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Music Canada Announces Departure of Chief Executive Officer

May 28, 2020, Toronto: The Music Canada Board of Directors and Graham Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, announced this afternoon Graham will be stepping down after serving more than 15 years. 

“I have been given the great honour and privilege of serving the members of Music Canada and the wider music community for 15 thrilling and rewarding years. And throughout this entire time I have had the unalloyed joy of working with the most incredibly dedicated, effective team of music lovers in the world: my staff!” Mr. Henderson said. “I have absolutely every confidence that the staff, the Board and everyone at Sony, Universal and Warner will go forward from strength to strength. I hope that my experience and insight may be of some value down the road.”  

On behalf of the Board, Chairperson Jennifer M. Sloan said, “We thank Graham for guiding Music Canada through a period of phenomenal growth and transition, including his dogged domestic and international championing of copyright reform and protection. Graham has led Music Canada’s transformation, strengthening our executive team and developing a clear strategic path forward as the trusted voice of the music industry in Canada and a recognized global partner.”

Graham added, “As for me? Well, my passion for the cause will never abate. In the meantime, I have one of the best darn poetry websites in the world and you are all welcome to join me as I explore the life and times of the revolutionary writer, Percy Bysshe Shelley! He reflects my mood best in these lines: “The world’s great age begins anew, The golden years return, The earth doth like a snake renew…A brighter Hellas rears its mountains…Another Athens shall arise.”

Graham will continue to serve as CEO until June 17, 2020. The Board wishes to thank Graham for all his years of dedicated service to the organization and to the advocacy work it does. 

The Board will initiate a search to identify a new CEO and has appointed Jackie Dean, Chief Operating Officer, and Patrick Rogers, Vice President Corporate Affairs, to serve as interim co-Chief Executive Officers, effective June 18, 2020.

 

Erica Meekes
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485

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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Public Research Findings: Live Music Industry Faces Triple Threat During Recovery

May 14, 2020, Toronto: Music Canada commissioned Abacus Data to conduct public opinion research to determine how Canadians’ feelings around music have changed during the pandemic. The national public opinion survey gauged the comfort Canadians have for returning to live music as restrictions lift, and the results are startling. 

“As governments across Canada and the world increasingly shift their focus to recovery, this data from Abacus underscores the precarious position of the live music ecosystem – an ecosystem upon which artists rely for a significant, and in some cases predominant, portion of their livelihood,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “The music industry faces a triple threat. First – the very real medical concerns of Canadians about the virus. Second – that government restrictions will remain on large gatherings well into recovery. And third – that even after government restrictions have lifted and economies begin to reopen – Canadian confidence in returning to these live events will continue to be low.”

The findings show that even of the self identified “live music lovers” – for many, it will be at least 6 months after government restrictions are lifted, before they feel comfortable going to: bars / pubs (28%); small venue concerts (35%); large venue concerts (42%); festivals (41%); community event with live music (31%). 

The research also demonstrated how important music is in helping Canadians to get through the pandemic. Nearly two thirds  (58%) of respondents reported feeling worse about the pandemic because of the cancellation of live music events. Half of those identified as “live music lovers” also reported listening to more music during the pandemic, and that for the vast majority (86%), listening to music is a way to relieve stress. 

“As an artist, what I’m finding I miss the most is the collaboration and connection I have onstage with my fellow musicians and that powerful, ephemeral experience that is created between artists and a live audience,” said Miranda Mulholland, Artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council. “What I find most heartening is that 84% of Music Lovers state that digital will never replace the live experience. Also, more than a third of respondents increased their music listening during this pandemic. These stats show that people clearly recognize the value and importance of music in their lives, perhaps more than they ever have.”

“Unfortunately, it’s clear that the pandemic will cause serious and possibly irreparable harm to Canada’s artists, the majority of whom were already living in a precarious state. We must continue to think about how we can help them through this as they’ve been here for all of us in this crisis,” said Mulholland.

Not only are these findings significant for the music industry, but they are important for the travel and tourism industries as well. As the government and music industry develops plans for recovery, they must understand that those whose businesses depend on large gatherings will continue to be affected by this pandemic for a much longer time. To that end, Music Canada will continue to assess Canadian’s changing perspectives on their comfort for returning to live music so that we can deliver this important and timely information to our partners.

For more information on the findings released from Abacus Data, please visit: https://abacusdata.ca/live-music-after-pandemic/.

