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WorkInCulture launches MakingItWork research project and survey

WorkInCulture, an Ontario-based not-for-profit organization, has launched a new major research initiative called MakingItWork, which aims to understand the opportunities and challenges of working in Ontario’s creative sector. Working alongside consulting firm Nordicity, the MakingItWork research will examine everything from incomes and livelihoods to skills needs and barriers to sustainability.

As part of this research, WorkInCulture developed a short survey aimed at individuals and employers within Ontario’s arts, culture, heritage and library sectors. This includes:

  • Individual artists;
  • Cultural workers (whether you are self-employed or working for an organization);
  • Not-for-profit organizations serving the creative community, including arts service organizations, membership-based organizations, trade associations, etc;
  • The cultural industries, including record labels and music publishers, book and magazine publishers, film & television production companies, game studios, etc;
  • Heritage institutions, including museums, natural heritage sites, as well as their employees and professionals in the field (archaeologists, for example); and,
  • Ontario’s public library system and their employees.

The survey is available in English and French, and should take less than 20 minutes to complete. Survey participants will have the opportunity to enter into a draw to win a pair of tickets to the Creative Works Conference in Toronto on May 10, 2019.

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Dan + Shay receive Platinum plaques in Toronto

Photo Credit: Warner Music Canada

Country stars Dan + Shay have had an incredible 2018 lead by the success of their single “Tequila,” which was officially certified Canadian Platinum on June 1, 2018. Ahead of their opening slot for Rascal Flatts at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage last week, Warner Music Canada presented with duo with plaques commemorating the Platinum certification.

“Tequila” is their second Platinum certification in Canada, having received one in 2017 for their hit “From The Ground Up.” They also have two more Gold certifications in Canada for “19 You + Me” and “Nothin’ Like You.”

Watch the music video for “Tequila” below.

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Music Policy Forum Summit announces 2018 program themes

The 2018 Music Policy Forum Summit will be held in Washington, DC, at Georgetown University October 26-27. The forum will bring together several hundred musicians, researchers, policymakers, industry and nonprofit leaders, and other stakeholders for a wide-ranging exploration of some of the most promising and exciting thought leadership in the music and policy space.

The two-day summit will will shine a spotlight on some of the most compelling, inspiring and, sometimes, frustrating developments in public policy, research, technology, and culture. Programming will be centered on four primary themes that reflect the issues that are the most pressing to the industry:

  1. The Future is… Access
  2. The Future is…Data
  3. The Future is…Collaborative
  4. The Future is….Incremental

Music Canada Executive Vice President and Music Policy Forum co-founder Amy Terrill will be speaking at the conference, elaborating on the research from Music Canada’s 2018 Keys to a Music City report and moderating the panel Bridging the Gap: Effective Models of Local Governments in Partnership with Local Music Communities.

Terrill will be joined at the summit by fellow co-founders Michael Bracy,  Ashlye Keaton, Anna Celenza and Gene Meneray in curating the agenda and presenters at the event. Other presenters include musicians Dessa and Erin McKeown, researchers Kwende Kefentse, Nancy Baym and Michael Seman, organizer Kevin Erickson, tech entrepreneur Jacoby Dubose, Music Canada Live Executive Director Erin Benjamin and New Orleans Jazz Museum Director Greg Lambousy.

Tickets are available now. Additional speakers and a final program schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

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VIDEO: 2018 Global Forum panel discussion with Lido Pimienta, Vanessa Reed, Greyson Gritt & TONA, moderated by Samantha Slattery

Titled Inclusivity & Accountability: Bringing Measurable Change for the Music Industry, the 2018 Global Forum at Canadian Music Week brought together, artists, academics and advocates working to make the music industry more reflective of, and accountable to, the wider community.

The event began with a keynote by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder and Director of the the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank in the world studying issues of diversity and inequality in entertainment through research, advocacy and sponsored projects. Following extensive work in the film and television industries, including pioneering the popular “inclusion rider,” the group is now bringing their renowned work to the music industry. At the Global Forum, Dr. Smith discussed the striking findings of their preliminary music industry study Inclusion in the Recording Studio? Based on the extensive data they have gathered, the group plans to roll out practical solutions “so that the needle will move quickly, so that everyone who has the talent has the ability to participate not only equitably, but in safe work environments, so that they might thrive.”

