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Sofi Tukker receive first career Platinum plaque in Toronto

L to R: Gareth Jones (VP, DMD Entertainment), Asim Awesome Awan (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada) Tucker Halpern, Sophie Hawley-Weld, Adrian Strong (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada / President, DMD Entertainment), Matt Attfield (Artist Marketing, Ultra Music Canada / Head of Marketing & PR, DMD Entertainment), Andreas Rizek (A&R, Ultra Music Publishing) Photographer: Stephen Kazumi

New York-based dance duo Sofi Tukker were surprised with their first ever Platinum plaque in Toronto over the weekend for their breakout hit single “Best Friend (ft. NERVO, The Knocks & Alisa Ueno).” The group was presented with the plaque ahead of their highly anticipated show in Toronto by Ultra Music Canada and DMD Entertainment.

Sofi Tukker, which includes members Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, shared the news with their fans through their social media channels, where they are seen posing with the plaque outside the Danforth Music Hall. They also brought the plaque on stage with them during the show in front of the roaring sold-out crowd.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiMyP7UhBAP/?hl=en&taken-by=sofitukker

Watch the music video for “Best Friend” below.

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Government of Canada releases Canada’s new Intellectual Property Strategy

On Thursday, Canada’s national Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy was launched by The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Through the IP Strategy, the government aims to increase intellectual property awareness, foster a framework that helps support businesses and entrepreneurs, and encourage the growth of innovation and competition in Canada. The strategy is intended to ensure that the public has “access to the best possible IP resources” through a multi-faceted approach which includes:

  1. Initiatives to improve IP awareness, education and access to legal advice
  2. The development of strategic tools that reduce the burden and cost of accessing the IP system in Canada
  3. New amendments to IP legislation that aims to clarify acceptable practices and prevent misuses of IP rights

The strategy was released on World IP Day, which was centred this year on celebrating remarkable and creative women who are driving change in our world. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) celebrated World IP Day by featuring five famous Canadian women who have used their intellectual property to make an impact in Canada and around the world. Among them was Diamond-certified recording artist Sarah McLachlan, who, in addition to her musical talents, is an esteemed entrepreneur with three registered trademarks and her non-profit music education program, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.

Music Canada would like to congratulate Minister Bains and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on the release of this exciting new strategy. A faster, more efficient and more predictable regulatory regime will help Canadian creative entrepreneurs continue to innovate and succeed worldwide.

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Government of Ontario announces 2018 Ontario Music Fund recipients in Sudbury

The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport announced today the 2018 recipients of the Ontario Music Fund, which aims to help increase music production and attract new audiences to discover local artists. Glenn Thibeault, MPP for Sudbury, made the announcement on behalf of Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at Sudbury’s Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario.

The Ontario Music Fund, which is managed by the Ontario Media Development Corporation, has contributed to the creation of over 1,800 full-time equivalent positions for Ontario’s music industry between 2013 and 2016. This year, Ontario is investing over $14 million to provide more than 200 new grants to 198 music companies and organizations that help produce, distribute, present and promote Ontario-based music, and to help them compete internationally.

“Our government recognizes that the music industry is a key economic driver in Ontario, as well as an important part of Ontario’s cultural landscape,” said Vernile in a release. “The Ontario Music Fund supports an environment where our music companies and organizations – both large and small – can innovate and expand, raising the profiles and boosting the careers of talented artists from many musical genres and backgrounds.”

As mentioned in the release, artists supported by the fund between 2013 and 2016 sold over 5.6 million recordings domestically and a further 7 million recordings internationally. Almost 4 million people have attended live music events supported by the fund, featuring performances by more than 4,000 Ontario artists.

“The Ontario Music Fund has been a real game-changer for music companies and artists in Ontario,” says Karen Thorne-Stone, OMDC President & CEO, in the release. “OMDC is proud to invest in building this important sector and ensuring that local talent reaches audiences around the world. The popularity of Ontario music is reflected in more than 100 JUNO nominations this year alone, with seven out of nine artists in the JUNO Fan’s Choice award category from Ontario.”

