Tegan and Sara are returning to their hometown to join a lineup including a Multicultural Orchestra and Inuit throat singers.  Alberta Legislature in Edmonton will feature artists at both a Diversity stage, showcasing the richness of Alberta’s cultural landscape, and a Discovered Stage, featuring performances from exciting musicians including another Edmonton native, Alyssa Reid.

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Music Canada applauds Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming that Internet intermediaries can be ordered to deindex illegal sites worldwide

June 28, 2017, Toronto:  Music Canada welcomes today’s landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision in Equustek Solutions v. Google upholding a ruling that Google can no longer provide search results anywhere in the world that point to a website that unlawfully sells the intellectual property of another company. Music Canada joined several other creative industry associations as interveners supporting Equustek in the case.

The case establishes principles that will guide the responsibilities of Internet intermediaries to reduce or eliminate harms amplified by their activities.  In the case, Google admitted that it employs a team of more than 40 employees to remove search results to material that offend its company policies, but resisted a court order compelling it to do the same with respect to sites trafficking in goods created from stolen trade secrets.

The Supreme Court ordered Google to stop directing people to the illegal sites.  It rejected Google’s approach of only de-listing individual pages within sites, which a lower court described as promoting a “Whack-A-Mole” approach to online infringement. It also rejected Google’s claim that, as a non-party, it was “immune” to court orders. It concluded that Google was “the determinative player in allowing the harm to occur” and suggested it had a “duty to assist the person wronged”.

Importantly, today’s decision also ensured that the order applies worldwide and across all of Google’s search engines, a crucial development given that the Internet has largely dissolved boundaries between countries and allowed virtual wrongdoers to move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in search of the weakest enforcement setting.

In particular, the Supreme Court emphasized:

“The problem in this case is occurring online and globally. The Internet has no borders – its natural habitat is global. The only way to ensure the interlocutory injunction [order] attained its objective was to have it apply where Google operates – globally.”

The only way to protect the plaintiff was to prevent the search results from being displayed where they do the most harm: on Google’s global search results.

Last, the Supreme Court concluded that freedom of expression concerns raised by Google and its supportive interveners were at best theoretical. The speech contained on the sites did not engage any freedom of expression values, but rather violated multiple court orders. The Supreme Court found that “most countries will likely recognize… the selling of pirated products as a legal wrong” and that freedom of expression does not require Google to engage in “the facilitation of the unlawful sale of goods.”

Music Canada, together with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), has been actively involved in this case since it was first appealed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Both the Supreme Court and the British Columbia Court of Appeal referred to their assistance in rendering their decisions.

“Today’s decision confirms that online service providers cannot turn a blind eye to illegal activity that they facilitate; on the contrary, they have an affirmative duty to take steps to prevent the Internet from becoming a black market,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “This is welcome news for creators of all stripes who rely on the Internet as their primary market and for whom illegal online activity can instantly wipe out careers and destroy investment in new releases. Today’s decision provides a vital remedy to address illegal online activities and enforce the rights of creators.”

̶   Ends  ̶

 

For more information:

Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359

About Music Canada

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada:  Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada.  Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.

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Music Canada extends heartfelt congratulations to Prime Minister Trudeau and his new cabinet

Music Canada extends a heartfelt congratulations to Prime Minister Trudeau and his new cabinet.  The Honourable Mélanie Joly is Canada’s new Minister of Heritage.  She brings to the portfolio her legal background, a demonstrated interest in the arts, and a desire to improve and innovate wherever she goes.  The Honourable Navdeep Bains is Canada’s new Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.  He brings to the portfolio his deep understanding of how businesses and the economy function.

We look forward to meeting Minister Joly and Minister Bains in Ottawa to discuss continued support and growth of Canada’s music businesses through the music and copyright files.

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Music Canada Welcomes New Federal Government

Yesterday Canadians voted for change and elected a new federal government. Music Canada congratulates Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, and we look forward to working with him and the newly elected government to rebalance the copyright regime and ensure the business needs of the music sector are met.

We are pleased that the Liberal government has committed to taking a leadership role to initiate preliminary consultations for the 2017 Copyright Review. The Liberal government’s Copyright Review promises to give full consideration to the views of artists and creators. This is an opportunity to ensure that copyright legislation works for the 21st century.

