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The Unison Fund, the Canadian Live Music Association and Music Canada Welcome Direct Funding from the Province of Ontario

March 12th, 2021, Ottawa: The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA), and Music Canada welcome support received from Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries with today’s announcement of funding for the Unison Fund, Canada’s music industry charity and the CLMA, in support of the broader music community. 

$2M to the Unison Fund
Funding to Unison will provide much-needed emergency assistance to artists, creators, and industry from local communities across Ontario. Artists and the broader live music ecology have been deeply impacted, and this vital support to Unison comes at a time when it is desperately needed. 

“We sincerely thank Minister MacLeod and the Government of Ontario for their support and acknowledgement of the Unison Fund and the crucial and very necessary role the organization plays in providing critical assistance to vulnerable members of our music community in times of crisis. In March 2020, Unison, began the largest relief effort in our history and while we are no stranger to helping people during difficult times, truly nothing has reached the scope of the last twelve months. The investment will go a long way toward directly supporting those in the Ontario music community with the greatest need, as the urgency for assistance remains high,”  said Amanda Power, Executive Director, Unison Fund.

“As a provider of both emergency support and 24/7 free mental health counselling for the entire music industry, Unison has had and will continue to have a crucial role in making sure no one in our community falls through the cracks,” said Miranda Mulholland, artist and chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council.

$500k to the CLMA for Province-Wide Music Cities Framework Development
The CLMA has been working tirelessly since the beginning of the crisis to save cultural infrastructure and protect jobs, seeking ways for the industry at large to not only recover from the devastating blow COVID has dealt, but to ultimately return, bigger and stronger than ever.  Many continue to face a staggering 92% average revenue loss within the industry, and 64% say they are at risk of permanent closure. Today’s announcement creates the opportunity for the association to take additional action for, and on behalf of, live music’s collective future: 

“It has been a year, and it isn’t over, something our Minister recognizes. Minister MacLeod also understands that supporting the business of live music is essential so our industry can get back to doing what they do best: creating exponential economic, social and cultural impact for artists, communities and tourism. We were just beginning to harness the true power of live music when COVID struck,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the CLMA. “With this support we will be able to take all that we have learned and continue to entrench the value our members bring to cities, towns and neighbourhoods across the province through the Music Cities lens.” 

Music Canada’s ‘Music Cities’ framework will provide a proven model to help support communities across the province better leverage their own local live music assets. Designed with world-renowned research that identifies key strategies large and small cities have used to grow their music economies, plans will be implemented to guide the development of local policy and bylaws, and community support that focuses on artists, venues and festivals, the wider supply chain and tourism. 

“A strong, healthy music industry can generate diverse benefits for a community including economic growth, job creation, increased spending, greater tax revenues, and cultural health. Our Music Cities framework has helped communities achieve this success,” said Patrick Rogers, CEO of Music Canada. “Recent research conducted by Music Canada shows that Canadians view live music venues as economic and cultural lifelines within their communities, and they understand that the pandemic will have severe impacts on the long-term viability of the live music sector which affects Canadian culture in the long run. This announcement of support from the provincial government is timely, and necessary support.”

Aimed at bridging the gap to bring the live music sector out of the pandemic, CLMA and Music Canada will seek to explore and recommend initiatives for towns and cities across the province along several categories. These include:

  • Advancing policies that support music and musicians, 
  • Expanding music offices and music Advisory Boards across the province, 
  • Developing initiatives that engage a broader community, 
  • Furthering programs that provide access to music spaces, 
  • Developing audience retention strategies for when it is safe to return to venues, festivals and music spaces, 
  • Nurturing and leveraging strategic relationships with the tourism, business and other key sectors to align and advance rebuild and recovery efforts.

“As our experience in London has demonstrated, music can bring enormous value to the economic and social fabric of a community. The Ontario Government’s financial commitment to live music will create opportunities for artists, reinvigorate venues, delight audiences and will allow us all to revive live,” said Cory Crossman, Music Industry Development Officer, London Music Office.

Additionally, the CLMA and Music Canada will work with a range of organizations within the music community to ensure that our shared commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion remain at the forefront.

For more information on the announcement from Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries please click here.

