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Ed Sheeran named 2017’s best-selling global recording artist by IFPI, as Canadians Drake and The Weeknd return to Top 10

IFPI Global Award – Ed Sheeran
Photo Credit: John Marshall – JM Enternational

The IFPI revealed their Top 10 Global Recording Artist Chart today, naming Ed Sheeran as the world’s best-selling artist of 2017. Sheeran is the fifth recipient of the IFPI Global Recording Artist Award, which recognizes an artist’s international success across physical and digital formats.

Sheeran earned the top spot due to his worldwide success of his album ÷ (Divide) and its multiple hit singles including Shape of You, Castle On The Hill, and Galway Girl. The best-selling album topped the charts in 31 countries and was certified multi-Platinum in 34 markets, including Canada, where it was certified Six Times Platinum. Sheeran also had the world’s best-selling single, as Shape of You topped the charts in 25 countries, and was certified multi-Platinum in 24 markets, including Canada, where it reached Diamond status. That marks the first time that the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year has had both the best-selling album and single of the year.

“Being crowned the biggest star in the world, with the biggest song and biggest album, is the result of years of ambition, creativity, and hard work on a global scale,” said Max Lousada, CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group & Chairman and CEO of Warner Music UK. “Ed is truly an incredible songwriter, vocalist and performer, whose ability to tell stories and make people feel is what stands him out from the crowd. He’s always had a totally authentic connection with his fans, something he places over everything else. Congrats also to Stuart Camp, the Atlantic teams in the UK and US, and everyone at Warner who contributed to Ed’s amazing success story.”

Ed Sheeran presented with multiple award plaques for the album and its singles by Warner Music Canada.

“It’s wonderful to be able to announce Ed Sheeran as the IFPI Global Recording Artist 2017,” said IFPI chief executive, Frances Moore. “The success Ed has achieved is astonishing and testament to his ability to write and perform songs that connect with a truly global fanbase.”

Drake, who received the Global Artist Award in 2016, placed second on the chart this year. His mix tape More Life broke streaming records, including most first-day streams for an album on Spotify, and most streams in a 24 hour period on Apple Music. Fellow Canadian The Weeknd placed 7th on the chart this year, climbing up from the 10th position on the chart in 2016. Both Drake and The Weeknd have now placed in the Top 10 on this chart for three consecutive years.

“This year’s Global Top 10 really is a ‘who’s who’ of popular music,” continued Moore. “Each artist has a unique impact on the music industry through the talent and energy they are channelling through their work. I congratulate them all for such a successful year.”

The full Top 10 list, which was counted down by the IFPI on Twitter, is now available below.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2017

1 Ed Sheeran
2 Drake
3 Taylor Swift
4 Kendrick Lamar
5 Eminem
6 Bruno Mars
7 The Weeknd
8 Imagine Dragons
9 Linkin Park
10 The Chainsmokers

Previous Winners

2016 Drake
2015 Adele
2014 Taylor Swift
2013 One Direction

 

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Top Ten (11) Things You Need to Develop a Music City

What does it take to become a Music City?  This question has occupied people on every continent over the last several years since the publication of The Mastering of a Music City by Music Canada.  Elected leaders, municipal officials, music community advocates and business leaders from a variety of towns, regions and cities, have been enticed by the idea of a vibrant music economy with its promised economic, social and cultural benefits.

Just the past weekend, over 30 cities sent teams to the Responsible Hospitality Institute’s (RHI) convening on sociable cities where Music Canada’s Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, was asked to identify the top ten things cities need to develop a Music City.

RHI’s approach to sociable cities builds on a foundation of four key elements:  Form an Alliance, Plan for People, Assure Safety and Enhance Vibrancy with music falling into the final category.

Joining an international faculty of thought leaders, Terrill presented the following top 10 list (with a bonus number 11) for cities looking to develop as a Music City.

