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Posts by Quentin Burgess (149)

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The Agenda panel appearance illustrates Miranda Mulholland’s depth as an Artist Advocate

Last week, TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin focused an episode on “Copyright for the Digital Age,” which featured impactful remarks on the importance of fair copyright for creators by Canadian musician, label owner and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland. Joining Mulholland on the panel discussion were composer Donald Quan and activist and author Cory Doctorow.

“Recent changes to copyright rules in Europe are designed to better compensate artists whose work fuels the revenue earned by digital platforms such as YouTube,” said host Steve Paikin at the outset of the episode. “But some have expressed concern that the new regulations will stifle innovation and harm free speech. As Canada updates its own copyright regulations, should these new rules serve as a roadmap?”

Mulholland, who has been increasingly sought-after as an artist advocate, brought a clear and personal message to the discussion.

On the importance of strong copyright laws for artists:
Paikin: “Miranda, how about for you – how much does copyright matter to your bottom line?

Mulholland: “Well it matters to me, because it matters to my community. I think we live in an ecosystem, so this is very, very important. For me, I’ve been a side-person, I was in Great Lake Swimmers for 7 years, I was in Bowfire … most of my income comes from performing. This is a problem though, because it means if I ever wanted to take a break from the road – say, have a child – and have some kind of time where I wasn’t just paid for when I was exactly on the stage, then loose copyright laws don’t allow me to have any kind of income coming back.”

On the problem of the current definition of a “sound recording” in the Copyright Act:
Paikin: “You do scoring work – do you get royalties for that?”

Mulholland: “Well, actually, that’s a very interesting one, because as of right now, I do a lot of work with composers, so I play for film and television. But in Canada, unlike 44 other countries around the world, the performer is not paid for soundtracks. So I am not actually paid when anything I’ve played on is (aired) around the world. I do get paid for anything I compose on.”

On the need for a functional marketplace for creators’ work:
Paikin: “It’s not enough obviously to sell tickets to a concert, or to sell records … Are you in the t-shirt business now?”

Mulholland: “Well, no, I’m not… I do feel as though we are close to finding some sort of a market. What we want is a marketplace. And YouTube is really our biggest disrupter in the marketplace, because while Spotify and Apple Music are trying really hard to pay creators and try come up with some sort of market share version of what this is going to be, or how it’s going to be, (YouTube) is giving it away for free. … So of course I’ve portfolio’d my income though, because I absolutely have to. I’m an entrepreneur, but I also play for hire, so I play with Jim Cuddy, I work for SoulPepper Theatre – I have so many hats that I have to wear, but I am so far not in the t-shirt business.”

Although the Music Technology Policy blog has identified some examples of what Chris Castle deemed “sloppiness” in the questions – such as The Agenda citing a crowd-sourced job search site to suggest Canadian authors earn an annual salary of $61,798; a marked departure from The Writers Union of Canada’s study finding an average annual income of $9,380 – Mulholland calmly disputed the flawed statistic.

After Paikin cited a quote opposing copyright protection measures from German MEP Julia Reda, whom Paikin neglected to mention is the sole member of the European Parliament from the Pirate Party, Mulholland expertly brought the conversation back to focus on the need for regulations that supports creators.

“I think that one of the biggest problems is that those people who are responsible for those copyright filters don’t want to pay people to do that, so they’re trying to implement this software that maybe can’t catch it all. But I really think that this type of fear-mongering isn’t helpful,” said Mulholland. “We have history to show us, since the beginning – we have the printing press, the invention of compass – history shows us that there are disruptions that happen, and then there is a time that shifts, and people that come in and try and monetize these periods of disruption, and then regulation needs to set in. And fear-mongering doesn’t help… the most important thing is that people in the EU, people in Canada, and in the US are actually listening now to creators. And that is the most important thing that we’re seeing – the sea-change that’s different. … We’re seeing a real change for the better, and finding technical reasons to oppose this, I think is just ludicrous.”

This clear response to this topic shows why Mulholland is increasingly being invited to speak on artist rights issues. She recently appeared at the World Trade Organization Public Forum 2018, presented a keynote at the Banff World Media Festival, and delivered a keynote at Midem 2018.

