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.