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Playback 2017 panel: Canadian musicians discuss how the Value Gap affects their ability to earn a living from music

Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, Playback, took place on October 17. At the event, Graham Henderson officially launched our latest research report, The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach. Following the launch of the report, Canadian recording artists Damhnait Doyle and Miranda Mulholland joined moderator Andrew Cash, a musician himself, for an honest discussion about their strategies for survival working as musicians in 2017.

Miranda has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of music creators. In 2017, she became the first creator to give a keynote address to the Economic Club of Canada, and has submitted two letters to the Canadian government on the topic of Copyright Board reform. She is a multi-talented fiddle player, singer, record label owner, music festival founder, and more.

Damhnait Doyle is an accomplished musician, songwriter, SOCAN Award winner, as well as a columnist and author. She has released multiple albums, both of solo material and as part of the group Shaye.

Andrew Cash is a JUNO and SOCAN Award winning musician and composer with over a dozen albums to his credit. He is also a former Member of Parliament and is co-founder of the Urban Worker Project.

Watch the full video below:

Quoted

Damhnait Doyle

“Musicians, technically and for a very long time, have been undervalued.”

“What I did today – I sang on a television show – which I will only get paid for once, the same with your (Miranda’s) situation with Republic of Doyle…I’m getting paid a ridiculously small amount of money, but I’m doing it because – where else am I going to make money?”

“It costs me an incredible amount of money to go out on the road, and to earn money, which is now kind of the only allotted place where artists earn money. Well, you’re not making money off the radio, you’re not making money off publishing, you’re not making money off records. So the only place you’re going to make money is playing live.”

“We’re really, really fortunate in this country to have things like FACTOR and to have things like Slaight Music who support our artists. In that one sense we are in a very rarified earth up here in Canada, that we do have an industry that supports us. It supports us in the creation of the art itself, but there, it falls off…It would be an artist’s dream to not have to apply to FACTOR. That would be a great milestone.”

“The fact that the government has not changed or amended this legislation is laughable, I mean, someone made a mistake and no one’s willing to clean up the mess. It’s a mistake.”

Andrew Cash

“There’s no bylaws and standards regulating a rock-n-roll band. And by and large, that’s been probably a problem.”

“One of the reasons we’re all here is that we love music, and we want music to happen. And it can’t happen unless artists can make a decent living and be healthy and happy in their lives.”

Miranda Mulholland

“I find my days are taken up with so much administration…I’m updating my Facebook and I’m doing my Spotify work. I’m selling their product basically, through my music, and trying to get people to subscribe to Spotify so that I can get paid .004 extra cents per stream.”

“Granting is great, and it’s amazing that we have those capabilities in Canada, but what we want is a sustainable working marketplace where we are creating art and we are being remunerated for it properly. And that is not happening for a variety of reasons.”

“Policy must change. The government needs to make some pretty swift cuts to end some of these subsidies, and that’s a big deal. And I love that people are actually having this conversation now and asking about what our lives look like, that it isn’t flashy parties, you know, and being more honest on Instagram and Facebook about what touring actually looks like because it doesn’t look the way that I think most people picture it.”

“If you look at France – they have very strong opinions about Spotify and about a lot of the streaming services, and they’ve taken some really harsh stances, and I feel as though our government is still in a lot of conversations, and they’re being very polite with a lot of these giant tech companies, where there actually could be some pretty significant…maybe further than conversations, but actually drawing a line in the sand. That would be appreciated by us and that would definitely change our livelihoods.”

Below is a selection of photos from the panel.

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Graham Henderson launches Music Canada’s first-of-its-kind Value Gap report at Playback 2017

Music Canada’s annual industry dialogue and celebration, Playback, took place on October 17. The headlining portion of this year’s event was the launch of Music Canada’s latest research report The Value Gap: It’s Origins, Impacts and a Made-In-Canada Approach. This new report is the first comprehensive collection of information about the Value Gap, and the solutions available to Canadian policy makers.

At Playback 2017, Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, shared highlights from the report and described the four concrete recommendations contained within for the Government of Canada to address the Value Gap plaguing Canadian music creators and other cultural industries.

