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Tag archive: Canadian Music Week (31)

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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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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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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies’

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps from the summit.

The last panel of the day was Making Space in the Public Realm: How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies. It examined how cities are utilizing publicly-owned buildings to create partnerships and develop initiatives with the music community. Business and community leaders from Denver, Seattle, Vancouver and Montreal discussed how public facilities can work in collaboration with their local music scene, and touched on issues like how to avoid competition with the private sector.

The panel was moderated by Farzaneh Hemmasi, Assistant Professor of Music & Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. Panelists included: Catherine Planet, Artist & Founder of La Chasse-Balcon; Dawn Ibey, Vancouver Public Library; Ismael Guerrero, Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority, and; Tom Mara, Executive Director, KEXP.

The discussion kicked off with Catherine Planet providing some background on La Chasse-Balcon (founded in 2014), a series of music events with the mission of bringing neighbours together in residential areas. She discussed how her time spent living in Louisiana had a profound impact and inspired her to create an initiative that celebrates the musical vivacity of her hometown of Montreal once she returned.

Planet also touched on how these types of events help blur the lines between what is perceived as solely public and private spaces, and highlighted how a balcony can act as a symbolic bridge that enables these two spaces to become connected. Through La Chasse Balcon, free outdoor concerts are staged on balconies in different neighborhoods and have the surrounding community and crowds join in the festivities.

The panel then moved on to Dawn Ibey, who spoke about the role that libraries can play in building a vibrant Music City. She discussed how one of the core business activities of the Vancouver Public Library is to ensure free public programming for adults and children, with programs that support music creation, music education, as well as the staging of performances.

Ibey highlighted some of the major accomplishments of the Vancouver Public Library, such as the partnership with Sun Life Financial in 2016 to establish the city’s first musical instrument lending library. She discussed how public libraries should be included in the development of music strategies, as they contribute towards achieving some of the essential elements featured in The Mastering of a Music City report.

Next, Ismael Guerrero spoke about the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) and the impact that arts and music can have in addressing community justice issues. Through partnerships with community organizations as well as private sector initiatives, the DHA has taken steps to rebuild neighborhoods and modernize housing with a focus on building vibrant, mixed-income communities.

Guerrero touched on some of the other social entrepreneurial ventures the DHA has undertaken in recent years that are guided by a community-led, and sometimes, arts-centric framework and priorities. With investments supporting community organizations like Youth on Record, the establishment of community hubs have helped establish spaces where marginalized youth can create art and music.

The final panelist Tom Mara spoke about KEXP, a public radio, listener-supported station and non-profit arts organization in Seattle. Mara discussed the ‘music discovery-centred’ mission of KEXP to design their programming and initiatives in a way that supports music lovers, artists, and the wider arts community.

Mara touched on how one of the key commitments of KEXP is to support live music in Seattle, and highlighted how the organization stages around 300 live music performances every year at their facility. This exciting achievement was partly made possible through a partnership with the City of Seattle that enables KEXP to receive a favorable lease rate on their property, and is a key example of the different kinds of cross-sector collaboration that can exist.

The panelists went on to discuss several different topics and reflected on the unique opportunities that public facilities can provide, and that are currently not being leveraged.

To listen to the full discussion, you can watch the video below.

 

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘From Scratch’ Panel Recap

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit. 

The morning featured a panel entitled From Scratch: Imagining and Implementing New Programs and Partnerships, which discussed lessons imparted by successful music industry leaders on topics including identifying the needs in their communities, strategies to persuade partners and funders, and methods of benchmarking programs for sustainability.

The discussion was moderated by Gene Meneray of the The ELLA Project, and included panelists Elizabeth Cawein, Founder/Director of Music Export Memphis; Enzo Mazza, CEO of the Federation of Italian Music Industry (FIMI); Kelly Symes, Ontario Festival of Small Halls; Madalena Salazar, IMTour, Western States Arts Federation.

The panel kicked off with a conversation of the importance of engaging both the music and wider community when building up the programs. Kelly Symes discussed on how for an initiative like the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, securing community buy-in was an essential component of the process.

Elizabeth Cawein similarly touched on the role of audience development for a project like Music Export Memphis, which acts as an international export office to create opportunities for Memphis musicians to showcase outside the city.

Another major topic of discussion was the role of funding for non-profit initiatives, and strategies that can be utilized to help ensure proposed funding is robust enough for the program’s needs, and consistent enough to start building towards sustainability.

Madalena Salazar described how the US-based organization IMTour worked to diversify their funding sources to not only rely on the National Endowment for the Arts, but to also utilize fundraising and other strategies.

