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Tag archive: Global Forum (11)

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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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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.

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Tanya Tagaq to keynote Global Forum at CMW 2017

This Thursday, April 20, 2017, celebrated experimental vocalist and artist Tanya Tagaq will provide a keynote address at the Canadian Music Week (CMW) Global Forum Networking Breakfast. This year’s Global Forum shines the spotlight on Indigenous musicians and those using music to bring attention to issued faced by Indigenous communities in Canada. Music’s ability to connect people, heal communities and bridge historic divides will be the focus of discussion.

Following her keynote, the JUNO and Polaris Prize-winning artist will join a panel discussion that will also include:

  • John Kim Bell – Moderator | Musician, Conductor, Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario
  • Susan Aglukark | JUNO Award-winning recording artist, educator, Officer of the Order of Canada and recipient of The Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts
  • Bear Witness | JUNO and Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Award-winning recording artist from A Tribe Called Red
  • Mike Downie | Producer, Director, and co-founder of the Gord Downie – Chanie Wenjack Fund, as well as co-creator and co-producer of the Secret Path project

Sponsored by Music Canada for more than a decade, the Global Forum is an invite-only event that brings Canadian and international music professionals together. In recent years, the Global Forum has celebrated and recognized individuals and organizations in the music community who are using music to make the world a better place.

Last year’s Global Forum featured a keynote by Laura Hassler, Founder and Director of Musicians without Borders, whose terrific presentation covered the topic “War Divides, Music Connects: Using Rock for Reconciliation.” This year’s Global Forum, titled “The Power of Music: Indigenous Artists Discuss Music’s Ability to Unite, Inspire, and Heal,” follows a similar theme of music’s power to connect, with a focus on bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada together following decades of historic mistreatment.

The Global Forum will open with a performance by Winnipeg-bred Hamilton-based singer-songwriter IsKwé.

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Music Canada at Canadian Music Week 2017

Canadian Music Week 2017 kicks off Tuesday, April 18, for a week of unforgettable shows across Toronto, along with dozens of panels and workshops scheduled at the Sheraton Centre. Music Canada is thrilled to join the festivities as a supporting sponsor, with members of our organization appearing on several panels throughout the festival.

We’ve outlined our participation in the list below:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017

Richard Pfohl, General Counsel to Music Canada, will join Mitch Glazer (RIAA), Martin Ajdari (Ministry of Culture, France), Gilles Daigle (SOCAN), and Casey Chisick (Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP) for the CMW Copyright Summit, moderated by Emmanuel Legrand (Music Week). Richard’s expertise in the subject of copyright law comes at a crucial time, as the push towards legislation supporting creators continues to take steam with initiatives like Focus On Creators.

The Copyright Summit at Canadian Music Week runs noon to 12:50pm at Sheraton Hall A/B

THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2017

Graham Henderson providing remarks at CMW Global Forum 2015

Music has the ability to bridge cultural and social divides, and at this year’s Global Forum, Indigenous artists will discuss the power of music and its ability to unite, inspire, and heal.

Sponsored by Music Canada, the panel will feature a keynote by Polaris-winning throat singer Tanya Tagaq, who will join a panel with JUNO-winning artists Susan Aglukark, and Bear Witness of A Tribe Called Red.

The panel will be moderated by conductor and advocate John Kim Bell, and the event will feature a performance by experimental R&B artist isKwe.

Gord Downie’s brother, Mike Downie, co-creator of album and graphic novel Secret Path, will also join the panel to discuss the multimedia project on the devastating legacy of residential schools.

The CMW Global Forum Networking Breakfast is invite only, and will run 8:45am – 11:00am at Osgoode Ballroom East.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017

Amy Terrill at inaugural Music Cities Summit, 2016

Music Canada’s Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, will host the second CMW Music Cities Summit, an all-day event that will explore in-depth the relationship between creative city planning, quality-of-life, and the music industry.

The event was inspired first by Music Canada’s report on Toronto’s 2012 Music City initiative with Austin, and directly by Music Canada and IFPI’s internationally-acclaimed report The Mastering of a Music City, Key Elements, Effective Strategies and Why it’s Worth Pursuing.

Toronto Mayor John Tory will appear at the summit for the second year in a row, sitting in on the Music City Leader’s Panel along with Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Filippo del Corno (Milan, Italy), Maria Claudia Lopez Sorzano (Bogota, Colombia) and Manon Gauthier (Montreal). Several members of the Toronto Music Advisory Council will also participate in the summit, including council co-chair Andreas Kalogiannides, who will join the Music Ecosystem Panel, and Councillor Josh Colle, who will moderate the panel How To Work With The Development Community.

Registration for the summit is still open.