Watch the full video below:

The Value Gap is the most pressing global phenomenon hurting creative industries, including publishing, journalism, film and television production, and music. It is an issue of critical importance to the current and future health of Canadian culture, our nation’s cultural industries, and the creators of our cultural works.

Many of our creative industry partners affected by the Value Gap, some of whom are supporting partners in the Focus On Creators coalition, attended Playback and shared their reaction to the report:

Below is a selection of photos from the launch of the report.

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Music Canada calls on the Government of Canada to take steps to address the Value Gap in new, first-of-its-kind report

At its annual general meeting, Playback 2017, Music Canada today released The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach, the first comprehensive collection of information about the Value Gap, and the solutions available to Canadian policy makers.

The Value Gap is defined as the significant disparity between the value of creative content that is accessed and enjoyed by consumers, and the revenues that are returned to the people and businesses who create it.

“The Value Gap challenges the livelihood and sustainability of an entire global social class, and threatens the future of Canadian culture,” says Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada. “Our creative industries and the Government of Canada need to come together to acknowledge that the problem facing our creators is real, that the landscape has dramatically changed, and that we need to adapt our rules and regulations before full-time creativity becomes a thing of the past.”

At the heart of the Value Gap for music is misapplied and outdated “safe harbour” provisions in copyright law, which result in creators having to forego copyright royalty payments to which they should be entitled, and amount to a system of subsidies to other industries.

Creators and governments around the world are taking notice, and taking action. The European Commission has pinpointed the Value Gap as the cause of a marketplace that isn’t functioning properly, and acknowledged that a legislative fix is needed. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. music creators have agreed that the safe harbour provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act need to be changed.

In Canada, thousands of musicians, authors, poets, visual artists, playwrights and other members of the creative class, have urged The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, to put creators at the heart of future policy in a campaign called Focus On Creators.

The Value Gap: Its Origins, Impacts and a Made-in-Canada Approach provides important insights into how policy makers can reverse the Value Gap. For instance, the Canadian Copyright Act contains provisions that allow and, in some cases, even encourage the commercialization of creators’ work without the need for proper remuneration, undercutting one of its overarching principles: to ensure that creators receive a just reward for the use of their works.

To address these inequities, the federal government should take the following actions:

  1. Focus on the Effects of Safe Harbour Laws and Exceptions

The Canadian government should, like its international counterparts, review and address safe harbour laws and exceptions, and their subsequent misapplication by some technology companies, as well as the cross-subsidies that have been added to the Copyright Act.

  1. Canada’s Creative Industries are Asking for Meaningful Reforms

During the mandated five-year review of the Copyright Act slated to begin in late 2017, the government should review the Act for instances that allow others to commercialize creative works without properly remunerating artists, and end these cross-subsidies.

  1. Remove the $1.25 Million Radio Royalty Exemption

Since 1997, commercial radio stations have only been required to pay $100 in performance royalties on their first $1.25 million advertising revenue. This exemption should be eliminated. It amounts to a subsidy being paid by artists to large vertically-integrated media companies.

  1. Amend the Definition of Sound Recording

In the Copyright Act, recorded music is actually not considered a ‘sound recording’ (and thus not entitled to royalties) when it is included in a TV or film soundtrack. The definition should be changed to allow performers and creators of recorded music to collect royalties when music is part of a TV/film soundtrack.

The full report can be downloaded at this link.

 

 

Music Canada demande au gouvernement du Canada de prendre des mesures pour remédier à l’écart de valeur dans un nouveau rapport pas comme les autres

Dans le cadre de son assemblée générale annuelle intitulée Playback 2017, Music Canada a annoncé aujourd’hui le lancement de L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada, le premier recueil de renseignements exhaustifs sur l’écart de valeur et les solutions qui sont à la portée des décideurs politiques canadiens pour y remédier.

L’écart de valeur se définit comme l’importante disparité qui existe entre la valeur du contenu créatif que les consommateurs consultent et apprécient, et les revenus qui sont réacheminés vers les personnes et les entreprises qui l’ont créé.