Mulholland also made an impactful appearance before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study of remuneration models for artists and creative industries, where she shared her personal experience as an artist living in the Value Gap. She also called for action for creators in the NAFTA negotiations at an ACTION for Trade event in Washington, D.C., and was the first creator to deliver a keynote address at the Economic Club of Canada.

The full program is available on TVO’s website, and is embedded below.

 

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Music Canada Applauds Government of Canada for Moving Forward on Copyright Board Reform

Oct. 30, 2018, Toronto: Music Canada is pleased to see the Government of Canada has taken concrete action to support Canadian creators and the labels that invest in them through reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada. The changes, which were tabled yesterday in the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, will make the Board’s processes faster, more efficient, and more predictable.

“Music Canada thanks the Hon. Navdeep Bains for his vision on these changes, and for his leadership throughout the Copyright Board reform process,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “A modernized Copyright Board will mean a more predictable and transparent process for all participants, which will support royalty rate-setting that better reflects the true value of music in a functioning marketplace. By ensuring a more efficient regulatory environment, these changes will help put more money in creators’ pockets and strengthen Canada’s economic competitiveness.”

Copyright Board reform has long been a priority for the music sector, as the rates set by the Board directly impact the value of music and the amount that artists and labels receive for their music and investments. Music Canada has been a leading advocate for reform, having participated in the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, the government consultation on reforming the Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry, each time appearing as a key stakeholder in favour of full and meaningful reforms.

By implementing these changes, the Government is following through on their commitment made in the 2018 federal budget, which proposed a new Intellectual Property Strategy that enables economic growth. A reformed Copyright Board will create a more competitive and predictable business environment that supports investment in the creative industries, fostering innovation in the cultural sector.

Music Canada looks forward to seeing the final details on the implementation of these changes and working with the government to implement this innovative agenda for the Copyright Board of Canada.

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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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Playback 2018: Loreena McKennitt receives the Music Canada Artist Advocate Award

At Playback 2018, Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, renowned Canadian musician and record label owner Loreena McKennitt was honoured with the Artist Advocate Award in recognition of her long-time advocacy for musicians’ rights.

The Artist Advocate Award was introduced at Playback 2017. Now in its second year, the award recognizes musicians and songwriters for their outstanding advocacy efforts to improve the livelihoods of music creators.

Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson presented McKennitt with the award, remarking:

“Loreena, as everyone in this room knows, is an internationally successful artist entrepreneur.  She founded her record label Quinlan Road in 1985, and since then, her music has received critical acclaim worldwide with sales of 14 million records globally.

Throughout her illustrious career, and from the day she chose to retain her master rights, and do it her own way, she has been a passionate, devoted advocate for musicians’ rights.

Her testimonies and submissions to parliamentary hearings have, over the years, demonstrated her deep business and political acumen, and has influenced real change making her a force to be reckoned with.

She is also a dedicated human rights advocate, a generous philanthropist, she established the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund in 1998.

I had the privilege of working for Loreena for almost 10 years and we have remained friends ever since. So in recognition of her unwavering public support for the rights of music creators, we are proud to present Loreena McKennitt with our 2018 Music Canada Artist Advocate Award.”

 

McKennitt graciously accepted the award, remarking on her career path and the impact that music has had on people across the globe. In her acceptance speech, she stated:

“Well, thank you very much Graham for this, as well as Music Canada. It is unexpected but also, I feel there are others who are equally, if not more, deserving.

It is true that my career path began in earnest around 1990 and it was at that time that I found Graham and he helped mastermind what became to some, a famous Warner deal. And he was an educator for me and an advocate as well as someone who really showed me a lot of the path forward.

I grew up in Southern Manitoba in a German Mennonite community and music was central to our lives. Not so much in a professional sense, but in terms of a living, breathing medium that means so much to us as a species. The fact that I set out to be a veterinarian and ended up in the music industry certainly speaks to the fact that you can set out on a journey and not know where you will end up.

But it is my sincere hope that through gatherings, such as today, and the minds of people who are really leaning against the wheel, that we can change for the better. All those who enjoy music are enriched by it, healed by it, entertained by it. And to protect that realm of music in their lives, we have as an industry, it’s not all about us, it’s all about other people and people we sometimes call the consumer. But when I meet them I hear people who have been genuinely changed through the medium of music.

So, I thank you all once again for being here this afternoon and thank you very much for this recognition. I will continue to be whatever support I can until I hang up my shoes. Thank you.”