The panelists also touched on the positive impact that fostering strategic partnerships can have on a growing organization. Enzo Mazza discussed the important role that local political support had on the organization FIMI in its early stages, and how this attracted the interests of other prominent companies. Mazza highlighted how media organizations in particular were crucial to FIMI’s success, as the support of companies like VH1 helped lead to sponsorships by other major companies.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘Celebrity Music Cities’ Panel Recap

On Saturday, May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week 2018. Conference delegates, policy-makers, urban planners, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit. 

The morning featured a panel entitled Celebrity Music Cities: How Cities With Global Reputations Tackle Challenge and Leverage Noteworthiness. The panel examined how cities with a rich musical history approach the current challenges facing their music ecosystems, and how that reputation can either be a benefit or a hindrance.

The discussion was moderated by Lynn Ross, who works as a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver. Panelists included: Adrian Tonon, City of Detroit; Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle; Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, Owner/Manager of a prominent record label in Memphis, Tennessee; Omar Lozano from Visit Austin, Austin Tourism.

The conversation kicked off with a discussion of some of the major challenges facing each of the panelists’ cities. Councillor Josh Colle touched on the exciting growth of Toronto as a Music City, but highlighted how this rapid growth puts pressure on every aspect of the music industry – particularly for venue owners and artists who face barriers to affordability and livability.

Adrian Tonon went on to discuss how the economic crisis that plagued the City of Detroit for the last several decades meant that music, film, and other cultural services were delegated to lesser priorities. But the city has been making recent steps towards a strong recovery, and Tonon described how his work leading the Mayor’s Film, Music and Night Time Economy initiatives have helped contribute to the development of the city’s thriving arts and culture scene.

The panel also touched on the role celebrity artists can play in building up and promoting their city on a global stage. Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell highlighted the deep, rich musical history of Memphis that produced legendary icons like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Mitchell discussed the importance of not just promoting the biggest names, but to instead use that as a foundation and work towards embracing some of the newer artists whose musical catalogue could also put Memphis on the map.

Councillor Colle went on to reflect on the importance of artists like Drake and The Weeknd, who have become de-facto Toronto ambassadors, and whose success shined a light on youth hip hop scenes that were quietly thriving in cities across Canada.

Another major topic of discussion was the important relationship between city government and music stakeholder groups in the journey to develop their Music City. Detroit’s Adrian Tonon highlighted how critical it was from the city side to ensure all the key players who had been previously working in silos were brought together to have a seat at the table, and in turn, collectively strive towards implementing the city’s strategic music priorities.

Omar Lozano also touched on the uniquely important role that non-profits play in Austin. Organizations like Austin Music People and the Austin Music Venue Alliance have worked with the municipal government on various initiatives, and more broadly, are continuing to make important strides towards progressive change.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another panel from the summit.

 

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘Music Officers Meet their Match’ Panel Recap

Grant W. Martin Photography

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities Summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week 2018. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit. 

The morning kicked off with a panel discussion between Seattle, WA’s Kate Becker and London, ON’s Cory Crossman, two Music Officers doing exciting work to build up their Music City. The topic centered around exploring their methods of turning music strategies into concrete results, and learning about different approaches they used to address common barriers and problems.

The Music Officers began the conversation discussing the importance of developing a comprehensive music strategy that allows for flexible planning and policy-making. Cory Crossman, London’s Music Industry Development Officer, touched on the importance of branding when developing a profile as a Music City. He highlighted how the city’s path to promoting a ‘rock and roll revitalization’ in London was a key component of their approach and direction.

Crossman also discussed the growing economic and cultural impact of music tourism for a city. Events like the Jack Richardson London Music Week, Jack Richardson Music Hall Of Fame, and the upcoming 2019 JUNO Awards have greatly contributed towards elevating London’s brand as a Music City attraction.

Kate Becker, Director of Seattle’s Office of Film and Music followed up with touching on some of Seattle’s major music accomplishments. Some of the most notable milestones include an annual City of Music Career Day (now in its seventh year) and the Sea-Tac Airport “Experience the City of Music” initiative, a public-private partnership that features local musicians playing throughout the airport and exciting overhead announcements by renowned Seattle artists, such as Macklemore.

The Music Officers also discussed the importance of ensuring an adherence to safety principles and conditions at music venues or events. Becker reflected on an example in 2015 where the city was faced with a troubling spike in incidences of drug-related issues at Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals and clubs. To address this, she implemented an approach that incorporated the input and participation of all the important players in this issue: promoters, venue owners, medics, harm-reduction experts, and more.

In particular, the Office of Film + Music collaborated with the city to host an annual ‘Music Safety Summit’ (now in its 4th year) that serves as a crucial public forum for key actors to work together towards progressive and effective solutions. Becker highlighted how this collaborative approach serves as a model that her office tries to utilize to address different situations that arise.

