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New report calls for development of an Atlantic Canada Music Strategy

A new report unveiled during the 2017 East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference today calls for the need to develop an Atlantic Canadian Music Strategy in an effort to strengthen the future of the region’s music sector.

Striking A New A-Chord, a report spearheaded by the East Coast Music Association (ECMA), Music Canada, and Music Canada Live, emphasizes that concentrated investment in the music industry is beneficial not only for those who work in the sector, but ultimately for the region as a whole.

“Music is fundamentally linked to Atlantic Canadian culture,” says Andy McLean, Executive Director of the ECMA. “This report clearly shows that – in addition to bolstering that identity – supporting this sector means helping small businesses, creating opportunities to attract and retain youth employment, and developing our artists to compete at an international level. The first step to harnessing these opportunities is creating a pan-Atlantic strategy.”

Delivered during a presentation at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre this afternoon titled Stronger Together, the report also marks a landmark partnership between all five music industry associations – Musique/Music NB, Music Nova Scotia, Music NL, Music PEI, and the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative – who have committed to working with the ECMA, Music Canada, and Music Canada Live to establish this regional strategy.

“Atlantic Canada has one of the richest, most important – but fragile – music scenes in the country. Creating and executing a region-wide strategy will ensure the true economic, social and cultural potential of the industry, and its countless benefits for cities and towns, can be realized,” says Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live. “This is an historic moment in the timeline of East Coast music, and huge milestone for all of the associations involved. Congratulations, Music Canada Live looks forward to supporting the hard work ahead.”

The report, which was officially commissioned at last year’s ECMAs in Sydney, NS, underscores a number of challenges facing musicians and industry professionals in Atlantic Canada including stringent liquor laws, changing business models in the industry, restrictions on live venues, and lack of industry infrastructure. The latter is a key focus for the proposed strategy, calling the shortage of music publishing companies, agents, publicists, bookers, and artist managers in the region “alarming.”

Among other recommendations, Striking A New A-Chord also calls for the development of an Atlantic Canadian Music Fund that would seek to provide resources to complement existing programs, attract investment, and develop and incentivize musicians and music related businesses to reinvest in Atlantic Canada.

“Targeted investments in other parts of Canada have strengthened those music communities and stimulated additional private spending as well, leading to increased activity in the sector,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “We look forward to working with government and industry stakeholders to find ways to complement the existing programs available to the music community in Atlantic Canada in order to create a stronger, more sustainable Atlantic music sector.”

The entire Striking A New A-Chord report is available to read HERE.

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Music Canada applauds BC Liberals recommitment to BC Music Fund in 2017 platform

Music Canada applauds British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal Party’s recommitment to the B.C. Music Fund in the party’s 2017 election platform. The platform, titled ‘Strong BC, Bright Future’, commits to invest an additional $15 million in the BC Music Fund over the next three years.

The BC Music Fund was launched by Premier Clark in 2016, with a $15 million grant as part of a comprehensive strategy to protect and promote the province’s music industry. Administered by Creative BC, the Fund has various streams to support the province’s music ecosystem, including Sound Recording, Live Music, Research, Industry Initiatives, Careers of BC Artists, Music Company Development, as well as new Innovation and Signature Artist Programs that were announced last week.

“I am delighted to see Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals pledge an additional $15 million to the BC Music Fund in their 2017 platform,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “The Government of BC has shown a belief in the power of music as a driver of employment and tourism, as well as pride in its incredible local artists, studios, labels, cultures and industry. I applaud this proposed BC Music Fund extension, along with other recommendations from Music Canada’s BC music report, like red tape reduction, that have already been implemented.”

The B.C. Liberal platform highlights the fact that with 24,800 artists, British Columbia is home to more artists per capita than any other province. The platform notes that B.C. is the third largest centre for music production in Canada, with more than 80 independent labels, 123 studios, and hundreds of music publishers, managers, and other businesses involved in the sector.

A comprehensive BC Music Strategy was one of the recommendations from the BC’s Music Sector – From Adversity to Opportunity report that was released by Music Canada last year. The report examined the province’s music assets and provided recommendations to position the province to compete in an increasingly global marketplace while also creating more opportunities for emerging BC artists to succeed and earn a living from their music.