The full list of 2018 Ontario Music Fund recipients is now available on the OMDC website.

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Global Music Report 2018 shows industry experiencing growth from subscription streaming, but Value Gap needs to be addressed for long term sustainability

IFPI today released its anticipated 2018 Global Music Report, providing a state-of-the-industry guide to the top global markets and highlighting industry-wide trends.

While Canada dropped from the sixth to seventh largest music market in the world, the domestic music industry can be encouraged by marked growth in subscription audio streaming, which grew in trade value from USD $95.34 million in 2016 to USD $160.9 million in 2017. This trend has contributed to the first three consecutive years of growth following 15 years of revenue decline.

In Canada, ad-supported streaming declined slightly in 2017, representing USD $16.24 million in trade value, compared to USD $16.59 million in 2016. Video streams represented USD $23.32 million in trade value in 2017, rising from USD $21.56 million in 2016. The total trade value for all types of streaming rose from USD $133.5 million in 2016 to USD $200.4 million in 2017, a 50% increase. This is similar to the global trend where overall streaming revenues grew by 41.1%.

“I’m encouraged by the consecutive years of growth we’re witnessing. But as streaming continues its rise, it’s more important than ever that this business model supports the people making the music,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada.

“There are still regulations and cross-subsidies in place, in Canada and around the world, intended to get tech companies off the ground,” says Henderson. “These companies, like Google and Facebook, are now some of the world’s wealthiest and have unprecedented control over content online. Music Canada produced a comprehensive report on the Value Gap in Canada, and more than 3,600 Canadian creators have signed the Focus On Creators letter to the Canadian government asking for legislative help. Any future legislation, including the current Copyright Act review, needs to keep the well-being and future of Canadian creators top of mind.”

Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, also pointed to addressing the Value Gap as a top priority.

“The industry is on a positive path of recovery but it’s very clear that the race is far from won.” Moore explained in an IFPI release. “Record companies are continuing in their efforts to put the industry back onto a stable path and, to that end, we are continuing our campaign to fix the value gap. This is not just essential for music to thrive in today’s global market, but to create the right – fair – environment for it to do so in the future.”

Music Canada’s 2017 report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach, proposes a range of practical, forward-looking solutions tailored to Canada’s marketplace, institutions and legal framework.

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Music Canada EVP Amy Terrill’s remarks at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs

This morning, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill participated in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs and Cultural Districts in Canada.

Her remarks, which pulled from Terrill’s extensive Music Cities research, including The Mastering of a Music City report, are included below.

Remarks (check against delivery): 

Chair MP Dabrusin,

Distinguished members of the committee,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.  I’d like to commend you on your study as it is an active topic of discussion currently across the country.

My interest stems from my work on Music Cities which we began at Music Canada in 2011.

We define Music Cities as a municipality of any size that has a vibrant music economy which is intentionally supported and promoted.

Since 2014 I’ve led our study of close to 30 international cities and become one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic.   I’ve advised cities on every continent and spoken at countless events.  I’m an active member of music city committees in Vancouver and Toronto.

Music Canada published a roadmap for the development of a Music City in 2015 and since then about a dozen Canadian cities or regions have taken that roadmap and begun to develop music strategies – including most recently Ottawa which released a strategy just two weeks ago.

 

One of the most important components of a Music City is the availability of spaces and places – to rehearse, record, perform – It’s also likely the top issue identified in Canadian communities.

Some of the common concerns that arise in public surveys and focus groups relating to music are:

  1. Lack of affordable rehearsal spaces; live-work spaces – and housing in general
  2. Pressure on small grassroots venues – affordability pressures – and pressures that come about from mixed use areas – venue closures are creating gaps in what we call the venue ladder which is needed to adequately incubate artists
  3. Heavy red tape is also cited
  4. The need for greater audience engagement
  5. And greater opportunities to collaborate – to connect with other professionals – both within music – and also across the cultural sectors

Creative hubs and cultural districts can, in their own ways, respond to these commonly identified needs and in so doing accomplish larger policy, economic, or cultural goals.