Becker and Crossman also touched on the critical importance of demonstrating the economic value of music to a city. Crossman credited the London Live Music Census as a major factor in gaining city and political support for the music strategy, and mentioned taking inspiration from Becker’s approach by ensuring that economic impact was measured and incorporated into policy-making. Becker agreed, and discussed how a 2008 economic impact study on Seattle’s music scene was the driving force behind the Office of Film + Music being established.

Prior to taking questions from audience members, Becker and Crossman ended their discussion with a reflection on the importance of audience development, and ensuring that the fans and public are properly engaged and connected.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.

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CMW 2018 announces Hall Of Fame inductees at Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards

Canadian Music Week has announced the first round of 2018 inductions to the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame, who will be honoured at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, May 10, at Rebel Nightclub in Toronto.

This week, CMW announced David Farrell, who has covered the music industry for over four decades with his publications The Record and website FYI Music News, will be one of this year’s inductees. In addition to his industry coverage, Farrell is also credited as one of the founders of the festival and conference, which is now in its 36th year.

“David has always had a strong voice in the music industry, especially when it comes to delivering to the latest and most important news, says CMW President Neill Dixon. “I am very excited and honoured that David is being inducted into the 2018 Canadian Music Industry Awards Hall of Fame at CMW, the event that he helped start.”

“Being honoured by my peers in this way is beyond anything I could or would have asked for, and I’m grateful for those who have appreciated what I have done,” says Farrell. “It’s wonderful to be rewarded with an acknowledgement that my crazy life has, after all, meant something to the community that I’ve tried – for all these years – to serve in a meaningful, consistent way.”

In September, CMW announced Montreal radio DJ Robert “TooTall” Wagenaar as the first inductee for 2018, who retired from the mic after 40 years at CHOM 97.7 FM. To celebrate his career and Hall Of Fame induction, CHOM threw a retirement party for the “Made In Canada” host at Montreal’s Club Soda, featuring performances from Sam Roberts, The Pursuit Of Happiness, and video tributes from Alex Lifeson, Tom Cochrane, Blondie, Raine Maida, DMC, Gil Moore, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Canadian Music Week to release comprehensive Canadian music industry guide

Canadian Music Week (CMW) and C.A.A.M.A. (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Music & the Arts) have announced they will be creating the CMW Music Industry Market Report & Directory, transcribed by Canadian music writer Martin Melhuish.

The report was derived from CMW international delegates responses hoping for a Canadian market report to help with exporting artists. The CMW Music Industry Market Report & Directory will analyze all parts of the Canadian music industry, which includes hundreds of verified market facts and contacts within venues, live event services, promoters, publishers, recording services, studios, associations, organizations, festivals, events, media, consultants and more.

“After more than a decade of hosting international buyers and working closely on export development, we are finally bridging the gap across all music sectors to deliver a market report and directory that focuses on Canada,” said Canadian Music Week President Neill Dixon in a release. “CMW has held numerous Spotlights and Focuses, as well as an annual International Market place, to help narrow in on important international markets that should do business with Canadians. Now we can give everyone what they’ve been asking for… a guide that will support internationals executing business in Canada with up to date resources and contacts.”

Martin Melhuish, better known to many as Canada’s Literary Music Man, will be a key contributor to the CMW Music Industry Market Report & Directory. Melhuish has written several books about Canadian music over his 40 year writing career, including a history of Canadian country music, a definitive biography of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the JUNO Awards series, Oh What A Feeling: A Vital History Of Canadian Music.

More updates are excepted leading up to CMW’s 36th year, happening May 7-13, 2018 in Toronto, ON.

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VIDEO: 2017 Global Forum at CMW – Indigenous artists discuss music’s ability to unite, inspire, and heal

On April 20, 2017, JUNO and Polaris Prize winning experimental vocalist Tanya Tagaq delivered a brilliant and emotional keynote during the 2017 Global Forum at Canadian Music Week. Following her keynote, Tanya joined acclaimed Canadian musicians Susan Aglukark and Bear Witness of A Tribe Called Red, as well as Mike Downie, co-founder of the Secret Path project and the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, for a panel discussion moderated by John Kim Bell. The profound, honest, and moving discussion covered a wide range of topics such as culture, identity, residential schools, reconciliation, and the responsibility and pressure Indigenous artists feel to assume activist roles.

Before Tanya’s keynote, the Global Forum began with a stunning performance by Hamilton-based experimental trip-hop artist IsKwé, a welcome from Music Canada’s President and CEO Graham Henderson, and opening remarks from Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park.