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Anthology: Defining Moments in Canadian Music

Tonight at the opening reception to the 46th Annual JUNO Awards in Ottawa, Music Canada unveiled Anthology: Defining Moments in Canadian Music. The installation is a timeline that chronicles the events that helped shape Canadian music, including artistic and award-based milestones, industry and regulatory developments, as well as media and technological changes that have been part of our industry’s evolution.

With facts compiled by renowned music journalist Larry LeBlanc, and designed by Ben PurkissAnthology is made up of five large prints containing more than 180 moments. When aligned side-by-side, the prints create a continuous timeline from 1969 to 2017.

Music fans can test their Canadian music knowledge with our quiz card, which is being distributed to attendees at the opening reception. An answer key is available on the back of the card, which highlights the Focus On Creators initiative.

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Music Canada reacts to 2017 Federal Budget

Music Canada is pleased to see that the 2017 federal budget, which was tabled yesterday in the House of Commons, contains encouraging language for Canada’s music sector.

Intellectual Property Strategy 2017

The budget announced that the Government will develop a new intellectual property strategy over the coming year. The budget notes that “intellectual property rights incentivize creativity and the development of new ideas and technologies by helping companies, academics and inventors recoup their investment once new products reach the marketplace.” This is especially true in the music business, as music is intellectual property, and musicians are innovators.

Recorded music is an investment intensive business, and a strong intellectual property regime gives labels the confidence to invest in new artists and recordings, which helps all parties in the recording ecosystem. Record labels are the primary investors in music, investing 27% of global revenues into discovering, developing, and marketing artists. A & R (artists and repertoire) is record companies’ defining skill, and the equivalent of R & D (research and development) in other sectors. We welcome the Government’s IP Strategy, which the budget states will “help ensure that Canada’s intellectual property regime is modern and robust and supports Canadian innovations in the 21st century.”

Canada’s Digital Future

In this budget, the Government has placed a priority on supporting Canada’s digital innovation, with a section on Canada’s Digital Future. Recognizing that Canada’s creative entrepreneurs and cultural leaders are essential to building an inclusive and innovative Canada, the budget acknowledges that Canada’s creative industries are facing rapid and disruptive change, which includes both risks and opportunities. The budget states that the Government will outline a new approach to growing Canada’s creative sector – “one that is focused on the future, and bringing the best of Canada to the world.”

The music industry has extensive experience in adapting to digital disruption. In many ways, the music sector was “the canary in the coal mine” in this regard: with the launch of Napster in 1999, the music industry was the first media sector to feel the full impact of the Internet. But, after almost two decades of nearly uninterrupted declining revenues, the global music sector reached a key milestone in 2015, with a return to positive revenue growth and digital revenues surpassing income from physical formats for the first time. This achievement was made possible by the transformation of record companies to meet changes in consumer behavior, the proactive licensing of new digital services, and continued investment in talent and innovation in bringing artists to a global audience. We have some perfect examples of the last point; last year, Drake topped IFPI’s Top Ten Global Recording Artist chart, while fellow Ontarians Justin Bieber and The Weeknd reached #5 and #10, respectively.

However, despite these encouraging results, the music industry’s transformation is not complete. There is a weakness in the foundation, known as the “Value Gap.” While music is now being consumed at record levels around the world, the surge in consumption has not been matched by coinciding remuneration to artists and producers. Addressing this market distortion is crucial to ensuring creators are fairly compensated. We look forward to working with the Government of Canada to address the Value Gap as part of the plan for Canada’s digital future.

Promoting STEM to Young Canadians

The budget also includes a laudable section on promoting STEM to young Canadians, noting that they are “curious, talented, entrepreneurial and well-educated”, making them “well-positioned to deliver the next great breakthrough in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).” This is very true, though we note the equal importance of studying the humanities, and encourage the Government to consider a broader outlook, by including the arts in this strategy.

An arts education does more than prepare students for careers in the culture sectors. Arts educations instill the importance of creativity, and teach students to apply creative thinking and design skills to STEM projects. By expanding the outlook from STEM to STEAM, the Government can help students develop the full skillset required for careers in tomorrow’s labour market.

 

Budget 2017 rightly states that changes in the economy presents incredible opportunities for middle class Canadians, and that Canadians’ future success “will be determined by our ability to prepare for and adapt to change.” As we strengthen Canadian content creation and prepare for the future, Music Canada is committed to working with government to ensure music is properly valued & creators are fairly compensated.

