Mobina Galore (Credit: Jan Kotyk and Jeremy at Crooked Antler)
It's January and the weather is ridiculous. What better time to run a music fest?! Yes, the Big Fun Festival returns for its third year, taking over downtown Winnipeg stages January 22-26. This year, the indie music festival has expanded, adding an extra day and offering a dozen shows featuring over 30 acts, including many headlining locals.
"Manitoba has such an amazing wealth of talent and we are constantly amazed every year by the quality and quantity of the submissions," says Big Fun artistic director Stefan Braun of the heavy local focus. "The best part is that the genres are so eclectic that it makes booking the festival incredibly easy and we can pull from every scene and show the city something they may not have seen before."
There is plenty of music to keep you warm and busy over the next couple of weeks. Big Fun Festival takes over Winnipeg venues for the third year January 22-26 and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 23rd annual New Music Festival on January 25, offering audiences eight nights of festival favourites, new works, international performers, and acclaimed Manitoba composers and performers.
Jon Mead and Rusty Matyas model sportsmanship at the Granite Curling Club
As the local music community limbers up to rock the house, Breakfast Television Winnipeg has produced and launched a fun new curling video to highlight the Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel in support of the Unison Benevolent Fund. Curling pro Jon Mead, Imaginary Cities' Rusty Matyas, Oh My Darling's Vanessa Kuzina, and a cast of others star in the instructional video spoof, 'Etiquette for the Competent Curler'.
Manitoba Music is coordinating live performances on multiple stages including the main Scotiabank Stage at The Forks on Canada Day, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. One of Manitoba’s most popular summer destinations, The Forks attracts thousands of visitors on Canada Day. This year’s concerts will celebrate and promote Manitoba artists with multi-genre concerts featuring solo artists, bands, and DJs, on stages around The Forks. This event is free and open to the public. Performances must be ‘family-friendly’ in language and content. We welcome submissions from high energy bands and solo artists in all genres. Artists will be compensated for their performance. DEADLINE: February 13, 2014
Manitoba has a well-earned reputation for its stellar music scene. It’s not just the acclaimed bands making waves; it’s also the young entrepreneurs who are building the local music scene, including up-and-coming promoters, producers, managers, and more. But if you’re a teenager who wants to make a living in the music business, where do you go to learn and make connections? Manitoba Music and the Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba (ACI Manitoba) have teamed up for the sixth edition of the Youth Mentorship Program in Music Management. DEADLINE: February 19, 2014
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) is pleased to announce that legendary Winnipeg band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, BTO, are the 2014 inductees into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. During their most explosive period between 1973 and 1979, Bachman-Turner Overdrive electrified the world with chart-topping rock ‘n’ roll hits like “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Takin’ Care of Business.” During this era, the longest-serving members of the band were Blair Thornton, Fred Turner, Randy Bachman, and Robin Bachman. On Sunday, March 30, 2014, these four cornerstones of Bachman-Turner Overdrive will be honoured at the 43rd Annual JUNO Awards broadcast on CTV from the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, MB.
With the sweet strains of the fiddle and a loud "hé ho", Festival du Voyageur announced the programming for 2014. Now celebrating its 45th year, Manitoba's premier winter festival has built a reputation for booking diverse acts covering just about every genre imaginable, from traditional tunes to country to indie rock to roots.
2013 was a very busy and triumphant year for Manitoban musicians. We've searched the depths of the internet and compiled this list to show you we're not alone in thinking that our province's artists put out some stellar stuff.
The list of best-of love includes KEN mode, Royal Canoe, Imaginary Cities, Shotgun Jimmie, Leonard Sumner, Grand Analog, Les Jupes, Chic Gamine, Boats, Eagle Lake Owls, Federal Lights, Del Barber, Greg MacPherson, The Bros. Landreth, Matt Epp, Haunter, This Hisses, and Ruth Moody. Follow the jump for more...
Imaginary Cities plays for the Canada Day crowd at The Forks (Photo: J. Senft Photography)
As 2013 draws to a close and we look forward to a busy Year of Music in 2014, it’s time to take a little look back at the year that was. And what a year it was! We saw big tours in new markets, awards and nominations, packed showcases, and so much more.
Over 4,000 artists and music entrepreneurs in Manitoba earn income working in music. According to SoundCheck, an economic impact study commissioned by Manitoba Music and released in 2013, the music industry generated a total GDP impact of $71.3 million, supporting the equivalent of 4,363 jobs.
Those artists and music entrepreneurs also earned accolades: In 2013, Manitoba artists and industry earned 94 award nominations and 20 awards. Aboriginal recording artists made a big splash, notably Don Amero landing 10 nominations and three wins and Ali Fontaine with eight nominations and three wins.
Many Manitoba acts spent a good portion of 2013 on the road, touring and performing career-building showcases as far away as the U.K., Iceland, Germany, and France. Expanding into new markets and continuing to build important contacts has been an essential focus for many acts looking to make a career out of playing music. Throughout the year, 71 different Manitoba acts made their way into new countries and connected with key industry people by performing over 130 showcases at 37 different events around the world. Here are just a few that made international headlines this year...
“What it feels like is jumping off a cliff, and just landing wherever you’re going to land,” says Brandon-based throat singer Tanya Tagaq about her improvisational vocal style. “It’s like letting go of time. It’s like letting go of everything that’s holding me mentally or physically or emotionally and just being completely free.”
Tagaq’s emotionally-charged soundscapes are a fury of voice and breaths that can resemble animals, nature sounds, and other noises, simultaneously fusing her bond to The North with her contemporary influences.