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Erica Meekes
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485

 

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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Music Monday @ Home shines a spotlight on the importance of equitable access to music education

Today marks Music Monday, an annual event in which thousands of Canadians come together in song and in support of music education. Hosted by the Coalition for Music Education, Music Monday unites musicians in communities from coast to coast to make a powerful statement about the importance of equitable access to quality music education for all students. This year, the celebration will move online with Music Monday @ Home, allowing all Canadians to participate safely while practicing social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year on Music Monday, students, educators, and music makers from across the country participate in the collective singing of the Music Monday Anthem, an original song written by a Canadian artist. This year’s anthem is “Hymn to Freedom,” the iconic civil rights anthem by Oscar Peterson and Hariette Hamilton, in a new bilingual translation. Resources to perform the anthem, including sheet music, lyrics, and translations are available on the Coalition website.

“Music Monday celebrates the power of music, and the importance of music education. Equitable access to music education is important to Music Canada, which is why we have partnered with the Coalition for Music Education, the Canadian Music Educators Association, MusiCounts / CARAS, People For Education, and the Canadian Network Arts and Learning on a national study to assess the state of music education in every province and territory,” said Sarah Hashem, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Music Canada. “This research will help all stakeholders to better understand the state of K-12 Music Education from region to region, and to provide information to support its future growth and development.”

Music Monday @ Home begins at 9am EST, with a series of regional broadcasts, including live performances, messages from prominent Canadians, interactive activities for children of all ages, and more. To join in the celebration and add your voice, tune into the Coalition’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

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Canada’s major record companies announce support for Unison Benevolent Fund

April 29th, 2020, Toronto: In response to the impact on the lives of artists and their teams caused by COVID-19, Canada’s major record companies, Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada have announced direct financial support for the Unison Benevolent Fund, Canada’s leading music community support program. Unison is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to individuals working in the Canadian music community.

“This support helps Unison help the music community- and with the support of our member labels, Music Canada is proud to work even more closely with Unison to provide targeted support for the benefit of our creative industry,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

Additionally, Music Canada has announced that it has expanded its supporting role for the organization. In response to COVID-19, Music Canada has provided Unison financial and administrative resource support, together with government relations expertise and guidance. “As one of the founding supporters of Unison, we have seen the crucial need for their services,” continued Henderson, “and we have seen the impact of their relief on those who come to Unison for help.” 

“Unison is enormously grateful for the continuous support from some of the biggest players in the Canadian music industry,” said Unison Fund Executive Director, Amanda Power. “The direct and valued efforts from Canada’s major record labels ensures that we can continue to provide discreet counselling and health services in addition to immediate financial relief for the most vulnerable in our industry at this very critical time.”

Unison is an assistance program – created and administered for the music community, by the music community. It provides discreet, dignified and meaningful relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis. Unison’s COVID-19 Relief Program is making $1,000 grants available to members of the music industry. The relief fund is allocated toward housing costs, medical expenses, groceries, and other necessities for those who are eligible.

Professionals in any role within the Canadian music community are eligible and are encouraged to register at https://unisonfund.ca/index.php/register

 

Erica Meekes
Director of Public Relations
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485


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.

About Unison Benevolent Fund
Unison Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. We are here to help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Unison Benevolent Fund is an assistance program – created and administered for the music community, by the music community – designed to provide discreet relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis through financial assistance and counselling and health solutions.

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COVID-19 continues to hit the music industry’s most vulnerable: Music Canada survey

The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented challenge for the music community, and has shed light on the sad realities faced by artists everyday. As Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, I partnered with Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing to conduct an Artist Impact Survey. Developed in consultation with artist members of the Advisory Council and with Deloitte, the survey received responses from artists from across the country and across all stages of their careers. The preliminary results are in and they make crystal clear the serious and possibly irreparable harm the pandemic has had on Canada’s artists. The majority were already living in a precarious state – and this pandemic has only exacerbated their challenges. 

The financial impacts of this crisis on artists are widespread, and significant. When asked whether they would lose income due to the crisis, the answer was a nearly unanimous yes. Canada’s entire artist community is concerned about making ends meet: more than 80% of artists are in need of financial assistance. Many artists already live close to the poverty line, and now the pandemic has pulled the rug out from under them financially: almost half of the respondents reported that they have lost more than 75% of their income.

The impact on artists will ripple throughout our communities: Artists are entrepreneurs, and job creators. Respondents to the survey create an average of 3.7 jobs per artist – with artists unable to perform or create, these jobs will be lost as well.

There have been further impacts to the creative process. A majority of artists also stress that they are struggling to find the creativity and inspiration needed to generate work. This is especially true for those who are caring for children or loved ones at home. 

Also alarming is the significant number of people in our music community who report that they must go deeper into debt just to survive this moment in their lives. It’s clear that these losses are threatening the survival of entire sectors of the industry, and that the impact will be felt long after the pandemic ends. 

The Federal Government has taken important first steps for providing immediate relief to many individuals, including the self-employed, who have lost income due to COVID-19. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is a key component for helping the hardest hit as they try to weather this storm. However, a post-COVID-19 environment needs to be one where artists can thrive. Artists have the power to generate massive economic growth – when they are supported. As concert halls, venues and theatres remain closed for the coming months, artists will need our sustainable support to ensure that they can cross the bridge over this chasm. 