Video of the award presentation and McKennitt’s acceptance speech is embedded below.

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Playback 2018: Josh Colle recognized with Music Canada President’s Award

On Tuesday, October 16th, Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson presented Josh Colle, lifelong music fan and outgoing Toronto City Councillor, with the Music Canada President’s Award. The announcement was made at Playback 2018, Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, which took place at The Great Hall.

The Music Canada President’s Award is presented to an individual outside of the music community who exhibits a deep passion for music and the people who make it, and who has had a considerable impact on the music industry.

Colle has exemplified those qualities in his role as City Councillor for Ward 15. Since being elected in 2010, Colle has been known as “the music guy” on Council – first unofficially, as a frequent concertgoer, and then officially, in his role as Co-Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC).

Colle “has been the most stalwart champion of our industry at City Hall,” said Henderson, noting that Colle formed the first task force for music at City Hall, which later evolved into TMAC.

“In his ward, Josh has tirelessly advocated for increased arts and music programming, connected youth with music grant opportunities and industry mentors, and spearheaded efforts to celebrate Toronto’s reggae music history with the creation of Reggae Lane,” continued Henderson. “It is my absolute honour to present the 2018 Music Canada President’s Award to Josh Colle.”

“As a lifelong fan and supporter or Toronto’s amazing music scene I am honoured to be recognized by Music Canada,” said Colle. “We have made so much progress, have so much to be proud of, and I look forward to continuing to support music in Toronto.”

Through his passion for music, Colle has helped change the way that City Hall views Toronto’s music scene. Where it was once an afterthought in terms of planning and policies, today departments like Municipal Licensing, City Planning, Public Library, Emergency Services, Toronto Parks and more have consulted the industry and consider its needs as they conduct their work.

Colle was an early champion of the City of Toronto Music Office, the Toronto Music Strategy, the Toronto/Austin Music City Alliance, and provided crucial leadership on the protection of live music venues. Recognizing that rapid gentrification and development in Toronto could threaten the city’s live music venues, Colle presented a motion to help protect Toronto’s existing venues, and foster an environment to help new venues become established.

One of Colle’s proudest achievements as Councillor was the establishment of Reggae Lane, which recognizes the rich music heritage of Eglinton Avenue West. After helping rename the roadway near Eglinton Avenue and Oakwoods Avenue, Colle commissioned the largest reggae-themed mural anywhere in Canada to pay tribute to the musical icons that made the area the second-largest hub for reggae music after Kingston, Jamaica. The 1,200 square foot mural, painted by local artist Adrian Hayles, depicts artists Pluggy Satchmo, Bernie Pitters, Leroy Sibbles, Lord Tanamo, Jay Douglas, and more.

Watch the video below as Councillor Colle accepts the award, presented by Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson.

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Canadian artist Miranda Mulholland to participate in WTO Public Forum panel on investing in the future of innovation and creativity

On Thursday, Canadian musician, label owner and music festival founder Miranda Mulholland will participate in the World Trade Organization Public Forum 2018, as part of a panel discussion on the future of innovation and creativity. The Public Forum includes more than 100 sessions organized by NGOs, governments, academics, other international organizations, and the WTO secretariat. This year’s theme is “Trade 2030”, as the Public Forum examines how the increasing pace of technology changes will affect sustainable trade, technology-enabled trade, and a more inclusive trading system in the year 2030.

The panel, which is presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is titled “Investing in the future of innovation and creativity – Promoting environmental sustainability, medical breakthroughs, artificial intelligence, and cultural expression,” and takes place on Thursday October 4th at 10am in Room D of the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Our most valuable resources is human ingenuity,” states the panel description. “Through our creativity and innovation, we can solve the most pressing problems facing our generation and future generations.  Join us for an in-depth discussion of medicines, artificial intelligence, and creative expression – taking a look at new products and services that will meet the goals of Trade in 2030 and beyond.”

“Not only do we cherish the creators and innovators in our world, but we must also support them and incentivize their continuity and success,” continues the description. “Policy leaders around the world play an important role in the ecosystems of innovation and creativity.  This session will look at the global investment environment, cross-border collaborations and the legal and regulatory environments that will propel us toward a better future for humanity.”