Following Dr. Smith’s keynote, a diverse panel of artists and advocates discussed initiatives currently underway, and other possible solutions, to improve inclusion across various parts of the music industry. The panel featured Lido Pimienta, Polaris Prize-winning musician, curator and visual artist; JUNO-winning rapper, producer and youth advocate TONA; chief executive of PRS Foundation and the Keychange initiativeVanessa Reed, and; JUNO-winning Quantum Tangle member, producer and solo-artist Greyson Gritt. The discussion was moderated by Samantha Slattery, Chairperson and Founder of Women in Music Canada.

Watch the full panel discussion below.

Quoted

Sometimes, even with the artist community, it feels like there’s a constant tug of war between power and then opportunity. What ends up happening is that the people who are trying to capitalize and obtain the power – I’m going to refer to it as a meritocracy – because the people who are actually in control of things in this industry, especially in Canada, are the ones that are making the decisions. In our communities that we come from, there’s already a lack of opportunity. There’s already an imbalance of education as well, and even job opportunities. When people come in it feels like they’re kind of parachuting in to our communities and not integrating with us the way they need to. And it feels like a photo opportunity. You know, what are you really trying to accomplish as far as integrating artists? Is it more about filling a quota in the stats sheet? Or is it really about pushing the needle with your job description and what you’re doing? – TONA

 

Your point about respect is something that audiences have obviously been talking about a lot now. At least in the UK, we’ve been hearing a lot more from audiences than artists about some of the struggles they have. So, obviously sexual assault of women at festivals, and accessibility for anyone who’s got any kind of disability. There’s some interesting not-for-profit grassroots movements which have really been helping with that. There’s an organization called Attitude is Everything, which has got lots of venues and festivals to sign up to different kinds of charters ensuring that people of all backgrounds can access these brilliant festivals and stages. And then there’s an initiative called Girls Against, which has been working with festivals to start tackling the issue around sexual assaults. But I mean there’s still a long way to go, but it’s interesting that those first steps often come from the grassroots, not-for-profit, voluntary sector, and then it starts to be normalized, and eventually it will become something that hopefully will be part of everyone’s practice. But I think audiences and artists talking about the challenges together could be interesting.  – Vanessa Reed

 

Instead of men having their own conversations and starting their own initiatives and being like ‘yeah we need this too and we’re going to work with women’ it’s often this polarized response, ‘well you want that, but what about us? You shouldn’t have that unless we have it.’ And it ends up being this thing of ‘choose your side’ instead of everyone working together and recognizing you need this and I need this. And so I think about two-spirit people and transgender people, and we need that too, but I don’t want it to be in response to ‘what about me’ and to take resources away from that. I definitely believe women need more representation, always, and I would love to see more things of like 100%. It’s been 100% men for how long? Just to be equitable, you’d almost think it’d need to be 500 years of Indigenous and racialized folks, and women for about another 500 years first, and then we can talk about having half and half, right? – Greyson Gritt

 

Another approach that was just brought to my attention recently as well, and I believe it’s Harris Institute, has consciously hired back female students as professors, and originally it was about four or five years ago he said, there was about 5% female students – so we’re not even getting them into the pipe, it’s not that we’re losing them – and since adjusting his professor dynamic, it has gone up to 20% female students now in a very short period of time, so to your point, I think when people see people that they can relate to doing things that would maybe traditionally be white men doing them, I think it’s really important to be able to showcase everybody being able to do all those things. Just seeing it seems to make a huge impact on people actually following through. – Samantha Slattery

 

The best music right now is being produced by women. It just happens to be the case. The stuff that excites me, I listen to it once and I look at the credits and I look at who’s behind it and it just happens to be a woman. So I wouldn’t even call it that I get out of my way. It just happens. Brilliant women who are in music and in the music industry and in sound and sound engineering are there, and available and ready. And if I’m going to pay anyone, that’s the people that I’m going to pay because it’s just natural to me. It’s not even a question to me. – Lido Pimienta

 

A selection of tweets from event guests is below and photos from the 2018 Global Forum can be viewed on Music Canada’s facebook page.

