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Kehlani presented with first Canadian Gold plaque in Toronto

Photo Credit: Warner Music Canada / Project 718

American R&B singer and songwriter Kehlani is currently on tour across North America with Demi Lovato and DJ Khaled. Prior to her opening set Monday at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, the Oakland, CA-born artist was surprised with a custom Gold Single Award plaque by Warner Music Canada. The plaque represents her singles “CRZY,” from 2017 album SweetSexySavage, and “Gangsta,” her contribution to the Suicide Squad original soundtrack.

During the show, Kehlani showed love for her Toronto fanbase and joined DJ Khaled on stage in a custom Toronto Raptors jersey.

custom raptors jersey w the @fashionnova pants #compassionnova

A post shared by ARTIVIST 333 (@kehlani) on

Kehalni will return to Canada in July for the FVDED in the Park Festival at Holland Park in Surrey, BC. The music video for “CRZY” can be viewed below.

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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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Barrie-Simcoe County music strategy envisions nationally-recognized ‘constellation’ of music scenes

On Wednesday, March 7 at the Five Points Theatre (formerly the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts) in downtown Barrie, Ontario, representatives from CultureCap and Nordicity unveiled the brand-new Barrie-Simcoe County Music Strategy. The Strategy was informed by a recent survey that garnered more than 270 responses from community members across Simcoe County, as well as consultations with local artists, labels, venues, tourism officials and municipal staff from local governments.

Combining various independent data sources, an inventory and map of musical resources in Simcoe County was constructed. 256 music businesses were identified in the County, mostly concentrated in five clusters: Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Wasaga Beach and Collingwood. As such, the Strategy sets a bold vision that “Simcoe County will be nationally-recognized as a constellation of distinct local music scenes committed to artistic ambition” within three years, where its distinct scenes shine brighter when united.

To reach this goal by 2021, the Strategy proposes the following mission for Simcoe County governments and the music community:

  • Build the foundation to support and advocate for music
  • Connect people in the music community, both internally and externally
  • Streamline regulatory pathways
  • Promote accessibility to reasonably-priced rehearsal spaces
  • Tell stories and build an identity to bolster a local star system

42% of the financial activity of music businesses in the County is generated in the summer season, and the Strategy suggests creating a cluster in the live music sector with festivals, venues and artists, and also framing Simcoe County as a place that “lets festivals happen.”

The project is being spearheaded by many local partners: Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), Simcoe County, the City of Barrie, the City of Orillia, the Town of Collingwood and the Central Ontario Music Council (MusicCO).

To guide the execution of the Strategy, a collaborative organizational structure in which MusicCO acts as a coordinating body of several Local Municipal Music Committees, beginning with Barrie, Orillia and Collingwood, is proposed.

Stay tuned for updates from the project’s partners in the near future as the results of the study and the full Barrie-Simcoe County Music Strategy are officially released.

 

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Judah & The Lion receive Canadian Gold award plaques for “Take It All Back”

Photo Credit: Penelope PR / UMC

Nashville-based band Judah & The Lion have spent the majority of 2018 selling out concerts in cities across North America on their Going To Mars tour. On Friday, the genre-bending group made their highly anticipated return to Toronto for a show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

During an interview with etalk’s Devon Soltendieck, the band was surprised with their first Canadian Gold Single Award plaque by Universal Music Canada for their hit “Take It All Back” from their 2016 album Folk Hop N’ Roll.  The band also visited Canadian cities Vancouver and Montreal on this tour.

Watch the video for “Take It All Back” below.

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#EveryStage: How Music Canada’s Music Cities advocacy aims to make Canadian municipalities more music and musician friendly

Last week Music Canada launched our JUNOS 2018 #EveryStage campaign, intended to highlight the ways our advocacy supports artists at every stage of their career, with a blog about our aim to secure equitable access to quality music education for all young Canadians.

We’re proud to return as a Platinum Partner of the 47th annual JUNOS, sponsoring both the Album of the Year category as well as the official kickoff to JUNO weekend, the Welcome Reception.