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Music Canada Proud to Support 46th Annual JUNO Awards

Music Canada is proud to return as sponsor of the Album of the Year Award at the 46th Annual JUNO Awards.

“As the Canadian music industry comes together in Ottawa in 2017, coinciding with Canada’s 150th anniversary, we are reminded of the impact that music has had in building our country’s identity. From past Album of the Year winners like Anne Murray, Bryan Adams, and the Tragically Hip, to this year’s nominees, music has always been a defining part of our cultural identity,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “In addition to its intrinsic values, the music sector supports thousands of jobs across the country, which is why we are proud to advocate for policies and programs that benefit the music ecosystem and support a creative middle class.”

The Album of the Year Award will be presented at the 2017 JUNO Awards Broadcast at the Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 in Kanata, ON.

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Music Monday to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary with new anthem in support of music education

On Monday, May 1, 2017, the Coalition for Music Education will celebrate Music Monday with a cross-country sing-along to raise awareness for music education. The annual event celebrates the unifying power of music as thousands of Canadians join in singing and performing the Music Monday anthem at their schools and other community centres.

This year, inspired by Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Music Monday sing-along will be led by a live-streamed showcase from the nation’s capital. In recognition of the sesquicentennial year, the 2017 Music Monday anthem will celebrate Canada’s musical heritage in its lyrics and instrumentation. The anthem, titled Sing It Together, focuses on the power of voices, and “asks us to sing for joy, for truth, for healing, and for freedom,” explains the event press release. The recording features Inuit throat singing, Métis fiddling, Indigenous drumming, and children’s choirs in celebration of Canadian musical heritages.

Sing It Together was co-written by JUNO Award winners Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas, and was recorded at Canterbury Music in Toronto, with additional layers recorded at Ottawa’s Audio Valley Recording Studio, and Hamilton’s St. James Anglican Church.

“Music is the landscape of Canada,” said Marc Jordan. “We hope it will be a song that illuminates the mosaic of music and cultures that thrive in every corner of the country.”

To join the Canada-wide chorus of students and community groups in singing and performing the song on Music Monday, visit the Get Involved section of the Music Monday website.  Arrangements, audio-visual learning tools, and lyrics in several languages will be made available on the website ahead of the event.

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What was said: Senators Call for Urgent Review of Canada’s Copyright Board

Today at a press conference in Ottawa, members from the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce (Deputy Chair Joseph A. Day and Douglas Black) announced the release of their report on the operations and practices of the Copyright Board of Canada.

The press conference was live-streamed on Periscope, and an archive of the video is embedded below.

A selection of quotes from the event are included below.

Senator Joseph A. Day:
“Simply put: uncertain royalties mean uncertain paychecks. In our investigation, we found the Copyright Board to be slow and its practice very dated.
As the committee reviewed the Board, the most common comment from witnesses, and we heard from several witnesses, was that the board lacks timely decision making when it comes to establishing royalties. These tariffs are the bread and butter of Canadian artists who work in this community’s cultural sector, because they determine how much money businesses must pay in order to use the copyrighted material of the artist.”

“After reviewing the Board’s operations and practices, our committee’s sole recommendation is to call for a thorough, in-depth examination of the Copyright Board of Canada’s mandate, practice, and resources.  And examination of the Copyright Board of Canada’s mandate, practice, and resources should take place next year as part as the statutory, mandated review of the Copyright Act, the law that governs the Board. The Act is scheduled to have its statutory, five-year review of the Board next year, 2017, which is coming real fast. That is the opportune time not only to review the Act, but to delve deeper into the problems of the board.”

“So today, we are raising awareness about what we found when we talked to people who are intimately familiar with the Board’s work, and who are directly affected by that work of the Board. The one inescapable conclusion that the Copyright Board is not serving the Canadian copyright sector to the best of its ability, nor is it helping Canadian business.”

 

Senator Doug Black:
“As we all can agree in this room, and those who are listening, the cultural industries in Canada are a key component, not only to quality of life, but also to economics. And it is part of our review to ensure that impediments to the economics of Canada are dealt with.
And as Senator Day has so clearly identified, it was our observation that the Copyright Board, despite its best intentions, there is no maleficence here at all, but despite best intentions, the Board is not only not assisting the cultural industries, it is a block to the cultural industries. And we are recommending, as Senator Day indicates, that this needs to have a thorough examination.
We viewed ourselves like a G.P. – the patient came in, we analyzed the patient, and we said ‘my Goodness me’ – this requires the attention of some specialists. So we will over 2017, or the Government over 2017, will have a comprehensive review to understand what needs to be done to ensure the Copyright Board is working.”

