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Music Canada Congratulates Ontario Chamber of Commerce OBAA 2019 Winners

November 15, 2019, Toronto: Music Canada was honoured to attend the 2019 Ontario Chamber of Commerce gala as a finalist for the Ontario Business Achievement Award (OBAA) for Diversity and Inclusion. This award recognizes business excellence in supporting the creation of diverse and inclusive workplaces.

“Music Canada is honoured to receive recognition as a finalist for the Diversity and Inclusion award from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce,” said Graham Henderson, Music Canada President and CEO. “As a leading voice in the music industry, we believe it’s important to take concrete actions to show our commitment to the principles that define us, and those principles include diversity and inclusivity. We also want to recognize the exceptional work of the award winner Danby Appliances, and all of the incredible OBAA nominees who are each helping to move the needle forward and enrich each of our workplaces, businesses and communities.”

Music Canada brings together the voices of its major record label members, Universal, Sony and Warner, to build a healthier and more robust music ecosystem throughout Canada. A thought-leader within the music ecosystem, Music Canada has taken concrete actions aimed at improving diversity and inclusivity within its governance and initiatives. 

Recent accomplishments by Music Canada include amending its bylaws to allow for two additional seats on its Board, which were filled by independent directors. A Board Diversity Policy was also instituted, which aims for Board composition of at least 40% women. And in 2019, Music Canada created an Advisory Council, comprised of 15 exceptional and passionate individuals from a diverse cross-section of music industry stakeholders with a variety of skills and experience. The Council and Music Canada’s consulting artist advocates continue to provide candid perspectives and insights which shape the organization and its activities. 

In addition, Music Canada seeks opportunities to work with other organizations to promote inclusivity in the music ecosystem. As a partner in the “Allies in Action” event at the 2019 JUNOS Awards, Music Canada showcased initiatives and programs within the music industry that make positive change in relation to diversity, inclusion and safe workplaces.

“Canada is home to some of the best music in the world. It’s truly a privilege that we get to advocate on behalf of the musicians and businesses who create that great music,” said Henderson. “And we believe that it is important that the diversity of the music ecosystem is reflected in our organization and our initiatives. That belief, together with the support of our innovative members, Universal, Sony and Warner, and the efforts of our exceptional staff, is the heart of our success.”

“This recognition is incredibly meaningful, but our work is not done,” said Jackie Dean, Music Canada Chief Operating Officer. “We will continue to advocate for greater representation on boards of directors in our industry and to create opportunities for artists, including those from underrepresented groups, to speak to their experiences.”

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Erica Meekes
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485

 

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 announces new Strategic Initiatives portfolio to support every stage of the Canadian commercial music ecosystem

Music Canada is pleased to announce the creation of a new business unit known as Strategic Initiatives. This new division includes a portfolio of initiatives that are designed to better support the music ecosystem. The move follows a strategic restructuring of our organization designed to increase the positive and measurable impact that Music Canada can have on the entire Canadian music industry. These changes are part of Music Canada’s commitment to be an agent of change with respect to business and social issues impacting the music community today. 

In recent months, Music Canada discontinued operations of its affiliate non-profit Music Canada Cares and transitioned Sarah Hashem, the organization’s former Managing Director, to establish and lead the Strategic Initiatives portfolio at Music Canada. 

Through its Three R’s Music Program, Music Canada Cares improved equitable access to quality music education.The program improved the inventory of musical instruments and access to quality music education in Ontario’s publicly funded schools with the supply of refurbished and recycled music instruments. 

A total of 3,120 instruments were collected at Music Canada Cares community drives across the province. The donated instruments were then refurbished and repaired, and distributed to Ontario’s publicly funded schools, prioritizing underserved communities, particularly at-risk, Indigenous and other underrepresented communities. 

A total of 166 schools received refurbished instruments, or grants to repair their existing instrument inventory to fully functioning condition. Many of the repairs were conducted at local repair shops, driving economic activity within the local community. Through these community drives and local repairs, the program helped strengthen connections between the school music programs and their broader community, and helped strengthen public support for music education. 