 

In our Music City investigation – we have identified three typical formats for creative hubs:

  • Hubs that are artist-centric with recording facilities, rehearsal and performance spaces, workshops, access to professional services like lawyers or accountants. The Kitchener Public Library is emerging as a cultural hub of this kind.
  • A music business incubator like you might see for other industries providing hot desks, networking events, business development support and training.
  • Or a combination of the two; The Music District in Fort Collins Colorado is a great example. 4000 square feet with programming aimed at both of the two groups, plus outreach to the broader community.

Cultural districts, on the other hand, allow municipalities, in particular, the flexibility to design rules and regulations that can be used to nurture creative activities and organizations in a set geographic area.

Both of these tools are ultimately about creating spaces and places for cultural uses.

 

As you consider this topic and how best the federal government can support them there are two key things I’d like you to remember:

Music spaces are sometimes not what you might expect.

A large portion are not buildings built specifically for a music purpose.  Likely half of the inventory is made up of multi-use, repurposed or unusual spaces.  Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, retail spaces, micro-breweries, repurposed industrial properties – to name a few.

In large cities and small towns – places for musical creation and performance are emerging from unique raw materials.

Similarly creative hubs do not fit a tight definition – I encourage you to think in broad terms about what qualifies as a creative hub.

And secondly this network of cultural spaces is composed of a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit– both are critical for the sustenance of our cultural sector.

The same artists who perform at not-for-profit venues, perform at for-profit venues – it really makes no difference.

Our cultural districts are also made up of this mix.

Commercial entities – as an example music venues or music studios – are important tenants in cultural districts and struggle with some of the same challenges facing their non-profit cousins, but typically do not qualify for federal funding programs.

Queen Street West was mentioned in the department’s testimony.  One of Queen West’s most iconic and longest-serving operators – the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – is only able to maintain its space thanks to the generosity of the building’s owners.  Should the landlord choose to charge market rent – the Horseshoe could not remain.

Other jurisdictions have recognized the important contributions of the commercial sector – and that they too face affordability pressures – and heightened demands from nearby residents to mitigate sound – and have made loans or grants available to venues to upgrade their facilities or acquire specialized equipment.

This is something that could be considered in an enhanced funding program.

Again – I applaud you for your study.

Thank you and I look forward to expanding on some of these issues in the Q&A.

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Miranda Mulholland calls for action for creators in Washington, DC

Last week, musician, label owner and prominent creators’ rights advocate Miranda Mulholland was in Washington, DC, for a series of meetings and engagements focused on what can be achieved in a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to ensure creators in Canada, Mexico, and the United States have a fair chance at success and receive proper payment for their work.

Miranda Mulholland and Stephen Exell, Vice President for Global Innovation Policy at ITIF

“From all the conversations I had in Washington, what really struck me was just how necessary the artists’ voices are on this issue. Whether Canadian, Mexican or American artists, we share the same need for strong and consistent IP protections. People in Washington are listening. We need to speak up now more than ever,” said Mulholland following the trip.

This was the second occasion that Mulholland, who is becoming increasingly well-know internationally for her advocacy work, has spoken to an American audience. In January of 2018, she participated in the inaugural Artists Rights Summit in Athens, Georgia.

On April 11, Mulholland delivered a speech at an event jointly organized by ACTION for Trade and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). More than 20 government and industry leaders attended the event which also featured a speech from Stephen Exell, Vice President for Global Innovation Policy at ITIF. Both speakers underlined the importance of strong IP protections and enforcement in NAFTA.

A post-event report by ACTION for Trade noted that “Mulholland spoke about how governments need to adapt policies to fit today’s landscape and protect creators’ work,” in particular that they must consider the “99 percent” of creators who aren’t mainstream superstars.

The day before the ACTION for Trade event, Mulholland visited Capitol Hill where she met with officials and stakeholders to discuss the need for action.

For more information on Mulholland’s advocacy work, visit the advocacy section of her website. You can also watch the full video of her outstanding 2017 speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa titled “Redefining Success in a Digital Marketplace” below.

