Manitoba Music

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Schmusic - September 18

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FACTOR and Manitoba Music present
SCHMUSIC
Thursday, September 18 | 4-7pm
at Precursor Productions, 218 Marion Street
Refreshments provided.

If you're interested in hosting a Schmusic event, please contact Danielle Strueby, danielle@manitobamusic.com.

Network, party, schmooze, play with Manitoba Music!

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Reality TV Killed the Video Show

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MTV's flagship music video request show "Total Request Live," or TRL, will come to an end this November after 10 years on the air. Executive producer Dave Sirulnick told USA Today:
We want to close this era of TRL in a big celebratory way, and 10 is a great number. And 10 is the number that TRL counted down every single day for 10 years, and we hit this 10th (anniversary) and we thought, 'You know what? This feels like the right time and let's celebrate it and let's reward it. And let's let it have a little bit of a rest for a minute.' Let it catch its breath! Been working hard — for 10 years!Yeah, he said that series of half sentences, and yes, US Today printed it. Anyway, this is being reported as the final nail in the coffin for actual music videos on MTV, making way for the station to become a fully fledged reality TV haven. Lots of comments here.

The upside? Well, with so many avenues to distribute music videos online these days, there are more than ever, and especially more indie music videos than ever.

Also, while MTV might not be playing music videos, their reality shows place more independent music per episode than a show playing full length videos. So some...

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The 2009 JUNO Awards to be Broadcast at Vancouverís General Motors Place

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The stage is set for Canada’s biggest musical event!
The 38th Annual JUNO Awards will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia in just seven short months. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), along with broadcast partner CTV, today announced that Vancouver’s General Motors Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks as well as a major concert venue and Olympic venue, will be the setting for the CTV broadcast of Canada’s premier music awards show. Broadcast in High-Definition and 5.1 Surround Sound, The 2009 JUNO Awards air Sunday, March 29, 2009 on CTV.

“General Motors Place is one of the most spectacular and accessible venues in Vancouver, right in the heart of the city’s cultural and entertainment district,” said Melanie Berry, CARAS President. “We’re thrilled to bring the JUNO Awards experience - complete with the excitement of Juno Weekend Events, celebrations and fanfare - to a world-renowned city and exceptional venue.”

“Just under one year before this venue hosts the Gold Medal hockey match at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, General Motors Place comes alive with the celebration of our other favourite national pastime, great music,”...

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Tracy Bone picks up an Indian Summer Music Award

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No Lies has earned Manitoba’s Tracy Bone yet another trophy as the 2007 Canadian Aboriginal Music Award winner for Best Female Artist added an Indian Summer Music Award (ISMA) to her list of accolades. Bone picked up the nod in the Country category while her Arbor Records label mates Stevie Salas and Sandy Scofield brought home the hardware for the Alternative Rock and Folk categories, respectively.

No Lies is the multi-award winning chanteuse’s debut album and it was released by Arbor Records earlier this year. The album features “Games,” which was named the NCI FM Single of the Year in 2006, along with a great duet with her partner in crime J.C. Campbell, entitled “No Lies.” The album was produced by Phil Deschambault at 441 Studios in Winnipeg.

The ISMA ran alongside the 22nd Annual Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan’s waterfront. The festival is marketed as the largest American Indian cultural event in the North America and reportedly draws close to 70,000 people each year. The festival took place September 5-7, with the awards ceremony on September 6.

For more information about the ISMA, please visit: www.indiansummer.org....

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Doc Walker Sweeps the Canadian Country Music Awards

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Doc Walker may have summed up this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards perfectly in its latest album title: Beautiful Life. The hometown heroes swept the 2008 awards in front of an ecstatic crowd at the MTS Centre on September 8, winning five major awards and 10 trophies in total. Viewers across the country tuning in to CBC’s nationally-televised broadcast witnessed a humble trio, who were also this year’s Honourary Chairs of Country Music Week, accepting their awards before standing ovations.