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About Unison Benevolent Fund
Unison Fund, Canada’s music industry charity, provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community in times of hardship or difficulties. For over a decade, Unison has been committed to helping producers, engineers, singers/songwriters, musicians, production crews, and thousands more through our financial assistance and counselling and health solutions programs. For more information, please visit: www.unisonfund.ca. If you can, PLEASE make a donation by visiting www.unisonfund.ca or text the word ‘UNISON’ to 45678 and follow the prompts to donate $10, $20, or $25.  Every donation counts.  Every donation helps.  Let’s keep Canadian music and entertainment ALIVE.

About The Canadian Live Music Association
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of Canada’s live music industry. Established in response to an identified need in the live music industry, the CLMA represents venues, clubs, concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, arenas, performing arts centres, industry associations and networks, as well as suppliers to the sector. Its mission is to entrench the economic, social and cultural value of live music – creating the conditions for concerts to thrive, from coast to coast to coast.

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.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Charlotte Thompson, Red Umbrella P.R.
Unison Fund
[email protected]

Erin Benjamin
Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA)
[email protected]
(613) 769-5559

Erica Meekes, Music Canada
[email protected] / (416) 462-1485

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Public Research Findings: Canadians understand the cultural and economic impacts of the pandemic on live music – and its need for continued support

February 8, 2021, Toronto: Music Canada has partnered with Abacus Data to check back in with Canadians on their understanding of COVID-19’s ongoing impact on Canada’s live music sector — and the effects that venue closures have on those working in the music sector and its lasting impact on communities, arts and culture. The public opinion research also explored how Canadians feel about venue closures and their views on the need for continued support for those working in the sector. The findings show that Canadians are concerned that without additional support, more live music spaces will be lost before the music community can recover, resulting in a longer threat to the industry and a negative impact on Canadian culture.

“This latest research confirms that Canadians view live music venues, like festivals, concert halls and pubs, as economic and cultural lifelines within their communities,” said Patrick Rogers, CEO of Music Canada. “Canadians also understand that the pandemic will have severe impacts on the long-term viability of the live music sector which affects Canadian culture in the long run.”

“The research also confirmed what we have long believed to be true: music lovers can’t wait to get back to seeing live shows, once it’s safe to do so. But Canadians also believe that artists, live music venues, crews and others working in the industry will require continued support long after other sectors of the economy can reopen. Notably, most Canadians will be “disappointed” if more venues go out of business.”

According to the report, one in five Canadians has a favourite live music venue in their community where they attend events, and half believe it is likely the venue will close due to impacts of the pandemic. Canadians believe that further live music venue closures will mean thousands of jobs lost, fewer musicians and music will be created, and new and upcoming musicians will be lost without the opportunity of playing in live music venues. These impacts are felt across Canada, and even more strongly in Quebec.

“This research substantiates everything we’ve been hearing – Canadians are deeply saddened by the loss of live music venues,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “Venues are closing their doors in increasing numbers, for circumstances beyond their control and people are recognizing the extent of the loss, and what that loss means – economically, culturally, and socially. Direct financial support today from governments is urgently needed; it can keep more venues alive, helping us to preserve as much of our vital cultural infrastructure as possible until the industry can fully recover.”

“As an artist, it is devastating to see the severe and long-term impact the pandemic is having on the music community, after nearly a year of living with restrictions due to COVID-19,” said Miranda Mulholland, artist and Chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council. “Artists, and emerging artists especially, depend on live performances to develop their craft, generate a following, and gain income. The opportunity to do that, at every milestone in your career, is only possible with multiple venues from the smallest locations to the larger stages and concert halls.”

In a separate report expected to be released in the coming weeks, Music Canada is checking back in with Canadian artists and creators for a renewed perspective on how their profession has evolved at this stage of the pandemic. Data for these two studies will continue to be shared with government and industry partners in 2021. The findings are helping to shape Music Canada’s advocacy message, and give decision makers a complete and up-to-date picture of the recovery phase in the music industry. 

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA), the people behind live music in Canada are also working to bring awareness to the damage COVID-19 shutdowns have caused Canada’s live music industry and will make further information available here.

For more information on earlier study findings please visit Music Canada’s website here

For more information on the findings released from Abacus Data, please visit: https://abacusdata.ca/live-music-government-support-music-canada/.

