Manitoba Music


JunoFest Rolls Out Its Musical Line-Up

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Live music hits the streets of Vancouver! Today at a JUNO Awards concert inside HMV in Downtown Vancouver, The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced the extensive line-up of 2009 JunoFest performers slated to hit the stages during JUNO Awards Weekend. JunoFest wristbands (priced at $30) go on sale starting Saturday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. (PST), through Ticketmaster and participating JunoFest venues. JunoFest takes place on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, each night from 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Wristbands offer fans priority entry at all JunoFest venues (subject to capacity). Must be 19 years of age or older to attend.

Produced in association with Vancouver-based Donnelly & Associates Event Marketing Inc., JunoFest is a two-night music extravaganza that showcases the talents of over 100 local, regional and national artists representing the diverse spectrum of Canadian music.

Nearly half of the participating line-up has been chosen locally to highlight Vancouver’s rich and diverse music scene, in addition to performances from 2009 JUNO Award nominees and some of Canada’s national touring acts.

JunoFest ’09 line-up to-date: (*2009...

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2009 Juno Weekend Events

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The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced today the details of its popular JUNO Awards Weekend Events including Juno Cup, Juno Fan Fare and Songwriters’ Circle. Tickets to select Juno Weekend Events go on sale starting Saturday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. (PST) and are available through Ticketmaster.

To kick off the upcoming four-day weekend in Vancouver, March 26-29, JUNO Awards organizers staged a morning face-off at General Motors Place between 12-time JUNO Award winner Jim Cuddy and former Vancouver Canuck Cliff Ronning to help announce this year’s team rosters for the 6th Annual Juno Cup game presented by The Keg Steakhouse & Bar. The Rockers have gathered an enormous roster with artists such as Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea, Kathleen Edwards and Sarah McLachlan.

Juno Cup - Presented by The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Date: Friday, March 27
Location: UBC Thunderbird Arena
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tickets: $14.99

Juno Cup is an ever-growing popular event among fans that mixes music with sport, matching NHL alumni with top artists and...

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Walking in Memphis (is not something the locals do)

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We've been in downtown Memphis before, so when Sara and I arrived at the airport, we caught a cab straight to the whole foods market grocery store. Walking through downtown Memphis feels a bit like being on Truman show - there are roads and sidewalks and nice street lights but no people, and certainly no grocery stores. And with the restaurant scene leaning heavily toward the heavy (famous bbq and such) some veggies and fruit would be welcome snacks in the days ahead. So I was surprised but not that much to run into fellow Canadians at the whole foods, who were also making a trek for supplies, and we were happy to catch a lift back to the conference.

Folk Alliance all takes place in one downtown hotel, with a little spillover into the adjoining conference centre. That makes it a pretty close knit event where you keep running into old friends, and it makes it pretty straight forward when trying to make new connections. The amount of great music is phenomenal (the amount of bad music is kind of staggering too, although pretty easy to avoid).

With 9 Manitoba acts at the conference this year we've had a big presence and a great reception. Many of the artists are down for the...

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Western Canadian Music Awards Submissions Now Open

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Deadline: April 19

Made up of the five industry associations in the west; Manitoba Music, SaskMusic, Alberta Music, Music BC and Music Yukon the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA) annually celebrates the force of musical and industry talent in Western Canada. The four-day event is comprised of a music industry conference, a multi-genre music festival, and two awards shows. This year’s event will be held in Brandon, MB, September 17-20.

The WCMA festival is an intimate music extravaganza showcasing the greatest Western Canadian musical talent. The WCMAs are a place where great new talent is discovered and bands making their mark on the national scene can take it to the next level, getting seen by key music buyers and festivals across the US and Europe. It has been said that the WCMAs "bring the world to you", providing priceless networking opportunities for industry and musicians.

The WCMA Awards Show is a unique celebration of the talent that has shone in Western Canada over the past year. Is this the year you will grace the stage to accept the hardware?

Submissions for the 2009 Artistic and Industry Awards nominations and for the WCMA Festival showcases open...

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The Warm Days of the Winnipeg Folk Festival on The (204)

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Last week, Wab brought you Jaxon Haldane, Winnipeg bluegrass musician, in to the studio for a heartfelt studio session in honour of the late great Willie P. Bennet. Jaxon was one of the head organizers of last year's tribute concert to Willie P. Bennett at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. This week, Wab is bringing that concert to your ears.