The Portage la Prairie band – Chris Thorsteinson, Dave Wasyliw, and Murray Pulver --was named Group of the Year and picked up the Fans’ Choice Award. Their fifth release, Beautiful Life, won for Album of the Year, while the title track won for Single of the Year and Video of the Year. Doc Walker also landed three trophies at a gala event on September 7, winning for Songwriter for the Year, Guitar Player of the Year for Pulver, and Bass Player of the Year for back-up band member Brent Pearen. The band’s team also got some attention at an industry brunch on September 6: docwalker.ca was named Website of the Year and Beautiful Life won for Album Design of the Year.

The band, which...

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Farewell One Great City

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Today, Winnipeg bids farewell to its slogan, "One Great City." Mayor Sam Katz unveiled the new slogan, "Heart of the Continent."

Will this impact The Weakerthans' beloved song, "One Great City?" The band's songwriter and lead vocalist, John K. Samson, made his own suggestions for a new slogan back in July but I haven't managed to uncover any indications that The Weakerthans might change their song title.

Mind you, people in Texas and Seattle might not get the title's reference, but they sure do sing along.  

 

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Heart Doesn't Heart Republicans

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The Republican National Convention will leave several lasting memories in the hearts and minds of Americans and anyone else able to tune into inspirational biographical videos and endless speeches. Yes, I will forever remember where I was when Alaskan Governer and VP hopeful Sarah "Barracuda" Palin joked that the difference between hockey moms and pitbulls was "lipstick."

I will also remember the revulsion I felt last night when I heard Heart's timeless song, "Barracuda," playing while Palin was on the RNC stage. Her nickname is "Barracuda." From when she played basketball. Whatever.

The Republican organizers could've piped in songs about Alaska, songs by Pitbull, or even songs written by people who wear glasses. But they chose the obvious.

Ann and Nancy Wilson, who are the heart of Heart, didn't much appreciate it, though. Ann Wilson released a statement saying that the band "did not and would not" giver permission for the Republicans to use their '70s classic. Read more about the Wilson sisters' response.

They're not the only ones: John Mellencamp and Jackson Browne have both asked the McCain campaign to stop using their songs.

Meanwhile, Democratic...

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Winnipeg Gears Up to Host Country Music Week

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Winnipeg is gearing up to host the annual Country Music Week, one of Canada’s most popular big ticket music events. Some of this country’s biggest names will hit stages throughout Winnipeg September 5-8, including hometown favourite and Honourary Chairs of Country Music Week 2008, Doc Walker. The Canadian Country Music Awards, which attracts top country music industry names from around the world, close Country Music Week on September 8.

Winnipeg music legend Randy Bachman has recently been added to the list of performers for the awards gala which will take over downtown Winnipeg’s MTS Centre. Other performers at the gala include: Dierks Bentley, Emerson Drive, Johnny Reid, as well as George Canyon, Kellie Pickler, and Gord Bamford. The nationally-televised awards show will be hosted by country superstar Terri Clark.

Manitoba artists and industry professionals are poised to bring home an unprecedented 19 awards at the 2008 CCMAs. Doc Walker dominates this year’s nominations with nods for six artistic awards and six industry awards at this year’s CCMAs, including: Group of the Year, Fan’s Choice Award, Single of the Year, Songwriters of the Year, Video of the Year, and...

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The New CBC Radio 2

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The music programming at CBC Radio 2 will sound significantly different when the fall schedule starts today then it did before the summer schedule kicked in. The classical music programming has been trimmed back, and in it's place are new programs that promise to feature eclectic, primarily Canadian, independent and alternative artists.

Two new programs in specific, Radio 2 Morning and Radio 2 Drive (seemingly named by the department of the obvious), hosted by Tom Allen and Rich Terfry (aka Buck 65), will feature acts such as Stars, Sloane, Wilco, the Bicycles, Al Green and Ron Sexsmith. While providing a welcome outlet for successful but not commercial-radio artists, the changes have drawn significant protests from the classical music community. The national broadcaster has also launch four online music streams: classical, jazz, canadian composers, and canadian songwriters.