Although she was exposed to throat singing while growing up in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, it wasn’t until she moved to Halifax for college that she began to craft her own style. While throat singing traditionally involves performances with two women facing one another, Tagaq’s style of throat singing is done solo.
For three days in the middle of winter, Manitoba Music is bringing the music industry together in Winnipeg.
In January 2014, Manitoba Music will launch the newest addition to its professional development opportunities: the January Music Meeting. Running January 24-26, the three day event welcomes some of Canada’s top music industry pros in a conference format that includes panels, workshops, discussion groups, and one-on-one meetings. Reps from the label, agency, management, festival, publishing, and publicity sides of the industry will converge on Winnipeg to discuss the state of Canada’s independent music industry and provide concrete advice on how to succeed in the ever-changing music business.
The January Music Meeting is a fantastic opportunity to network with tastemakers and experts from across the country while connecting with local artists and industry peers. Invited panelists include Killbeat Music's Ken Beattie, The Agency Group's Rob Zifarelli, Toronto Star's Ben Rayner, Hidden Pony Records' Mike 'Parkside' Renaud, Six Shooter Records' Helen Britton, Halifax Pop Explosion's Ashley Moran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing's Mishelle Pack, and peermusic Canada's Neville Quinlan.
Three of Canada’s top Aboriginal recording artists are headed to New York to showcase for industry at global performing arts conference and marketplace, APAP|NYC.
The showcase is part of the Native America North project, which also includes networking and professional development opportunities during the event, running January 10-14. Native America North was created to help First Nation, Inuit, and Métis artists access new markets and connect with presenters around the world.
Premier Greg Selinger makes the official Year of Music declaration at McPhillips Station
Get ready for an amazing year of music!
With the JUNO Awards and BreakOut West converging on Winnipeg, joining the many stellar festivals and events taking place within our borders, The Province of Manitoba has officially declared 2014 to be the Year of Music.
Premier Greg Selinger made the declaration at a news conference on December 11 at McPhillips Station, welcoming Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries as the presenting sponsor for the year-long celebration of music.
Year of Music will shine a spotlight on JUNO Week in March, Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards in September, and the BreakOut West music festival and Western Canadian Music Awards in October. It will also help bring even more attention to many of the province’s acclaimed festivals and destination events through new promotional partnerships.
Manitoba’s music venues, which foster exciting new artists and give fans a place to discover new music, will be able to offer even more live music when Manitoba’s new liquor laws come into effect on January 1. The changes lift a number of restrictions, particularly for small venues and cabarets, which will encourage growth and diversity in the vibrant live music scene.
A roundup of recent blogger tips and techniques for musicians from around the web. Find out more about building a career in music, secrets to getting publicity, and boosting your sales this holiday season.
Since 2009, The Uniter has compiled a list of the five local musical acts it believes to be the most intriguing to watch in the forthcoming year. The list includes the likes of Royal Canoe, Del Barber, The Lytics, Cannon Bros., and Eagle Lake Owls.
This year, The Uniter is shaking things up and taking that top five a step further. In partnership with Manitoba Music and The Park Theatre, The Uniter is holding a little contest for the top five spots and music fans will be the jury.
Think you are one of the five local acts to watch? Tweet a YouTube video (simple audio, a full on production, you singing in your bedroom - just make it your best song) @TheUniter with the hashtag #uniterfiver and it will be added to uniter.ca where people can vote for their five favourites.
An industry panel will choose the winner from the five highest voted at uniter.ca. The prize includes a chance to record a single with Rusty Matyas of Imaginary Cities, who recently produced records by Federal Lights and Sweet Alibi. The winner will also be featured on the cover of The Uniter, headline an industry showcase on January 17 at the Park Theatre, receive a one-year membership to Manitoba Music, and a prize package.
Submissions are open December 5 until December 20 and the voting ends January 1. To be eligible, bands must be new (formed within the last two years), solo artists must have been playing for online two years under their current name and artists must not have been in The Uniter's previous Five Bands to Watch features.
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas everywhere you go!
To help everyone get into the holiday spirit, Manitoba Music has put together a special streaming player featuring over three hours of holiday and winter-themed music by local artists at manitobamusic.com/holiday.
The player features a diverse collection of new and original tunes, old favourites, and traditional carols in just about every genre, from indie rock to country to Ukrainian to jazz.
Manitoba’s music community is trading instruments for brooms and getting ready rock the house for charity. Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music will join forces once again for the Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel, which will take place at the Granite Curling Club on February 2, 2014. The fourth annual event, which sold out quickly last year, brings the province's vibrant music community together to raise funds and awareness for the Unison Benevolent Fund.
Studio sessions are mythologized as make-or-break magic times; the high pressure, high priced opportunity for artists to capture the live experience for posterity – and sale. Stories from famous recording sessions come echoing down the halls of time with their associated songs.
With an alchemical aura swirling around studio time, it may be surprising to hear an accomplished artist, producer, and manager lay out the importance of pre-production. But Julia Ryckman (from rock outfit This Hisses), Murray Pulver (songwriter, producer, formerly with Doc Walker), and Liam Killeen (Toronto-based manager with Coalition Music) are all emphatic that without taking time outside the studio to prepare, stepping into the studio doesn’t make sense.
Pre-production can involve recording, reviewing, and revising songs, choosing which songs will be recorded; discussing the sonic pallet or style of production; and mapping a schedule and budget for the recording process.
Here are some tips to help artists and producers get the most out of pre-production.
Meet Maple Music/Fontana North's Maureen Spillane and Heather Kelly from MUSI/Pirates Blend Records, who will be on hand this Saturday,November 16 for I STREAM, YOU STREAM: Releasing Music in the Post Album Age.