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Tag archive: Music Canada AGM 2016 (3)

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Music Canada AGM 2016 panel discussion: Creative Professionals – Bridging the Income Divide and Canada’s Cultural Policy Review

The panel discussion at Music Canada’s 2016 AGM put the spotlight on the ability of creators to earn a living in the digital age. Sharing perspectives from two of Canada’s great cultural industries, writing and music, John Degen and Graham Henderson discussed something common to all of Canada’s cultural sectors – the need for a functioning marketplace that properly remunerates creators when their work is used. John and Graham were interviewed by Kate Taylor, an expert in Canadian cultural sovereignty in the digital age.

The panel was introduced by Steve Kane, President of Warner Music Canada.

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John Degen is a poet and author, and the Executive Director of the Writers’ Union of Canada. For the last two years, John has chaired the International Authors Forum, an umbrella organization for authors’ organizations around the world, with a network of around 650,000 authors. John is a long-time partner of Music Canada on issues affecting creators in Canada and an outspoken advocate for creators’ rights.

Kate Taylor is an award-winning novelist and journalist with the Globe and Mail, where she currently serves as lead film critic. Kate previously hosted Music Canada’s Global Forum at CMW 2015, where the topic was The Survival of the Creative Class.

Graham described how remuneration for creators has steadily eroded over the past 20 years, and how it’s harder than ever for a middle class of creators to earn a living from their work. Graham summarized the effect of the digital shift with a quote from Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO, as a “seemingly avoidable and inappropriate loss of value to creators, performers and the creative sector.” Graham noted the key was that this was avoidable; it didn’t have to be this way. Wealth created by the enormous opportunities technology, which creators have embraced, brings is not finding its way to the creative side of the ledger, despite the best intentions of the lawmakers who wrote the rules currently governing the digital environment.

A 2015 Writers’ Union study titled Devaluing Creators, Endangering Creativity found that, taking inflation into account, writers are making 27% less than they were making in 1998 from their writing, while 45% of writers say they must do more to earn a living now. John confirmed that trends in Canada are happening all over the world. The conditions under which creators work are becoming increasingly difficult. Globally, there has been a 27-29% decline in authors’ income.

Regarding the current Canadian cultural policy review, titled Canadian Content in a Digital World, the panel agreed the goal for creators is to have a functioning marketplace in place. John called the review a golden opportunity for a necessary conversation about “fair trade culture,” so that people who “only identify as consumers of culture understand just what underlies the value of the product that they’re buying.”

Graham also spoke to the shape he hopes the review will take. “For us, what would be epic, would be a meaningful review of the rules that were put in place in the late 90s, and the rules that were put in place in 2012, to take into account this new reality; the reality that we have no middle class,” he said. “It increasingly looks like a lottery and if you win the lottery, you win an enormous amount of money, and everybody else is struggling. I think the question we have to ask Minister Joly and the government is – is creation a profession, or do they think its a hobby? And if you think it’s a profession then they have to, and we have to, stand up for the rights of creators to be paid appropriately.”

The full video of the panel can be viewed below.

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For more photos from the Annual General Meeting, visit our photo album on Facebook.

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Music Canada AGM 2016: Year in review

At Music Canada’s 2016 AGM, our Executive Vice President, Amy Terrill, provided an update on what was a busy year for the organization. Music Cities are a red-hot topic worldwide. Municipalities and regions continue to look to the power of music to grow their economies, attract tourists and skilled workers, and increase quality of life.

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An interesting trend of the past year was the “growing understanding that Music City development is an important component of community economic development,” said Terrill, describing how our Music Cities work is being embraced by the International Economic Development Council, national and Ontario BIA associations, and other international associations, such as the UCLG, a congress of global and regional leaders.

Since launching The Mastering of a Music City at Midem in 2015, Graham Henderson and Amy Terrill have been invited to speak on the research and best practices described in the report in numerous cities around the globe, and the list continues to grow.