“While Music Canada Cares was successful in delivering exceptional results to students across Ontario’s public schools, we believe our greatest opportunity is to integrate our industry leadership role within the Music Canada daily operations and shift our focus from service delivery to long-term structural improvements to music education and other key issues,” says Graham Henderson, Music Canada’s President and CEO. 

“We have developed a comprehensive strategy to support the Canadian music ecosystem at every stage,” says Sarah Hashem, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Music Canada. “Our initiatives will be classified in relation to 4 key pillars: Create, Develop, Elevate and Celebrate.” 

Under the Create banner, Music Canada continues our commitment to music education with the  sponsorship of a national music education study. The study, which is being led by the Coalition for Music Education, in partnership with Music Canada, the Canadian Music Educators’ Association, MusiCounts / CARAS, People for Education, and the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning, is projected to be released in summer 2020. The study will provide a picture of the state of music education across Canada, and help us determine our future projects in this area. 

Our Develop pillar includes Music Canada’s dedicated initiative to artist-entrepreneurs, which will enable artists’ business success. This initiative includes a partnership with CONNECT Music Licensing to study artists’ business needs, which will help guide the development of our programs. 

Our world-renowned Music Cities strategy work will continue under our Elevate pillar. Music Canada has been a global leader in Music Cities research and advocacy for nearly a decade. Our work in this area will move forward with an inclusion lens, and through work with partners like the Canadian Chambers of Commerce. 

The Celebrate pillar includes our Gold/Platinum certification program, which celebrates milestone sales of music in Canada.  With over 20,000 albums, singles, digital downloads, ringtones, and music videos certified since its launch in 1975, the Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum program provides a unique historical timeline of popular music in Canada. This pillar also captures the other ways Music Canada celebrates music’s contributions to Canada’s cultural identity, such as through partnerships with organizations such as the JUNO Awards and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

By integrating strategic initiatives in its core operations, Music Canada is creating a structure that enables it to achieve long-lasting and sustainable benefits that apply to the entire music community. 

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Music Canada Advisory Council Members Set An Example for Industry Leadership and Collaboration

Gathering insights and perspectives from across the music community is a crucial part of Music Canada’s mission of inspiring Canadians to truly appreciate the power and value of music. To further our ability to act as an agent of change and thought leader in the music community, Music Canada has created an Advisory Council. Announced in March 2019, and reporting directly to the President & CEO, the Advisory Council is comprised of 14 exceptional and passionate individuals representing various constituencies in the music industry. The group is a cross section of leaders reflecting diversity in thoughts, gender and ethnicity among many other attributes.

On September 12th, the Music Canada Advisory Council held their third meeting in Toronto. Chaired by artist, record label owner, and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland, the meeting was designed to facilitate dialogue around issues impacting the music sector today, and to exchange ideas on potential solutions. Topics discussed included the important role of artist advocacy and the value of working with all political parties to advance policies that support Canadian creators.

Music Canada’s Sarah Hashem led the Advisory Council into a strategic positioning exercise to help map out the music ecosystem. The exercise highlighted difference of opinions in defining the parameters of the music industry and its far-reaching influence into other sectors ranging from technology to education. Council members committed to building an illustration reflecting their shared views of the music ecosystem. The work will continue in subsequent meetings.

“While the council’s work has just begun, we are already seeing the great value in industry leadership and collaboration,” says Miranda Mulholland. “The council creates opportunities for the exchange of ideas – not only between council members and Music Canada and vice versa – it also creates opportunities for council members to speak directly to each other, creating valuable discourse as we work together towards the common goal of strengthening the Canadian music ecosystem.”

Music Canada’s Chief Operating Officer Jackie Dean advised that Music Canada has contracted experts to build a skills matrix and perform a gap analysis for the Advisory Council. Jackie has been leading an industry wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiative, a commitment that has earned Music Canada recognition at the Ontario Business Achievement Awards this year. The skills matrix will be used to identify skills needed on the council when appointing new members and will ensure that the composition of the Council continues to reflect the music community’s diversity in order to reflect the Canadian Music Industry at large.. 