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Rescuing, Restoring, and Reuniting Instruments in Gravenhurst, Ontario

On Sunday, August 5th, Music Canada introduced the Three Rs Music Program at the second annual Sawdust City Music Festival in Gravenhurst, Ontario. The new program, which is rescuing gently used instruments, restoring them to fully-functional condition, and then reuniting them with students in publicly funded schools across Ontario, will be fully operational this Fall.

Instruments were collected from artists and concert-goers at Music Canada’s booth in the festival’s Vendor Village at Gull Lake Rotary Park. Among the collected instruments were acoustic and electric guitars, as well as ukulele, fiddle, flute, and snare drum.

The instruments will be restored by Currie’s Music, a local vintage music and repair shop. Once the instruments are fully-functional, they will be made available to publicly funded schools in the Gravenhurst area.

Music Canada would like to thank all the festival attendees who generously donated their instruments. Additional opportunities for instrument donation will be announced soon.

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Toronto’s musical history recognized in Heritage Toronto Awards’ 2018 Historical Writing: Book nominees

Heritage Toronto has announced 18 nominees for its 2018 Historical Writing prize, recognizing English language non-fiction books or e-books. The Heritage Toronto Awards “showcase extraordinary contributions to the conservation and promotion of Toronto’s heritage, honouring individuals, groups and organizations for their efforts.”

Three of this year’s nominees for the Historical Writing: Book category pay homage to Toronto’s legendary musicians and music history:

Peter Goddard: The Great Gould

The Great Gould, with the support of the Glenn Gould Estate, draws on interviews with Glenn Gould to present a freshly revealing portrait of the musician’s unsettled life, his radical decision to stop playing concerts, his career as a radio innovator, and his deep response to the Canadian environment. “

Goddard is an accomplished Canadian music journalist and historian who won the 1973 JUNO Award for Music Journalist of the Year. He has also written books on Ronnie Hawkins, Triumph, David Bowie, and many more musicians, as well as his 1989 book Shakin’ All Over: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years in Canada.

 

 

David McPherson: The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

“From country and rockabilly to rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and more, the live music venue has evolved with the times and trends—always keeping pace with the music.  This book celebrates the legacy of the Horseshoe Tavern, and its importance to Toronto music culture today.”

David McPherson is an author specializing in music and golf. His most recent book, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern explores the 70-year legacy of the storied Queen Street West venue. In an interview with NOW Magazine, McPherson said “When it comes to live music in North America, there are few places that can match the storied building at 370 Queen West. The Horseshoe is a beacon for music lovers, a pilgrimage place for those who love and understand its significance as part of Toronto’s rich musical landscape.”

 

Nicholas Jennings: Lightfoot

Lightfoot chronicles the life and career of Gordon Lightfoot, unquestionably one of Canada’s greatest songwriters. No matter how much his fame grew abroad, Lightfoot has always come home to Toronto.”

Nicholas Jennings is a renowned music journalist and historian who has written on music for Maclean’s, Billboard, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, among many others. His books on Canadian music include Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound (Penguin) and Fifty Years of Music: The Story of EMI Music Canada (Macmillan). He is passionate about the preservation of Toronto’s music history and in addition to his writing, he also leads walking tours on the musical history of Yorkville and the Yonge Street strip, and he was instrumental in the preservation of the historic “Sam the Record Man” sign which now hangs above Yonge Dundas Square.

 

In Music Canada’s globe-spanning research, music history was found to be an important element of building a Music City, and many Music Cities, including Liverpool, New Orleans and Nashville are steeped in music history. As Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson notes in The Mastering of a Music City, “A great Music City knows its music history – you need to know your own story.”