Tune in for a huge team of talented roots musicians playing their hearts out for Willie P.

Our stellar lineup of musicians includes:

Russell Decarle of Prairie Oyster
Chris Whiteley
Tom Fodey
Aaron Goss
Pat Temple
Keri Latimer, Shelley Marshall and Damon Mitchell of Nathan
Washboard Hank
Andrew Neville
Chris Saywell
Ashley Roch
Joel Tichkosky and
Don Zeuff
and Jaxon Haldane

Plus, music from singer/songwriter Don Amero, blues woman Kat Kennedy and jazz group The Chess Club.

Related links:
Willie P. Bennett concert on Concerts on Demand
Willie P. Bennett obituary

Check out The (204) Saturdays, 5 p.m. on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM and 990 AM.

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Mess with Texas

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The Roots Music Report has tabulated its five-year music tracking process and has released the results: Texas is a great place to be an independent musician.

The RMR announced today the "top 10 states that produce and support independent music" with Texas at number 1. Many of the other named states wouldn't be much of a surprise if you think about their music scenes: North Carolina, Louisiana, New York. I'll admit that Michigan was a puzzler, but then again, someone from Detroit would probably say that about Manitoba. Anyhow, here's the top 10 according the RMR:

#1 Texas
#2 California
#3 Tennessee
#4 New York
#5 Illinois
#6 Michigan
#7 Mississippi
#8 Louisiana
#9 North Carolina
#10 Pennsylvania

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Memphis Bound

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Nine Manitoba acts are heading to Memphis, Tennessee next week to showcase to the folk and roots music industry at the International Folk Alliance Conference. The annual event, now in its 21st year, is the premier professional development conference focused on folk, roots, multicultural and world music in North America and runs February 18 through 22, 2009.

Showcasing acts include some of Manitoba’s best up-and-coming as well as established artists, including Juno Award-winning outfit The Duhks and Western Canadian Music Award-winning singer/songwriter Romi Mayes. Singer/songwriters Alana Levandoski, Lindsay Jane, Matt Epp, J.P. Hoe, and Kerri Woelke will also showcase throughout the event, as will duo Jacob & Lily and band Jackpine.

Manitoba has built a reputation for its strong roots scene, dominating folk and roots categories at the Juno Awards and touring to sold-out halls throughout North American, Europe, Australia, and beyond. This year’s Juno nominations feature three Manitoba acts: Folk Alliance veterans Twilight Hotel and The Duhks, and new group Chic Gamine.

The showcases at this year’s conference offer artists the chance to perform for audiences that...

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Will Call Window May Close on Ticketmaster / Live Nation Merger

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The announcement this week of a Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger made official what has been speculation for some time. But the move will not be a smooth one, and is already facing challenges, from official anti-trust concerns to chatter from the concert buying public.

Live Nation runs their own ticket service, which competes directly with Ticketmaster and is an attempt to cash in on the service fee bonanza. It's reported that they would keep that service running even after a proposed merger, a strange move, but one that is probably in place to try and mitigate the anti-trust concerns.

Meanwhile, the embattled concert ticket behemoth Ticketmaster is already facing class action suits for it ridiculously high ticket fees and its ticket reselling site TicketsNow which sells tickets at a huge markup from their original price.

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Festival du Voyageur

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St. Boniface is about to get a little crowded. Throngs of fans head to Winnipeg's Francophone centre every February for Festival du Voyageur's 10 days and nights of winter revelrie. But the 40-year-old institution is about more than just trading posts, dog sleds, and beard-growing contests; it's also a busy music festival.

The festival has built a reputation for booking diverse acts covering just about every genre imaginable. This year's festival, which runs February 13-22, features performances by more than 70 performers playing everything from traditional fiddle music to Aboriginal hand drum music to R&B and rock bands. Music happens throughout the day and night at various venues including those at Voyegeur Park in St. Boniface.