The panel will also feature Richard Bagger, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Market Access at Celgene, and Nicholas Hodac, Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive, IBM, and will be moderated by Ellen Szymanski, Executive Director, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to her impressive resume as a classically trained violinist and vocalist, Mulholland is becoming increasingly well-know internationally for her advocacy work. She recently appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study of remuneration models for artists and creative industries, where she shared her personal experience as an artist living in the Value Gap. Earlier this year, she delivered keynote addresses at the Banff World Media Festival and the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa, as well as speeches internationally at Midem and an Action For Trade event in Washington, DC.

Music Canada urges any of our international colleagues attending the WTO Public Forum to attend this important panel, which will provide an insightful look ahead at what cultural expression and the creative industries may look like in 2030. For those unable to attend in person, the World Trade Organization will be posting audio from the panels on their website following the Forum.

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Music Canada welcomes Pablo Rodriguez as Minister of Heritage; thanks Mélanie Joly for leadership on policies affecting the music sector

Toronto, July 18, 2018: Music Canada welcomes incoming Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Hon. Pablo Rodriguez and thanks the Hon. Mélanie Joly for her efforts in this role following her appointment as Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the changes to his federal cabinet earlier today.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, Rodriguez will be responsible for implementing the government’s plan to strengthen Canada’s cultural and creative industries, and will be tasked with managing the legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on the government’s priorities.

“On behalf of Music Canada, I would like to congratulate the Hon. Pablo Rodriguez on his appointment as Minister of Canadian Heritage,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “In this role, he has the opportunity to improve the livelihood of Canadian creators, by creating the conditions for a functioning marketplace where creators receive fair compensation for the use of their work. We look forward to working with Minister Rodriguez to continue to advance policies that support creators and the companies that invest in them.”

Music Canada also extends congratulations to the Hon. Mélanie Joly on her appointment as the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and expresses appreciation for her leadership on key policies affecting Canada’s music sector, including the initiation of a process to reform the Copyright Board of Canada, the launch of the statutory review of the Copyright Act, and the #DigiCanCon consultations.

“During her tenure as Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly advanced key priorities to strengthen Canada’s creative industries and improve the livelihood of Canadian creators,” says Henderson. “Her efforts to improve the regulatory frameworks that affect creators, such as the Copyright Board and the Copyright Act, has begun a process to put creators at the heart of cultural policy. Thank you, Minister Joly, and best wishes in your new role.”

In the music sector, Music Canada has been the lead advocate for practical and forward-looking improvements to Canada’s marketplace, institutions, and legal framework. The most pressing issue for the music sector in Canada, and around the world, is the Value Gap. 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 threatens the future of Canadian culture by harming creators’ ability to make a living from their work.

Music Canada’s comprehensive report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, provides insights into how policymakers can reverse the Value Gap. The report recommends four steps that could be quickly implemented, and would help creators and harmonize Canadian policy with international standards:

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption
  2. Amend the Definition of ‘Sound Recording’ in the Copyright Act
  3. Address the Effects of Safe Harbour Laws and Exceptions in Canada
  4. Private Copying: Renew Support for Music Creators

Each of these recommended changes removes an unfair subsidy, harmonizes the laws within our industries, and brings us to international standards. The report was presented to the Industry, Science and Technology committee as part of the Statutory Review of the Copyright Act, as well as the Canadian Heritage Committee in their study of Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries, where it has been cited by members of the committee as well as several other industry groups appearing as witnesses before the committee.

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For more information:
Quentin Burgess, Music Canada
qburgess@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 981-8410

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

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Music Canada souhaite la bienvenue au nouveau ministre du Patrimoine canadien Pablo Rodriguez et remercie Mélanie Joly de son leadership en matière de politiques affectant le secteur de la musique

Toronto, le 18 juillet 2018 : Music Canada souhaite la bienvenue au nouveau ministre du Patrimoine canadien, l’honorable Pablo Rodriguez, et remercie l’honorable Mélanie Joly de ses réalisations comme ancienne titulaire de ce poste alors qu’elle est désormais chargée du ministère du Tourisme, des Langues officielles et de la Francophonie. Ces changements ont été annoncés plus tôt aujourd’hui par le Premier ministre Justin Trudeau.