« L’écart de valeur menace le gagne-pain et la durabilité de toute une classe sociale à travers le monde et met en péril l’avenir de la culture canadienne », soutient Graham Henderson, président et chef de la direction de Music Canada. « Nos industries créatives et le gouvernement du Canada doivent s’unir pour reconnaître que le problème auquel sont confrontés nos créateurs est bien réel, que le paysage a profondément évolué et que nous devons adapter nos règles et règlements avant que la créativité à temps plein ne devienne chose du passé. »

L’écart de valeur tient essentiellement à l’application erronée de dispositions dépassées de la législation sur le droit d’auteur en matière d’exemptions de responsabilité (les safe harbours de la loi américaine) qui forcent les créateurs à sacrifier des redevances auxquelles ils devraient avoir droit, ce qui revient à un système de subventions accordées à d’autres industries.

Les créateurs et les gouvernements du monde entier réagissent et passent à l’action. La Commission européenne a identifié l’écart de valeur comme étant la cause du dysfonctionnement du marché, et elle a reconnu qu’une correction législative s’impose. Des centaines de milliers de créateurs de musique américains s’entendent pour réclamer la modification des exemptions de responsabilité de la loi américaine sur le droit d’auteur, le Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Au Canada, des milliers de musiciens, auteurs, poètes, artistes visuels, dramaturges et autres membres de la classe créative ont instamment prié l’honorable Mélanie Joly, ministre du Patrimoine canadien, de mettre les créateurs au cœur de la future politique culturelle dans le cadre d’une campagne nommée Pleins feux sur les créateurs.

L’Écart de valeur : ses origines, ses impacts et une démarche faite au Canada apporte un éclairage important sur les mesures que les décideurs politiques peuvent  prendre pour inverser l’écart de valeur. La Loi sur le droit d’auteur du Canada, par exemple, contient des dispositions qui permettent, et même encouragent dans certains cas, la commercialisation des œuvres des créateurs sans l’obligation de leur accorder une rémunération équitable, ce qui va à l’encontre d’un de ses principes fondamentaux : assurer que les créateurs reçoivent une juste récompense pour l’utilisation de leurs œuvres.

Le gouvernement fédéral devrait prendre les mesures suivantes pour remédier à ces inégalités :

  1. Se concentrer sur les effets des lois et des exceptions en matière d’exemption de responsabilité

À l’instar de ses homologues internationaux, le gouvernement du Canada devrait examiner et réviser les lois et exceptions en matière d’exonération de responsabilité, leur application erronée par certaines entreprises spécialisées dans la technologue et les pratiques d’interfinancement qui ont été ajoutées à la Loi sur le droit d’auteur.

  1. Les industries créatives canadiennes réclament des réformes authentiques

Lors de l’examen quinquennal de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur qui doit débuter à la fin de 2017, le gouvernement devrait étudier l’ensemble des dispositions permettant à des tiers de commercialiser des œuvres créatives sans rémunérer équitablement les artistes, et ce, en plus de mettre fin à l’interfinancement.

  1. Éliminer l’exemption de redevances de 1,25 million $ de la radio commerciale

Depuis 1997, les stations de radio commerciales ne versent qu’une redevance nominale de 100 $ sur la partie de leurs recettes publicitaires annuelles qui ne dépasse pas 1,25 million $. Cette exemption devrait être éliminée. Elle revient à une subvention faite par les artistes à de vastes entreprises médiatiques verticalement intégrées.

  1. Modifier la définition d’« enregistrement sonore »

Dans la Loi sur le droit d’auteur, la musique enregistrée n’est pas reconnue comme étant un « enregistrement sonore » (et n’ouvre donc pas droit à rémunération) lorsqu’elle fait partie de la bande sonore d’une œuvre télévisuelle ou cinématographique. La définition devrait être modifiée pour permettre aux artistes-interprètes et aux créateurs de musique enregistrée de toucher des redevances lorsque leur musique fait partie de la bande sonore d’une œuvre télévisuelle ou cinématographique.

On peut télécharger le rapport intégral à ce lien.

 

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Graham Henderson’s introductory remarks from Ontario Provincial Arts Education Roundtable

Below are introductory remarks delivered by Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, at the Provincial Arts Education Roundtable hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport on October 16, 2017.

It sometimes feels today as though the liberal arts and the humanities are under siege. Right across the United States, Republican governors are rolling back support for state universities that offer liberal arts education. And we must be vigilant – because if it can happen there, it can happen here.