  1. Driver – there needs to be an individual or organization which has influence in your community that is passionately committed to this effort and is willing to resolutely move it forward. This may be a music organization or a leader in the music community; it may be a politician or the head of a city agency.  There will be many others needed to fill out the band, but there must be someone on lead vocals who can command respect and understands both music and municipal politics.
  2. Music Community engagement – it’s important the music community is fully engaged from the beginning of the process. Without their broad support, your program will likely lack authenticity and not succeed. Who will build trust in the music community and help overcome any skepticism about involvement from City Hall?  Who will organize the music community around the mission?  Who will keep the program rooted in what makes your city’s music scene unique?  Furthermore, representation from a broad cross-section of the community is critical to ensuring the program doesn’t become mired in industry politics.
  3. Champions – champions will be needed from many corners – city staff, and leaders of allied agencies like tourism, economic development, downtown business associations, chambers of commerce – people who understand what you’re trying to do and will rally support from their networks. Identify key stakeholders, as they will likely become important influencers and add legitimacy to your policy efforts.  We find impassioned music fans in all walks of life and often some of your key stakeholders will fall into this category.
  4. Political leadership – if your driver is not already in the Mayor’s office, then you will need to find a political champion. The support of a Mayor and members of City Council will be necessary when, inevitably, matters come to a vote before them.  In addition, political direction is paramount to motivating, or giving city staff the necessary reassurance, to add programs, change the ways things have always been done, or free up scarce city resources.
  5. Catalyst – it certainly helps to have a catalyst. Perhaps it’s a major music event or the opportunity to host one.  The annual JUNO Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammy’s) has been an effective catalyst for several host communities.  It might also be an election, a public policy consultation or even a crisis.  Any one of these things can provide the urgency needed to inspire people to take risks, do things differently and make the investment of time, creativity and resources that’s required.
  6. Validation – tap into best practices from other cities and the active network of advocates, policy makers, artists, municipal leaders which is leading the way in this work. Validation from other cities will make your job a lot easier and can be critical in convincing otherwise skeptical city leaders. It also enables you to identify key factors for success, and ensure that these aspects are incorporated into your own planning process.
  7. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses – measure your city against the essential elements of a Music City defined in The Mastering of a Music City as:
      1. Artists and musicians;
      2. Music ecosystem (professionals and businesses who support artists in their careers);
      3. Spaces and places (education, rehearsal, recording);
      4. Thriving music scene (venue ladder, all ages etc);
      5. Receptive and engaged audience.

You will not have 100% of all of these elements covered when you begin, but you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are in these fundamental components.

  1. Strategy Development – ultimately you want to develop a music strategy for your community. Common strategies can be found in The Mastering of a Music City but while we can learn from other cities, there is no cookie-cutter approach.  Your strategy should be based on the unique aspects of your community.  Avoid the tendency to want to be all things to all people, or to try to do everything at once.  Begin with short term opportunities that will likely bear fruit quickly.  That will provide you with those early wins that will enable you to build momentum and amass allies. But it is also important to identify medium and long-term goals, as these enable you to design your policy and programming with the goal of sustainability.
  2. Clear roles and responsibilities – clarity about who is responsible for such things as strategy implementation and communication is essential for success. You will most likely involve volunteers on committees or advisory boards, as well as paid city staff or agency staff.  Ensure all participants are clear from the beginning about their roles.  Such things as committee terms of reference, job descriptions, and communication policies can be helpful.
  3. Succession Planning – while a successful program may benefit from the passion or expertise of individuals, in order to ensure longevity, you need to consider succession planning from the start.
  4. Patience – invariably this initiative will take longer to bear fruit than you expected. Bureaucracy can be slow to change; individuals and organizations can be heavily entrenched in doing things a certain way; and, there will be unexpected obstacles that deter you from your path.  Be patient and acknowledge each minor achievement along the way.

“It was a privilege to be part of the Sociable City Summit,” says Terrill.  “I was particularly impressed by the diversity of city representation with elected officials, city staff, downtown business leaders, law enforcement agencies, universities, venue operators, architects and other professionals coming together for conversations about the nighttime economy.”

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Music March For Music Therapy returns to Toronto for fifth year

Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor for the 5th Annual Music March for Music Therapy in Toronto on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in support of the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund in partnership with the Canadian Association of Music Therapists.

The march will take place along Bloor Street West, which is a new route for the annual family-focused march. Participants will depart from the Music Therapy Center (1175 Bloor St. W) at noon and will end at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor St. W) around 1:15pm, where amazing entertainment, delicious food, fun activities, and tons of auction prizes await.

This year’s fundraising goal has been set to $25,000 in honour of the charity’s 25th anniversary, which works to enhance our communities by providing accessible music therapy to our nation’s most vulnerable and underserved populations.

The march is free to attend, while the after party at Lee’s Palace will be $25 at door unless the attendee has made a fundraising page. Those who would like to donate to the fund but cannot attend the event can do so at the same page. Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for more information on the afternoon, including the reveal of this year’s musical ambassadors and performers!

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Felix Cartal receives first Canadian Gold plaque in Toronto

Photo Credit: Felix Cartal (Twitter)

Vancouver-based DJ and electronic producer Felix Cartal was surprised by Cadence Music Group with his first Canadian Gold Single Award plaque in Toronto this week for “Get What You Give,” his unique take on the 90’s New Radicals hit.