“The insights shared by the Advisory Council in this meeting underscored the incredible value of hearing from diverse perspectives from across the music sector,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “The council members are helping us develop a more thorough picture of the music ecosystem and providing us continuous feedback on our strategic initiatives activities.” 

The next meeting of the Advisory Council will take place in December 2019.

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Music Canada and Member Labels Announce MusiCounts Scholarship in honour of Deane Cameron

Earlier this year, the music industry lost Deane Cameron, former President of EMI Music Canada and a true changemaker who had an indelible effect on our industry. In memory of Deane, Music Canada, with the support of our member labels Warner, Sony, and Universal, is proud to announce a new MusiCounts scholarship in his honour. 

The scholarship will give aspiring professionals the connections, skills, and resources needed to jump start their career in music. The Scholarship is intended for young professionals who are completing post-secondary studies in the areas of music performance, music business, or music production, and who plan to enter the workforce within the next 12 months. 

The announcement was made today at Music Canada’s 2019 Symposium, by Steve Kane, President of Warner Music Canada, and Jeffrey Remedios, President of Universal Music Canada. Shane Carter, President of Sony Music Canada, would also have been part of the announcement, but was unable to attend due to travel. 

Reflecting Deane’s long standing support for Indigenous communities and programs, $15,000 has been pledged to the MusiCounts Scholarship Program, which will ensure that two to three Indigenous youth will receive a MusiCounts Scholarship in 2020. MusiCounts’ new partnership with Indspire will allow MusiCounts to identify Indigenous youth in Canada who will benefit most from this unique scholarship program. 

“Deane Cameron was a titan of our industry – a passionate and proud supporter of Canadian music, a staunch advocate for creators, and an inspirational leader,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “He was a mentor for so many in the music business, and an esteemed member of our board for 24 years. Through the support of our members – Sony, Universal, and Warner – we honour his enduring legacy though this scholarship.”

For full details on MusiCounts’ Scholarship programs, visit https://musicounts.ca/programs-overview/scholarships/.

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Susan Marjetti recognized with Music Canada’s President’s Award

Music Canada is proud to present Susan Marjetti, Executive Director of CBC Radio and Audio, with the Music Canada President’s Award. This award is given to an individual outside the confines of the recorded music label community who has exhibited a deep passion for music, and who has had an enduring impact on the wider industry.

Marjetti’s role at CBC includes oversight of CBC Music, CBC Talk, CBC Podcasts, and most recently, the new CBC Listen, which is a consolidated digital audio offering that includes all of CBC’s audio content from music playlists to podcasts. All of these platforms are doing incredible work to amplify the talent of great Canadian artists.

She has spent nearly four decades working in radio stations, from small to complex organizations, in various parts of Canada. Prior to taking over the reins at the network, Susan managed CBC Toronto and the Ontario region where she, and her team, worked to make the public broadcaster more relevant to these fast-paced cities, and an ever-changing province.

“I’m deeply touched by this recognition. Like all of you, music has been such a big part of my life,” says Susan Marjetti. “Music has the power to connect us. To reflect us. To engage and entertain us. It matters deeply. And Canada just wouldn’t be the same without our music and the people who make it. At CBC Music, we aspire to celebrate and honour that every day.”

Susan’s leadership in diversity and inclusion has also been recognized numerous times, including recognition with a Harry Jerome Award, Ryerson’s Wall of Fame, and the Rosalie Award.

The award was presented today at Music Canada’s 2019 Symposium. Marjetti is the fourth recipient of the Music Canada’s President’s Award; previous recipients include Mark Garner, Cory Crossman and Chris Campbell, and Josh Colle.

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Music Canada welcomes Farah Mohamed to its Board of Directors

Music Canada is proud to announce that Farah Mohamed has been elected an independent Director to the organization’s Board, effective immediately. Mohamed, who also serves as the Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Public Affairs of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, brings a wealth of experience and insight to our organization. 