The Globe previews Drive, and the National Post has a running blog with commentary from Adam McDowell on his reaction to the first day of the new programs.

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The Weakerthans Up for ECHO Songwriting Prize

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Winnipeg indie rock poets The Weakerthans are up for one of Canada's most prestigious national songwriting prizes: The ECHO Songwriting Prize. The award-winning act's song "Night Windows," off its latest Epitaph release, Reunion Tour, stands against songs from Veda Hille, Wintersleep, Sandro Perri, and Socalled.

SOCAN initiated the prize in order to identify developing talent in today's independent music scene. According to SOCAN's website, "the prize honours some of the most innovative, creative and artistic songs created in the past year by emerging songwriters in Canada." A panel of industry experts -- including Winnipeg Free Press staffer and The Tab editor Jill Wilson -- whittled the finalists down to the top five and now the public can make the final decision through online voting. Winning songwriters will receive a $5000 cash prize.

Manitoba artists have a strong track record with the three-year ECHO prize. In 2006, the inaugural ECHO prize went to local political punk outfit Propagandhi and its song "A Speculative Fiction." Last year, Juno-winning Winnipeg-based roots quartet Nathan and its song “Scarecrow” were nominated.

The ECHO prize is another in The...

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Conference Board Recognizes Value of Culture

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A Conference Board of Canada report entitled Valuing Culture: Measuring and Understanding Canada’s Creative Economy examines the culture sector as a cornerstone of the creative economy. The report was released in July, just prior to the federal government's recent funding cuts to the cultural industries. The CBC reported on the report today (reportedly).

Highlights from the report include: Arts and culture industries play a vital role in attracting people, business, and investment, and in distinguishing Canada as a dynamic and exciting place to live and work.

The Conference Board estimates that the economic footprint of Canada’s culture sector was $84.6 billion in 2007, or 7.4 per cent of Canada’s total real GDP, including direct, indirect, and induced contributions. Culture sector employment exceeded 1.1 million jobs in 2007.

Technology is revolutionizing business models in the creative economy, altering the way culture is created and consumed. Consumers are becoming “prosumers” who actively create and customize content.

The “long tail” business model of many niche markets is altering how arts and culture industries sell their products and services.
The culture...

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Big Smash! Music Scene - Fall Schedule

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A weekly series of music films that aims to enlighten as much as entertain, BIG SMASH! MUSIC SCENE traverses broad musical terrain: baroque pop, country, metal, punk, soul & funk, folk and outsider music – all for a discounted admission of $5. Although in some cases premieres of popular films may hold over for longer runs, the series will focus on niche artists and the work of independent directors, with one-night-only screenings. Series curated by Kier-La Janisse with promotional assistance from Manitoba Music, CKUW 95.9FM and Into The Music.

Upcoming Movies...

Thurs. Sept. 4 – 9:00PM
GET THRASHED: THE STORY OF THRASH METAL
Dir. Rick Ernst | USA 2007 | 100min. | DVCAM | Documentary | 14A
Not recommended for children, coarse language, substance abuse

GET THRASHED traces the rise, fall and impact of thrash metal; from its early years, through its influence on grunge, nu metal and today’s heavy metal scene. It is the story of the heaviest, hardest music of the 80s and early 90s as told by the bands who lived it, the fans and bands that grew up on it, and by the artists that carry the “thrash metal” flag today. Our journey begins in the early 80s, where Metallica...

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Top 10 Indie Music Marketing Tools

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Hypebot has named its Top 10 Indie Music Marketing Tools, including sits like Bandzoogle and ReverbNation. It also lists ArtistData, a new site that allows artists to update 10 websites at once, for free.

1. Bandzoogle
2. Sonicbids
3. CD Baby
4. Nimbit
5. Gydget
6. ReverbNation
7. Tunecore
8. Tubemogul
9. ArtistData
10. Mozes, Band Txt Alerts

Click here to see the whole list, with descriptions.