Music fans can catch sets by the likes of Juno-nominated soul roots quintet Chic Gamine, Juno-winning roots act Nathan, French Canadian folk act Deuxieme Take, country rock outfit C-Weed, alt.pop singer Daniel ROA, pop singer/songwriter Dominique Reynolds, fiddler and singer/songwriter Sierra Noble, Celtic rockers Dust Rhinos, new age rock trio Kraink, kids duo Lulu et le Matou, bluegrass act Oh My Darling, Metis fiddlers Ryan D'Aoust and...

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Jaxon Haldane - live studio session this week on The (204)

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You've heard of Neil Young and Fred Eaglesmith, but what about Willie P. Bennett?

Willie P. Bennett was an influential Canadian folk musician, but most people haven't heard of him. He's what you'd call a "musician's musician." He had a special connection to several Winnipeg musicians as a mentor, including the boys from locals The D. Rangers. Frontman Jaxon Haldane is coming in to the (204) studios to pay tribute to Willie with an exclusive studio session featuring some of Willie's famous tunes.

Willie P. Bennet was an influential Canadian folk musician, but most people haven't heard of him. He's what you'd call a "musician's musician." He had a special connection to several Winnipeg musicians as a mentor, including the boys from locals The D. Rangers. Frontman Jaxon Haldane is coming in to the (204) studios to pay tribute to Willie with an exclusive studio session featuring some of Willie's famous tunes.

Last summer, shortly after Willie passed away from heart problems, Jaxon helped organize a large tribute to Willie at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. The show was a hit. That concert was recorded by CBC Radio and is airing nationally on Monday, February 16th on Canada...

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Call for Submissions: Manitoba Music Showcase in Toronto

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Now Taking Submissions for a Toronto Showcase Opportunity

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Thursday, February 26, 2009

Manitoba Music and MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC are teaming up with Manitoba Homecoming 2010 to present an exciting showcase of three or four Manitoba artists at the Rivoli on Toronto's Queen Street West on Thursday, April 16, 2009. This event is an excellent opportunity for acts to showcase in front of top names in the Toronto-based music industry. We will work with each selected act to help get the people they need (label reps, agents, managers, etc.) in the audience.

To be considered for a showcase, you must:
• Have a current release
• Be export-ready
• Have financial capacity to undertake travel and accommodations in Toronto (Market Access Program Support is available, but will not cover full costs)
• Be a Manitoba Music member

• One (1) copy of your current release
• One (1) copy of a current video (if available)
• One (1) copy of your press kit (include location of electronic press kit, if available)
• One (1) copy of a letter explaining how this showcase would fit with your band's overall development plan

Submissions will...

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The (204)

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3 Best Roots acts, 3 Best Aboriginal acts, 1 Best Instrumental... and a partridge in a pear tree.

Phew! Talk about ultimate Manitoba domination! We're taking over the world!!!
Congratulations to all of our Manitoba Juno nominees announced this week.

This week, we take a look at some of the musicians on the nomination list for this year's Juno awards - including Twilight Hotel, Chic Gamine, Tracy Bone and DJ Brace. [See complete list is below]

Plus, an interview with German brother and sister punk rock act, Die Roten Punkte, who brought down the house at last year's Fringe Festival. They're coming back to Winnipeg next week, and we've got their song "Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am A Lion)" to get you in the mood for the insanity.

And - it's the 10th anniversary of CKUW 95.9fm being on the airwaves. Previously a closed-circuit radio station at the University of Winnipeg, CKUW has now grown in to a strong community station. This week is their annual pledge drive and they're kicking it all off with a special concert from Novillero and Oldfolks home. The night is the launch of a really unique Winnipeg project - an album called "CKUW Uncovered". It features local...

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10 Key Facts About Artists in Canada

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Hill Strategies Research as released a new report revealing "10 key facts about the working lives of artists in Canada." Since I failed grade 11 math, you can assume that the researchers prepared the summary pasted below. I recommend checking out executive summary, which is a fascinating read filled with numbers and % symbols and explanations of the 10 points below.

A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada
Based on the 2006 Census

This report shows that there are 140,000 artists in Canada who spent more time at their art than at any other occupation in May 2006. The number of artists is slightly larger than the number of Canadians directly employed in the automotive industry (135,000).

The report reveals 10 key facts about the working lives of artists in Canada.

