Canadian electronic artist was surprised last week by Cadence Music Group with his first ever Platinum plaque for the hit single “Get What You Give.” It is his second award plaque presentation of 2019, following a Gold award surprise at Bud Light Dreams Festival for his Lights collaboration “Love Me.”
i arrived in toronto and found out Get What You Give went platinum! holy shit… my first platinum record!! never really thought something like this would happen… life is crazy rn. thank you everyone who shared this one with their friends ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/laxfFgCnC7
Across genres, continents, and generations, artists have harnessed the unique power of music to rally imaginations and propel ideas into action. This year’s Global Forum explored that theme and examined the role that music plays in political movements. The Soundtrack to Democracy: Music’s Political and Social Power brought the Canadian Music Week attendees both historical and contemporary examples of the power of music.
The event was kicked off by Miranda Mulholland explaining her own advocacy journey that has included her becoming one the world’s strongest advocates for creator’s rights. Mulholland, a musician, label owner and festival founder, discussed the moment she realized that she needed to add speaking up to her long list of duties. “Creators of music, literature, and visual arts have always been at the forefront of every revolution in which people fought to make our lives better. Music has provided the soundtrack for human rights movements around the world…When speaking to governments and policy makers, I tell them: We, musicians, have been there for you. Now we need your help.”
Watch Mulholland’s full remarks below:
Mulholland then introduced The Soundtrack to Democracy’s keynote speaker: musician, author and political activist Dave Randall. His book Sound System: the political power of music looks at examples from Beethoven to Beyoncé to the UK grime scene, and charts his journey to understand what makes music so powerful. Randall’s book can be purchased from Pluto Press.
Armed with a guitar and an extensive knowledge of the historical significance of music, Randall’s keynote was a musical journey through time.
Watch Randall’s full keynote below:
Following Randall’s keynote he joined two leading musicians from Canada who have used art to drive change – Lorraine Segato of The Parachute Club and ShoShona Kish of Digging Roots – for a panel discussion. Titled Rise Up: Using creativity to make change (a reference to The Parachute Club’s anthem for equality and shared power), the panel explored effective strategies artists have used to create and inspire change on issues close to their hearts.
Watch the full panel discussion moderated by Miranda Mulholland below:
Guests were then treated to a performance by members of the fast-rising rap group The Sorority, who in between songs encouraged those in town for Canadian Music Week to get out to see live music, support local musicians, and attend at least one show that put them out of their comfort zone. The Sorority are a powerful representation of solidarity and nonconformity, and their performance was the perfect punctuation to the event’s theme.
To conclude the event, Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson introduced the audience to a painting from 1830, “Liberty Leading the People,” by Eugène Delacroix to illustrate the effect to which art can be political speech. Henderson noted that in its time the painting “was considered so seditious and so dangerous that for about 50 years after it had been painted it was suppressed by the political superstructure and only appeared much later.” He connected the painting to the work of Ursula K Le Guin, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and journalist Paul Foot, tracing the ways that poets, artists and more recently musicians, can change the world.
Watch Henderson’s closing remarks below:
Recognizing the power of art to convey thoughts and emotions, Music Canada commissioned illustrator and graphic artist Rodrigo Bravo to chronicle the 2019 Global Forum in a series of images. The images, available for viewing below, capture some of the points made by each speaker in both text and design, and together form a recap of one of the most successful Global Forums to date.
Henderson’s message was clear – the creative middle class is being eliminated by outdated copyright laws. His speech can be viewed on the Economic Club’s Facebook page, and is embedded below.
In his speech, Henderson shared some of the startling new economic evidence in the report which details the scope of harm done, and confirms that the Value Gap in Canada continues to grow.
In a series of studies, Dr. George Barker, Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics, and Honorary Associate Professor, Australian National University, has documented that the Value Gap in Canada is significantly larger than previously understood, and that it continues to widen.