The Unison Benevolent Fund offers a free 24/7 toll-free number to connect Canadian music professionals and their immediate family with counselling and health solutions in both English and French as well as emergency financial assistance, and I encourage those who may find this useful to reach out. 

It is a frightening time for everyone but heartening to note that we are collectively turning to art to make our way through this. Let’s support our creators however we can. For those who are quarantined at home, I encourage you to please continue to stream music over paid platforms and purchase merchandise online from your favorite artists to support them.   

Miranda Mulholland
Artist Advocate & Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council
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Aaron Goodvin surprised with virtual Gold record

Canadian country star Aaron Goodvin thought he was joining a standard Zoom meeting with his team at Warner Music Canada last week. With the help of his wife Victoria, the 2020 JUNO nominee and 2018 CCMA Songwriter of the Year Award winner was surprised with a virtual Gold award presentation for his single “You Are,” and it was all captured for his fans in a recording posted on the artist’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“You Are” is Goodvin’s second Gold Single in Canada, joining hit “Lonely Drum” which was certified Platinum one year ago to the date.

Warner promises they will present Goodvin with a physical plaque when they are able to. Speaking with CTV News, the Alberta-born singer-songwriter doesn’t mind a bit, noting a Gold record is still a dream come true and “it’s all bonus.”

Watch the music video for “You Are” below.

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Music Canada applauds Government of Canada for clarifying CERB guidelines for artists and musicians

April 16, 2020, Toronto: Music Canada welcomes the recent clarification from the Federal Government on the guidelines for eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded to concerns around the preliminary rules that excluded people working reduced hours. These needed changes will help support artists and musicians who in some cases have been able to maintain limited hours of work, but are still facing incredible challenges.

Graham Henderson, President & CEO of Music Canada, and Miranda Mulholland, JUNO nominated artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, recently shared concerns about the need for expanded eligibility criteria in a meeting with Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. Music Canada thanks the Minister who has confirmed that artists who are earning less than $1,000 a month through their sources of income can still qualify for the CERB. Additionally, the Minister clarified that royalty payments are not included as a source of income, which means that royalties can be earned without penalty or loss of eligibility for the CERB.

“Artists are often the most vulnerable in our music ecosystem as a result of the gig economy,” said Miranda Mulholland. “Minister Guilbeault and Parliamentary Secretary Julie Dabrusin have been the champions that our community needs in a time like this. They have listened to our concerns and have taken action to help.” 

A recent survey distributed by Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing, and led by Miranda Mulholland, Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, has reported financial impacts of this crisis on the artists in our music ecosystem that are widespread, and significant. When asked whether they would lose much of not all of their income due to the crisis, the answer was a nearly unanimous yes. Canada’s entire artist community is concerned about making ends meet: more than 80% of artists are in need of financial assistance. Many artists already live close to the poverty line, and now the pandemic has pulled the rug out from under them financially.

The impact on artists will ripple throughout our communities: Artists are entrepreneurs, and job creators. Respondents to the survey create an average of 3.7 jobs per artist – with artists unable to perform or create, these jobs will be lost as well.

There have been further impacts to the creative process with more than half reporting the cancellation of all songwriting sessions, and nearly two in three respondents have had studio sessions cancelled. Perhaps one of the most surprising and unsettling findings from the survey is that a form of “writer’s block” is widespread in the community. Creators are finding enormous stress in how they are living now, and it is adversely impacting the creativity and inspiration needed to generate work. This is especially true for those who are caring for children or loved ones at home. 

Alarmingly, musicians reported that they have virtually no resources to fall back on apart from going deeper into debt; and this includes running up credit card debt. It’s clear that these losses are threatening the survival of entire sectors of the industry, and that the impact will be felt long after the pandemic ends. 

“Music Canada has been working with Minister Guilbeault during this pandemic to ensure he has an accurate picture of how the industry, and our artists are being severely impacted,” said Graham Henderson. “Thank you for hearing our concerns and for sharing them with the government so that meaningful support reaches our artists, and the hardest hit in our community.”

Music Canada will continue to work with the government, and its partners across the industry to further support artists impacted by the pandemic. More information has been made available on its resource page which can be accessed at: https://musiccanada.com/covid-19-resources. 

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Erica Meekes
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485

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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Music Canada and CONNECT Music Licensing Artist Impact Survey Release

March 24, 2020, Toronto: CONNECT Music Licensing and Music Canada are sharing an Artist Impact Survey designed to help the government and the music industry better understand the impact COVID-19 is having on artists within the community. At the heart of the entire community are the creators, and they are at this moment in time the most vulnerable. They deserve our attention and assistance. 