Hypebot also featured an interesting, although not new, story about how Wikipedia band pages have become more important that MySpace.

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Arts Cuts Savings to Fund Vancouver Olympics

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The Globe and Mail reports this week that the money saved from recent cuts to arts and cultural industries support programs will be used to support the Vancouver Olympics torch relay and Olympic preparedness for Canadian athletes.
More than $40-million in savings the federal government will reap from controversial cuts to arts and culture funding will be redirected to the Vancouver Olympic torch relay and two other programs, exacerbating fears that replacement initiatives are not in the cards.

The Conservative strategy is apparent in a section of the 2008 federal budget that promises to "redirect all savings" from cuts to several Department of Canadian Heritage domains to pay for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic torch relays; the Road to Excellence program, which supports Summer Olympics athletes; and the Action Plan for Official Languages, which promotes bilingualism.

According to the budget, Heritage planned $61.9-million in cuts between February, 2008, and the end of the 2010-2011 fiscal year as part of its ongoing strategic review. Those funds, which include the trimmed arts and culture spending, will instead be used to pay for the $24.5-million torch relays and to...

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Seven Nods for Manitoba Acts at Native American Music Awards

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Four hometown acts are up for trophies at this year’s Native American Music Awards (NAMMYs). Juno-winning rock outfit Eagle & Hawk, singer/songwriters Tracy Bone and J.C. Campbell, and fiddler Ryan D’Aoust are up for six awards at the 10th annual celebrations.

Eagle & Hawk has picked up a nod for Group of the Year for its album, Red Road Stories, while front man Vince Fontaine and collaborator Lawrence Mullhall were nominated for Songwriter of the Year. Blues man J.C. Campbell is up for Best Male Artist. Campbell also shares in a Best Producer nod for his album, Lazy James, with Tracy Bone and DJ St. Germain. Country chanteuse Bone and her debut, No Lies, are up for Best Country Recording and Best Female Artist. Ryan D’Aoust, meanwhile, has a nod for Best Instrumental Recording for his album, York Boats & Legends.

Manitoba-based Aboriginal music label Arbor Records has two out-of-town artists up for trophies this year: Stevie Salas for Artist of the Year and Best Rock Recording, and Sandy Scofield for Best Folk Recording.

The NAMMYs feature a diverse group of over 125 nominees with origins as far as Alaska and Hawaii and New Zealand in 25 categories. The Native...

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CBC's Pucking Anthem Challenge

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Plenty of budding composers have answered CBC's call to compose the new theme for Hockey Night in Canada. The contest will help CBC replace the legendary anthem lost to CTV in a flurry of recent licensing problems.

The winner will get "bragging rights" for the broadcast, which will be used for the 2008-09 hockey season and "potentially beyond." They'll also get a nice $100,000, and half of the royalties for the song's public performance (the other half will be donated to minor league hockey).

Currently, Manitobans have submitted 166 entries to the contest. If my calculator is correct, that's out if a nationwide 5782. Click here to peruse the Manitoba entries. A cursory glance at the submitters shows some familiar names including some of Manitoba top artists. Site visitors can comment on and rate the submissions, which the panel of judges will take into consideration when making its decision.

And if you're thinking of submitting, you have until August 31.

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Country Music Week Updates

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Country Music Week 2008 and the Canadian Country Music Awards
Winnipeg - September 5-8, 2008
www.ccma.org

REGISTRATION
If you're planning to attend Country Music Week in Winnipeg, please register online or by phone before August 22. The online reigstration will be removed at that time and we will no longer accept orders by phone or fax. To register today, visit www.ccma.org/registration_08.aro

SEMINARS
This year’s Country Music Week seminars have been re-vamped to allow opportunities for artists and industry folk at different stages of their careers, the opportunity to gain knowledge and to stay on the cutting edge of this ever-changing business. The following represents a listing of this year’s panels. Some require pre-registration, so stay tuned to your inboxes the next few weeks as we announce the deadlines and specifications for these opportunities. If you’re trying to plan your schedule for the weekend, check out the schedule of events online at www.ccma.org/cmw2008/schedule.html.