He shared his excitement for receiving the plaque with fans through Twitter and Instagram. Following his JUNO nominations, he tweeted:

Felix Cartal was a special guest at Tuesday’s 2018 JUNO Awards nomination press conference in Toronto, which found him with two nominations for the track in the Dance Recording of the Year and Producer of The Year categories.

View the video for “Get What You Give” below.

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Dua Lipa presented with Gold and Platinum plaques in Montreal

Photo Credit: Warner Music Canada

Ahead of her sold out show January 30 at Montreal’s MTELUS, British pop star Dua Lipa was presented with her first Canadian Gold and Platinum plaques for her breakout 2017 hits “New Rules” (Platinum) and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” (Gold) by Warner Music Canada.

The highly anticipated Montreal appearance was the English singer-songwriter’s first Canadian appearance of 2018 and the second Canadian show of her Norther American Self-Titled Tour, which brought her through Toronto last November. Lipa will return to Canada on February 16 for a sold out show at Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.

Watch the video for “New Rules” below.

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2018 JUNO Award nominees announced at press conference in Toronto

Felix Cartal, who earned two JUNO nominations Tuesday, performs at The Great Hall in Toronto.

The 2018 JUNO Award nominees were revealed earlier today during a press conference at Toronto’s Great Hall. Arcade Fire and Jessie Reyez lead this year’s nominees with four nominations, followed by Arkells, Gord Downie, Hedley, and Ruth B with three nominations. Reyez, along with two-time nominee Daniel Caesar and Vancouver natives Hedley, were also revealed as the first performers for the 47th annual broadcast, which will take place Sunday, March 25, 2018 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.

Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor for the 2018 Album of the Year award, which includes Arcade Fire’s Everything Now, Johnny Reid’s Revival, Michael Bublé’s Nobody But Me, Ruth B’s Safe Haven, and Shania Twain’s Now. 

Tuesday’s event kicked off with a performance by Gold-certified electronic producer Felix Cartal, and was hosted by Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe of CBC Music, the exclusive broadcast and content partner of the 2018 JUNO Awards.

Following introductory remarks by CARAS and MusiCounts CEO & President Allan Reid, CBC’s Executive Vice President Heather Conway revealed the broadcaster’s plans for their 2018 JUNO coverage, which will include a worldwide broadcast of the award show, exclusive cover sessions, podcasts, and a livestream of the highly anticipated JUNO Songwriters’ Circle. Conway also revealed that Sunday, March 25, will be known as Music Day on CBC, featuring a celebration of Canadian music across all platforms leading up to the evening’s broadcast.

Reid then returned to the podium to outline CARAS’ leadership towards improving gender parity within the music industry.

“There are very important conversations happening in our world right now around gender equality and sexual harassment,” said Reid. “It is critical that we work collectively as an industry to support a larger representation of women in music and encourage a culture that nurtures their participation and success.”

Reid continued by outlining CARAS’ efforts within the organization, including the formation of a working group to evaluate their initiatives related to equality inclusion and respect, and a scholarship for women in the technical field of production and engineering, During JUNO Week, CARAS will work with Let’s Hear It, the 2018 JUNO host committee, on a program called “Good Night Out” to promote safety and prevent sexual harassment at clubs. As well, 2018 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award recipient Denise Donlon will host a panel and keynote during JUNO Week on paving a path to success for women in the industry.

More performers and additional details on JUNO Week concerts and events will be revealed in the coming weeks. A new block of tickets are now on-sale for the broadcast, with $1 from each ticket sale being donated to MusiCounts through a partnership with Plus 1.

You can watch CBC Music’s full archived livestream of the press conference below:

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Music Canada proud to return as sponsor of Album of the Year category at the 2018 JUNO Awards

Earlier today the nominees for the 2018 JUNO Awards were revealed at a press conference at Toronto’s Great Hall. Music Canada is proud to return as sponsor of the Album of the Year category for the 47th annual JUNO Awards. The 2018 Album of the Year nominees are:

  • Everything Now – Arcade Fire (Sony)
  • Revival – Johnny Reid (Halo*Universal)
  • Nobody But Me – Michael Bublé (Warner)
  • Safe Haven – Ruth B (Sony)
  • Now – Shania Twain (Mercury*Universal)

“Congratulations to everyone involved in the making of these fantastic albums. We at Music Canada are incredibly proud to help recognize Canadian artists, their record label teams, and other individuals who have helped them reach the pinnacle of celebration and achievement in Canadian music,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“Whether celebrating success at the highest level through our support for institutions like the JUNO Awards and our Gold/Platinum program or fostering the next generation of artists through music education in Canadian schools, Music Canada’s advocacy supports artists at every stage of their career,” says Henderson. “Our Music Cities work aims to make cities more music and musician friendly, promoting sustainability and growth of music ecosystems at the municipal level. And through our federal copyright advocacy, we strive to ensure music creators are properly compensated whenever their work is commercialized by others.”

