Photo Credit: Jonas Brothers / Universal Music Canada
2019 was an epic year for American pop sensations Jonas Brothers, who returned to the spotlight following the release of their fifth studio album Happiness Begins and their first major arena tour in a decade. The band played three shows at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena over the course of the tour, along with a stop at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Wednesday night. Prior to Tuesday’s show in Toronto, Nick, Kevin, and Joe were surprised with their own Platinum award plaques for Happiness Begins by Universal Music Canada, sharing the news across their social media accounts with their Canadian fans.
Happiness Begins was the brothers’ first Canadian album certification since August 2009, when A Little Bit Longer (2008) received its Double Platinum certification and Lines, Vines and Trying Times (2009) was certified Platinum. Happiness Begins also features the certified hits “Sucker” (4x Platinum), “Only Human” (Platinum), and “Cool” (Platinum), which are included on the custom award plaque.
New bylawprocedures have been implemented by the City of Toronto to provide clearer standards regarding noise in the city. Bylaw amendments include a number of changes relating to ‘amplified sound’ that have positive implications for the live music ecosystem, and provide clearer communication from the City to venue owners. These substantial amendments flow from an extensive research and consultation process led by the City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS).
Music Canada applauds the City’s amendments to the bylaw, which signify a positive step forward, and demonstrate that the music community was a meaningful stakeholder in the deliberation process. As described in our groundbreaking reportThe Mastering of a Music City, it is critical for cities to implement measures that support the growth of a robust music economy.
These amendments better recognize the crucial role the live music sector plays in making Toronto a vibrant and inclusive Music City. They also demonstrate the value the City sees in the live music industry, its impact on our local economy, and what it means for the improved quality of life for those living in Toronto and the surrounding area. In addition to the elimination of the old Noise Bylaw’s ‘general prohibition’ (which stated that “no one shall produce noise that disturbs anyone else, day or night”), the updated policies contain new musician-friendly standards including:
Quantitative decibel limits for amplified sound, giving venues a clear, objective standard against which to measure and manage their operations
An adjustment to point of measurement for decimal levels, which will now be measured from the point of reception (where the noise is heard) instead of the property line of the sound source (music venue, festival site, etc.).
Policy-makers heard from a wide range of groups, including venue owners, festival operators, artists, residents’ associations, businesses, public health authorities, and other interested stakeholders. The Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC) – of which Music Canada was a core member – also played an important role in the process, providing critical input and recommendations regarding the reform of various noise-related regulations.
“These changes signal the City’s growing recognition of our businesses and organizations – who add significantly to the heart beat of Toronto,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “Live music venues and events are significant economic and cultural assets. They animate neighbourhoods, enhance benefit to local businesses, create jobs and attract tourists. We expect the new noise bylaw to be clearer in terms of interpretation and application.”
The The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced that the 2021 JUNO Awards will be held in Toronto. This commemorates the 50th anniversary of the event, and will take place on March 28th at the Scotiabank Arena.
It has been a decade since Toronto last hosted the JUNOS – which first began in 1970, and was held at the historic venue St. Lawrence Hall. The award ceremony continued to take place in the city for another exciting 20 years, and will now return to Toronto for its golden anniversary in 2021. During this time, the JUNOS hit the road, with each host city seeing an average of over $10 million in economic impact.
“50 years ago Walt Grealis and Stan Klees created the JUNO Awards right here in Toronto and it’s an honour to bring Canada’s biggest night in music back home to where it all started,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO of CARAS / The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts, in a release. “This country continues to produce some of the most vibrant artists in the world and we invite you to join us in what will be the greatest national celebration of Canadian music ever.
The return of the JUNOS is supported by the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto. Both the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture Lisa MacLeod and Toronto Mayor John Tory released statements highlighting the city’s excitement over this announcement. In a video posted on his Twitter account, Mayor Tory added how Toronto’s music industry “has thrived as we foster a succesful environment for new and emerging artists, many of whom I hope to see at the JUNOS in a few short years.”
JUNO Week 2021 will kick off on March 22 with the finale event, The JUNO Awards Broadcast, streaming on CBC Music from the Scotiabank Arena. The 2020 JUNOS are also just around the corner, airing live from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
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).”