Dr. Barker distilled his findings to three key measures:
$19.3 billion – the cumulative Canadian recorded music Value Gap over 20 years since 1997
$1.6 billion – the music industry Value Gap in Canada in 2017 alone
$82 million – the average annual increase in the music industry Value Gap in Canada between 1997 and 2017
After his speech, Henderson was joined on stage by the MP for Toronto-Danforth and Chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage Julie Dabrusin. As Chair of the Committee, Dabrusin recently released a report, Shifting Paradigms, that recommended to the government a series of actions that would help artists and the creative industries. Henderson called the report, “a guide to fix the Internet.”
Dabrusin credited artists testimony at the Heritage Committee for the report’s recommendations, and cited Miranda Mulholland’s personal account of how Value Gap has affected her career as a catalyst for her careful consideration of these issues.
“I think we should give a bit of a shout out to Miranda Mulholland,” said Dabrusin. “… She spoke very, very forcefully about the value gap and where it was most forceful was that it brought up her personal journey, the stories of other artists who she knew. So it wasn’t just a dry, matter of fact on a piece of paper anymore. It was hearing the actual impact that was happening in our communities and young people’s lives. And that was the first time that perhaps I’d even twigged a bit more carefully to those issues.”
Dabrusin also encouraged everyone in the music industry to continue to work together when dealing with the Federal government noting that for the Copyright Act Review, almost all music stakeholders came forward with the music priorities to address the Value Gap.
Back in February of 2019, Canadian artists Lights and Felix Cartal teamed up to release their single “Love Me.” The summer-ready collaboration is now officially certified Gold in Canada, and the pair were surprised with custom plaques by Cadence Music Group in Toronto ahead of Felix Cartal’s highly anticipated set at Bud Light Dreams Festival.
The report builds on Music Canada’s previous findings from the 2017 report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, which first identified the existence of a gap in value of creative content and the revenues returned to the artists who create it. A broken copyright framework, ill-adapted to the challenges of the digital age, is now generally recognized as the cause of the Value Gap.
“The origins of the Value Gap can be found more than 20 years ago. It was the dawning of the digital marketplace, and countries around the world struggled to reinterpret copyright laws that were designed for an analog age,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “They wanted to protect creators, but they also wanted to give a boost to young technological start-ups. Inevitably, perhaps understandably, mistakes were made.”
New economic evidence confirms that the Value Gap in Canada continues to grow, with staggering figures that show the discrepancy between what artists make and what they create:
$19.3 billion: the cumulative Canadian recorded music industry Value Gap over 20 years since 1997.
$1.6 billion: the music industry Value Gap in Canada in 2017 alone.
$82 million: the average annual increase in the music industry Value Gap in Canada between 1997 and 2017.
Supported by the data and the experiences of hardships that musicians currently face, Music Canada joins Parliament’s Heritage Committee in proposing solutions to improve Canada’s copyright framework to better ensure that creators are paid when their work is commercialized by others. From clarifying safe harbours, to addressing the responsibilities of user-upload services, to eliminating the commercial radio royalty exemption and clarifying the definition of “sound recordings”, to creating a temporary fund for private copying, these recommendations would ensure fair compensation for artists and reduce the Value Gap.
“Canadian artists deserve a sustainable and working marketplace for their work,” says artist and record label owner Miranda Mulholland, who also serves as Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council. “Artists have been speaking up about the need to close the Value Gap, and our industry speaks in a unified voice on this issue. We need to end broad safe harbours and stop subsidizing billionaires who are commercializing the work of others without fair compensation. This report lays out the steps to fix our broken copyright framework and restore fairness to the creators of music.”
“Closing the Value Gap definitively sets out the economic evidence surrounding the size and growth of the Value Gap and provides clear, achievable recommendations to fix it,” Henderson adds. “The report draws focus to the main cause of the Value Gap in Canada: broad safe harbour laws in the Copyright Act. Two Parliamentary Committees in Canada have recommended reviewing Canada’s safe harbour laws. Now is the time to rebalance the ledger and restore fairness to the marketplace for creators.”
