Columbus, Ohio’s Twenty One Pilots made their triumphant return to Toronto last week on their Bandito Tour in support of the 2018 album Trench, the follow-up to 4x Platinum 2015 album Blurryface. Prior to the highly anticipated sold out show at Scotiabank Arena, Warner Music Canada surprised the band with Gold plaques for Trench and its singles “Chlorine,” “Jumpsuit,” and “My Blood.”
During his 2019 Outrunning Karma North American tour, American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin stopped in Toronto over the weekend for a show at The Mod Club. Prior to his set, Warner Music Canada presented Benjamin with his first Platinum award plaque for his hit “Let Me Down Slowly,” which was first certified Gold in Canada in December of 2018.
This year’s march will follow the same route as last year’s event, beginning at 11:30am at the Music Therapy Centre at 1175 Bloor St. W. At noon, participants will begin their march eastward on Bloor to Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor St. W) for some amazing entertainment, refreshments, and awesome raffle prizes.
This year’s fundraising goal is $40,000, and you can help contribute by purchasing a ticket to the after-party or creating a fundraising page. In addition to the Music March, music therapy supporters can still purchase the CMTTF’s hats designed in collaboration with CDN. All proceeds from the sale of the hats will be donated to the CMTTF.
RSVP to the Music March for Music Therapy’s Facebook event to stay informed on the latest news and updates leading up to the exciting event. Watch highlights from last year’s march below.
On Sunday night, Danielle Bregoli – AKA Bhad Bhabie – packed Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre for the second stop on her 2019 Canadian tour. Following her high energy set, the 15 year-old viral rapper was brought back on stage and surprised with two Canadian Gold Single Award plaques for her hits “Gucci Flip Flops” and “Hi Bich” in front of her adoring fanbase.
Following a sold out two-night run last week at the Danforth Music Hall in her hometown of Toronto, rising singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez was presented with a Double Platinum plaque by Universal Music Canada staff for her breakthrough hit “Figures.”
The 2018 JUNO Breakthrough Artist winner initially released the song in 2016, and included it on her debut EP Kiddo in 2017. During the 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver, Reyez was joined by Daniel Caesar to perform the song, with a studio version released following the broadcast.
On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship.Click hereto view more recaps from the summit.
The last panel of the day was Making Space in the Public Realm: How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies. It examined how cities are utilizing publicly-owned buildings to create partnerships and develop initiatives with the music community. Business and community leaders from Denver, Seattle, Vancouver and Montreal discussed how public facilities can work in collaboration with their local music scene, and touched on issues like how to avoid competition with the private sector.
The panel was moderated by Farzaneh Hemmasi, Assistant Professor of Music & Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. Panelists included: Catherine Planet, Artist & Founder of La Chasse-Balcon; Dawn Ibey, Vancouver Public Library; Ismael Guerrero, Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority, and; Tom Mara, Executive Director, KEXP.
Final panel of 2018 #MusicCities Summit, “Making Space in the Public Realm: How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies,” ft. reps from Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Denver, & Seattle. #CMW2018pic.twitter.com/ajTAhFgNJn
The discussion kicked off with Catherine Planet providing some background on La Chasse-Balcon (founded in 2014), a series of music events with the mission of bringing neighbours together in residential areas. She discussed how her time spent living in Louisiana had a profound impact and inspired her to create an initiative that celebrates the musical vivacity of her hometown of Montreal once she returned.
Planet also touched on how these types of events help blur the lines between what is perceived as solely public and private spaces, and highlighted how a balcony can act as a symbolic bridge that enables these two spaces to become connected. Through La Chasse Balcon, free outdoor concerts are staged on balconies in different neighborhoods and have the surrounding community and crowds join in the festivities.
The panel then moved on to Dawn Ibey, who spoke about the role that libraries can play in building a vibrant Music City. She discussed how one of the core business activities of the Vancouver Public Library is to ensure free public programming for adults and children, with programs that support music creation, music education, as well as the staging of performances.
Ibey highlighted some of the major accomplishments of the Vancouver Public Library, such as the partnership with Sun Life Financial in 2016 to establish the city’s first musical instrument lending library. She discussed how public libraries should be included in the development of music strategies, as they contribute towards achieving some of the essential elements featured in The Mastering of a Music City report.
Next, Ismael Guerrero spoke about the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) and the impact that arts and music can have in addressing community justice issues. Through partnerships with community organizations as well as private sector initiatives, the DHA has taken steps to rebuild neighborhoods and modernize housing with a focus on building vibrant, mixed-income communities.
Guerrero touched on some of the other social entrepreneurial ventures the DHA has undertaken in recent years that are guided by a community-led, and sometimes, arts-centric framework and priorities. With investments supporting community organizations like Youth on Record, the establishment of community hubs have helped establish spaces where marginalized youth can create art and music.
The final panelist Tom Mara spoke about KEXP, a public radio, listener-supported station and non-profit arts organization in Seattle. Mara discussed the ‘music discovery-centred’ mission of KEXP to design their programming and initiatives in a way that supports music lovers, artists, and the wider arts community.
Mara touched on how one of the key commitments of KEXP is to support live music in Seattle, and highlighted how the organization stages around 300 live music performances every year at their facility. This exciting achievement was partly made possible through a partnership with the City of Seattle that enables KEXP to receive a favorable lease rate on their property, and is a key example of the different kinds of cross-sector collaboration that can exist.
The panelists went on to discuss several different topics and reflected on the unique opportunities that public facilities can provide, and that are currently not being leveraged.
To listen to the full discussion, you can watch the video below.
