Music Canada was thrilled to welcome many of our members, friends, and industry partners to our 2015 Annual General Meeting, held on September 24, 2015, at the Lula Lounge in Toronto.
Among the program highlights, the AGM featured a conversation with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Music Canada President & CEO Graham Henderson. Entitled ‘Toronto’s Music City – View from the Top’, the discussion centred on Toronto’s role and reputation as a Music City, and how the City, community, and local music industry can continue to foster this reputation.
Video: Toronto’s Music City – View from the Top: in conversation with Mayor John Tory
For more on Tory’s remarks, visit our blog.
Next, Henderson delivered the Year-In-Review, which underlined the importance of collaboration and partnership within our industry.
After noting the growth in Canada’s digital music market, helped by the launch of new streaming entrants in the market, Henderson highlighted the Ontario Music Fund, which was made permanent in Ontario’s most recent budget bill. “Thank you Premier Wynne and Minister Coteau for seeing the economic value in Ontario’s booming music sector,” said Henderson. The success of the Ontario Music Fund has sparked interest across the country, explained Henderson, pointing to the Fertile Ground report commissioned by the National Music Centre and completed by Music Canada last fall, which provides recommendations for leveraging the potential of Alberta’s music sector. Henderson then announced that Music Canada is undertaking a study on British Columbia to make similar recommendations to their provincial government.
At the federal level, Henderson noted a major win in the budget bill with term extension for sound recordings. Noting that these recordings would otherwise fall into the public domain during the artists’ lifetime, the unprecedented success on term extension brought Canada in line with international standards.
Henderson also congratulated the Unison Benevolent Fund on reaching their $1 million fundraising target this year, making the fund operational. Music Canada is proud as an organization, along with our label members, for the role we played in investing $250,000 for the fund. Henderson then recognized our matching partner, Slaight Music.
Video: 2015 Year In Review
Continuing on the Music Cities theme, the AGM featured a panel entitled ‘Music City Strategies from the Ground Up’ with three panelists from across Canada who shared insight to the strategies and programs they are using to grow the music sector in their home regions.
Moderated by Amy Terrill, Music Canada’s VP of Public Affairs, the panel featured:
- Andrew Vincent, a singer-songwriter, researcher, and creative consultant from Ottawa, ON. He is the co-author of Connecting Ottawa Music, an Ontario Music Fund-supported project profiling Ottawa’s music industries that was released in Spring 2015. He is currently serving as the interim Executive Director of the newly formed Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting growth in the city’s music industries.
- Mark Garner, Executive Director for the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area in downtown Toronto. Over the past decade he has increasingly focused on the revitalization and development of urban downtowns, playing an integral role in catalyzing on economics, neighbourhoods, social innovation and incubators. The DYBIA boasts a Music Strategy that looks at the deep history of music in downtown Toronto, programming His ideas and approach have been acknowledged by numerous awards and by being emulated in other communities.
- Thom Bennett, a professional musician/producer/recordist/instructor based in Edmonton. He performs regularly around Western Canada and beyond with a plethora of artists including A/B trio, MIXTAPE, Ann Vriend, Jesse Peters and dozens of other artists. When not maintaining his busy gigging schedule he splits his time between producing and engineering records for local artists at Sanctuary Studios, session studio work, accompaniment work, teaching and composing music. Thom has created the ELM (Edmonton Live Music) Initiative involving with the support and help of key stakeholders in government and the music industry in Edmonton. Its aim is to reinvigorate Edmonton’s live music scene through an innovative economic stimulus plan that involves the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.
Video: ‘Music City Strategies from the Ground Up’ panel
Following the panel, Henderson introduced a new tradition at the Music Canada AGM with the creation of the President’s Award, which recognizes an organization or individual outside the music industry that has had a significant impact on the music industry. The inaugural recipient of the award was Mark Garner of the Downtown Yonge BIA, which has created an action plan to stimulate music performance, creation, education and celebration in the downtown core of the city. Their music strategy builds on the rich music history in downtown Yonge in order to create an environment where music can succeed now and in the future.
For more on the President’s Award, visit our blog.
To close out the day, Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane introduced Modern Space, a five-piece Toronto-based band that recently signed with Warner Music Canada. The band delivered a high energy performance of songs from their upcoming debut EP.
For more photos from the Annual General Meeting, visit our photo album on Facebook.