Comme ministre du Patrimoine canadien, M. Rodriguez aura la responsabilité de la mise en œuvre du plan conçu par le gouvernement pour consolider les industries culturelles et créatives du Canada en plus de la gestion des processus législatifs, réglementaires et ministériels permettant de répondre aux priorités du gouvernement.

« Au nom de Music Canada, je tiens à féliciter l’honorable Pablo Rodriguez de sa nomination au poste de ministre du Patrimoine canadien », a déclaré Graham Henderson, président et chef de la direction de Music Canada. « Le nouveau ministre aura la possibilité d’améliorer les moyens de subsistance des créateurs canadiens en créant les conditions nécessaires à l’existence d’un marché fonctionnel où les créateurs toucheront une rémunération équitable pour l’utilisation de leurs œuvres. Nous sommes impatients de collaborer avec le ministre Rodriguez à l’avancement de politiques qui soutiennent les créateurs et les entreprises qui investissent dans leurs carrières. »

Music Canada tient également à féliciter l’honorable Mélanie Joly de sa nomination comme ministre du Tourisme, des Langues officielles et de la Francophonie et à la remercier de son leadership concernant certaines politiques clés affectant le secteur de la musique au Canada, notamment la mise en place d’un processus de réforme de la Commission du droit d’auteur du Canada, le lancement de l’Examen prévu par la loi de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur et celui des consultations #verslenumérique.

« Durant son mandat comme ministre du Patrimoine canadien, Mélanie Joly a fait avancer des priorités clés visant à consolider les industries créatives du Canada et à améliorer les moyens d’existence des créateurs canadiens », a déclaré M. Henderson. « Les efforts qu’elle a déployés pour faire améliorer les cadres réglementaires affectant les créateurs, qu’il s’agisse de la Commission du droit d’auteur ou de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur, ont mis en branle un processus visant à mettre les créateurs au cœur de la politique culturelle. Merci, Madame la ministre Joly, et bonne chance dans vos nouvelles fonctions. »

Dans le secteur musical, Music Canada est le chef de file de la défense d’améliorations pratiques axées sur l’avenir à apporter au marché, aux institutions et au cadre juridique du Canada. Le problème le plus urgent, pour le secteur musical canadien comme pour celui du reste du monde, est celui de l’écart de valeur. Défini comme étant « la disparité significative qui existe entre la valeur du contenu créatif que les consommateurs consultent et apprécient et celle des revenus qui sont transmis aux individus et aux entreprises qui l’ont inventé », l’écart de valeur menace l’avenir de la culture canadienne en réduisant la capacité des créateurs de vivre de leurs œuvres.

Intitulé L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada, le rapport exhaustif préparé par Music Canada décrit les solutions auxquelles peuvent recourir les décideurs politiques canadiens pour remédier à l’écart de valeur. Le rapport recommande quatre étapes qui pourraient être rapidement mises en œuvre pour aider à harmoniser la politique canadienne avec les normes internationales :

  1. Éliminer l’exemption de redevances de 1,25 million $ de la radio commerciale
  2. Modifier la définition d’« enregistrement sonore » dans la Loi sur le droit d’auteur
  3. Régler la question des effets des lois sur les exemptions de responsabilité et les exceptions au Canada
  4. Copie privée : rétablir le soutien aux créateurs de musique

Chaque modification recommandée vise à faire disparaître une subvention injuste, à harmoniser les lois gouvernant nos industries et à nous permettre de nous conformer aux normes internationales. Le rapport a été présenté devant le Comité de l’industrie, des sciences et de la technologie dans le cadre de l’Examen prévu par la loi de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur ainsi que devant le Comité permanent du patrimoine canadien dans le cadre de son étude de Modèles de rémunération pour les artistes et les créateurs, où Music Canada a été cité par les membres du comité ainsi que par plusieurs regroupements de l’industrie invités à témoigner.

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Pour de plus amples renseignements :
Quentin Burgess, Music Canada
qburgess@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 981-8410

 

Au sujet de Music Canada

Music Canada est une association professionnelle à but non lucratif qui représente les grandes maisons de disques au Canada, notamment Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada et Warner Music Canada. Music Canada collabore également à la promotion et au développement du secteur musical en collaboration avec de nombreux chefs de file de l’industrie musicale indépendante – étiquettes et distributeurs de disques, studios d’enregistrement, salles de spectacles, diffuseurs de concerts, gérants et artistes. Pour en savoir plus sur Music Canada, veuillez vous rendre sur www.musiccanada.com

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Canadian Creative Industries Launch ReadTheCode.ca

Toronto, ON (June 10, 2018) — The Canadian Creative industries responsible for creating an industry-wide Code of Conduct have now launched a complimentary website – readthecode.ca – as a resource for industry members.