“We also learned that the majority of members are part-time – so it’s unfair to expect that the job can get done. We learned of problems with files, we learned of problems with tariffs, we learned of process problems. So what we need to do is figure out what needs to get done, make some strong recommendations to correct it, and I think we also need to look at how its dealt with in our partner countries – how they deal with copyright in the U.K., in the U.S., in Japan. And I don’t know, but we need to look at that, because there will be some best practices and some models that we can utilize, and we’re going to ask the government to do this.
It’s very straightforward – the Copyright Board today is an impediment to the cultural industries in Canada. And there is no Senators that I know – and I would know them all – there is no Senator that would stand in support of any block to cultural industries in this country – it’s important to the quality of our life, and it’s important to our economics.”

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Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce releases report on the Copyright Board of Canada

At a press conference today in Ottawa, members from the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce (Deputy Chair Joseph A. Day and Douglas Black) announced the release of their report on the operations and practices of the Copyright Board of Canada. The report, which was officially tabled in the Senate on November 30, follows two days of hearings held by the Committee earlier in November. The Committee heard from representatives from the Board, stakeholders, academics and experts. Music Canada took part in the hearings, with President & CEO Graham Henderson appearing before the committee on November 2.

The report, titled Copyright Board: A Rationale for Urgent Review, is a timely and insightful assessment of the current tariff-setting process and its shortcomings. The Report correctly notes that the Committee’s witnesses agreed that the Board’s biggest challenges are delay and unpredictability, while also highlighting potential areas for improvement, such as the imposition of deadlines, case management, simplified/expedited procedures, full-time members, and the elimination of retroactive decisions.

The report states as follows:

“The Copyright Board of Canada plays a pivotal role in Canada’s cultural sector. Yet, from what the committee heard, the Board is dated, dysfunctional and in dire need of reform. Whether the reasons are statutory, structural or otherwise, the Board did not – or could not – provide the committee with solutions to the problems that were identified by witnesses. The concerns outlined in this report require further investigation and timely action.”

The report ultimately recommends that “the forthcoming five-year statutory review of the Copyright Act should include a thorough, in-depth examination of the Copyright Board of Canada’s mandate, practices and resources.”

Music Canada applauds the Committee’s leadership and recommendation for an urgent, in-depth review.

“I commend the Senate’s Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee for undertaking this important review. The common message at the hearings was that the Board has actually become a barrier to business,” says Graham Henderson, President & CEO of Music Canada. “The Board is inefficient and unpredictable, and decisions take too long. The Committee could not have been more damning in their indictment when they said that the ‘Board is dated, dysfunctional and in dire need of reform.’ The Committee’s work makes it very clear that the Copyright Board and its tariff-setting process need to be overhauled.”

Music Canada looks forward to working with the government on this issue as we approach the 2017 review of the Copyright Act. A more efficient and predictable tariff-setting process is something that all Board stakeholders can aspire to, and we welcome the Committee’s recognition of the urgency of this issue.

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Kygo presented with Platinum plaque by Ultra Music Canada at FUZEnation

Kygo, the 22-year-old Norwegian DJ, songwriter, and producer behind the hit album Cloud Nine, received a plaque commemorating the Platinum status of three of the album’s singles in Canada last week.

Ultra Music Canada presented Kygo with the award at the inaugural FUZEnation music & technology summit, which took place Sept. 27 – 30 in the Waterloo, Ontario region.

Photo (left to right): Gareth Jones (VP & Radio Promotion, DMD), Asim “Awesome” Awan (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada) Kygo, Myles Shear (Manager for Kygo, GoldenHareGroup), Adrian Strong (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada / President, DMD), Matt Attfield (Artist Marketing, Ultra Music Canada / Head of Marketing & PR, DMD)

Photo (left to right): Gareth Jones (VP & Radio Promotion, DMD), Asim “Awesome” Awan (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada) Kygo, Myles Shear (Manager for Kygo, GoldenHareGroup), Adrian Strong (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada / President, DMD), Matt Attfield (Artist Marketing, Ultra Music Canada / Head of Marketing & PR, DMD)

Kygo achieved Platinum status for his songs “Stay” ft. Maty Noyes, “Stole The Show” ft. Parson James, and “Firestone” ft. Conrad Sewell last month. The songs were among the initial titles to be certified under Music Canada’s new Single Award guidelines, which now includes on-demand audio streams from subscription services with digital download and CD single sales.