In addition to the Album of the Year, Music Canada will return as sponsor of the 2018 Welcome Reception for JUNOs weekend, happening Saturday, March 23 in Vancouver. The 47th annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast live on CBC beginning at 5pm PT and 8pm EST on Sunday, March 25. You can also watch the live steam on CBC Music’s Facebook page.

Ticket information for the 2018 JUNO Awards broadcast and other 2018 JUNO Awards events is available on the JUNOs website.

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Webequie First Nation youth share their dreams and hopes in ‘Anishinaabe Dreams’ music video

The ‘Anishinaabe Dreams’ music video by Webequie First Nations youth was officially released by DAREarts on January 25. The video begins with young people sharing their dreams to become a hockey player, a doctor and a baseball player. The youth then begin to sing “We know ourselves through our dreams. We know ourselves through this land where we’ve been.”

The video was produced by the national children’s charity DAREarts, which works with 9-19 year olds from schools in underserved communities to build courage, confidence and leadership skills. DAREarts (which stands for Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence) began its Indigenous Program ten years ago in Webequie First Nation and has returned to the community every year.

Last year DAREarts undertook a special project called Spirit Bear which travelled through four remote communities – Marten Falls First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation, Attawapiskat First Nation and Webequie First Nation – and according to DAREarts “transformed into a metaphor for the circle between culture, history and youth.”

Watch the inspiring ‘Anishinaabe Dreams’ video below.

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CARAS announces that London, Ontario, will host the 2019 JUNO Awards

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today that London will host the 2019 JUNO Awards, as well as all the JUNO Week events, from March 11 through March 19, 2019. JUNO Week 2019 is supported by the Province of Ontario, the City of London, Tourism London, and the 2019 Host Committee.

“We’re excited to be bringing the 2019 JUNOS to London. This city has seen incredible growth with its music scene and as such, is the perfect platform to celebrate Canadian talent,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “We want to thank the Government of Ontario for their support in bringing the JUNOS back to Ontario. We look forward to supporting and showcasing the city’s diverse music scene.”

While this marks the first time that London has hosted Canada’s music awards, the Forest City is well-positioned to deliver strong results as host of the JUNO Awards, thanks to several years of steady progress on music-friendly policies and programs via the London Music Strategy. In recent years, London has hosted an incredibly successful Country Music Week and CCMA Awards; completed its first ever music census;  taken steps to modernize noise bylaws for music and dancing on outdoor patios; and hosted its first Music Career Day. In recognition of these efforts, Music Canada presented London’s Music Industry Development Officer, Cory Crossman, and Chris Campbell, Director of Culture and Entertainment Tourism at Tourism London, with our 2017 President’s Award for their incredible commitment to making London a Music City.

“We are thrilled to host the 2019 JUNO Week celebrations here in London. As one of Canada’s emerging cultural scenes we are excited to show the world how culturally rich and diverse London is,” said Chris Campbell. “The JUNO Awards is London’s opportunity to bring artists and music fans to our great city to showcase our hospitality and our growing music scene and we could not be happier to be the 2019 Host City.”

JUNO Week 2019 is expected to drive approximately $10 million in economic impact in London, a figure which is consistent with results in previous host cities. The CARAS release states that since the JUNOS began touring across Canada in 2002, the awards have driven more than $120 million in economic impact.

“Ontario is a key music hub in Canada and North America,” said Daiene Vernile, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Our vibrant culture is driven by our exceptional talent and diversity, making Ontario a great fit for hosting the JUNO Awards in 2019. We have a thriving music industry that makes a significant contribution to Ontario’s economy by creating jobs, generating sales and building the province’s profile at an international level. I am thrilled to welcome the JUNOS to London.”

The 48th Annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast live on CBC from Budweiser Gardens, on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

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New research from SOCAN provides more evidence for the value of Music Cities strategies

The results of a new survey commissioned by SOCAN provide new evidence to support the development of Music City strategies, like those detailed in Music Canada’s landmark study, The Mastering of a Music City.