L to R:Asim Awesome Awan (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada), Kygo, Myles Shear (Manager, Golden Hare Group), Adrian Strong (Co-President, Ultra Music Canada / President, DMD Entertainment) Photographer: Stephen Kazumi
Ahead of his Toronto show at the Air Canada Centre last week, Ultra Music Canada and DMD Entertainment presented Kygo with a 6x Platinum plaque for his single with Selena Gomez, “It Ain’t Me,” which is the highest certification worldwide on this single.
The Norwegian DJ was also given a Platinum plaque for his debut album Cloud Nine, which also included 3 Double Platinum Singles “Firestone (ft. Conrad Sewell)”, “Stole The Show (ft. Parson James)” & “Stay (ft. Maty Noyes), and 2 Gold singles “Raging (ft. Kodaline)” and “Carry Me (ft. Julia Michaels).”
American R&B singer and songwriter Kehlani is currently on tour across North America with Demi Lovato and DJ Khaled. Prior to her opening set Monday at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, the Oakland, CA-born artist was surprised with a custom Gold Single Award plaque by Warner Music Canada. The plaque represents her singles “CRZY,” from 2017 album SweetSexySavage, and “Gangsta,” her contribution to the Suicide Squad original soundtrack.
During the show, Kehlani showed love for her Toronto fanbase and joined DJ Khaled on stage in a custom Toronto Raptors jersey.
The march will take place along Bloor Street West, which is a new route for the annual family-focused march. Participants will depart from the Music Therapy Center (1175 Bloor St. W) at noon and will end at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor St. W) around 1:15pm, where amazing entertainment, delicious food, fun activities, and tons of auction prizes await.
This year’s fundraising goal has been set to $25,000 in honour of the charity’s 25th anniversary, which works to enhance our communities by providing accessible music therapy to our nation’s most vulnerable and underserved populations.
The march is free to attend, while the after party at Lee’s Palace will be $25 at door unless the attendee has made a fundraising page. Those who would like to donate to the fund but cannot attend the event can do so at the same page. Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for more information on the afternoon, including the reveal of this year’s musical ambassadors and performers!
Toronto joined an exclusive club made up of 180 cities worldwide last week when the City of Toronto and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) announced that Toronto has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. While there may not have been much media coverage of the pronouncement, the city’s creative industries ought to be paying attention.
This makes Toronto one of the first cities in Canada to join the network, which was started in 2004 and includes designations for Media Arts, Music, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Design and Crafts and Folk Art. Toronto’s designation of Media Arts is an attempt to capture the city’s achievements in not one, but several disciplines: “film, music, digital media and forms of cultural expression using technology”.
Few people in Canada may be familiar with UNESCO’s Creative City Network and are perhaps more familiar with its historical site designations or research. This is not a surprise as North America has been relatively slower to join this party. In fact, despite much attention given to Music Cities in North America, including many cities that build their brand on the artform, the first UNESCO City of Music in North America (Kansas City) has only just now been designated.
The international recognition of Toronto’s creative sector efforts is cause for celebration. However, the designation should not be seen as the finish line, but as a springboard for further action. Based on our worldwide scan of Music City strategies, it is clear that the UNESCO designation has the potential of falling into the category of a public relations exercise. But only if we let it.
In some cities, the designation has mobilized a comprehensive program for the promotion, protection and growth of the creative industry for which it is earned. The UNESCO designation has, in other cases, ensured sustained political leadership on creative industry development and investment. The network itself has afforded some cities with practical sharing of knowledge and best practices.
Toronto’s entire music community – including artists and industry – has an opportunity to make sure that the UNESCO designation has meaning. We can leverage the UNESCO designation to secure an ongoing commitment to our music strategy and key priorities like venue sustainability, regulatory red tape reduction, livability for artists and musicians and access to spaces and places for the creation, rehearsal and production of music. We can also use it to reinforce music’s equal standing alongside our partners in film and digital media.
UNESCO’s Creative City Network is definitely what we make it. Let’s take ownership of this opportunity, and prove what we already know: Toronto can be the greatest Music City in the world. We define it, and now we have another tool to help us build it.
UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network promotes cooperation between global cities that place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans.
On June 26, in front of a sold out audience at the @economicclubca, Music Canada President & CEO Graham Henderson delivered a keynote address to launch our latest report Closing the Value Gap: How to Fix Safe Harbours & Save the Creative Middle Class. https://t.co/uqqWC5BzUM
"In Hell I'll Be In Good Company," the breakthrough single from Regina, Saskatchewan's @TheDeadSouth4, is officially their first #GoldinCanada certification! The song can be found on their 2014 debut studio album Good Company.
Congratulations to all of the 2019 @PolarisPrize #ShortList artists! The winning album will be determined at the Polaris Music Prize Gala on September 16 at The Carlu in Toronto, and will be live-streamed on @CBCMusic. https://t.co/6cbRs3hMq2 #Polaris2019
“The reality is the framework is broken and we need to fix it.” - @MiraMulholland shares her perspective as an artist living in the Value Gap in today’s @TorontoStar: https://t.co/2hVjx2n3gl We are very fortunate to have her as Chair of the Music Canada Advisory Council.
Music Canada’s @GFHenderson appeared on The Lawyer Life Podcast this week, where he discussed practicing with a revolutionary spirit with hosts Mike Anderson & Darlene Tonelli (a valued member of our Advisory Council) - listen in at https://t.co/hurZ4lCpp7
The @Canadian_Live Music Association, @cityofhamilton, @cityoftoronto and Nordicity are studying the benefits & financial health of music venues. Do you host live music in either of these cities? The survey isopen until July 19: https://t.co/OQQBDMuyld #livemusic