Plugging In and Powering Up
Presented by QX104
If you only go to one seminar at Country Music Week, this is the one you don’t want to miss. On Friday, September 5, many of...

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Introducing Manitoba Music

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Since 1987, the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA) has developed and promoted Manitoba's artists and industry through its programs and services. The music industry has changed dramatically since 1987 and our new music industry is about much more than just audio recording.

So... after 20 years of operating as MARIA, we're adopting a more inclusive name: Manitoba Music.

Our new name better reflects our talented and diverse membership of artists and industry professionals as well as our comprehensive website: manitobamusic.com. We represent you and you are Manitoba Music.

To bring attention to the name change, we've been running the "Where's Your Music?" campaign. We launched a fun and interactive companion website, wheresyourmusic.ca, featuring a number of great Manitoba artists' music videos, music (streaming and downloads), photos, and factoids (just a taste of what you can find on manitobamusic.com).

As part of the campaign to celebrate the name change, we're throwing a Where's Your Music? party on August 22 at the Pyramid Cabaret with performances by Novillero, Paper Moon, Flying Fox and the Hunter/Gatherers, and The Beat! DJs. Please join...

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You Can Call Me Call Me Anytime

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I am the only person that doesn't actually know what a "ringback" is. I've heard the term time and time again, most recently in an article by the trusted and informative Mi2N, and had to Google it.

And apparently, there are people who are smarter than I am who not only know what a ringback is but have figured out how to get personalized ones onto their phones. (They probably also know how to change their phones' screen savers. I do not.)

Ringback tones are on track to become the most attractive mobile content category by 2012, according to new market research from MultiMedia Intelligence. With worldwide revenue nearly tripling to $4.7 Billion, ringback tones will fall just short of mobile gaming revenue in capturing the largest share of the mobile premium content market (not including mobile video and mobile TV).
Read more about it...

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Culture Spending Cuts - Part One: Trade Routes and PromArt Cuts in Context

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Courtest of the Canadian Conference of the Arts...

Culture Spending Cuts – Part One: Trade Routes and PromArt Cuts in Context

While many of us were enjoying the summer, the federal government has announced a series of cuts of around $40 million to cultural programs and the elimination of others. Today, the CCA is publishing a comprehensive list of the programs that are affected by those cuts and we will be providing further information on these measures in the next few days. Today, the focus will be on the elimination of the PromArt program at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the phasing out of the Trade Routes program at the Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH).

Just the Facts

There has been a steady stream of criticism about the recently announced budget cuts to the TradeRoutes Program and PromArt program. The vast majority of newspaper, radio and television commentaries have been negative regarding these decisions.

The Department of Canadian Heritage has said that the decision to abolish TradeRoutes was based on the results of a value for money review. The program resources ($9 M) are largely consumed by the salaries...

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Strong Showing for Manitoba Artists at Aboriginal Music Awards

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Aboriginal artists from Manitoba demonstrated the strength of the regional scene, nabbing 30 nominations in 20 categories of the third annual Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (APCMA). The nominees were announced by the Manitoba Ahbee Festival Inc. in Winnipeg on August 20 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

The APCMAs features an online voting system, which gives Aboriginal music fans from around the world the chance to vote for their favorite act in each of the 22 categories. The winners will be announced at a nationally-televised award show on November 7 at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg and on November 6 at McPhillips Street Station. The awards are part of the 10-day Manito Ahbee festival, now in its third year. The final round of online voting for the APCMA is now underway and will come to an end on October 17.

Leading this year’s nominees with five nods is Juno-winning rock act Eagle & Hawk, up for Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year, Best Group or Duo, Best Songwriter, Best Rock CD, and Single of the Year. Double nominees include singer/songwriter Don Amero, blues man J.C. Campbell, country chanteuse Tracy Bone, hip-hop outfit Da Skelpa Squad, and fiddler...