Kygo has made an immediate impact in the streaming world, as he became the fastest artist ever to reach 1 billion streams via Spotify.

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Canadian music companies successfully settle legal action against isoHunt

MC smallIFPI Small

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vancouver, 25 July 2016:  Canadian and international music companies have settled litigation against isoHunt Web Technologies Inc. (“isoHunt”) and its founder Gary Fung (“Fung”) with the entering of orders by consent against isoHunt and Fung.  The settlement ends a lawsuit filed in 2010 alleging substantial copyright infringement of music on the isoHunt site, as well as an opposing action filed by isoHunt and Fung.

isoHunt and Fung agreed to a court order finding them liable for infringing the music companies’ rights in their recordings, which were made available for BitTorrent file-sharing through isoHunt’s websites. Fung and isoHunt further agreed not to be associated with any service that makes the music companies’ recordings available without authorization, including by BitTorrent or any other file-sharing technology.

“Music companies in Canada stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against illegitimate sites that distribute massive volumes of creative works without compensation to creators,” said Graham Henderson, President & CEO of Music Canada. “Thousands of Canadian creators, our creative industries, and their employees are directly harmed by these activities. This settlement is a step forward towards providing consumers with a marketplace in which legitimate online music services can thrive.”

isoHunt was one of the largest unauthorized BitTorrent sites in the world, offering access to a vast array of music and films for instant download by millions of users. It operated out of Vancouver with worldwide reach.

“Courts all over the world have confirmed that websites such as isoHunt infringe rights”, said Frances Moore, Chief Executive Officer of IFPI. “Artists, creators and record companies pay a heavy price for that infringement, in lost revenues, lost jobs and lost investment. This settlement sends a strong message that anyone who builds a business by encouraging and enabling copyright infringement faces legal consequences for these actions.”

A timeline of legal activities involving isoHunt:

  • 2008 – isoHunt files a petition in British Columbia Supreme Court against Canadian music companies, seeking to have its BitTorrent file-sharing site declared legal under the Canadian Copyright Act;
  • 2009 – The British Columbia Supreme Court rejects isoHunt’s application, and grants the Canadian music companies’ application to have the petition proceed by way of an action or full trial. isoHunt files such an action;
  • 2009 – A US federal district court finds isoHunt liable for copyright infringement in a case brought by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), citing unchallenged evidence that 95% of the files traded through isoHunt’s sites were likely infringing;
  • 2010 – Two dozen Canadian and international music companies file a lawsuit against isoHunt and Fung in British Columbia Supreme Court, alleging massive copyright infringement and seeking damages;
  • 2012 – The Canadian government passes The Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11), which ensures that businesses that enable infringement can be held liable for the activities they facilitate. In public statements, government representatives identify isoHunt as the type of “enabler” that the law is intended to target;
  • 2013 – A US federal court of appeals unanimously upholds the US district court’s decision;
  • 2013 – isoHunt and Fung agree to halt all operations worldwide and are deemed liable for a judgment of US$110 million in the US proceedings;
  • 2016 – by way of a consent order filed in the Canadian proceedings in British Columbia Supreme Court, isoHunt and Fung are liable for CAD$55 million in damages and an additional CAD$10 million in punitive damages.  isoHunt and Fung further agree not to be associated with any service that makes the music companies’ recordings available without authorization.

Despite these successful legal actions, piracy remains a significant problem for the music industry. IFPI estimates that 20 per cent of all fixed line internet users worldwide regularly access services offering infringing music. A recent report by the Digital Citizens Alliance demonstrates that one in three piracy sites contains malware, which could result in identity theft, stolen banking information, or exposure to hackers.

̶   Ends  ̶

For more information:

Quentin Burgess, Music Canada

qburgess@musiccanada.com

+1 (416) 967-7272 x106

 

Adrian Strain, Director of Communications, IFPI

adrian.strain@ifpi.org

+44 (0)20 7878 7935

 

 

Notes for editors:

About Music Canada

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada, namely 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.

About IFPI

IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,300 major and independent companies in 61 countries. It also has affiliated industry associations in 57 countries.  IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for record producer rights and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all its member markets.

 

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