Congratulations to these outstanding Heritage Toronto Awards Historical Writing: Book nominees, and thank you for your work to preserve Toronto’s rich musical history. Congratulations are also due to all other nominees for the 2018 Historical Writing: Book Award – Bruce Newton, John Lorinc, Jane Farrow, Stephanie Chambers, Maureen Fitzgerald, Ed Jackson, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Rahim Thawer, Tatum Taylor, Tim Morawetz, Scott Kennedy, Shawn Micallef, Robert C. Vipond, Roberto Perin, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Lance Hornby, Adam Bunch, Timothy J. Stewart, Pedro Mendes, Terry Beauchamp, Trevor Cole and Gare Joyce.

The Heritage Toronto Awards ceremony takes place on Monday, October 29 at the Carlu (444 Yonge Street). Tickets can be purchased on the Heritage Toronto website.

 

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VIDEO: Dr. Stacy L. Smith keynotes at the 2018 Global Forum at Canadian Music Week

On May 10, the 2018 Global Forum took place at Canadian Music Week. The annual event, which Music Canada has been presenting for more than a decade, seeks to tackle the most pressing issues in the music industry with a global perspective. This year’s theme was Inclusivity and Accountability: Bringing Measurable Change for the Music Industry and discussions were focused on challenges, solutions, and actions to make the industry more reflective of, and accountable to, the wider community. This includes initiatives to improve representation of all gender identities, ethnicities and sexual orientations across the industry, and to ensure all community members have equitable access to performance and career development opportunities, funding programs, and more.

The forum’s keynote speaker was Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank in the world studying issues of diversity and inequality in entertainment. Dr. Smith is at the forefront of inclusion in the film industry and pioneered the now viral concept of an “inclusion rider.” In 2018, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative also began to study the music industry and published a preliminary report titled Inclusion in the Recording Studio? During her keynote, Dr.Smith discussed the group’s preliminary findings, next steps, and areas for further research. Watch the full keynote below.

Dr. Smith began with a warning: “I am going to depress you.” Though her keynote described an industry where women and underrepresented groups were sorely lacking in many areas, members of the music industry, and those in other creative fields, were not shocked by the statistics.

One clear feeling among guests was that it’s time for action. Guests were all encouraged by Music Canada to complete an “Inclusion Pledge” detailing a specific action they will take to improve inclusion in their own field. Dr. Smith commented early on how refreshing it was to work with an organization that is committed to ensuring everyone feels they belong. “It’s an honour to be here amongst a group that cares so deeply about this issue,” said Smith.

After thoroughly detailing the problems facing the industry with data and statistics, Dr. Smith concluded by stressing the need for action. “What’s more important I think than the numbers themselves, is the solutions that we will be rolling out based on the data,” she said. “What we plan to do, just like in television, film and digital, is to roll out practical solutions so that the needle will move quickly, so that everyone who has the talent has the ability to participate not only equitably, but in safe work environments, so that they might thrive.”

To keep up with the latest from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, visit their website and follow them on Twitter. A selection of photos from the 2018 Global Forum is available on Music Canada’s facebook page.

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Panic! At The Disco surprised with Gold plaques in Toronto

Brendon Urie, the creative force behind American dance rock band Panic! At The Disco, paid a visit to Toronto for a stop on the band’s 2018 tour in support of their latest album Pray For The Wicked. Prior to the headlining show at Scotiabank Arena, Urie was surprised by Warner Music Canada with two Gold plaques for 2016 album and title track Death Of A Bachelor, along with its accompanying singles “Victorious,” “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time,” “Hallelujah,” “Emperor’s New Clothes,” “LA Devotee.”

These are Panic!’s first certifications in the streaming era, and the first since the Platinum certification of their classic 2005 debut A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.

Watch the music video for “Death Of A Bachelor” below.

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Minister Miranda announces Alberta Music Week and additional funding for Alberta’s music industry

The Government of Alberta has officially declared July 19-26, 2018 the first ever Alberta Music Week. The announcement was made Thursday morning by The Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, at the launch of the weekly Music at McDougall: Summer Concert Series at McDougall Centre in Calgary.

“Alberta is home to some of the best songwriters, music producers and performers in the world,” said Minister Miranda in a release. “Alberta’s recording industry is an important contributor to our culture, as well as our economy, and is something worth celebrating. Alberta Music Week is an opportunity to highlight and discover Alberta musicians and get ready for another music-filled summer.”