Importantly, the Liberal government recognizes the significant challenges that creators face with the current Copyright Board structure. They have said that the current 2-3 year wait time for decisions is unacceptable due to its negative impact on people’s ability to earn a living. Music Canada has been a strong advocate for Copyright Board reform, and we look forward to partnering with our new government to find some real solutions to the problems that creators in Canada continue to face.

We look forward to speaking with the new government further on these issues, and about the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage study of the Music Industry. You can read more about the Liberal government’s plan for Canadian arts & culture on their website.

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada. We also partner with a diverse cross-section of the music industry to promote and develop the business framework for music right across Canada. These partners include some of Canada’s leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists. Music Canada has undertaken groundbreaking research on the music sector and is a trusted source, a passionate advocate and we provide a respected forum for discussion of issues relating to music.

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Music Canada on the 2015 Federal Election

As the federal parties have now released their platforms, we are reminded of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage study of the Music Industry. The Standing Committee held 14 meetings in the music study, hearing from 82 witnesses and received 15 briefs. This process allowed the Committee to hear from stakeholders in areas that they may normally have less opportunity to interact with, such as music education and music tourism. The report resulted in 10 good recommendations and had the support of all three main parties.

Those recommendations included efforts to strengthen support for the music industry through future investment in funding mechanisms, and notably – digital distribution and streaming, with a specific focus on copyright legislation.

As we move closer to the upcoming election, we are struck by the fact that none of these recommendations made their way into the economic or cultural party platforms. Given the broad support for these recommendations, we would like to take the opportunity to reiterate the importance of continuing to strengthen Canada’s music industry through legislative reform. As columnist Kate Taylor said earlier this year,

Musicians have faced the devaluation of their labour since at least 2000 – remember Napster? – and many now speak sadly of a society that takes a free soundtrack for granted. People refuse to understand not merely why they should pay any significant amount for streaming of downloading, but also why somebody should be paying the pianist who’s playing live in a bar or the composer whose melody can be heard over the sound system. If there is, perhaps, some growing outrage over this state of affairs, it is because musicians increasing have a lot of company.”

This “cult of free” as Kate describes it, continues to harm Canada’s digital economy and its creators. The latest iteration of this is Aurous, a new service that uses an interface similar to other paid streaming models such as Spotify or Rdio, but allows users to stream music using BitTorrent technology without paying artists. Piracy is still a problem, and not just for musicians. For publishers, and creators of all kinds who need a functioning online marketplace in which to conduct their business and make a living.

Our colleagues at the CMPA have put together an in-depth examination of three federal parties’ music platforms. It is interesting how much each party is talking about the need for further copyright reform.

It appears as though all parties agree that the decision-making process of the Copyright Board lacks deadlines and any procedural certainty. The industry may have disagreement about the details of the Board itself, but one thing we all agree on is: it’s cumbersome, and needs to be changed. The Conservatives, with their majority on the Heritage Committee, along with the three parties interviewed for this survey, all have a workable plan to change this, and we are looking forward to working with the next government on these critical issues.

The NDP told CMPA, “as things are moving in the digital world, we believe rights holders and the public are both losing in this situation.” Support for increased copyright protections are evident in this survey and across the industry – we look forward to bringing these, and other concerns to government in the 2017 Copyright Review. The digital revolution isn’t going to go away. In fact, it’s going to continue changing, and at even faster speeds than it is now. It’s time the government make changes to help protect and foster Canada’s creative businesses.

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Toronto Music Policy Survey – 2014 Mayoral Candidates

Music Canada is a passionate advocate for music and those who create it, identifying ways to strengthen Canada’s music sector.

Our research shows that Toronto has the potential to be the greatest music city in the world. It is the third biggest music market in North America, and is home to a vibrant music scene. This is why Music Canada has also led the 4479 Toronto Music City initiative, and why this survey has been created. Music Canada has surveyed Toronto’s mayoral candidates in order to raise awareness of music issues in Toronto, and to secure music friendly commitments.

We asked Olivia Chow, Doug Ford, and John Tory three questions on key music policies as identified by Music Canada. We have listed their responses alphabetically below, and encourage Torontonians to consider a candidate’s positions on music policy when casting their ballot. Voting day is Monday, October 27, 2014, and Advance Polls are open now through October 19th. For information on how or where to cast your vote, visit the City of Toronto’s Election Services site.