Culture and the arts are worth fighting for. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley believed that the arts can reform the world.  He developed a theory of the imagination.  He believed that what he called the “cultivated imagination” can see the world differently – through a lens of love and empathy.  And how do you get one of those “cultivated imaginations”? Well through exposure to culture.

Now, it might be said that we live in a technology obsessed world.  And you, know, Percy’s wife, Mary had something to say about that.  She wrote Frankenstein, a book whose central message seems to be that the unmediated, unexamined introduction of technology into our lives is fraught with risk and danger. It can, not always, but it can create monsters.

Poets today continue to operate in this tradition.  If you don’t know the Texan poet and performance artist Arielle Cottingham, you should. Cottingham, now living in Melbourne, won the 2016 edition of the Australian Poetry Slam with an electrifying performance. She was recently interviewed for the magazine ArtsHub. In an article meaningfully entitled, “Why We Need Poets More Than Ever Before”, Cottingham cited Shelley as an inspiration for her work and pointed to his famous comment in A Defense of Poetry: Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

Shelley used the term “legislator” in a special sense. Not as someone who “makes laws” but as someone who is a “representative” of the people. In this sense creators must be thought of as the voice of the people; as a critical foundation of our society and of our democracy. They offer insights into our world and provide potential solutions – they underpin our future.

Cottingham agrees and explained it this way:

[Shelley] argues that poets are the moral barometers of their times and circumstances – and look at the well-known poets today. Bob Dylan is lauded as the voice of a generation. Maya Angelou elevated the voice of the black woman to an unprecedented visibility. Gil Scott Heron wrote a single line of poetry so prescient that it became more famous than he himself did – “The revolution will not be televised.” To quote Miles Merrill, “poets are more honest than politicians.”

A liberal arts education and an education in the humanities – STEM blended into STEAM – is therefore essential to a healthy society and one that is governed by empathy and love.

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Musical instrument lending library to launch in Barrie, Ontario, on October 1

On Sunday, October 1, Barrie will be the latest Canadian city to open a musical instrument lending library. The Huronia Symphony Orchestra and The Barrie Public Library are partnering on the project, with the generous support of the County of Simcoe and MusicPro Barrie. In addition to the lending library, the project will include youth drop in programs, intended to help young musicians network and learn from one another and local musicians.

The project will launch with a Grand Opening Celebration at the downtown branch of the Barrie Public Library that will feature performances by members of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra, as well as special guest performances by Jason McCoy of The Roadhammers and country singer/songwriter Dani Strong. The celebration is free and open to everyone, and will also include a musical instrument petting zoo and other activities.

The team behind the project is planning to expand the program to Orillia and other libraries in the region so that a greater number of young people, cultural organizations, and adults are able to access musical instruments and learning opportunities.

Barrie music lovers, anyone looking to learn a new instrument, or anyone curious is encouraged to attend the Grand Opening Celebration, happening from 2-4pm at 60 Worsley Street in downtown Barrie.

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MusiCounts Band Aid Program applications now open

The MusiCounts Band Aid Program is now accepting applications from Canadian schools whose music programs are in need of instruments. Canadian elementary, junior high, secondary, and separate schools can apply to receive up to $10,000 worth of instruments to ensure their program’s sustained growth. Whether your school offers concert or jazz bands, rock band programs or anything in between, this grant supports diverse music programs across Canada.

Schools that apply by the early application deadline of October 16, 2017 will receive a SHURE MV5 USB microphone (while supplies last, approximately $100 value). Submissions will officially close on November 20, 2017.

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Lido Pimienta wins 2017 Polaris Music Prize

Lido Pimienta accepting the 2017 Polaris Music Prize in Toronto

Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta was awarded the 2017 Polaris Music Prize Monday night in Toronto for her politically-charged and independently released album, La Papessa.

Determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals, the $50,000 Polaris Prize is awarded to the best Canadian album of the year “judged solely on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation.” $3,000 will be awarded to the nine Short List nominees.

Accepting the award from 2016 winner Kaytranda, Pimienta was joined on The Carlu stage by her son and mother, noting the struggles her family’s endured and overcome as immigrants to Canada. Pimienta thanked the Cree, Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee Indigenous groups, and “all the single mothers out there who inspire me.”