1. The average earnings of artists are very low.
2. A typical artist in Canada earns less than half the typical earnings of all Canadian workers.
3. Artists’ earnings decreased, even before the current recession.
4. There are more female than male artists, yet women artists earn much less than men.
5. Aboriginal and visible minority artists have particularly low earnings.
6. Economic...

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Manitoba Acts Net 11 Juno Nods

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Manitoba artists and industry have 11 chances to bring home statues at the 2009 JUNO Awards in Vancouver this March. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced nominees early on February 3, naming several homegrown acts as well as a few expats in the process, making this one of the strongest showings for Manitoba music in recent Juno history.

Three Manitoba bands are strong contenders for the top prize in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) category this year, solidifying Manitoba’s reputation in the roots genre. This year’s contenders include soulful roots music outfit Chic Gamine for its self-titled debut, genre-defying roots act The Duhks for Fast Paced World, and Americana duo Twilight Hotel for Highway Prayer. Manitoba roots acts have dominated the Junos in recent years, picking up awards in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) three times in the last four years. Nathan won the award last year while The Duhks and The Wailin’ Jennys won in 2006 and 2005, respectively.

"We're absolutely thrilled and honored to be nominated for a 2009 Juno Award alongside some of Manitoba Music's finest," says Chic Gamine's...

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Your City / Your Song

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The Winnipeg Free Press has unveiled the winner and finalists for its My City / My Song contest. JD Edwards' song "Easter Breeze" topped the list of 102 entries.

Sierra Noble and Scott Nolan took the runner-up spots while The Liptonians, Don Amero, Ken Pinchin, Annette Brown, Jason Gordon, and a team trio of Arun Chaturvedi, Darrelyne Bickle, and Chris Burke-Gaffney walked away with honourable mentions.

The Free Press launched the contest in December. The judging panel included producer Jack Shapira (Unison Studios), singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson, Free Press writer Melissa Martin, CBC Radio host Wab Kinew, and The Harlots' Charles Garinger.

Edwards wins studio time at Unison Studios with Shapira, airplay on CBC Radio's Information Radio, and a CD prize package from Warner Music Canada.

You can see the list of finalists at the Free Press website and listen to the Top 10 tracks. 

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In For Lunch Concert Series Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Downtowners are invited to enjoy free lunchtime concerts on Fridays, as the In for Lunch concert series returns to the city centre on Friday, January 30 at noon with the band Twilight Hotel at Portage Place.

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s tenth annual In for Lunch concert series runs on Fridays from noon to 1:00 p.m. until March 27. Concerts are located at Portage Place shopping centre, with new locations at the University of Winnipeg’s Riddell Atrium and the big series wind-up at the historic VIA Rail Union Station.

The eclectic entertainment features a variety of music by local performers. All are welcome to bring their lunch and beat the winter blahs to the beat of great tunes. Tables and chairs provided.

January 30 - Twilight Hotel @ Portage Place,
February 6 - Kerri Woelke @ Portage Place
February 13 - Groovy Moustache @ Portage Place
February 20 - JD Edwards Band @ Portage Place
February 27 - Oh My Darling @ Portage Place
March 6 - Flo @ U of W – Riddell Atrium
March 13 - Don Amero @ Portage Place
March 20 - Patrick Keenan @ Portage Place
March 27 - Paper Moon @ VIA Rail Union Station

“We want to get workers out of the office and into...

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Call for Submissions: Red River Exhibition performance opportunity

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SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Thursday, February 19, 2009

Manitoba Music is planning a night of music at the Red River Exhibition between June 12-June 21, 2009.

The Red River Exhibition attracts an average 200,000 visitors over the 10-day, family-focused event. Manitoba Music will be programming an evening of music running  4pm to midnight (date TBD). Set lengths will be approximately 45 minutes long; bands will be compensated for their performance. This is a great opportunity for bands to get in front of a variety of people and gain some exposure.

To be considered for a showcase, you must:
• Have a current release
• Be a member of Manitoba Music

• One (1) copy of your press kit (include location of electronic press kit, if available)
• One (1) copy of any other promotional material you want included

Submissions will be evaluated based on:
• Music
• Track record

Final decision will rest with Red River Exhibition.

Submit by 4pm CST February 19, 2009 to:

Danielle Strueby, Marketing Coordinator
Manitoba Music
1-376 Donald Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2J2

For more info, please contact Danielle,...