 

Toronto Music Policy Survey – 2014 Mayoral Candidates

Toronto’s live music venues, concert promoters, and studio owners have all revealed that regulations and red tape at City Hall are creating an impediment to business growth. Based on best practices from Austin, Texas, Music Canada has recommended that the City of Toronto create a Music Office within its Economic Development & Culture Division. With a modest budget, this office would assist Toronto’s music community in navigating city infrastructure and regulations, and in stimulating business development opportunities, all of which will lead to greater investment and employment in the music sector.
We asked: How will you support the creation of a Toronto Music Office?
Olivia ChowOlivia Chow “As an artist herself, Olivia has a history of championing the arts. Olivia will create the Toronto Music Office, which could be paid for with increased revenue from the billboard tax. Like the Film Office already does to support film in our city, the Music Office will create an even more attractive environment for music and culture in our city.Olivia supports making city services work for people, from small business tax cuts to ensuring that economic development agencies in the city streamline their processes. Austin, Texas is a leader on the music front and we can do the same here in Toronto with a much larger population and pool of artists. This will build on the incredible musical talent in our city, and the music festivals and awards shows that already attract so many to our city.”
Doug Ford
Doug Ford
“I believe in the power of the music industry to stimulate our economy, bring jobs to our city and create a vibrant cultural scene. In the past four years we have supported the arts and we have supported Toronto’s music industry. We increased arts funding by $22 million to support arts and culture in Toronto. I am also very proud of our work in partnership with Music Canada to help advance the music industry by travelling to Austin Texas on Toronto’s first music industry business mission. In Austin we signed the world’s first Music Cities Alliance between Toronto and Austin. We have also helped fund a new position at City Hall to liaise with the music industry to help them do business with the City of Toronto. We want to replicate the success we have seen with Toronto’s Film Office and apply that same approach to the Music Industry. I will work with stakeholders like Music Canada to make sure we expand on this and create fully functional Music Office at the City of Toronto.”
John Tory
John Tory
“John Tory’s “Music City” policy is an important part of his larger Arts and Culture policy which acknowledges the vital contribution the creative sector makes to the city. The creative sector creates the conditions for the city to thrive – it builds our international reputation, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and contributes billions to our GDP. It is important that the city creates the conditions for our creative sector to thrive.In May during Canadian Music Week, John announced his plan to support the growth of the music industry in Toronto. Included in his “Music City” program is the commitment to establish a new stand–‐alone Music Office which will act as a one stop shop for the music community.The City of Toronto can learn from its efficient and collaborative work with the film and television community. The city’s film office has succeeded in improving customer service has helped to increase the level of activity in Toronto in this important creative sector. Based on this success story, and a similar experience in Austin Texas in the music sector, the City of Toronto will benefit from the creation of a Music Office. The Music Office will be established within the Economic Development department and will open in 2015. The Music Office will be expected to accomplish two main goals: reduce red tape and stimulate greater economic activity in the music community. Both of these activities will help to reduce the impediments to business growth currently being faced by the music community in Toronto. Targets will be set and progress measured over a 5 year term. Expected results will include greater activity in the music sector, increased employment and private sector investment, and greater efficiency at City Hall.The Music Office will be supported in its work by the Toronto Music Advisory Council which was established in December 2013 and reports to the Economic Development Committee. John commits to extending the mandate of the Music Advisory Council.”

 