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Erica Meekes
Music Canada
[email protected]
(416) 462-1485

 

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.

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New report calls for development of an Atlantic Canada Music Strategy

A new report unveiled during the 2017 East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference today calls for the need to develop an Atlantic Canadian Music Strategy in an effort to strengthen the future of the region’s music sector.

Striking A New A-Chord, a report spearheaded by the East Coast Music Association (ECMA), Music Canada, and Music Canada Live, emphasizes that concentrated investment in the music industry is beneficial not only for those who work in the sector, but ultimately for the region as a whole.

“Music is fundamentally linked to Atlantic Canadian culture,” says Andy McLean, Executive Director of the ECMA. “This report clearly shows that – in addition to bolstering that identity – supporting this sector means helping small businesses, creating opportunities to attract and retain youth employment, and developing our artists to compete at an international level. The first step to harnessing these opportunities is creating a pan-Atlantic strategy.”

Delivered during a presentation at the Saint John Trade & Convention Centre this afternoon titled Stronger Together, the report also marks a landmark partnership between all five music industry associations – Musique/Music NB, Music Nova Scotia, Music NL, Music PEI, and the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative – who have committed to working with the ECMA, Music Canada, and Music Canada Live to establish this regional strategy.

“Atlantic Canada has one of the richest, most important – but fragile – music scenes in the country. Creating and executing a region-wide strategy will ensure the true economic, social and cultural potential of the industry, and its countless benefits for cities and towns, can be realized,” says Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live. “This is an historic moment in the timeline of East Coast music, and huge milestone for all of the associations involved. Congratulations, Music Canada Live looks forward to supporting the hard work ahead.”

The report, which was officially commissioned at last year’s ECMAs in Sydney, NS, underscores a number of challenges facing musicians and industry professionals in Atlantic Canada including stringent liquor laws, changing business models in the industry, restrictions on live venues, and lack of industry infrastructure. The latter is a key focus for the proposed strategy, calling the shortage of music publishing companies, agents, publicists, bookers, and artist managers in the region “alarming.”

Among other recommendations, Striking A New A-Chord also calls for the development of an Atlantic Canadian Music Fund that would seek to provide resources to complement existing programs, attract investment, and develop and incentivize musicians and music related businesses to reinvest in Atlantic Canada.

“Targeted investments in other parts of Canada have strengthened those music communities and stimulated additional private spending as well, leading to increased activity in the sector,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “We look forward to working with government and industry stakeholders to find ways to complement the existing programs available to the music community in Atlantic Canada in order to create a stronger, more sustainable Atlantic music sector.”

The entire Striking A New A-Chord report is available to read HERE.

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MEGAPHONO 2016 – ‘In Search of the Music City’ panel video posted

Ottawa-based music organization MEGAPHONO has posted a video of their In Search Of The Music City: What Does Local Business Have To Gain? panel, which it co-presented in February 2016 alongside the Ontario Music Industry Coalition (OMIC).

The discussion was moderated by Music Canada Live‘s Erin Benjamin and featured panelists Mark Garner (Downtown Yonge BIA), Councillor Jeff Leiper (City of Ottawa), Amy Terrill (Music Canada) and Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon / Supercrawl). The panelists shared how music has changed their communities, and how they are working businesses to foster a better environment for artists and artist entrepreneurs.

The full video is available at https://vimeo.com/164892912, and is embedded below.

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Guelph Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Guelph as Music City’ Summit

Next week, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce will host ‘Guelph as Music City’: What Successful Tourism Sounds Like, a half-day summit where key stakeholders will discuss the state of local music tourism and its potential as an economic driver in the Guelph region. The event takes place on Wednesday, April 27 from noon to 3:30pm at the Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre (50 Stone Road West) in Guelph, ON.

The event will feature two panel discussions, a keynote presentation by Music Canada’s Graham Henderson, a Q & A session, as well as a pair of performances: an opening performance by Alanna Gurr, and intermission performance by NEFE.