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.
Veteran indie rock outfit Death Cab for Cutie returned to Toronto last week for a show at Echo Beach in support of their 2018 album Thank You for Today. Prior to their set, Warner Music Canada surprised Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, and Jason McGerr with Platinum plaques for their fifth studio album Plans, which was the band’s first album to receive Canadian Gold status in 2006. Plans was certified Platinum earlier in 2019 along with the singles “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” and “Soul Meets Body,” which was certified Gold.
Music Canada is also pleased to welcome Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth and Chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, for a fireside chat about the action that Music Canada is taking on a variety of fronts including diversity and inclusion.
The event description reads:
In his return to the Economic Club, Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson will be releasing Music Canada’s latest report, Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours and Save the Creative Middle Class.
This new report follows up on Music Canada’s 2017 groundbreaking report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach. Since that report, two Parliamentary Committees have reviewed the Copyright Act, governments around the world are identifying the Value Gap and its risk to creative industries, and creators are speaking up to ensure that they are remunerated fairly when their works are commercialized by others.
Following a speech unveiling the report, Graham Henderson will also discuss the action Music Canada is taking on a variety of fronts including diversity and inclusion to ensure that Music Canada is a leader and agent of change with respect to business and social issues impacting the music community both domestically and internationally.
On Saturday May 11th, Music Canada held its fourth annual Music Cities Summit during Canadian Music Week. This year’s summit was hosted in partnership with the Music Policy Forum, and the event featured a plethora of local and international speakers who gathered to discuss issues regarding the value of music and its relationship to creative city-planning.
The morning kicked off with opening remarks from Music Canada’s Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives Sarah Hashem, as well as remarks from Ashlye Keaton of the Music Policy Forum.
Pictured here: Chris Campbell (Grant W. Martin Photography)
The keynote address was given by Chris Campbell, Director of Culture & Entertainment Tourism and Tourism London. Campbell spoke about the journey to get Canadian music’s biggest milestone to London, Ontario: the JUNO Awards.
As Chair of the JUNOs host committee, Campbell worked with a team to pitch London as the right home for the awards in 2019. He discussed how the city was a bit of an underdog in the selection process as it was much smaller than many of the cities that have hosted the JUNOs in the past. Campbell also outlined the steps the team took to successfully stage a series of live music events throughout JUNO Week across London.
Pictured here: Ana Bailão, Mirik Milan, Kate Becker (Grant W. Martin Photography)
Chris Campbell’s illuminating keynote presentation was followed by a fascinating conversation on theintersection between the nighttime economy and music strategies. This immersive discussion took place between Mirik Milan, the first Night Mayor of Amsterdam; Kate Becker, the former Director of the Seattle Office of Film + Music; and Toronto City Councillor Ana Bailão, who has long been a champion for locally based projects in the arts space.
The trio discussed the economic and social benefits of having a thriving night time economy, and Councillor Bailão emphasized how a city’s vibrancy is enhanced by having a strong community of artists and musicians living, working, and creating.
Pictured here: Dominique Grant, Charlie Wall-Andrews, Kanika Gupta, Amy Terrill (Grant W. Martin Photography)
The next session examined the topic of inclusivity and diversity in the context of a music city. Amy Terrill introduced the keynote video, given by Mark Roach of Recorded Music New Zealand. In the video, Roach spoke about the efforts taken by his city of Auckland to ensure that the Māori language and culture was given proper respect, and incorporated into their music strategy and policies.
The panel component of the session then commenced, moderated by Charlie Wall-Andrews. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation, Wall-Andrews was also selected as the Vice-Chair of Music Canada’s recently instituted Advisory Council. Joining her on stage was artist and creator Domanique Grant and Kanika Gupta, an artist and social innovator. The discussion ranged from steps organizers can take to ensure that their events are inclusionary in nature, to how cities can ensure the the foundation of their music strategies provide support for segments of the music community that may be traditionally underrepresented.