In the past year, chambers of commerce were defined as a particularly powerful ally in the Music Cities movement. As the voice of business in their communities, chambers have the opportunity to carve out a leadership role in leveraging music as a driver of employment and economic growth, beyond its long-acknowledged cultural and social benefits. At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s AGM in September of 2016, Music Canada launched the Music Cities Toolkit, a custom designed guide for chambers to activate the power of music in their city.

Amy established “best practice” as the theme of her remarks, noting Music Canada’s continued efforts to identify, meet and share best practices in Music Cities research, and in all of the work we do.

Matt Masters, a Calgary-based songwriter, event producer, and new Program Leader of the Alberta Music Cities Initiative provided a video update on Music Cities progress in the province, and Andy McLean of the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) shared updates from the Atlantic region and the newly formed partnership between Music Canada and the ECMA.

The past year also included the launch of Music Canada’s new Single Award, which incorporates streaming data into Gold/Platinum certifications for the first time in Canada. Later in the program, Alx Veliz was presented with his first Canadian Gold plaque for his breakout hit “Dancing Kizomba,” before performing three songs for the crowd.

You can watch the full video of Music Canada’s Year in Review below.

For more photos from the Annual General Meeting, visit our photo album on Facebook.

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Music Canada AGM 2016: Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eleanor McMahon, delivers opening remarks

At Music Canada’s 2016 Annual General Meeting, held Oct 18 at Revival in Toronto, we were privileged to have the Honourable Eleanor McMahon deliver opening remarks to our guests.

Minister McMahon was introduced by Shane Carter, President of Sony Music Canada, who noted the passion for music she has shown since being appointed Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport in June of 2016.

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The MPP for Burlington is a booster of music education, and believes her own musical training helped her to be a better politician.

“I took vocal lessons right up into university…music was everywhere in our home,” said the Minister. “And singing with others, whether in our church choir, or around a campfire taught me the value of personal expression, creativity, discipline and craft, as well as harmony and teamwork.”

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“Having the opportunity to express myself through music was integral for me to understand who I was growing up, and who I am today,” said Minister McMahon.

It was the first opportunity for many in attendance to meet the Minister, who spoke with guests including Universal Music Canada recording artist Alx Veliz, who would later perform at the event.

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Minister McMahon speaks with Universal Music Canada recording artist Alx Veliz

In her remarks, she addressed the connection between culture and the economy, saying “our culture and our economy are inextricably linked.”

“Our government recognizes the many opportunities for the province’s music scenes to build up our cultural sector and our economy, to mobilize Ontario’s wealth of talent, our state-of-the-art production facilities, the wide range of venues, and vibrant festivals, with the aim to make it Canada’s largest – and one of the world’s most diversified music jurisdictions.”

The Ontario Government has indeed displayed recognition of the value our music sector brings to the province. The Minister referenced the formulation of Ontario’s Culture Strategy, which per the Minister “commits the government to continue to build Ontario as a leading North American center for music production and performance,” and OntarioLiveMusic.ca, which promotes Ontario’s live music events. Minister McMahon called the Ontario Music Fund “something truly unique in Canada,” a leveraging of talent and economic opportunity that other jurisdictions are now looking to replicate. The Ontario Music Fund has resulted in “1,274 full-time equivalent jobs, supporting events attended by 1.6 million people, while giving a platform to more than 1,900 Ontario artists to show the world what they do best,” remarked the Minister.

Music Canada’s President & CEO, Graham Henderson, thanked Minster McMahon for her remarks, adding how great it is that she has displayed a belief in the power of music to change society, a belief no doubt shared by many in the room.

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Music Canada’s 2016 AGM with (L-R) Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill, The Honourable Minister Eleanor McMahon, Sony Music Canada’s President Shane Carter, Music Canada’s President and CEO Graham Henderson, and Universal Music Canada President Jeffrey Remedios.

Below is the full video of Minister McMahon’s opening remarks.

For more photos from the Annual General Meeting, visit our photo album on Facebook.

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