At 1:50pm, Music Canada’s President & CEO Graham Henderson will provide the keynote at a panel titled “How Significant is the ‘Value Gap’ and How Can It Be Fixed?” in Sheraton Hall C. Panelists include Eddie Schwartz (President Emeritus, Songwriters Association of Canada), Neville Quinlan, MD (Peermusic Canada, Canadian Music Publishers Association), and Suzanne Combo (CEO, Guilde des Artistes de la Musique, France).

Canadian Music Week has provided a convenient Music City guide for music fans who are new to the city, and the full schedule of music is now available.

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Musicians without Borders’ Laura Hassler to keynote CMW Global Forum

Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced that Laura Hassler, Founder and Director of Musicians without Borders, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Global Forum Networking Breakfast. Musicians without Borders is a global organization that uses music to “bridge divides, connect communities, and heal the wounds of war.” The organization is currently working on projects in Palestine, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Music Canada is proud to return as sponsor of the 2016 Global Forum, which will celebrate and recognize individuals and organizations in the music community who are using music to make the world a better place. The invitation-only event takes place May 6th at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

“As the music community continues to focus on adapting to an evolving digital environment, this year’s Global Forum will take stock of the amazing power of music to unite us all and be a force for good,” said Graham Henderson, President and CEO of Music Canada, in the CMW release. “Laura Hassler and the panelists at this year’s Global Forum demonstrate every day that music has the ability to heal, console, inspire, ignite and connect.”

“We’re thrilled to have Laura Hassler at this year’s Global Forum,” added CMW President Neill Dixon. “The work that she and her organization is doing is of great importance to the global community.”

Following Hassler’s keynote, she will join a panel discussion with representatives of three other organizations using music to make the world a better place. The panel, moderated by journalist Nancy Wilson, will also include:

  • Andre Le Roux, Managing Director of South Africa’s SAMRO Foundation, the largest private contributor to music development in the Southern African region, supporting almost 50 community-based music schools and providing scholarships for music studies overseas;
  • Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of the National Music Centre in Calgary, which reaches music lovers through education, exhibitions, incubation and performance; and
  • Lee Whitmore, Vice President, Education Outreach and Social Entrepreneurship at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he leads Berklee City Music, a program that enables youth from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, socially and emotionally through the study of contemporary music.

 

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Global Forum 2015: The Survival of the Creative Class

The Global Forum at Canadian Music Week has earned a reputation as a hub for insightful commentary on issues pertinent to creators and the creatives industries. In recent years, the Global Forum has discussed grassroots advocacy with Blake Morgan, brand supported piracy with David Lowery, Chris Ruen, and Chris Castle, strategies for eliminating the digital theft of cultural content with Robert Levine and Dr. Brett Danaher, and how corporations enable digital theft with filmmaker Ellen Seidler. Music Canada is proud to return as a sponsor of the Global Forum, which features a compelling group of panelists for the 2015 edition.

For ten years or more we have heard about the importance of the creative class: that it is essential to the growth and success of businesses, as well as cities and regions. Cities that don’t attract the creative class, apparently fail.

But have we forgotten the fundamental elements of survival? Attracting the creative class is one thing but its members must be able to afford to work in their fields.

Scott Timberg is one of a growing number of people who say the creative economy is broken. According to Timberg, it is virtually impossible for creative artists from musicians to filmmakers, to journalists and book sellers, to earn a living. And the impacts are far-reaching.

Zoë Keating has experience trying to make a living as a full-time musician. A Canadian cellist, Keating didn’t set out to become an artist advocate but was thrust into the spotlight when she refused to back down against one of the largest intermediaries of music, YouTube, over her right to control how and when her music is distributed.

Blake Morgan is no reluctant advocate and since his appearance at The Global Forum in 2014, has seen his I Respect Music campaign log a major success with the recent introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. to ensure artists are fairly paid on digital services and AM/FM radio.
Is survival of the creative class at risk? Has the artist middle class disappeared?
If so, at what cost? And what can we do about it?

Kate Taylor, a columnist with The Globe and Mail and frequent writer on technology, the media and music, will lead the panel in an hour-long discussion. The panel will be followed by moderated table discussions on potential solutions.

Update: video from the panel is now available online, and is embedded below.

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Global Forum 2014: Blake Morgan on #IRespectMusic and Online Advocacy

Last week during Canadian Music Week, artist and entrepreneur Blake Morgan was the keynote speaker of the 2014 Global Forum, where he discussed the I Respect Music campaign and best practices for grassroots advocacy campaigns.Video of his presentation is now available at http://youtu.be/HHt0VTli23A, and is embedded below.

As Blake explained, the I Respect Music campaign was born out backlash against the Internet Radio Fairness Act debacle in the United States, as well as artist backlash against low royalty rates paid by Pandora, but has quickly grown into a movement centered around the idea that music should be respected.
Blake told the audience that the fundamental part of the I Respect Music Campaign was that “artists should be paid for their work – and that’s okay to say!”