How can you help? If you are a musician: you can complete the questionnaire.  If you are anyone else: you can get this questionnaire into the hands of a creator. And everyone can share it through their social media. You can find our survey here: https://bit.ly/3ag79oH.

“COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge for the music community as a whole, but for artists in particular,” said Miranda Mulholland, Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council. “It has been a welcome relief to see that the government has focused its initial efforts on the members of the gig economy – virtually all artists are self-employed. These people are most at risk, most under pressure and most in need in our music ecosystem. We need to provide the government with accurate and timely information on how and where to send help to those who are most in need. That is the purpose of our survey. Thank you to everyone who has already completed it. To those who have not, I urge you to complete it no later than March 27.”

The Artist Impact Survey was proposed by Miranda Mulholland, artist, label owner, festival founder and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council, developed in consultation with other valued artist members of Music Canada’s Advisory Council and Deloitte Canada. The survey has been circulated by artists on social media, distributed to CONNECT’s 2,500 artist-entrepreneur members, and through direct outreach to Music Canada’s members.

The information received will be tabulated anonymously in order to respect the privacy of our respondents. It will be incorporated in an economic impact analysis that Music Canada is developing with Deloitte Canada. The results of this study will be made public to enable all who care about our artists to make informed choices about how to help them. 

“Music Canada and CONNECT are pleased to have been able to lend their resources to this very important undertaking. We share Miranda’s belief that our first concern in these trying times must be to build a bridge to the future. We need to do this by protecting the most vulnerable now and with urgent haste. But we must also safeguard the infrastructure of our business so that when we do reach the other side – careers can be rebuilt,” said Graham Henderson, President & CEO of Music Canada. “There is a role for all of us to play as we look for solutions that allow all industry players to survive this crisis – this survey will help us find them.”

If you are an artist, we encourage you to fill out the survey which is available here: https://bit.ly/3ag79oH, and share it on your social media. 

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Erica Meekes
Director of Public Relations
Music Canada
emeekes@musiccanada.com
(416) 462-1485

 

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.

 

About CONNECT Music Licensing
CONNECT Music Licensing administers licences in Canada for the reproduction of sound recordings, and the reproduction and broadcast of music videos, on behalf of the copyright owners. CONNECT’s members, which include all of the major record labels, many independent labels, and thousands of independent artists and producers, own or control the copyright in the vast majority of all the sound recordings and music videos produced or distributed in Canada. CONNECT Music Licensing represents its members at Re:Sound for the communication, public performance and private copying of their eligible sound recordings.

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Music Canada statement regarding JUNO Week 2020 Cancellation

The JUNOS are a nationwide celebration of Canadian music. But they are far more than what Canadians see on a Sunday evening telecast once a year. JUNO Week provides opportunities for artists and the rest of the music community from every corner of the country to gather and connect, to perform, and to be honoured for their achievements.

“We at Music Canada fully support the action taken by our partners at the JUNOS. We understand how difficult this decision must have been but how necessary and prudent it was due to the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “We extend our heartfelt sympathy to everyone who has been affected by the cancellation. In particular our thoughts are with the artist community. They exist in an often precarious state and are at the heart of our industry. And we must not forget that the music community at large will feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for a considerable period of time. We need to work together and take care of each other.”

“We at Music Canada affirm our commitment to the spirit of the JUNOS and we pledge to work hand in hand with our partners at CARAS to find a way forward,” added Henderson. “We can and will honour the 2020 JUNO Award nominees and Special Award Recipients.”

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The Lumineers presented with Gold plaques in Toronto

Top row (L to R): Dan Hawie (Dualtone Canada), Byron Isaacs (Band), Jeremiah Fraites (Band), Lauren Jacobson (Band), Stelth Ulvang (Band), Cristina Fernandes (Listen Harder PR), David Tysowski (Canvas Media) Bottom row (L to R): Christina Fitzgerald (eOne Canada), Brandon Miller (Band), Wesley Schultz (Band), Chris Moncada (GM, eOne Canada) Photo Credit: Auston Roa

Folk rock band The Lumineers returned to Canada last week on the first leg of their 2020 World Tour, beginning with two sold out nights at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena before making their way to Montreal’s Bell Centre and Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre. Prior to their set in Toronto, the Denver-based New Jersey natives were surprised with Gold award plaques from eOne/Dualtone for their 2019 album III, their ambitious cinematic third album presented across three chapters. The Gold-certified album also features the Gold hit “Gloria.”

The band are no strangers to Canadian certifications. Since the release of their debut 4x Platinum self-titled album in 2012, the band has amassed 10 Gold singles in Canada, with their breakthrough hit “Hey Ho” earning a Diamond certification in 2019.

The Lumineers will return to Canada in September for a run of shows through Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

Watch the music video for their latest certified hit “Gloria” below.

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