Participants in ‘the ‘Hypothetical’ session on DIY Music Spaces and the City
For many, the highlight of the Music Cities Summit was the session exploring the topic of DIY music spaces, and their relation to the cities they reside in. Inspired by an event hosted by Melbourne Music Week in 2018, this innovative session was based on a hypothetical scenario: in a fictional city, a beloved underground music venue has just been forced to close. The reaction on social media has been swift. A local artist posts on social media how disappointed they are – this is the venue they got their start at. A public backlash ensues. As the days pass, more information regarding how and why this venue shut down becomes available, making the situation even more complex.
The session was hosted by Darlene Tonelli, founder of Inter Alia law and member of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, who guided the room through this exercise as they collectively worked through the twists and turns of this social dilemma. The session featured a ‘panel,’ composed of key stakeholders including artists, DIY venue operators and promoters, City officials, music industry professionals, and fans. As the scenario developed, they were called upon to offer their insight and expertise, and describe their course of action at critical flashpoints of the scenario.
Session participants included: Ian Swain (Bonjay); Brian Wong (Gingy, ‘It’s not U It’s Me’); Said Yassin (‘It’s OK’); Kwende Kefentse (Memetic, City of Ottawa); April Aliermo (Hooded Fang, Phedre); Erin Benjamin (CLMA); Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy; Cory Crossman (City of London’s Music Development Officer); Kate Becker (City of Seattle); Rod Jones (Director of Bylaw Enforcement, Municipal Licensing & Standards); Mark Garner (Downtown Yonge BIA); Errol Nazareth (CBC’s Big City, Small World); Tracy Jenkins (Lula Lounge); Shaun Bowring (Garrison, Baby G); Gavin Le Ber.
After a networking lunch, the afternoon kicked off with an engaging panel that explored the topic of music incubators and co-working spaces. Moderated by Sarah Hashem – Music Canada’s Vice President, Strategic Initiatives – the session featured input from some fantastic panelists: Chris Corless, Founding Partner at Toronto’s Signal Creative Community; Toni Morgan, founder of the Beat Academy; and Mustafa El Amin, founder and Executive Director of MyStand Mentorship and NorthBlock Entertainment.
The conversation highlighted how creative incubators and hubs can help artists gain access to resources and support that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to. The panelists went on outline the various ways that new models of co-working can help level the playing field for creators – particularly young and emerging artists and producers.
The next session examined how to effectively build a coalition when developing a music city. A keynote presentation was given by Erin Benjamin, the CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association, and took a deeper look at the organization’s successful first five years. The session then moved into a panel discussion, moderated by Michael Bracy of the Music Policy Forum. Participants included Katherine Carleton, Executive Director of Orchestras Canada; Cody Cowan, founder and Executive Director or Red River Cultural District in Austin; and Katie Tuten, co-founder of Chicago music venue The Hideout.
This year, the Music Cities Summit also featured two exciting ‘Masterclass’ sessions. These interactive, discussion-based seminars allowed the speakers to interact directly with participants in the room, often answering questions and offering direct advice based on their extensive experience in the music city world.
The first Masterclass was entitled ‘Strategy Development – Back to Basics’. Leading this in-depth conversation were four practitioners in this space: Mike Tanner, Toronto’s Music Sector Development Officer; Jarrett Martinaeu, Cultural Planner from the City of Vancouver; the City of Ottawa’s Kwende Kefentse; and Maryann Lombardi, Chief Creative Economy Officer at the DC Office of Cable, Film, Music and Entertainment.
The second Masterclass featured cutting-edge research from two major players in the music city field. Amsterdam’s Mirik Milan – who spoke about the research being conducted at Creative Footprint, a global civic initiative that measures and indexes creative space – and Peter Schwarz of Sound Music Cities, who took the attendees through his organization’s work implementing their Austin Music Census method in Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Pictured here: Ashlye Keaton, Leah Ross, Chris Campbell, MP Michael Barrett (Grant W. Martin Photography)
The last session of the day was a spotlight on the impact and benefits of music tourism for a city. The panel was moderated by Ashlye Keaton (the Ella Project; Music Policy Forum), and featured opening remarks by MP Michael Barrett (Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes). MP Barrett also participated in the panel discussion, alongside London’s Chris Campbell and Leah Ross, the Executive Director of the non-profit Birthplace of Country Music.