In the second installment of our four-part series leading up the 2018 JUNO Awards, we’ll explore Music Cities and Music Canada’s efforts to help make Canadian municipalities more music and musician-friendly. A Music City is a community of any size with a vibrant music economy.


Why it’s important

Vibrant and actively promoted local music ecosystems bring a wide array of benefits to both cities and the musicians inhabiting them. Economic growth, job creation, increased spending, greater tax revenues and cultural development are just a few examples.

“Live music is a growth industry in Ottawa. It shapes our identity and who we are as a city. In addition to the cultural benefits, a thriving music industry helps to level the playing field for our homegrown companies who are competing to attract talent from around the world.” – Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa


How we advocate

Music Canada’s world-renowned and globe-spanning research has identified several key strategies that cities both large and small can use to grow and strengthen their music economy. We work with municipal governments and regional partners to implement music and musician-friendly policies, establish music offices and advisory boards, as well as promote music tourism, audience development and access to the spaces and places where music is made.

Cities across Canada, including London, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Toronto, Barrie/Simcoe County, Halifax, Moncton, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex, Guelph and more have implemented or are exploring measures to maximize the impact, growth and support for their local music ecosystems, and Music Canada has been proud to provide support through our research and expertise in the development of these strategies.


Learn more

Our 2015 report The Mastering of a Music City represents a roadmap that communities of all sizes can follow to realize the full potential of their music economy. Truly global in scale, the report is the result of more than forty interviews with music community experts, government officials, and community leaders in more than twenty cities on every continent.

“This should remove barriers to performing and creating music. Ultimately the goal is to create a more sustainable music community where artists and professionals can enjoy successful careers.” – Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada

Our annual Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week brings policymakers, city planners and global music industry representatives together to discuss, learn and collaborate.

Chambers of commerce have an opportunity to carve out a leadership role in leveraging music as a driver of employment and economic growth. In 2016, Music Canada partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to create a Music Cities Toolkit, designed to provide the CCC’s network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, in all regions of the country, with a guide to activate the power of music in their city.

“The cities of Kitchener and Waterloo have long recognized that a comprehensive and coordinated approach for live music allows us to not only expand our existing events such as the Kitchener Blues Festival but also attract new business and retain talent. As this document confirms, Music Canada is a tremendous resource for all stakeholders in formulating a local strategy, particularly in bridging municipal, business and cultural sector interests. Through national and international experience they know what works for the benefit of the entire community.” –  Ian McLean, President & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

Live Music Measures Up is the first comprehensive economic impact study of the live music industry in Ontario. It provides critical data and information to help guide decision-making within the sector, in government and other allied stakeholders.

Measuring Live Music represents an historic, timely and monumental opportunity; one which will enable us to entrench the true value of the live music economy in the minds of our stakeholders, government and audiences alike. It’s inspiring to see the sector organize, work together and build on the momentum we can all feel – here in the Province and around the world – the kind that will help guarantee live music takes its rightful place as one of Ontario’s greatest natural resources.” – Erin Benjamin, Executive Director, Music Canada Live

         

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The Washboard Union surprised with first Canadian Gold plaque

Canadian country group The Washboard Union were surprised with their first Canadian Gold award plaques by Warner Music Canada last week for the single “Shot Of Glory.” The Vancouver-based trio received the awards in Toronto during a listening session of their brand new album. Following the presentation, they took to their social media accounts to announce the news to their fans.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfwA1TvhkoM/?taken-by=warnermusiccanada

Watch the video for “Shot Of Glory” below.

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City of Toronto’s recently released Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy provides framework for arts, culture, and business to thrive

The City of Toronto has released its new Economic Development and Culture Divisional Strategy. The report establishes the Division’s priorities over the next five years (2018-2022), and provides the framework that will be used to guide the development of the Divisional programs and services.

The development of the Strategy included robust consultation with over 400 city residents and industry partners, a process that Music Canada was an active participant in. The feedback received provided insight into the importance of supporting the culture sector, and its key role in supporting the growth of a vibrant economy and business community.

Some of the key objectives the strategy aims to accomplish was to “encourage Toronto’s cultural vibrancy through more and enhanced cultural experiences,” as well as to further “engage partners in the planning and development of the City’s economic and cultural resources.”

