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....
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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.
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:
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...
In an article in the Globe and Mail this weekend, Robert Everett-Green challenges the notion that a CBC Radio 2 with less classical music is by default more commercial. As someone who craves to hear more independent Canadian music on the national network, I found much of his argument to be extremely cogent. There's a whole galaxy of significant non-classical Canadian musicians who get no airplay on private radio in Canada. Commercial stations aren't investing any time in the music of distinctive performers such as the New Pornographers, Chad VanGaalen, the Telepathic Butterflies, Final Fantasy, Wolf Parade or Kyrie Kristmanson. All of these people would suit the new prime-time evening program, Canada Live; on the late-evening show, The Signal; and probably on the forthcoming drive-home show hosted by rapper Buck 65.The CBC has taken a lot of flack from the classical music community and classical music fans for shifting gears at the network. R.E.G. does a nice job of explaining that light classical music has little or nothing to with Canadian cultural heritage or diversity. Clearly, patrons of the light classics should be looking to stations like Toronto's Classical 96.3FM....
Can I just say I am sooooooooooooooo excited for the Tom Petty show this week?!!! I can hardly sleep at night! This pure anticipation (otherwise known as ants in my pants) reminds me of the feeling I used to get the week before Christmas. Yep . . . Tom’s like my St. Nick now!
Things I’m gonna do at the concert:
-Jump up and down like a hyperactive kid hopped up on sugar
-Scream at the top of my lungs to the point where I can’t talk the next day
-Sing at the top of my lungs while standing on my chair
-Flip the bird to anyone who tries to stop me from singing at the top of my lungs while standing on my chair
-Smile in appreciation that the MTS Centre is finally bringing big names to WPG.
-Watch thousands of people smoke a spliff during Mary Jane’s Last Dance
Things I’m scared I might do at the concert:
-Jump up and down like a hyperactive kid hopped up on sugar
-Get so excited that I puke
-Get so excited that I pee myself
-Get so excited that I both puke and pee myself at the same time
-Flash Tom Petty (ok I’m not that type of girl but for this concert I’d consider flushing all my moral standings down the toilet)
-Offend Tom Petty by...
MARIA is currently planning Manitoba Music showcasing opportunities at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF), being held in Ottawa October 24-26, 2008. If you are interested, please contact Danielle (email@example.com) for more info or to express your interest in participating.
Manitoba music will have a strong presence in Edmonton this fall when the trophies are handed out at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA). Hometown artists and industry professionals account for 28 nominations in 20 different categories, 19 of which are artistic awards. The artistic trophies will be handed out at a gala event on October 19 in Edmonton.
This year’s nominations include four nods for rock poets The Weakerthans; for Outstanding Rock Recording, Outstanding Independent Album Award, Songwriter(s) of the Year, and Video of the Year. The quartet and its latest critically-acclaimed release, Reunion Tour, is also one of the 10 short listed bands for this year’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize. Also up for the Outstanding Independent Album Award is blues rock act The Perpetrators and their album, Tow Truck. The trio is also up for Outstanding Blues Recording, which they won in 2006. Americana duo Twilight Hotel has picked up a nod for its sophomore release Highway Prayer, for Outstanding Roots Recording ~ Duo/Group and for Video of the Year.
Last year’s Outstanding Christian Recording winner, rapper Fresh I.E., is again up for the same trophy, this year...
First off, yes. The blog title? Groan. Nextly... folk/rocker Jack Johnson, his indie label, and mellow green crusade.
Johnson, whose latest album has sold over 2 million copies, not only holds his label, studio and tours to high environmental standards, he also encourages those he works with (like big boy Universal) to be more responsible, including the artists on his roster. According to an article on cnn.com:
Additional actions taken by Brushfire tours will include fueling tour vehicles with sustainable biodiesel, offering eco-friendly merchandise, working with venues to create waste management programs, onsite recycling and encouraging fans to use alternative transportation.
Back at home, Brushfire has adopted a similar strategy. All the power for the recording studios and the offices is generated by solar panels. Insulation is supplied by cotton from scraps of blue jeans. Energy-efficient lighting runs throughout the building. Second-hand furniture is all you will find in its offices.
The music industry is based on the creation of products (even digital music uses power) and travel. Meanwhile, there are plenty of music folks who are trying to do something to...
Hometown favourite Doc Walker has solidified its place as one of Canada’s top country music recording acts this year. The country rock outfit and its latest release on Open Road Recordings, Beautiful Life, is up for an impressive six artistic awards and six industry awards at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA). Manitoba artists and industry professionals are up for an unprecedented 19 awards.
The nationally-televised awards show, one of Canada's annual entertainment highlights, is part of the Canadian Country Music Association's annual Country Music Week, taking place in Winnipeg September 5-8, 2008. Hosted by Terri Clark, the awards gala will take over downtown Winnipeg’s MTS Centre on the final evening of festivities, September 8.