The opening panel, Setting the Stage, will be emceed by Hayley Kellett of The Making Box, and includes panelists:

  • Kithio Mwanzia – President & CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce
  • Marie Zimmerman – Executive Director, Hillside Festival
  • His Worship Mayor Cam Guthrie – Mayor of the City of Guelph
  • Kathryn McGarry – MPP for Cambridge on behalf of the Ontario Minister for Tourism, Culture & Sport

Following lunch, Music Canada President & CEO will present Music Meets Municipality: Key learning’s from The Mastering of a Music City. The keynote will cite best practices gleaned from The Mastering of a Music City, the 2015 report by Music Canada and IFPI that sets out how cities worldwide can take simple steps to help develop their music economies.

Following NEFE’s performance is the Leadership Panel, with moderator Rob McLean of Kazolu , and panelists:

  • Erin Benjamin – Music Canada Live
  • Brian Heatherman – Music Ontario
  • Robert Leader – JAM School

The full agenda is available on the Chamber website. To register, or for more information, visit http://www.guelphchamber.com/attend/event_calendar/#id=1557&cid=119&wid=701.

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Music Canada hosts Ontario live music study launch

On Tuesday afternoon, Music Canada hosted the launch of our new report Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario, which is the first comprehensive study of Ontario’s live music industry completed with the assistance of Nordicity and funding from the Ontario Media Development Corporation. The report provides critical data and information that will help guide decision-making within the sector, in all levels of government, and with other allied stakeholders.

Music Canada President Graham Henderson providing opening remarks at the intimate event, proclaiming, “Today marks the result of what turned out to be a herculean effort and the first-ever true measurement of live music’s impact on Ontario.”

graham3

Henderson continued to provide facts gained from the report, adding that in 2013, live music companies and the tourism activity generated by music festivals alone contributed just under $1.2 billion to Ontario’s GDP and just over $430 million dollars in combined tax revenue for all levels of government.

“In total the live music industry accounted for approximately 20,000 full time equivalent jobs in Ontario’s economy that year,” Henderson added, “almost three times what Stats Canada reported in 2010 for the entire country.”

Henderson concluded his remarks stating, “Live Music Measures Up is just a starting point. For the first time we have actual benchmarks for the industry in Ontario against which, future studies can measure. For the first time, we have a model that can be used to accurately measure live music’s impacts across the country.”

Music Canada Live Executive Director Erin Benjamin also spoke at the event, relating this day to the excitement of Christmas morning.

“30% of the known universe of Ontario’s live music industry contributed to this report,” Benjamin revealed. “83% of those say they project their revenues to increase over the next 2 years. That spells progress, growth and opportunity.”

erin

“This report will position the live music industry as critical to every economic, social and cultural policy discussion at every level of government in the country,” Benjamin concluded, “and it paves the way for new conversations, and opportunity, for all of us.”

Toronto and Whitehorse-based singer/songwriter Sarah MacDougall performed at the event, mesmerizing the attendees with her personal song lyrics and unique acoustic guitar playing. MacDougall’s performance was a reminder that Ontario’s live music industry cannot continue to grow without our underlying commitment to the artists and their creative output.

sarah3 sarah5

For full details of the new report, check out our Resources section.

Photos by Sarah Rix, OntarioLiveMusic.ca

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First-ever study of live music in Ontario is released

Live - Newsletter Banner - 800x457 for Mailchimp - RGBToday, Music Canada releases the first comprehensive study of the live music industry in Ontario. Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario provides critical data and information that will help guide decision-making within the sector, in government and other allied stakeholders.

“This report provides a comprehensive picture of the benefits live music brings to Ontario. In fact, it only enhances our understanding of data collected in our 2012 economic impact study, and cements what we know about Ontario as a powerhouse for the music industry. It shows that a vibrant music scene drives value in many important ways, including job creation, tourism development, brand building and artistic growth. With the new data from this study, we now have the necessary benchmarks to measure and support its growth. Live Music Measures Up allows us to look at live music through a new lens, and to better understand how critical it is to the entire music ecosystem.” says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada.

Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live, participated in today’s launch. “Measuring Live Music represents an historic, timely and monumental opportunity; one which will enable us to entrench the true value of the live music economy in the minds of our stakeholders, government and audiences alike. It’s inspiring to see the sector organize, work together and build on the momentum we can all feel – here in the Province and around the world – the kind that will help guarantee live music takes its rightful place as one of Ontario’s greatest natural resources,” says Benjamin.

