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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. 

This website made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Music Canada

Please note that the Music Canada team is working remotely to reduce potential impacts of COVID-19 and to do our part to limit the spread of coronavirus. During this time, our passionate advocacy for music and those who create it continues.

We are closely monitoring COVID-19’s impact on the music community, and we extend our sympathy to those affected – particularly the artist community. We are working to understand & capture artists’ experience & convey their stories to all levels of government.


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