For more than a decade Music Canada has been proud to sponsor the Global Forum at Canadian Music Week, which brings together Canadian music professionals and international delegates for a networking breakfast and discussion. Over the last few years the Global Forum’s theme has been “music can help,” and in 2017 the focus shifted from a global outlook to an inward exploration of the role music has played for Indigenous musicians in Canada, bridging cultural divides and bringing national attention to Indigenous issues.

Watch the full video of the Global Forum panel discussion below.

Quoted

Susan Aglukark on the role music has played in her life:

The thing that music and art has done for me over the last twenty five years; it’s opened up this place and space where all opinions, thoughts, cultures, everything matters. Everything is a part of recovering and building bridges.

Bear Witness on visibility of Indigenous artists in mainstream culture:

We always get asked all these things about Indigenous issues, and it’s such a broad thing in trying to figure out what to talk about, and I kind of decided that in the kind of work I’m doing, the thing I can affect most is visibility and how I present myself to the world and how I want to be seen. And that’s something that goes back to how I grew up. We were actually talking before we came out about seeing a poster of you (John Kim Bell) that was up in a high school guidance office, or something like that. Seeing that poster was a huge inspiration for me. Because it was that idea of seeing an Indigenous person who was visible, who was getting recognition for excellence in their craft. I come from a long line of Indigenous artists and I’m probably the most visible out of any of them. By far not the most talented. So that idea that there’s been all of these talented Indigenous artists, generations of them, that have gone unnoticed, and to be noticed meant to give up your Indigeneity often. It’s a really new thing for us to be up here, representing the way that we all are.

Tanya Tagaq on identity in her music:

There shouldn’t be pressure culturally for us to get out of a box, stay in a box, or anything. We’re allowed to be what we want to be – cultural freedom – that’s what I want. And I don’t expect people to comprehend or even enjoy my music, because I was born and raised up there, but yeah I went to residential school for high school, and since we started touring I’m really into going to contemporary art galleries and I like applying concept to pieces. I like contemporary music. I like noise music. I love Cindy Sherman. Anish Kapoor is one of my favourite artists. So why is it that, because I’m an Inuk, what I’m doing in a contemporary sense is applied to this pan-Inuit concept? I think it’s total bullshit, and that I’m allowed to be free and do what I want and not bear the burden of people saying I’m a traditional artist, cause I’m not.

Mike Downie on Secret Path and using the platform music and fame provides to draw attention to social and political issues:

Our feeling was – maybe this can be an on-ramp for people to learn more, because the stories keep coming and they get a lot darker than a little boy by himself on the tracks. And so, I think we did feel like there was an opportunity to use this story to get it out to not just Gord’s fans, but to the country, and also I think, just come with a message too that if you’re coming to this now, it’s OK, but keep coming, don’t turn away, and keep following that path.

Bear Witness on the sense of responsibility Indigenous artists feel:

As Indigenous artists we take on a lot of responsibility to represent and speak about Indigenous issues, especially when we’re using our culture in our work. And one of the things you (John Kim Bell) said right away was that feeling of responsibility, that this isn’t a choice, this is something that we have to do. That filled me with so much confidence and so much happiness to hear you say that, because I say that all the time, to feel that there’s other artists who’ve gone through those same feelings.”

Tanya Tagaq on the way art affects collective consciousness and politics:

Our cultural climate is dictated by the individual and then by the school of fish that we are, so there’s a collective social consciousness that’s being affected by art right now, by people waking up, so I think that the way the government is going to change is by every single one of us taking the opportunity to learn and understand and cry out. I remember growing up it was still bad to be gay, and now you’re an idiot if you’re a homophobe, right? So I’m hoping that with all of us working together we’ll force the hand of the government into making it easier for us and I think it’s up to the youth to pick up the mantle and it’s up to every single one of us to bear some of the weight because it’s a little bit unfair for the people that are already hurting to have to bear the additional pressure, and that’s why I’m so appreciative of what you (Mike and Gord Downie) have done in your work.

Photos

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Graham Henderson gives keynote address on the Value Gap at CMW’s Global Creators Summit

On April 21, 2017, Music Canada President and CEO Graham Henderson delivered the opening keynote at Canadian Music Week‘s Global Creators Summit, highlighting the growing issue of the Value Gap for music creators. In “The Broken Promise of a Golden Age,” Graham urges artists and creators to stand up for what’s theirs, and use the power of democracy to generate positive change for the creative community.

Following CMW, the speech was featured on FYI Music News, and the full recording, initially live-streamed on Music Canada’s Facebook page, can be viewed below.

Canadian creators are encouraged to join the Focus On Creators initiative and sign the letter to The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, urging government to put creators at the heart of future policy.

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