The SOCAN study titled Live Music & Urban Canadians confirms that most Canadians living in urban centres think it is important to live in a neighbourhood “with a vibrant local arts scene that includes live music” and support a portion of funds from new property developments going to community arts and culture developments.

Some details of the survey were initially shared in an opinion piece for the Toronto Star by SOCAN’s CEO Eric Baptiste titled Cities can create conditions for live music to thrive. The article was followed by another release expanding on the results of the survey and proposing ways that municipalities and music fans can support live music.

Results from SOCAN’s research include:

  • “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of urban Canadians agree that it is important to live in a neighbourhood with a vibrant arts scene that includes live music.”

Respondents with a university degree (71%) were more likely to agree with this sentiment versus those with a college (58%) or high school (49%) education. Urban residents in Atlantic Canada (74%) were also most in agreement versus residents in other parts of Canada, followed by Quebec (68%), British Columbia (67%), Ontario (63%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (54%) and Alberta (50%).

  • “The vast majority (80%) of urban Canadians would support a portion of funds going to community arts & culture developments.”

SOCAN’s survey stated that “currently new property developers in some municipalities are required to put a portion of funds towards community development, city parks, etc,” and asked respondents whether they would support a portion of these funds being put towards arts & culture developments like live music venues and local theatres.

Urban Canadians who agreed that living in a neighbourhood with a vibrant arts and live music scene was important to them were significantly more likely to agree (91%) that development fees should support arts & culture developments than those who did not agree (62%).

  • “Roughly half (49%) of urban Canadians would enjoy owning and living in a condo that offered live music in the lobby.”

SOCAN’s survey noted that many condos in the US and Europe have restaurants and bars in their lobbies. Of the urban Canadians who responded that they would enjoy live music in their lobby, young Canadians aged 18-34 were most likely to agree (66%) and respondents living in Quebec were less likely to agree (39%) than Canadian outside of Quebec (55%).

As noted in The Mastering of a Music City, music can play a powerful role in city brand building, and also in attracting and retaining talent and investment in a city’s broader economy. In a world where talent is highly mobile, some cities are focusing on the vibrancy of their music and arts scene as a way to stand out from the competition. SOCAN’s research adds further evidence to support this observation.

Access to the spaces and places in which music can be made – from education to rehearsal to recording to performance – is also one of the seven key strategies to grow and strengthen a local music economy identified in The Mastering of a Music City.

But the relationship between residential buildings and these spaces, including live music venues, rehearsal spaces, and arts hubs, is one in which cities across the world are attempting to strike the right balance. New residential developments have, in some cases, been developed on properties formerly occupied by live venues or community arts hubs. Other venues have been threatened by rising rents, property values and taxes that do not consider the social value of these cultural spaces.

What tools are at a city’s disposal that might be, given SOCAN’s research, supported by urban Canadians?

401 Richmond, a live-work community arts hub in Toronto, was recently confronted with a property tax increase that threatened its closure. Recognizing the cultural significance of venues such as 401 Richmond, the Province of Ontario announced it was prepared to, in conjunction with the City, develop a new tax class for heritage properties.

Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy then brought a successful motion to council to formally begin the process of establishing “Toronto’s new Culture and Creative property tax sub-class.”

Another tool adopted by cities like Melbourne, San Francisco, Montreal and London is the Agent of Change principle in land use planning. The Mastering of a Music City describes the principle as such:

“The Agent of Change Principle determines which party is required to adopt noise mitigation measures in situations of mixed land use. If the ‘agent of change’ is a new apartment building that is being built near a pre-existing music venue, the apartment building is responsible for sound attenuation. On the other hand, if the music venue is undergoing renovations and therefore is the ‘agent of change’ in the neighbourhood, it is responsible for noise mitigation.”

In Toronto, while various measures are under consideration and review, the City’s Film & Entertainment Industries’ Music Unit can now add comments to applications circulated by the Planning Division for any new development within 120 metres of an existing live music venue so that staff can identify any potential conflicts and make recommendations.

These and other policies, like reviewing noise bylaws, can go a long way in allowing live music venues and residential properties to coexist, facilitating the conditions for the vibrant arts and cultural communities that SOCAN’s research has shown are important to nearly two-thirds of urban Canadians.

This research comes as regions across Canada, including London, Vancouver, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex, Moncton, Ottawa, Barrie-Simcoe County, and more have implemented or are considering strategies to better support and grow their music ecosystems. SOCAN’s new findings provide even more evidence for the value in municipal strategies that create the environment for music ecosystems to flourish.

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