The panel explored questions related to how a city can make sure its music tourism is authentic to the city, has an economic impact, balances the needs of residents, and – ultimately – benefits the artists who help drive this attraction.
The day ended with a post-summit reception at the co-working space Signal Creative Community, hosted by the City of Toronto. Mayor John Tory also attended and provided some insightful remarks highlighting the benefits of municipal support for music, touching on some of the recent exciting achievements in Toronto.
Columbus, Ohio’s Twenty One Pilots made their triumphant return to Toronto last week on their Bandito Tour in support of the 2018 album Trench, the follow-up to 4x Platinum 2015 album Blurryface. Prior to the highly anticipated sold out show at Scotiabank Arena, Warner Music Canada surprised the band with Gold plaques for Trench and its singles “Chlorine,” “Jumpsuit,” and “My Blood.”
Yesterday, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology tabled its report, entitled Statutory Review of the Copyright Act, which now concludes the review of the Copyright Act undertaken by that Committee and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Yesterday’s report from the Industry Committee includes important recommendations to narrow the radio royalty exemption, review safe harbour provisions, extend the term of copyright for musical works and review the private copying regime.
These recommendations, together with the recommendations made in the report from the Heritage Committee on artist and creative sector remuneration, have set the stage for legislative change which will help restore Canada’s middle class of artists and close the Value Gap for the broader cultural industries.
“It is unfortunate that the Industry Committee chose not to take into account the May 15th report from the Heritage Committee or the testimony from creators that contributed to the Heritage Report,” says Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson.“If they had, they would have found the Heritage Committee’s Shifting Paradigms report provides clear answers to their outstanding questions.”
“We look forward to working with the Government to reform the Copyright Act as soon as possible to ensure the framework allows creators to be fairly remunerated for their work when it’s commercialized by others.”
Congratulations Minister!! Your understanding of culture as an economic driver that underpins the success of our society is wonderful to see. We look forward to working with you and you entire team! https://t.co/1hidy47ERR
How come more people are listening to music than ever, but musicians are earning less? I ask @GFHenderson and @miramulholland about the Value Gap on the @musonomics podcast. https://t.co/UEQnV66ic7 @Music_Canada
Yes! & @MusicCanada @GFHenderson has been leading on this too. He met with publishers, MPA & others from our #womenmakemusic taskforce at @PRSFoundation to explain how they’d transformed the Board https://t.co/rKsi1M0kbE
New episode! @MusicCanada's Graham Henderson and musician @miramulholland talk to Musonomics’ Larry Miller about the “value gap” between the $$ services like YouTube make from music & what the musicians receive in return: https://t.co/RarmUsxFvT
'The Mastering of a Music City - Sault Ste. Marie' has kicked off! We are proud to host an amazing panel of experts and the incredible and engaged audience with us today! @MusicCanada @watertowerinn @DestNorthernOnt @CONSERVATORYtwt
Coming up just after 4pm EST on @CBCHereandNow, @MiraMulholland, Chair of the Music Canada Advisory Council, will join the show to discuss her #ArtsandCultureVoter initiative, which highlights the importance of the cultural sector in #elxn43. Listen live @ https://t.co/uJ8GZ5yxVA
On now at @MaMAevent in Paris, @miramulholland, Chair of the Music Canada Advisory Council, joins the 'Artists as Activists' panel, featuring artists from around the world discussing how creators can make a difference. #mama19
They are artist and activists, leading the fight for a fairer music eco-system, against discrimination, for a more sustainable world and so on. See them @MaMAevent at 3pm: @crispinhunt @IvorsAcademy @miramulholland @tryo @Barbieturix and Count Eldridge.