Accompanying the declaration of Alberta Music Week was the announcement that $300,000 in additional funding for Alberta’s music industry, which in 2016 contributed more than $300 million to Alberta’s GDP and provided more than 7,300 jobs. The Alberta government will work with music industry leaders in the coming months to determine how the money can best benefit Albertans.

“Alberta Music Week highlights the vibrancy and activity of the music industry in our province,” said Carly Klassen, Executive Director of Alberta Music. “Alberta artists are creating musical works of a national and international caliber, alongside professionals working in many types of support roles within the industry. We are proud to acknowledge Alberta Music Week and the diverse artists who call Alberta home.”

Alberta’s cultural industries have been identified as a key area to support the government’s economic diversification and job creation priorities.

“Alberta’s cultural industries, including music and sound recording, are significant contributors to our economy, and have tremendous opportunity for growth and economic diversification,” said Minister Miranda. “With this funding, we continue to support that growth, provide jobs to Albertans, and help share our stories and songs with the world.”

Highlights of Alberta Music Week festivals include Interstellar Rodeo in Edmonton (July 20-22), the Stampede Summer Jam in Medicine Hat (July 23) and the Full Throttle Festival in Cold Lake (July 20). The Calgary Folk Music Festival (July 26-29) will close out the week on Prince’s Island.

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Music Canada welcomes Pablo Rodriguez as Minister of Heritage; thanks Mélanie Joly for leadership on policies affecting the music sector

Toronto, July 18, 2018: Music Canada welcomes incoming Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Hon. Pablo Rodriguez and thanks the Hon. Mélanie Joly for her efforts in this role following her appointment as Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the changes to his federal cabinet earlier today.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, Rodriguez will be responsible for implementing the government’s plan to strengthen Canada’s cultural and creative industries, and will be tasked with managing the legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on the government’s priorities.

“On behalf of Music Canada, I would like to congratulate the Hon. Pablo Rodriguez on his appointment as Minister of Canadian Heritage,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “In this role, he has the opportunity to improve the livelihood of Canadian creators, by creating the conditions for a functioning marketplace where creators receive fair compensation for the use of their work. We look forward to working with Minister Rodriguez to continue to advance policies that support creators and the companies that invest in them.”

Music Canada also extends congratulations to the Hon. Mélanie Joly on her appointment as the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and expresses appreciation for her leadership on key policies affecting Canada’s music sector, including the initiation of a process to reform the Copyright Board of Canada, the launch of the statutory review of the Copyright Act, and the #DigiCanCon consultations.

“During her tenure as Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly advanced key priorities to strengthen Canada’s creative industries and improve the livelihood of Canadian creators,” says Henderson. “Her efforts to improve the regulatory frameworks that affect creators, such as the Copyright Board and the Copyright Act, has begun a process to put creators at the heart of cultural policy. Thank you, Minister Joly, and best wishes in your new role.”

In the music sector, Music Canada has been the lead advocate for practical and forward-looking improvements to Canada’s marketplace, institutions, and legal framework. The most pressing issue for the music sector in Canada, and around the world, is the Value Gap. 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,” the Value Gap threatens the future of Canadian culture by harming creators’ ability to make a living from their work.

Music Canada’s comprehensive report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, provides insights into how policymakers can reverse the Value Gap. The report recommends four steps that could be quickly implemented, and would help creators and harmonize Canadian policy with international standards:

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption
  2. Amend the Definition of ‘Sound Recording’ in the Copyright Act
  3. Address the Effects of Safe Harbour Laws and Exceptions in Canada
  4. Private Copying: Renew Support for Music Creators

Each of these recommended changes removes an unfair subsidy, harmonizes the laws within our industries, and brings us to international standards. The report was presented to the Industry, Science and Technology committee as part of the Statutory Review of the Copyright Act, as well as the Canadian Heritage Committee in their study of Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries, where it has been cited by members of the committee as well as several other industry groups appearing as witnesses before the committee.

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For more information:
Quentin Burgess, Music Canada
qburgess@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 981-8410

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. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com

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