A social profit entrepreneur, Farah has worked tirelessly to engage the private sector, and government leaders, in a way that makes economic sense, to better address some of the most pressing issues facing our generation. 

In her prior role as the CEO of the Malala Fund, Farah advocated for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education, investing in developing country educators and activists, and amplifying the voices of girls fighting for change. The fund invests in the future of girls and women with more than $8.6 million towards girls’ education programmes.

And as the founder of G(irls)20, Farah structured the globally active social enterprise in a manner similar to the G20, putting girls and women at the very heart of the organization and its advocacy.  G(irls)20 cultivates a new generation of female leaders through education, entrepreneurship and global experiences. It and its young female delegates provide advice to G20 Leaders on how to increase female labour force participation and how to economically engage girls and women to reach growth targets and through a new program, Canadian girls are trained, mentored, matched and place on a not for profit board.

As well, Farah was recruited by Canadian businesswoman and former MP Belinda Stronach to establish The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF). Under Farah’s leadership, TBSF created and launched the Foundation’s flagship programs, including One Laptop Per Child for Aboriginal youth. She also oversaw the Foundation’s work in Liberia and a $1M humanitarian relief effort in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Of Indian heritage, Farah was born and raised in Uganda before her family was uprooted and sought refuge in Canada. Her upbringing instilled her with a strong work ethic and keen sense of curiosity, which eventually culminated in her working in politics. For 10 years, Farah worked closely with some of Canada’s most senior politicians including Paddy Torsney and Anne McLellan. Post politics, Farah served as Vice President, Public Affairs and Community Engagement for VON Canada where she was successful in building government and private sector partnerships.

“Music Canada has an important role to play in representing an industry that plays a part in most, if not all, Canadian’s lives. As an independent Director to Music Canada’s Board, I look forward to supporting their mandate as an agent of change and a thought leader within the music community. I’m excited to to be able to work to engage all players across the music industry, from the private sector to government leaders, so that artists from coast to coast to coast and the industry is strong and vibrant for decades to come.” said Farah Mohamed.

“With today’s election of Farah Mohamed, the Music Canada Board gains incredible expertise in strategic partnerships, global to local government relations, and devising and executing innovative approaches to problem solving,” says Graham Henderson, President & CEO of Music Canada. “Farah’s election, together with last April’s election of independent Board Chair Jennifer Sloan, brings new insights and acumen to Music Canada’s Board – further elevating our organization.”

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Gil Moore presented with Music Canada’s Artist Advocate Award

Music Canada is honoured to present Gil Moore, founding member of the multi-Platinum-certified band Triumph, and owner of the renowned Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Ontario, as the recipient of the 2019 Artist Advocate Award. The award recognizes musicians and songwriters for their outstanding advocacy efforts to improve the livelihoods of music creators. The Mississauga-based musician has been active in the Canadian music industry for more than 40 years, with advocacy being a consistent theme throughout his career. 

Moore has long been a champion for policies to help support music creators and to improve the music ecosystem. He was an active voice for copyright reform as a board member of Balanced Copyright for Canada, a coalition of content creators, artists, and rights holders, and people who work in the creative industries, which advocated for copyright legislation that effectively protects artists and creators, later passed within the Copyright Modernization Act

Moore shared his passion for creators’ rights with his students at Metalworks Institute, and has invited Music Canada in to present town hall sessions on topics such as the Copyright Board. He also opened the warehouse of Metalworks Production Group for tours, allowing Music Canada to showcase the skilled workers and economic impact of the live music sector to policymakers in advocating for the Ontario Music Fund. 

“I’m very proud to receive this award today,” says Gil Moore. “But awards are not the reason I became an artist advocate – I am an advocate for music because I have seen firsthand how it can change lives. I’ve seen that in my own career as a performer, I’ve seen it with fans who are so passionate about the artists they love, and I’ve seen it with our students at Metalworks, who get into this business and invest in their careers because they love music and they are driven to succeed in this industry. I’ve also seen the way that music can empower a community, create jobs, and drive economic growth – and that is worth advocating for. Thank you to Graham and Music Canada for this recognition, and your continued efforts to grow the music sector.” 