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CKUW Uncovered

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CKUW 95.9 FM is set to kick off its tenth FUNdrive with one of the best music projects since the Record of the Week Club.

On February 6, the University of Winnipeg's campus/community radio station will release the CKUW Uncovered project, which will feature 10 local artists covering an "inspirational local artist." The CD will feature the covers plus a booklet of photos and notes from the artists.

If you want one, you'll have to pledge to CKUW's FUNdrive, which runs February 6-13.

I spent a few years doing a radio show on CKUW a while back and I can still remember the pledge line's phone number, which I repeated approximately 8 million times: 774-6877. (I typed that in my best radio voice.)

FUNdrive, for the uninitiated, is CKUW's annual week-long fundraising extravaganza. Regular programming is interrupted for mayhem, fun, special giveaways, special guests, and pledging by dedicated listeners (which, in my case, included my mom).

The February 6 kick-off party at the Pyramid will feature some of the CD's artists: featuring CKUW Uncovered artists: Novillero, Oldfolks Home and "extra special secret guests."

Who says pledge drives have to be boring?...

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The Search for Canada's Best Venue

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The search is underway for Canada's best live music club and you get to make the decision. Or a bunch of you. We, even.

After a week of nominations, CBC Radio 3 released the long list of the best places to catch live music across the country. CBC Radio 3's Searchlight is now open to public voting.

Manitoba's nominees includes a nicely diverse list of local venues: Le Garage Cafe, The Lo Pub, The Pyramid Cabaret, The Royal Albert Arms, The Royal George Hotel, Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club, and The Zoo.

Get your favourite club in the Top 50 by voting once a day until February 2. Just head to the Radio 3 website, register, log in and vote. The Top 50 will be announced on February 3. Throughout February, the list will get smaller and smaller, eventually revealing the winner on February 25

CBC will then package up Canada's top live music club and send it to Obama. No no, the winner will host a live concert present by Radio 3, a Sirius satellite radio subscription, Radio 3 clothes for owners and staff, a plaque and a trophy. And it's probably nicer than your grade 8 indoor soccer trophy.

Go vote! Then come back and tell us about your favourite live music...

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Sierra Noble is Larger Than Life

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Sierra Noble is coming to a theatre near you for one night only on January 28. The 18-year-old singer/songwriter and fiddler is featured in the film Larger Than Life, which will be presented on the big screen in high definition and digital surround sound at 52 select Cineplex Entertainment theatres across the country.

Larger Than life is a celebration of Aboriginal talent, featuring Noble as well as artists Plex, Marc Nadjiwan, Jason Burnstick, The Johnnys, and a special guest appearance by Canadian music legend Bruce Cockburn. Emceed by Winston Wuttunee at Revival in Toronto, the lineup of diverse musical talent joined together to celebrate Aboriginal music on one stage. The film is presented by Working Title Artists and filmed by Strong Road Productions.

"We are very proud to present such an incredible line up in such a unique way. The concert will be exceptional, as is expected from this talent and we are fortunate that it will find its way to Canadians cross country," said Working Title Artists’ Brent Bain in a media release.

Noble has kept busy in the last year, releasing her latest effort, Possibilities, in December 2008. While she’s perhaps best known for...

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Power Art

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Several years ago, I participated in a meeting about urban renewal with then mayor Glen Murray and a representative from Centre Venture. Artists, Murray said to us, were the key to a vibrant downtown. Look at any other city with a flourishing urban centre and you would see artists at its core. New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal. Artists work and live in their chosen area, creating communities and attracting restaurants and bars, retail and foot traffic and housing. Artists, he insisted, were vital.

I was reminded of this the other day when a manifesto showed up in my inbox. The art community was reacting swiftly to the news that Manitoba Hydro was considering purchasing and gutting three historic buildings on McDermot east of Princess to expand a nearby substation.

Hydro has since taken a step back to review the situation, reports CBC. But the quoted Hydro spokesman, Glenn Schneider, indicates that developments like condos and stores means more power is needed and the location of the McDermot buildings makes them the logical and only spot.

An excerpt from the CBC story:

"I think there has to be a place in society for the infrastructure that is required to make...