The Economic Development and Culture (EDC) Divisional Strategy includes several strategic goals and actions, with a focus on improving four key areas:

  1. Equity and Inclusion
  2. Talent and Innovation
  3. Space and Access
  4. Operational Excellence

Some of the strategy’s areas of interest are highlighted below:

Improving affordability and access to arts and culture spaces

One of the key goals that is outlined in the strategy is working to “improve access and affordability of space for business and culture.” Some of the proposed actions to address this include: leveraging incentives and grants to support access to these spaces, advocating for the establishment of affordable, sustainable spaces for business and culture, and working to support opportunities for multi-tenant, shared spaces and hubs.

As was highlighted in our Mastering of a Music City report, access to affordable arts and culture facilities (spaces and places) is vital to the health of vibrant Music Cities. Rapidly rising rents and property taxes has significantly impacted the ability of live venues, rehearsal spaces, and arts hubs to continue operating, threatening the livelihoods of the artists who require access to them. The City has taken steps to help protect and support cultural facilities, with the most recent action being the creation of a new tax subclass to support arts/culture hubs and properties.

Another positive step to note was the recent decision of the Economic Development Committee to pass a number of Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) recommendations aimed at providing better support for live music in the city. Of particular interest is the recommendation to create tax benefits for local live music venues, a policy action that would help achieve the key priority of venue sustainability.

Enhancing opportunities for artists and creators to access public spaces

Another key goal included in the EDC Strategy was increasing access to City-owned space, through: improving opportunities for community use of EDC-managed facilities, and working with City divisions to explore the feasibility of making other City-owned spaces available for use. Providing opportunities for local musicians to perform in public spaces within their own city is one of the ways a municipality can help to grow and support its vibrant music ecosystem.

Outstanding examples of these types and events and programming include City Hall Live and the YYZ Live performance series, a musical celebration that featured 150 performances from 75 local artists at Pearson International Airport.

 

The EDC Division’s previous two strategies – released in 2011 and 2013 – helped contribute the development of a Toronto Music Strategy, as well as the establishment of Music and Film Sector Development Teams.

It is encouraging to note that the new strategy further solidifies the City’s commitment to supporting the culture sector, recognizing the tremendous cultural and economic impact of the arts.

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Music Canada launches #EveryStage campaign, focusing first on music education

Music Canada is proud to return as a Platinum Partner of the 47th annual JUNO Awards in 2018, sponsoring both the Album of the Year category as well as the Welcome Reception, which is the official kickoff party to JUNOs weekend happening Friday, March 23rd in Vancouver.

Leading up to this year’s annual celebration of Canada’s brightest stars in music, Music Canada will be highlighting the ways in which our advocacy supports Canadian artists at every stage of their career. In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of blogs detailing our research and advocacy efforts in four defined areas: music education, music cities, copyright, and celebrating success. To kick it off, we’ll start where most Canadians learn the fundamentals with music education.

One of the key recommendations in Music Canada’s Next Big Bang report, which identifies programs and policies designed to stimulate the development of Canada’s commercial music sector and to drive growth and job creation in the economy at large, is to enhance and invest in music education. The recommendation states:

Given the strong evidence that music education prepares workers who are more creative, better problem-solvers, and possess soft skills that are critical in the digital economy, as well as the correlation between music scenes and tech clusters, governments should invest more in music education and should consider music scenes as a tool for economic development.

This recommendation drives much of the advocacy undertaken by Music Canada to secure equitable access to quality music education for all young Canadians.

We are currently working with multiple provincial governments on various initiatives and strategies to meet this goal, and have been a long-time supporter of groups like MusiCounts and their efforts put more instruments into the hands of Canadian kids, as well as the Coalition for Music Education, promoting their efforts to improve the state of music education in Canada.

From a curriculum standpoint, music education falls under the mandate of provincial ministries, but municipalities also have a role to play in ensuring equitable access to music education for all Canadians. And the relationship is reciprocal, as music education also plays a role in the development of vibrant Music Cities.