“On behalf of all the industry organizations that have contributed to this process and the launch of our Code, I am happy to announce this new resource as a next step in our industry’s goal to combat harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence within Canada’s creative sector,” said David Sparrow, ACTRA National president.

“I am also pleased to welcome 36 live and recorded music organizations that will soon become signatory to the Code of Conduct to ensure a healthy culture with zero tolerance to all forms of harassment within Canada’s music community.”

In addition to the Code, the website houses a list of Code signatories and their contact information, additional resources including downloadable, printable versions of the Code (in both English and French), and updates from two working groups on their progress. The Education, Training and Awareness Committee is producing multi-level, industry-wide education and training programs, and the Reporting Committee is creating safer and more effective reporting mechanisms. Updates from these two working groups will be made to this website as they become available.

The Code and this subsequent website are all a result of the round-table discussion that took place in November 2017 when a coalition of industry stakeholders gathered together to collaborate on an industry-wide response to harassment, discrimination, bullying, and violence of all kinds. The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct was officially launched on March 8, 2018, and to date, over 60 organizations from within Canada’s creative community have now become signatory.

The website can be accessed through both readthecode.ca and canadiancreativeindustries.ca.

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Media Contact: Carol Taverner, ACTRA Public Relations Officer, tel: 416.644.1519, ctaverner@actra.ca

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Music Canada EVP Amy Terrill’s remarks at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs

This morning, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill participated in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs and Cultural Districts in Canada.

Her remarks, which pulled from Terrill’s extensive Music Cities research, including The Mastering of a Music City report, are included below.

Remarks (check against delivery): 

Chair MP Dabrusin,

Distinguished members of the committee,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.  I’d like to commend you on your study as it is an active topic of discussion currently across the country.

My interest stems from my work on Music Cities which we began at Music Canada in 2011.

We define Music Cities as a municipality of any size that has a vibrant music economy which is intentionally supported and promoted.

Since 2014 I’ve led our study of close to 30 international cities and become one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic.   I’ve advised cities on every continent and spoken at countless events.  I’m an active member of music city committees in Vancouver and Toronto.

Music Canada published a roadmap for the development of a Music City in 2015 and since then about a dozen Canadian cities or regions have taken that roadmap and begun to develop music strategies – including most recently Ottawa which released a strategy just two weeks ago.

 

One of the most important components of a Music City is the availability of spaces and places – to rehearse, record, perform – It’s also likely the top issue identified in Canadian communities.

Some of the common concerns that arise in public surveys and focus groups relating to music are:

  1. Lack of affordable rehearsal spaces; live-work spaces – and housing in general
  2. Pressure on small grassroots venues – affordability pressures – and pressures that come about from mixed use areas – venue closures are creating gaps in what we call the venue ladder which is needed to adequately incubate artists
  3. Heavy red tape is also cited
  4. The need for greater audience engagement
  5. And greater opportunities to collaborate – to connect with other professionals – both within music – and also across the cultural sectors

Creative hubs and cultural districts can, in their own ways, respond to these commonly identified needs and in so doing accomplish larger policy, economic, or cultural goals.

 

In our Music City investigation – we have identified three typical formats for creative hubs:

  • Hubs that are artist-centric with recording facilities, rehearsal and performance spaces, workshops, access to professional services like lawyers or accountants. The Kitchener Public Library is emerging as a cultural hub of this kind.
  • A music business incubator like you might see for other industries providing hot desks, networking events, business development support and training.
  • Or a combination of the two; The Music District in Fort Collins Colorado is a great example. 4000 square feet with programming aimed at both of the two groups, plus outreach to the broader community.

Cultural districts, on the other hand, allow municipalities, in particular, the flexibility to design rules and regulations that can be used to nurture creative activities and organizations in a set geographic area.

Both of these tools are ultimately about creating spaces and places for cultural uses.