Moore has also been active in advocacy as the Vice President of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Music & the Arts (CAAMA). He served previously as an Executive Board member of the Toronto Musician’s Association and also as a Vice President of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). 

Gil was an inaugural inductee of the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame for his personal involvement in and contributions to the community. Over the past few years, along with the other members of Triumph, Gil has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Mississauga’s Legend’s Row, the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame and the City of Mississauga named a street in the band’s honour, Triumph Lane. His passion for Metalworks and the music industry is boundless; he devotes much of his time to researching trends in music education and technology.

“Gil Moore has put Mississauga’s music scene on the map. We are eternally grateful for his efforts and pride he has brought to our City,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Gil consistently champions the power of music for job creation and growth, and as a member of our Economic Development Advisory Board, he has been instrumental in the creation of the first full-time music industry position at City Hall focused on music sector development. He possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of local music history, which he urges us all to recognize, preserve and celebrate. Because of his passion for music education and the founding of Metalworks Institute, Mississauga produces some of the world’s top musicians, sound technicians, and event experts. We are proud and lucky to have Gil in Mississauga.”

The award was presented today at Music Canada’s 2019 Symposium, taking place at the Great Hall in Toronto. Moore becomes the third recipient of the Artist Advocate Award; previous recipients include Loreena McKennitt and Miranda Mulholland

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Mind the (Value) Gap – Miranda Mulholland and Music Canada’s Graham Henderson appear on the Musonomics podcast

On the latest episode of the popular podcast Musonomics, Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson, along with Miranda Mulholland, artist, label owner, festival founder and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, spoke with host Larry Miller about some of the major issues affecting the music industry today.

Musonomics is a twice-monthly podcast about the business of the music and culture industries. Hosted by Larry Miller and produced with support from the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program, the program uses data, music and interviews with newsmakers and analysts to provide insight into what’s happening now — and what’s coming next in the world of music and beyond. 

In the podcast, Miller explores data contained in IFPI’s recent ‘Music Listening 2019’ report, which provides a comprehensive overview of music consumption trends from around the world. As Miller notes, global music listening continues to rise, with respondents reporting their listening habits being up to 18 hours per week. Engagement with audio streaming services also remains strong, with 64% of all respondents using a streaming service in the past month. 

Troublingly, the report also highlights the growing scale of listening via user-upload services – the greatest contributor to the Value Gap. Indeed, 77% of respondents reported using YouTube for music listening in the last music; globally, on-demand consumption via video streaming totalled 47%, dwarfing paid and ad-supported audio streaming services. The episode, entitled Mind the (Value) Gap, explores this very issue – a phenomenon that IFPI has called the biggest threat to the future sustainability of the music industry. 

During the episode, Henderson touches on the origin of the issue, describing the Value Gap as the result of a failure of legislation to keep pace with the changes in technology. The impact of this phenomenon has created a widening gulf between the growing revenues that platforms and user-upload services like YouTube gain from the existence of music on their services, and the value returned to the artists and labels who created and developed this creative content.

Henderson also outlines how outdated exemptions such as broad safe-harbour laws have prevented copyright creators and owners from being able to ensure that their work is not being commercialized without their consent by digital and online services. Indeed, as Mulholland vividly describes during the episode, no group has been as adversely affected by the Value Gap as artists.

Mulholland goes on to speak about the realities of working as an artist working within a framework where it is almost impossible to obtain fair remuneration for the monetization of one’s work on online platforms such as YouTube. She outlines how exemptions within Canadian copyright legislation has created this system: where musicians are effectively subsidizing technology companies, while – at the same time – receiving royalty payouts that are too meagre to subsist on alone.

To hear the rest of this fascinating discussion, you can find the episode on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and other major podcasting services. 