As our 2015 landmark report, The Mastering of a Music City notes:

Music education is present in successful Music Cities. Generally, it is understood to include formal music training in the education system, as well as specialized programs at colleges and universities. Not only do these programs help develop future musicians, but they develop appreciation for music at a young age, seeding future audiences. The many other benefits of learning and playing music are well documented and wide-ranging. These include enhancing children’s neural activity, language development, test scores, IQ and learning abilities.

One way that municipalities can promote music education is through a phenomenal program that has been popping up in cities across Canada – music instrument lending libraries. Public library branches in Barrie, Kitchener, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and other cities now allow Canadians of any age to experiment with and learn new instruments free of charge.

We look forward to sharing more news in the near future on our work to promote and strengthen music education. Next in our series of blogs about how our advocacy supports artists at every stage of their career, we’ll dive deeper into Music Cities and how musicians can benefit from vibrant, actively promoted local music economies.

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Music Canada applauds 2018 Federal Budget

Music Canada is pleased to see that the 2018 federal budget, which was tabled yesterday in the House of Commons by Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, further illustrates the Government’s commitment to reforming the Copyright Board of Canada.

Budget 2018 advances the Government’s Intellectual Property Strategy, as well as outlines measures to modernize Canada’s regulatory frameworks. Recognizing the need to promote efficient and predictable regulation within these frameworks, the Budget proposes support for the Government to “pursue a regulatory reform agenda focused on supporting innovation and business investment.” The Budget also correctly states that for “Canadian companies to grow and thrive in the global marketplace, they also need a competitive and predictable business environment that supports investment.”

In the music sector, this is particularly true at the Copyright Board. The rates set by the Board directly impact the value of music, and the ability for creators and labels to commercialize their work and investment. Music Canada has been a lead advocate for reforming the Copyright Board. We participated in both the Senate hearings on the Copyright Board, and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Review of the Canadian Music Industry, 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 cited the need for reform of the Copyright Board as a first priority for government to modernize in a speech before the Economic Club of Canada.

“Reforming the Copyright Board of Canada has for years been a top priority for creators and the businesses that support them,” says Music Canada President & CEO Graham Henderson. “Music Canada extends our appreciation to the Government, particularly Ministers Bains and Joly, for taking the next step in modernizing this institution, which is vital for Canada’s cultural industries.”

Budget 2018 is great news for a more timely, efficient, and predictable Copyright Board. We look forward to working with Ministers Navdeep Bains and Mélanie Joly to make this a reality.

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Music Canada now curates Gold/Platinum playlists on Apple Music

Toronto, Feb. 27, 2018: Music Canada today announced it is curating music through its new profile on Apple Music. The popular Gold/Platinum certification and awards program joins a growing roster of curators on the service, which includes a variety of media publications, lifestyle brands, festivals, and record labels, including Music Canada member organizations Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, Sony Music Canada, 604 Records, Last Gang, and Cadence Music.

Music fans can follow the Gold/Platinum Canada curator channel through the Playlists section of Apple Music. Five unique playlists are available upon launch, including Gold In Canada which is updated every Thursday with 50 of the latest singles that have the coveted Gold certification, as well as 2017: Year-End Recap, which features more than 300 songs newly certified in 2017.

There are three new all-Canadian playlists available now on Apple Music:

  • Canada Rocks The 2000s – a selection of Canadian rock and alternative hits certified by Music Canada that filled the airwaves and our portable music players in the Aughts;
  • Canada Vibes – a timeline of Gold/Platinum-certified Canadian hip-hop, rap, and R&B;
  • Forty 45s – a collection of past Canadian hits, originally certified by Music Canada as Physical Vinyl or CD Singles.

Music Canada first began accepting on-demand streaming data towards Gold/Platinum certifications with the launch of the Single Award in 2016. In the summer of 2017, Music Canada updated the guidelines for the historic Album Award to begin including Stream Equivalent Albums (SEA) and Track Equivalent Albums (TEA).

Check out Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum playlists on Apple Music here.

Follow Gold/Platinum Canada on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the latest certification announcements, award plaque presentations and playlist additions.

For more information:
Bram Gonshor, Music Canada
bgonshor@musiccanada.com
(416) 967-7272 x 0

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