At the Global Forum, Morgan told the audience about the early days of the I Respect Music campaign, referencing two articles he wrote, titled Pandora Needs to Do Right By Artists, which gained coverage in TIME, Reuters, and other media outlets, and Art and Music Are Professions Worth Fighting for, which went viral and became Huffington Post’s most-read article of 2013. The article closes with a simple message: “My New Year’s resolution is to stand up more, and speak more. I respect my profession. I respect artists. I respect music.”

Blake then referenced the below tweet from Joana Marie Lor, a young artist from the Philippines, which he calls the “tweet that started it all.”

Blake says Joana’s photo inspired I Respect Music’s ‘selfie’ campaign, in which musicians and music lovers to tweet a photo of themselves with a sign proclaiming #IRespectMusic. The campaign has since received support from high profile artists and fans like Patrick Stewart, David Byrne, Gloria Steinem, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Roseanne Cash, Jane Fonda, and more.

In just the first 30 days of the campaign, the campaign garnered more than 10,000 signatures to a petition urging the US Congress to extend public performance royalties on sound recordings. Blake credits the honesty and authenticity of I Respect Music as key to its success.

 

The video from the Global Forum is now available and embedded below; we encourage all to view it and add their support at http://irespectmusic.org/.

Global Forum attendess added their support for the I Respect Music campaign in a series of photos and tweets:

 

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Global Forum 2014: #IRespectMusic and online advocacy with Blake Morgan

How to successfully engage artists in campaigns advocating for their rights and the value of music has been a topic of much debate at the Global Forum Networking Breakfast. Musician David Lowery and filmmaker Ellen Seidler, two previous speakers, both explored the issue at length.

Therefore the grassroots campaign started by artist and entrepreneur Blake Morgan is a terrific case study for the 2014 Global Forum. What stemmed from the Internet Radio Fairness Act debacle in the United States and artist backlash against Pandora has grown into a movement centered around the idea that music should be respected.

In just the first 30 days of the campaign, Blake Morgan’s I Respect Music campaign garnered more than 10,000 signatures to a petition urging the US Congress to extend public performance royalties on sound recordings. The campaign, which asks musicians and music lovers to tweet a photo of themselves with a sign proclaiming #IRespectMusic, has received a lot of support including high profile artists and fans like Patrick Stewart, David Byrne,Gloria Steinem, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Roseanne Cash, Jane Fonda, and more. For more information, visit IRespectMusic.org.

What has made the I Respect Music Campaign so successful? What’s next on Blake’s radar?

Keynote speaker Blake Morgan and host Chris Castle of the Music Technology Policy blog will discuss the campaign at Canadian Music Week’s Global Forum, on
Friday May 9th, at 9am.

The Global Forum Networking Breakfast is an invitation-only event. Music Canada is a proud sponsor.

Update: Video from the Global Forum is now available below:

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The Rambler by Graham Henderson: David Lowery & Chris Ruen Shine a Light on Brand Supported Piracy at Canadian Music Week’s Global Forum

Graham_headphones3Blog ThumbnailThe Rambler is a column by Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. Graham writes from time to time about developments in the music industry, new trends or just about music! Let’s face it, Graham has been around for a long time and has a lot to ramble on about.

Last month during Canadian Music Week, Music Canada was pleased to bring two of today’s foremost advocates for artist rights together for a discussion on brand-sponsored piracy. Music Canada has been sponsoring the Global Forum for several years now, because we feel it’s important to bring people who are connected with our world together to talk about the problems that we face. 

Brand supported piracy is a practice whereby Fortune 500 companies, either knowingly or unknowingly, purchase advertisements on illegal sites, providing the pirate sites with ad revenue while ad agencies, exchanges, and networks also make money in the process. The only ones who are not compensated are the artists whose works are exploited on these pirate sites.

This year, we were honoured to have two keynote speakers who have emerged as essential voices for musicians and creators in David Lowery and Chris Ruen. 

Many will know David Lowery as lead singer of the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, although he has also worked as a producer and started several music-related businesses including a studio, a record company, and a publishing company. Recently, he has emerged as one of the most articulate voices championing artist rights in the digital age, penning a series of blogs at The Trichordist, including Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered and Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss?.

Chris Ruen is the author of the new book, ‘Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Appetite for Free Content Starves Creativity’, which is an essential read for those working in the music industry. His essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The New York Press and Stereogum, and he brings both a music fan’s perspective and a journalist’s point of view to an issue that affects both creators and consumers. 

We were pleased to once again have Chris Castle moderate the discussion. Chris has been as one of the real, great artist advocates over the past several years, and I would encourage everyone to follow him on Twitter and his blog at www.musictechpolicy.com/. 

The video from the Global Forum is now available and embedded below; I would encourage all creators and those working in music to watch it and share it widely.


Graham Henderson is the President and CEO of Music Canada. He also writes on an eclectic range of topics on his personal blog at www.grahamhenderson.ca.

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