Tourism is an important part of Toronto’s economy, with almost ten million overnight visitors in 2010, generating over four million in city revenue. The specific impact of music tourism on Toronto’s economy has yet to be measured, though given the concentration of the music industry in the GTA, it could be significant. Working with the music community, the City of Toronto and Tourism Toronto could quantify existing music tourism revenues and develop targeted initiatives to further increase its impact.
We asked: How will you champion the development of a music tourism strategy for Toronto?
Olivia Chow
Olivia Chow
“Olivia has committed to seeing the city invest more in the arts, bringing our investment from $22.5 per capita to $25 per capita. With worldclass awards shows like Polaris Music Prize and the MMVAs, and festivals like Pride Toronto and the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, Toronto is a cultural capital unlike any other. Our commitment to investing in parks and green space in our city will reduce red tape surrounding large events and help support street festivals and open streets initiatives. Through strategies like this, we can continue to make our city a vibrant and dynamic cultural centre.”
Doug Ford
Doug Ford
“When we went down to Austin, Texas, last year I saw the power of the music industry first hand. Austin is a City one third the size of Toronto, yet they have created a thriving music industry that generates three times the economic activity of Toronto’s. I learned a lot in Austin, I learned the potential of the music industry to drive tourism and stimulate economic development. I will support Toronto’s music industry to help it thrive. A vibrant cultural scene makes a City more attractive to visitors, investors and businesses alike. I will drive a music tourism plan through the Economic Development Committee to ensure we are doing everything we can at the City of Toronto to attract more music tourism to our city.”
John Tory
John Tory
“John Tory believes our creative sector is one of our best tourism assets. Addressing the barriers to growth in music activity by establishing a Music Office will, in itself, help to further boost the opportunity to attract music tourists. Festivals, concerts and other music events, staged throughout the city, will position Toronto as a key destination for music tourists. John is also committed to facilitating greater connectivity for tourists to Toronto’s creative hotspots through the SmartTrack line. This will improve the overall tourist experience, as well as benefit Toronto residents who want to access music events. Increasing the audience, whether drawn from afar or here at home, will create greater demand for live performances and therefore, generating more opportunities for artists and musicians to perform.Toronto’s destination marketing organization, Tourism Toronto, should work with the music community in order to further incorporate Toronto’s music story into our tourism marketing.”

 

Toronto has an active and culturally vibrant live music scene, but red tape at City Hall has made it difficult for new and existing festivals and events to put on live music in Toronto’s parks and squares.
The application process is ambiguous and unclear, and can be overwhelming for people who are unfamiliar with it. If City Council were to place a higher priority on live music there would be a greater impetus to overcome these barriers.
We asked: How will you support the growth and development of live music in Toronto?
Olivia Chow
Olivia Chow
“At the beginning of this year the Fords went after Electronic Dance Music (EDM) in our city and tried to prevent any EDM on city property, especially on the Exhibition grounds. Olivia has been a long-time supporter of safe EDM events on public property. As a city councillor, she worked to reverse an ill-conceived ban on raves in public spaces and bring in protocols to ensure the events were safe and fun.The city has a vital role to play in facilitating great music in our city. The Toronto Music Office will lead this effort and we need to make sure that there are places, throughout our city, that can easily serve the needs of music artists. Fort York, for example, has become a musical and event destination in our city. Olivia has pledged to reduce the red tape and process in getting permits on public space.4479 is a great initiative that will help move our city’s cultural sector ever more forward. Olivia looks forward to working with 4479, Music Canada, other partners, and the new Toronto Music Office to make our city even better.”
Doug Ford
Doug Ford
“I will support the creation of a music office to make it easier for the music industry to operate in Toronto, especially the live music scene. Toronto already has an amazing live music scene, we have amazing festivals like NXNE. I believe what we need to make Toronto’s live music scene even better is more cohesion between the industry and the City and a concerted effort from the City of Toronto to make it easier to get permits for live music events. In Austin we attended the ACL music festival, a live music events that attracts thousands of visitors and generates over $100 million in economic activity each year. I want to bring a live music festival to match ACL to Toronto, while still supporting our existing music events and helping them grow. I am also committed to exploring the creation of a music industry incubator to support new music industry startups.”
John Tory
John Tory
“The importance of the music community and the broader creative sector cannot be understated. In addition to the direct economic benefits that result from a vibrant music sector, live music also serves as a magnet for tourism, investment and talent (both inside and outside the creative community). In order to ensure greater communication with the creative community, John will appoint a Creative Economic Advocate within the Mayor’s office who will act as a liaison to the Mayor. This measure will, along with other initiatives, ensure that the creative community and its benefits, including music, are better understood and appreciated by City Council and staff.In regards to presenting music in particular, the establishment of a Music Office will help to eliminate the barriers facing music presenters who wish to program Toronto’s underutilized spaces, and help to stimulate greater activity in the music community through business outreach efforts. A large international festival, for instance, is a missing critical component in Toronto’s music infrastructure. Whether growing an existing festival, or attracting the creation of a new festival, John will support efforts to fill this gap.”

For more information on Toronto’s municipal election, visit the City of Toronto’s Election Services page.

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