Larry Miller will also be delivering a keynote address at Music Canada’s 2019 Symposium, taking place on Wednesday October 23rd. In his address, Miller will share insights from his 2019 report, Same Heart. New Beat. How Record Labels Amplify Talent in the Modern Music Marketplace, which examines the partnerships between record companies and artists. In particular, it outlines the evolution of label efforts to discover and market musical artists; how marketing plans differ and enhance opportunities for artists in a streaming world; the increasing role of data in label strategies; approaches undertaken by labels to build artist branding, and more. Miller will also reconnect with Mulholland and Henderson in a fireside chat following his keynote. 

 

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IFPI releases ‘Music Listening 2019’ report, providing a comprehensive look at rising music engagement in Canada and around the globe

Today, IFPI, the organization representing recorded music worldwide, released Music Listening 2019, a comprehensive overview of music consumption trends from around the world. The report examines the ways in which music consumers aged 16 – 64 engage with recorded music across 21 countries. 

The report illustrates the growth of music listening around the world. Globally, music listening is up, with respondents typically spending 18 hours per week listening to music, up from 17.8 hours in 2018. This equates to approximately 2.6 hours per day, the equivalent of listening to 52 three-minute songs per day. 

Source: IFPI Music Listening 2019

This global surge in music listening is driven by fans’ love of music – more than 54% of respondents say they “love” or are “fanatical” about music. Canadians are among the world leaders in terms of passion for music – 59% of Canadians say they are music lovers or music fanatics, which is above the global average and the fourth-highest in the world. 

“This year’s report tells an exciting story of how fans are increasingly engaging with music,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI. “At a time when multiple forms of media vie for fans’ attention, they are not only choosing to spend more of their time listening to – and engaging with – music but they are doing so in increasingly diverse ways.” 

The report presents a profile of music lovers, who listen to more music per week, and to listen on a greater variety of services and platforms. 

Consumers’ embrace of music streaming services is growing across all demographics, with the highest rate of growth for the use of streaming services coming from the 35 – 64 age group. 54% of that demographic reported using a music streaming service in the past month, an increase of 8% from 2018. 

Overall, 89% of respondents listen to music using an on-demand streaming service. The biggest reasons consumers enjoy these services include access to large catalogues of music, and the convenience of listening. 

Source: IFPI Music Listening 2019

The report also shows that copyright infringement remains a threat to the music ecosystem. 27% of respondents used copyright infringement as a way to listen to or obtain music in the past month. The most prevalent form of music piracy is illegal stream ripping services, which were used to access music by 23% of respondents. 

“The report also highlights that the availability of music through unlicensed methods, or copyright infringement, remains a real threat to the music ecosystem,” continued Moore. “Practices such as stream ripping are still prevalent and return nothing to those who create and invest in music. We continue to coordinate world-wide action to address this.”

Source: Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours and Save the Creative Middle Class, Music Canada, 2019

The report also illustrates the scale of music listening via video services. Globally, 47% of on-demand streaming consumption is via video streaming, ahead of paid audio streaming (37%) and free audio streaming (15%). 77% of respondents said they used YouTube for music in the past month. 

This trend is concerning, as user-upload services like YouTube pay significantly lower royalty rates compared with other music streaming services.  This has a significant impact on artists’ and other rights holders’ incomes: plays on Spotify or Apple Music put dramatically more money in their pockets than the same number of plays on YouTube. The average annual revenue to rights holders per user is estimated by IFPI at under US$1 on YouTube, while on Spotify the comparative figure is US$20. 

Source: Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours and Save the Creative Middle Class, Music Canada, 2019

The biggest cause of this discrepancy in royalty rates are provisions in Canada’s Copyright Act known as “safe harbours” that ad-supported user-upload services like YouTube claim as shelter from liability of responsibility for illegal activity. As examined in our recent report, Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours and Save the Creative Middle Class, the prevalence of services such as YouTube depresses not only consumer demand for paid subscription services (that better compensate artists and other rights holders by orders of magnitude) but also royalties paid by those services. These effects are the result of substitution possibilities, such as when a service like YouTube, which profits enormously through the subsidy enabled by overly broad safe harbours, provides a free alternative to paid services.