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Manitoba Music Promotional USB and Manitoba Music Drop Cards

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SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOON, Monday, February 9, 2009

Manitoba Music is planning the release of two new promotional tools:

1. USB Drives - Will be distributed widely through various music industry festivals and conferences, as well as directly to key players in the industry. Manitoba Music gets these USB drives into the hands of managers, labels, agents, festivals, publishers, campus and club buyers, radio programmers, publicists, music journalists, as well as many others who can help your career.

2. Drop Cards - Will be distributed widely through various music festivals, public events that Manitoba Music is associated with and music lovers.

Both promotional items will be multi-genre (e.g. rock, punk, pop, roots, country, hip-hop, etc.).

To have your track included for consideration, please email:
• High resolution (300 dpi) photograph in jpeg format
• Mp3 with track name, songwriting and publishing credit
• 100-word bio/one sheet in PDF format
• Contact information (contact name, phone, email, and website)
• Completed Grant of Rights form

Submissions will be rejected if incomplete.

N.B. - You must be a Manitoba Music member to be considered...

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Call for Submissions: MUSEXPO Showcase Opportunity

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SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 4pm CST Monday, February 9, 2009

Manitoba Music and MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC are planning an exclusive showcase at MUSEXPO in Los Angeles between April 26 and April 29, 2009.

MUSEXPO is one of North America’s most important music business conferences with very exclusive showcasing opportunities. It is attended by some of the highest profile and most powerful people in music and entertainment, including heads of A&R, film and television music supervision, online and traditional video gaming, telecommunications, and more. Some of this year’s confirmed speakers and delegates include: David Rezner (Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group), Kenny MacPherson (President/Senoir Executive, Chrysalis Music), Ian Rogers (CEO, Topspin), Ron Spaulding (Executive VP/GM of Fontana), Bob Lefsetz (Editor, The Lefsetz Letter), Terry McBride (CEO, Nettwerk Music Group), Steve Schnur (Worldwide Executive of Music & Marketing, EA Games), and Simon Wright (President & CEO, Virgin Entertainment Group).

The Manitoba initiative will also include an exclusive showcase for area music supervisors in Los Angeles on April 30. The list of invitees for this showcase is a...

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Ridley Bent Wins Independent Music Award

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Country singer/songwriter and recent B.C. transplant, Ridley Bent, has landed top honours at the eighth annual Independent Music Awards, which named his song "Nine Inch Nails" the winner of this year'sCountry - Song category. Click here to listen to "Nine Inch Nails"...

The multi-genre IMAs work to create career opportunities for winners and finalists through continuous public promotion, marketing, and distribution. The year-long IMA campaign includes a compilation CD of winners' music distributed to both fans and industry at international music conferences and festivals and promoted to radio and as well as millions of subscribers on sites like Purevolume and eMusic. Fans are also able to vote for their favourite nominees online on the IMA website.

Bent is also featured in a couple of recent interviews, including the nationally-televised CMT Chevy Cross Canada Countdown's Top 20 and Shaw TV's Backstage in Winnipeg. Running January 23-25, the CMT segment includes an interview shot on the Toronto set of Bent's next video, "Arlington." He also chats with Tracy Koga at Times Change(d) and performs his award-winning song "Nine Inch Nails" in the Shaw TV segment, which is also...

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Gian to the Rescue

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Gian Ghomeshi had James Moore, Heritage Minister, on his CBC radio show Q this morning. Click here to read the article on the CBC website...

A couple excerpts:
"It's a huge part of our GDP. It's twice the size of all those who work solely in agriculture. It's three times the size of our forest industry. So it's a huge part of our economy and most importantly, in my view, is that arts and culture is about improving the quality of life of Canadians," Moore said.

Moore said Trade Routes will not be reinstated, but that the government "agrees with the goals" of the program and will consider other options.Quite a change in tone from our government!

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Obama and the Creative Industries

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If there is one thing that has been striking in the past few days of American political celebrations, beyond the pitch perfect speech writing and orations of the central figure, it has been the stellar music that accompanies every moment. From the fabulous Lincoln Memorial Concert on the weekend, to the thoughtful and prominent musical offerings in the inauguration ceremony itself. There was so much high profile music involved that Billboard produced a music specific schedule for the four days of festivities.