 

As you consider this topic and how best the federal government can support them there are two key things I’d like you to remember:

Music spaces are sometimes not what you might expect.

A large portion are not buildings built specifically for a music purpose.  Likely half of the inventory is made up of multi-use, repurposed or unusual spaces.  Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, retail spaces, micro-breweries, repurposed industrial properties – to name a few.

In large cities and small towns – places for musical creation and performance are emerging from unique raw materials.

Similarly creative hubs do not fit a tight definition – I encourage you to think in broad terms about what qualifies as a creative hub.

And secondly this network of cultural spaces is composed of a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit– both are critical for the sustenance of our cultural sector.

The same artists who perform at not-for-profit venues, perform at for-profit venues – it really makes no difference.

Our cultural districts are also made up of this mix.

Commercial entities – as an example music venues or music studios – are important tenants in cultural districts and struggle with some of the same challenges facing their non-profit cousins, but typically do not qualify for federal funding programs.

Queen Street West was mentioned in the department’s testimony.  One of Queen West’s most iconic and longest-serving operators – the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – is only able to maintain its space thanks to the generosity of the building’s owners.  Should the landlord choose to charge market rent – the Horseshoe could not remain.

Other jurisdictions have recognized the important contributions of the commercial sector – and that they too face affordability pressures – and heightened demands from nearby residents to mitigate sound – and have made loans or grants available to venues to upgrade their facilities or acquire specialized equipment.

This is something that could be considered in an enhanced funding program.

Again – I applaud you for your study.

Thank you and I look forward to expanding on some of these issues in the Q&A.

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#EveryStage: Why copyright is so crucial for Canada’s music sector and an important part of Music Canada’s advocacy efforts

Leading up to the 47th annual JUNO Awards, Music Canada is highlighting the ways in which our advocacy supports Canadian artists at every stage of their careers. So far, we have profiled our work regarding music education and Music Cities. In this week’s edition, we highlight our advocacy efforts regarding copyright, which is crucial for all artists.

Copyright effectively underpins the entire music ecosystem – it is copyright that allows creators to sell and license their music in today’s wide array of platforms, and it is copyright that protects the investment that artists and labels make in their career.  As the Canadian Intellectual Property Office outlines in the video below, copyright allows creators to control how their work is used and allows them to monetize their work when it is used.

Music Canada represents Canada’s recording industry to government and public agencies on many different fronts, including how laws, regulations and policies affect music creators. Federally, copyright advocacy is a big part of that role. In addition, Music Canada plays an important role as a collaborator with artists and other industry organizations in the Canadian music and cultural industries to advocate for the creation of a functioning marketplace where creators are paid fairly every time their work is used. Music Canada is a thought-leader on the importance of strong support for creators in the Copyright Act, particularly in highlighting the real-world effects it has on artists and their livelihoods. Reforming Canada’s Copyright Act to ensure that creators are paid when their work is commercialized by others is our top priority.

Currently, the biggest challenge for the music industry in Canada and around the world is known as the Value Gap. 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.

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.

Music Canada’s recent report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, examines the Value Gap and its causes, and demonstrates how it impacts artists, businesses and our nation’s cultural foundations, with a particular focus on music. The report includes recommended steps that Canada’s federal government can take today to address the inequities that artists face due to the Value Gap.

In addition to our Value Gap research, Music Canada has been a lead advocate for reforming the Copyright Board. This is another priority for the music sector, as the rates set by the Board directly impact the value of music and the amount that artists and labels receive for their music and investments. Music Canada is calling on the federal government to reform the Board so that tariff rates are set faster, more efficiently and more predictably – all in the name of royalties that better reflect the true value of music in a functioning music marketplace.

As part of Music Canada’s advocacy on Board reform, we have participated in the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, the government consultation on reforming the Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry, each time appearing as a key stakeholder in favour of full and meaningful reforms. Music Canada’s Graham Henderson also raised the issue in a recent Policy Options op-ed, and in a speech before the Economic Club of Canada citing the need for reform of the Copyright Board as a key priority for government.

Next week, as JUNO Week kicks off in Vancouver, we’ll conclude our #EveryStage series by profiling Music Canada’s efforts to celebrate success in Canada’s music sector, including our Gold/Platinum program and partnerships with the JUNOS and other awards that celebrate Canadian music.

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