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Ottawa City Council approves City’s first Music Strategy

Earlier today, Ottawa City Council officially adopted the Ottawa Music Strategy, a three-year roadmap to strengthen Ottawa’s music industry and establish Ottawa as a global music city. On April 3, 2018, Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development Committee approved the three-year strategy, which was then brought to Council for consideration this morning.

Developed in partnership with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), the Ottawa Music Strategy would make more City-owned spaces available for music, promote safer spaces for music and integrate music in strategies for economic development and tourism.

The Ottawa Music Strategy was first announced by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in March 2017, leading up to Ottawa’s role as the host city for the 2017 JUNO Awards. Following this announcement, OMIC assembled a group of music industry representatives and local business and community leaders, known as the Ottawa Music Strategy Task Force. The 15-member group was asked to envision what Ottawa might look like in 2030 following the implementation of a successful music strategy, and to develop a series of practical recommendations that can be implemented.

The Task Force has set six Phase 1 recommendations for the City to implement in 2018, including:

  1. Establish a Music Development Officer Position
  2. Provide multi-year operational funding to OMIC
  3. Promote a music-friendly regulatory environment
  4. Integrate music into economic development and tourism strategies
  5. Make more City-owned space available for music
  6. Contract more local musicians

Furthermore, to mobilize the local music industry through its association, the Task Force has set the following 2018 recommendations for OMIC:

  1. Run a campaign to broaden membership
  2. Organize regular industry forums
  3. Develop a long-term strategy for undeserved communities

In November 2017, the City’s Draft Budget 2018 committed $100,000 to support the Ottawa Music Strategy, which the Task Force, subject to approvals by City Council through its annual budget processes, hopes to see matched through 2020 with Phase 2 of the Strategy’s recommendations.

The full Ottawa Music Strategy can be viewed on the OMIC website.

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Johnny Reid receives Gold plaque ahead of Toronto run

Ahead of a two night run at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall earlier this week, Canadian country star Johnny Reid was presented with a Gold Album Award plaque for his 2017 album Revival by Universal Music Canada. The album marks Reid’s eight full length to be officially certified Canadian Gold, with 2009’s Dance With Me earning a Triple Platinum certification.

Reid will continue his Revival Live tour throughout Ontario in April before making his way to The Maritimes for the final leg.

Watch the video for Revival‘s single “Heart Of A Woman” below.

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James Barker Band take home JUNO and Gold award plaque from Vancouver

Universal Music Canada President Jeffrey Remedios (middle) with James Barker Band (Photo Credit: UMC)

Ontario-crafted country outfit James Barker Band had a sensational 2017, raking in two Canadian Gold Singles for tracks of their breakthrough debut EP Game On. During JUNO weekend in Vancouver, the band was surprised by Universal Music Canada with a third Single Award plaque for the “Just Sayin.” The group also took home some more hardware from Vancouver, winning the JUNO for 2018 Country Album of the Year during the Gala Dinner and Awards, where they also performed.

The band announced the news to their fan in an Instagram video, popping champagne while overlooking the beautiful Downtown Vancouver scenery.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgwuhm1h2wE/?taken-by=jamesbarkerband

Watch the video for “Just Sayin'” below.

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Jess Moskaluke surprised with Canadian Gold plaque during JUNO weekend in Vancouver

Photo credit: MDM Recordings

Canadian country star Jess Moskaluke was surprised with a Gold Single Award plaque from MDM Recordings for her single “Kiss Me Quiet” during JUNO weekend in Vancouver. “Kiss Me Quiet” is the Saskatchewan singer-songwriter’s second solo Gold track certification, with “Cheap Wine & Cigarettes” earning Platinum status in 2016. Moskaluke has also received a Gold certification for her collaboration with Paul Brandt on “I’m An Open Road,” which was certified in June of 2017.

Moskaluke spent the better part of the JUNO Awards festivities recovering from the flu, but that did not stop her from sharing the news with her fans through Instagram as soon as she could.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgy-RvehiFF/?taken-by=jessmoskaluke

Watch the video for “Kiss Me Quiet” below.

 

 

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