Prior to this study, there existed no comprehensive data set on Ontario’s live music industry. Music Canada engaged Nordicity to complete the profile, which they did after conducting interviews and surveys of artist managers, promoters, agents, music venues, and festivals in the province. The study was completed in partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and with the financial support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Ontario Music Fund.

In 2012, Music Canada studied the economic impact of the sound recording industry in Canada utilizing 2010 Statistics Canada data. The new data collected for Live Music Measures Up provides a more fulsome and detailed look at the live music sector in Ontario. A more comprehensive data set is necessary to understanding where the live music sector is, has been, and will be in the future. This report will provide necessary benchmarks to understand and support the sector’s future growth.

The economic profile is organized into four key areas: revenue, audience, economic impact, and future outlook. The key takeaways are as follows:

  • Revenue: Live music companies in Ontario generated $628 million in revenue from live music activities in 2013 as well as profits of $144 million. Artist management revenue from Canadian artists totalled $34 million in 2013, 54 percent of all artist management revenue, and Canadian artists generated $75 million in ticket sales.
  • Audience: In 2013, 558 festivals across Ontario sold a total of 15.7 million tickets, representing 7 million unique visitors. Ontario’s 616 venues have a combined capacity of 3.6 million. The 775 promoters operating in the province in 2013 promoted 81,600 shows, which sold a combined total of 5.4 million tickets.
  • Economic Impact: The total economic impact of live music in Ontario’s economy is $1.2 billion. Live music companies in Ontario were responsible for $484 million in total expenditure in 2013 and contributed $432.4 million in taxes to all levels of government combined. The economic impact of live music companies includes 10,500 full-time equivalent jobs, and tourism activity accounts for an additional 9,520.
  • Future Outlook: Survey respondents reported that access to tax credits and other forms of government funding, along with the availability of local Canadian talent, were the factors that most positively impacted their company growth. And 83 percent of live music companies in the province expect revenue growth within the next two years.

“Live music is a powerful force, and we thank Music Canada for their leadership in helping to quantify the extraordinary work of the sector,” adds Benjamin.

Download the full report here.

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National Live Music Association Launches with Naming of Executive Director

Music Canada Live, a new national association that will represent members of the live music community, has announced that Erin Benjamin will become its first Executive Director.

Ms. Benjamin, formerly the Executive Director of both the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) and the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (now known as Folk Music Ontario), has spent the past 14 years of her career working on behalf of the presenting and touring sector. “It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of the emergence of a new organization at a time when governments and audiences alike are deepening their awareness of the value, impact and role of live music in and on our communities.  I look forward to working in partnership with colleagues from across the country, to shine the spotlight on the live sector – here at home, and around the world”.

Music Canada Live is a newly incorporated trade association that will represent business members engaged in the live music industry in Canada (ie. venues, promoters, festivals, agents, award shows, ticketing suppliers).  It has been formed with seed funding from its founding members, and with the support of the Government of Ontario’s Music Fund.

“Hundreds of businesses and non-profit corporations are operating across Canada in the live music sector, employing thousands of people, and yet, unlike other segments of the music industry, there is no national association devoted to representing the interests of this large and diverse group,” says Benjamin.  “With many issues affecting the live music industry specifically, including, immigration, licensing and funding, Music Canada Live will provide a forum for identifying solutions and advocating on behalf of the industry.”

Music Canada Live is in the formative stages but will seek to attract general members and additional founding members and directors from across the country, big and small, for profit and not-for-profit.  In addition to advocacy, through networking events and communications, it will provide greater opportunities for partnership and collaboration among its members.

 

Founding Members:

The Agency Group

Budweiser Gardens

Canadian Music Week

Collective Concerts

The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall

Evenko

Live Nation

NXNE

Music Canada

Ticketmaster

The Union Ltd. (Union Events)

 

Erin Benjamin will assume her new responsibilities on Monday, November 10, 2014.  A limited number of opportunities exist to join the Founding Members who will be responsible for developing the strategic plan, membership structure, and the organizational priorities for its launch.  For further information on becoming a Founding Member or for general information, please contact [email protected].

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