The question for us now that the parties are over, is not whether musicians love Obama, that seems clear, and indeed Obama seems quite fond of music and the arts, but what will it mean for the creative industries in America and abroad to have a music lover back in the White House.

The new President came to power thanks in a large part to urban voters and, according to the Telegraph, the support of the creative class. What remains to be seen, is if Obama can reciprocate with support for the creative industries. Richard Florida writes that while politicians and economists are shouting about putting shovels in the ground and saving the auto industry, true economic...

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Open Mic at The Folk Exchange - January 23

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Manitoba Music and the Winnipeg Folk Festival present
with Kraink
Friday, January 23, 2008 | 7pm

Winnipeg Folk Festival and Manitoba Music are happy to announce the next Open Mic Night @ The Folk Exchange. The exciting line-up of guest hosts -- which has included Karla Adolphe, J.P. Hoe, Don Amero, Rob Wrigley, Keri Latimer, Ruth Moody and Twilight Hotel -- continues this month with Kraink.

On Open Mic Nights, musicians and music-lovers unite to share songs, inspiration and just plain old good times in the casual, intimate atmosphere of the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Folk Exchange venue, located at 211 Bannatyne Avenue (behind the Festival Music Store @ Albert Street).

Bring your instrument and take your turn on the Folk Exchange stage–or just come to listen (non-players will be charged a $2 cover).

Call the Festival at (204) 231-0096 for more information.

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New CDs To Keep You Warm

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This hasn't actually been proven by any reputable source but we think that releasing an album keeps you warmer. Enough acts are doing it during this winter's incredible death grip to lend our theory some credibility...

On January 9, folk/rock quintet The Duhks celebrated the Winnipeg release of its latest offering, Fast Paced World. The album was technically released by U.S. roots label Sugar Hill Records in the gentler month of August, but this month had The Duhks playing two sold-out shows at The Park Theatre to hometown fans. The band promptly hops back on the road for dates in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, California and beyond. Acclaimed roots singer/songwriter Adrien Sala also released his new CD on January 9, as did metal outfit Jarhead.

Many are used to seeing guitarist/drummer Chris Carmichael on the stage backing the likes of Romi Mayes, Big Dave McLean, and Scott Nolan but he's just about to launch a CD of his own. The roots/blues singer/songwriter takes over the Times Change(d) stage to launch his debut solo effort on January 16 before heading out on the road for a busy tour with The Perpetrators.

Hip-hop artist Wab Kinew, known for his work with...

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Make Obama a Mixtape

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CBC Radio wants to make Barack Obama a mixtape! It's offering Canadians a chance to choose "49 songs from North of the 49th parallel that defines Canada to the new President." (Canada's Wikipedia entry isn't snazzy enough.)

CBC's Denise Donlon (who was totally my favourite Much VJ) says:

“One of the best way to know Canada is through the depth and breadth of our artistic expression,” says Denise Donlon, Executive Director, CBC Radio. “We're excited about the new President and we want him to be excited about us, so we're asking our audience to help compile the list of our most definitive Canadian songs!”Canadians have until Friday at 8pm ET to submit song choices for the shortlist. On January 12, CBC Radio 2 will reveal a 100-song shortlist which folks can vote on until January 16 at 11pm ET. After that, you'll have to make Obama your own mixtape. 

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Digital Jumps, Vinyl Soars, CDs Slump in 2008

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Neilsen SoundsScan released sales numbers for music in the United States last week, and for Canada this week.

The good news is that music sales are up. Overall units sold in Canada increased in 2008 by 11.5%. The bad news for the industry is that album sales are down, and album sales have the largest impact on profitability. Overall album sales dropped by 8.5%. Sales of digital albums rose by nearly 70%, but still represent only a fraction, less than 10%, of overall sales.

The cool thing, is that vinyl sales in the US (I can't put my finger on Canadian numbers) doubled in 2008 to 1.88 million units. I think we've all noticed vinyl on the merch table at more and more shows lately, often accompanied with a digital download. In the spirit of making music as accessible as possible through digital downloads but also providing value-added physical packaging to entice consumers to buy a physical product, vinyl seems to fit the bill nicely, and it seems that young music fans are leading this trend.

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