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WCMA Responds to Recent Cuts to Cultural Programs

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Dear members,

As you may have read in the media over the past several days, the federal government announced some significant cuts to funding that supports our industry. We’ve begun a dialogue about it on our blog and many varied articles can be found at the bottom of CIRPA page that presents its response.

The cuts include PromArt ($4.7 million), Trade Routes ($9 million), the A-V Preservation Trust ($300,000), the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund ($1.5 million), the National Training Schools Program ($2.5 million) and they affect all facets of Canada’s cultural industries, including the music industry. The music and cultural industries are integral to Canada’s cultural identity and make substantial contributions to Canada’s economy. Trade Routes and PromArt are crucial in helping to export Canadian content abroad and to attracting much needed foreign investment to our industry.

What follows is the Western Canadian Music Alliance’s formal response to the cuts. MARIA strongly supports this position and encourages you to keep the conversation going by contacting your Member of Parliament. Please click here to find your Member of Parliament....

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More Arts and Culture Cuts

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In addition to PromArt ($4.7 million) and Trade Routes ($9 million), the Harper government is also making cuts to the A-V Preservation Trust ($300,000), the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund ($1.5 million), the National Training Schools Program ($2.5 million), and two programs that provide support to arts organizations — the Stabilization Projects and Capacity Building. The government hasn't called a press conference, or even released a press release on the cuts, instead making the announcement via updates on the programs' respective web pages.

Recent news items: Globe and Mail, CBC.ca, National Post.

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Pitchfork Picks Up Canadian Funding Cuts Story

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Hipster indie music site Pitchfork Media ran a story on the role that Polaris Prize nominees Holy Fuck played in the recent funding cuts (non)announcement. Meanwhile, the band is preparing for a tour that includes 11 North American dates and 22 in Europe and the UK. Sure, we'd call "Holy Fuck" a pretty poor band name, but that doesn't mean we'd call the Polaris nominees poor representatives of their Canadian homeland. The Canadian government, however, disagrees. ...

CBC News quotes the Canadian prime minister's press secretary Kory Teneycke as saying, "The [funding] choices made were inappropriate...because they were ideological in some cases, or the money was going to fringe arts groups that, in many cases, would be at best, unrepresentative, and at worst, offensive." Anne Howland, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson, cited Holy Fuck as an example of such a group.Similar stories also ran on Prefix and in Variety online.

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Inward Eye To Tours with The Who

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Rock outfit Inward Eye has landed on stage with The Who. The trio of brothers will join the legendary act on their 2008 American tour in October including stops in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. This isn't Inward Eye's first time with for The Who. The band, whose sound is often compared to The Who, opened on three Canadian dates back in 2006.

"LiveNation has always been a big supporter of the band, and suggested them," says manager Glen Willows of Burning Circus Management. "The Who actually remembered them from when they played the Canadian dates with them, and was happy to have them play again."

This is just another notch in the belt for Inward Eye. The band was signed by influential label J Records (Alicia Keyes, Carrie Underwood, Pearl Jam) in the U.S. and SonyBMG in Canada in 2006. They've opted to work on their following rather than immediately spitting out an album and as of yet haven't released anything, although an EP is expected to be released in time for the fall tour.

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Feds cut support to canadian art abroad

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The Conservative Government has announced that it is cutting funding to the Department of Foreign Affairs PromArt program and the Department of Canadian Heritage Trade Routes program. Both assisted Canadian artists in promoting their work and building the business abroad.

Canadian Press: Foreign Affairs officials confirmed Friday that PromArt will lose its $4.7-million budget next spring, effectively killing the program. They attempted to play down reports that claimed the decision was motivated by ideological differences with many of the recipients. "More than anything it's a budget decision," said Anne Howland, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson.
The National Post caught an advance leek of the info and ran details of the reasons for the cuts on Friday: ...because the program's grant recipients included "a general radical," "a left-wing and anti-globalization think-tank" and a rock band that uses an expletive as part of its name.
...because most of the money "went to groups that would raise the eyebrows of any typical Canadian," said a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

...But the program also funded travel to promote...