This is why Music Canada supports the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s ground-breaking Shifting Paradigms report, which recommends to the government a series of actions that would help artists and the creative industries. The report tackles numerous weaknesses in Canada’s Copyright Act, identifying elements which have failed to keep pace with technology and the digital marketplace for music. Among its key recommendations which will bolster a functioning marketplace for creative works, the report recommends addressing Canada’s broad safe harbour laws, eliminating or narrowing exemptions from the Act that prevent creators from being fairly compensated, combating modern forms of piracy (like stream ripping) and strengthening the enforcement of Canada’s copyright laws.

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Haviah Mighty wins 2019 Polaris Music Prize

Community Development Program participants applaud her performance and album

On September 16, Haviah Mighty won the 2019 Polaris Music Prize for her album, 13th Floor. The Prize recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation, as determined by the Polaris Grand Jury. 

“For me the 13th Floor is something that we remove from our reality because it is something that we don’t understand and therefore we dismiss it,” said Mighty in a Polaris release. “This is very parallel to so many of the experiences that I speak on, on this album. I’m in a room with so many different people from so many different walks of life who have acknowledged that this is something they feel is important. These people don’t necessarily share the narratives that I do or the walks of life that I have, and yet, here we are, finally on what I believe is the 13th Floor. This is the moment of resurgence where the dismissal that has existed is now being removed, and the discussion is being had. I’m so grateful that the people around me push me to be brave enough to speak my truth and to have it be acknowledged in this way.”

The Prize was awarded at the Polaris Prize Gala, held at the historic Carlu in Toronto, which featured performances by nine of the 10 Polaris Short List nominees. The Gala featured performances by Marie Davidson, Elisapie, FET.NAT, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Les Louanges, Haviah Mighty, PUP, Shad and Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Short-lister Jessie Reyez was also in attendance. 

Among the audience attendees were 40 engaged music creators, entrepreneurs and change makers, who took part in the Polaris Community Development Program (CDP), presented by Music Canada. Launched in 2018, the program partners with Canadian not-for-profit music organizations each year to improve equity and representation in the Canadian music industry to support and develop the music community. 

Participating organizations in the 2019 Community Development Program included: 

POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE GALA 2019
Carlu, Toronto. September 16, 2019
Photo by Dustin Rabin

  • Honey Jam
  • The Indigenous Music Alliance
  • The Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance
  • Lula World
  • Manifesto
  • Native Women in the Arts
  • The Remix Project
  • SoundCheck Youth
  • U for Change
  • Urban Arts

Two of the participating organizations had alumni represented on the Polaris Prize Short List.

Jessie Reyez joined The Remix Project program in 2014, and was a graduate of Round 11.0 of the program. 

“I always feel honoured every time I talk about the Remix Project because it’s done so much for me,” said Reyez in 2018, shortly after being nominated for four JUNO Awards. “The program and that formula works — if you go in there and you do what you’re supposed to do and you don’t waste the opportunity.”

Haviah Mighty participated in the Honey Jam showcase in 2011, 2012, and 2015. 

“For those who think they can wing a performance, I learned from Elaine that there is so much more that goes into being a strong performer,” said Mighty in a recent Toronto Star article. “(Professional musicians) understand exactly what they want to look like onstage. Nothing is a whim. My live performance is what garnered the interest of my team, my booking agent, my management.”

Prior to the Gala, participants took part in a brief information session, creating an opportunity for participants to connect with Music Canada and Polaris staff, media, and other community members in a welcoming environment. 

A selection of social media reaction from participants is included below:

Honoured to be included with all of the Polaris Community Partners including Lula World, The Remix Project, SoundCheck…

Posted by Honey Jam Canada on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2jl0h4heYC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2he9vNnG0h/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2hTo1HHxZ2/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

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