The evening was live streamed by CBC Music, and also featured performances from Feist, Lisa Leblanc, Tanya Tagaq, Leif Vollebekk, and Weaves. Lido Pimienta’s performance of “La Capacidad” from the winning album La Papessa can be viewed below.

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IFPI’s 2017 Connecting With Music report includes Canadian insights

Today, IFPI released Connecting With Music, its 2017 consumer insight report with information from 13 of the world’s leading music markets. The report was created with data commissioned from Ipsos Connect, and provides a snapshot of the way music fans around the globe are engaging with recorded music.

In 2017, Canada became the sixth largest recorded music market in the world, surpassing Australia, and Connecting With Music offers insight on how Canadian music fans’ listening habits compare with other markets and global figures.

Global trends highlighted in the report include:

Young people are highly engaged with licensed music, especially streaming

Globally, 85% of 13-15-year-olds are streaming music. In Canada, streaming is even more popular among young people, with 89% of 13-15-year-olds reporting streaming music via both audio and video services. 99% of Canadians aged 16-24 identified as licensed music consumers, similar to the global average of 98%.

Music fans engage with licensed music in multiple ways

In Canada, music fans on average access four different licensed ways of listening to music, which is the same as the global average. The four consumption models are: purchase of physical product or paid downloads, audio streaming services for music, video streaming services for music, and listening to music on broadcast or internet radio.

Almost all Canadian internet users (99%) reported listening to licensed music, which is slightly higher than the global average of 96%.

Generally, Canadians are a little less engaged in licensed audio streaming (39%) than the average of global music fans (45%), and 46% of Canadians reported having paid for music in the last six months, compared to 50% globally.

Listening via smartphones is increasing

Overall, Canadians are using smartphones to listen to music a little less than the global average. Globally, 90% of paid audio streamers are using a smartphone to listen, compared to 81% of Canadian respondents. That gap reduces when considering the listening habits of 16-24-year-olds, 84% of which listen via smartphones globally, compared to 81% of Canadians in the same age bracket.

Despite high engagement with licensed music, piracy is still a significant concern

While the percentage of Canadians accessing unlicensed music (33%) was lower than the global average (40%), piracy remains a significant concern in Canada, with 27% of Canadians reporting stream ripping versus the global average of 35%.

Stream ripping is considerably more prevalent among young people, with 43% of Canadians aged 16-24 reporting stream ripping, and a global average of 53% in the same age bracket.

Of those who reported downloading unlicensed music, 54% of global respondents reported also using Google to find it. That figure for Canadian respondents is 46%.

The Value Gap remains an issue

Though video streaming services like YouTube are the most popular form of on-demand music streaming, the revenue returned to music creators from plays on these services is much lower than other licensed music services. 86% of Canadian YouTube users, and 85% of global users reported using the service for music in the past month, translating globally to 1.3 billion users.

One quarter of Canadians surveyed said that they do not pay for a streaming subscription because “anything I want to listen to is on YouTube,” confirming that the Value Gap is very much an issue here in Canada.

 

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Brett Kissel reaches new career milestones with latest Gold plaques

Left to right: Jim Cressman (Invictus) , Adam Gonshor (Warner Music Canada), Brett Kissel, Louis O’Reilly (Invictus)

Brett Kissel was a big winner at last weekend’s CCMA Awards in Saskatoon, SK, taking home four awards including Male Artist, Interactive Artist, and Country Music Program or Special Of The Year. In addition to his Video Of The Year trophy for the ballad “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair,” the Alberta-born country star was surprised with a Gold plaque for the single at Saturday’s Invictus Entertainment Group party.

Earlier in August, Kissel was also surprised with his first two Gold album awards for Pick Me Up (2015) and Started With A Song (2013) prior to his headlining performance at Toronto’s CNE Bandshell. In an Instagram post, Kissel thanked the Warner Music Canada team, noting the album awards as an accomplished goal of his since signing with the label.

At the 2016 CCMA Awards in London, ON, Kissel became the first recipient of Music Canada’s new Single Award when he was surprised with a Gold plaque for “Airwaves” during CCMA FanFest. His latest single certification marks the fourth Canadian Gold track certification of his career.

Watch the CCMA-winning video for “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair” below.

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