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Keith and Renee Head to Africa

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Because the Manitoba weather clearly isn't hot enough, Keith and Renee have gone to Africa. The pop/rock duo have travelled to Kenya alongside folks from Free The Children to learn more about the Adopt a Village program. They'll participate in building a school and meet local families who have been affected by severe poverty in the region. The band will be shooting video footage and gathering stories to share on their upcoming 45-date Generation Change Tour of high schools across North America.

“We have been watching Free The Children as an organization for several years now and it has become very clear that as independent artists, we can assist in raising awareness and encouraging the new generation to make a difference in the world,” said Keith Macpherson in a recent media release.

The Africa trip and Generation Change tour come at a time when this Canadian duo is gaining significant attention with their latest release, Revolution. Their song, "Good Year," was recently placed in and international AT&T commercial and will have a feature spot on this year’s season of Canadian Idol. Another track, "Only A Girl," will appear in the upcoming TV movie, For The Love of...

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CIRPA Response to Federal Budget Cuts to Cultural Programs

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CIRPA Response to Federal Budget Cuts to Cultural Programs

TORONTO, ON (August 9, 2008) On Friday, August 8th, the Federal government announced cuts to two significant programs that support cultural exports: the ProMart (Arts Promotion) program administered by DFAIT and the Trade Routes Program run by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Both of these programs supported Canadian musicians and music export companies and organizations.

For the Canadian music industry particularly, these cuts cannot come at a worse time. Canadian music companies are facing substantial losses of revenue due to unpaid and unauthorized downloading of their products. Since 1999, income from the sale of recorded music has been halved. Canadian illegal downloading leads the world. As a result, Canadian musicians are leaving the business, and their incomes are at, on average, poverty levels, according to a recent study by Dr. Douglas Hyatt of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. The cultural investments made by multiple levels of government and the private sector in our business are at serious risk.

More and more, Canadian musicians and music companies are depending on...

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CD Baby gets new Parent in Disc Makers

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Disc Makers has acquired CD Baby, the independent online music seller, following a 7-year close strategic partnership between the two companies. CD Baby enables independent musicians to sell their music in both physical (CD) and digital (download) format through its online store cdbaby.com. The Portland, Oregon-based company is the largest seller of independent music in the country, working with over 240,000 artists worldwide, and its online music store receives over 100,000 visitors each day. With over 2 million digitized tracks under management, CD Baby is also the largest provider of independent music for Apple iTunes and other digital download sellers like Amazon MP3, Napster, and Rhapsody.

Founder Derek Sivers wrote in his blog:
...my new projects are exciting me so much that I decided to hand over CD Baby to someone that’s going to make it better than ever for you. I chose Disc Makers as the new owner because their president Tony Van Veen has been one of my favorite people for years, and I always felt they'd do a better job of running CD Baby than I would.

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Amazon thrives in the digital download jungle

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Market research firm NPD has just released figures on the market share of US music retailers, including both physical CD sales and digital downloads combined. iTunes overtook Wal-mart earlier this year and remains the top music seller. These new figures for the first half of 2008 have Amazon climbing into forth place with its combined CD mail-order and mp3 download service. The top five music retailers in the US are:
    1) iTunes
    2) Wal-Mart (includes Walmart, Walmart.com, Walmart Music Downloads)
    3) Best Buy (includes Best Buy, Bestbuy.com, Best Buy Digital Music Store)
    4) Amazon (Amazon.com, AmazonMP3.com)
    5) Target (Target and Target.com)

Amazon is offering DRM-free music which makes it more attractive than iTunes for many consumers. iTunes, however, has a massive head start in the market and is still the default destination for many. Interestingly, it is Amazon's combined CD and download sales that have put it into forth place. Amazon is the Long Tail company in this list, benefiting from special orders and niche markets, while iTunes, Wal-mart, and Best Buy focus on major...

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