This year’s Honourary Chairs of Country Music Week, Doc Walker competes for the Group of the Year award again after picking up the trophy in 2004 and 2007. The band is also up for the Fan’s Choice Award, Single of the Year, Songwriters of the Year, Video of the Year, and Album of the Year as well as industry nods for Website of the Year, Video Director of the Year, and Album Design of the Year. Three members of Doc Walker are...
Russia is again a ‘Hot Topic’ for the Manitoba Music blog as it was announced today that the Russian government is attempting to draft a law that will make ‘emo’ and ‘goth’ music illegal, as reported by msn.com.
“The [Moscow] Times says the bill defines ‘emos’ as "from 12 to 16 years old and wear black and pink clothing. They have black hair with long bangs that 'cover half the face,' black fingernails, black belts peppered with studs and pins, and ear and eyebrow piercings." (Which pretty much classifies every 'trendy' person nowadays.)
These legislations will attempt to regulate ‘emo’ related websites and also ban people who dress like ‘emos’ (not emus) to enter schools and government buildings.
Emo/goth culture is seen as negative in Russian culture because, “The "negative ideology" of emo culture may push young people toward depression and social withdrawal, and the movement carries a significant risk of suicide, especially for young girls.”
Meanwhile, the Moscow News reports that "Dozens of black-clad emo music fans" protested the proposed legislation Saturday in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Although none of the protestors in the accompanying photo appear...
As an independent artist, I'm constantly looking for inspiration from other artists, and I'm constantly discovering new singers via the internet or my favorite, the radio. I actually discovered Valery Gore (a true gem) on the CBC. I was so taken with her that I went online and bought her CD right away (because her music made me happy).
Feeding my curiosity at what one might find on the internet if they discovered my music on the radio (or wherever), I entered my name into the search engine. I was hoping that my website would appear along with the CD Baby website. Either result would make it easy for a possible new fan to get their hands on my album fast! Although these websites did appear as a result of my search, so did countless
other websites. To my shock and dismay, many websites offered to sell my little independent , I-spent-every-dime-I-had-to-make-this- album for as little as $1.50 or 20 cents a song (what a deal!).
When I spoke with CD Baby about what I had discovered they told me to send 'cease and desist' letters, pronto. I got back on my computer and looked up every contact name for these shady websites that I could find. Though some of these websites...
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 4pm
MARIA and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND are co-producing showcasing opportunities during the Country Music Week, which takes place in Winnipeg this fall. The showcases will take place at two venues in downtown Winnipeg on Saturday, September 6 and will be targeted towards both delegates of Country Music Week as well as the general public. We are currently seeking Manitoba talent appropriate for this market.
To be considered for a performance for these showcases, please submit:
- EPK with link to three songs/videos
- Press kit including CD
Manitoba-based country rock favourites Doc Walker are up for the Fan's Choice Award at the 2008 Canadian Country Music Awards, the Canadian Country Music Association has announced.
The trio was recently named this year's Honourary Chairs of Country Music Week, which takes place in Winnipeg September 5-8, 2008. Their latest album, Beautiful Life, was released earlier this year. The rest of the CCMA nominations will be released on July 30.
They're up against Paul Brandt, George Canyon, Emerson Drive, and Jessie Farrell for the award. Beginning July 25 until September 7 at 11:59 EST, the public can vote online at CMT.ca for their choice. The winner will be announced during the CCMA Awards in Winnipeg on September 8, 2008. The show will be broadcast nationally on CBC Television with encore broadcasts on CMT.
Doc Walker won the 2007 CCMA Award for Album of the Year for their last self-titled release.
I heart Record of the Week Club. The latest brainchild from producer/musician Mike Petkau, ROTWC has been putting up fascinating song creations for the past nine weeks. This week's hit my inbox just after 4am featuring an unlikely and stunning collaboration between Tele's Matt Worobec, Anthem Red's Jo Snyder, and D.Rangers' Jaxon Haldane. I started my morning with the fantastically melancholic but upbeat ditty complete with gypsy guitar, harmonium, epic electric guitar, and Snyder and Worobec singing in ways I've never heard from them before.
Petkau's project creates threeway collaborations by artists handpicked from a pile of self-submissions. They gather together on a Wednesday night -- unaware of who they'll be playing with until they arrive -- working with Petkau to create a track that's composed, recorded, mixed, and distributed in one night.
Petkau's been great and putting together surprising threesomes. There've been classical violinists, roots singers, funk DJs, electronic artists, jazz drummers, indie popsters, rock singers and more in lots of different combinations. Some of them work brilliantly, some of them could use a little more refining, but that's part...
The summer issue of the MARIATALK quarterly newsletter is out and mailed. Click here to download your own copy (7.47 MB PDF)
Scott Nolan profile by Melissa Martin
Mike Petkau and Record of the Week Club profile by Jen Zoratti
Pyramid Cabaret Celebrates 20 Years by Mike Warkentin
Trademarking Your Band Name
What's New on Manitobamusic.com
Farewell to Sam Baardman
Message from Interim Executive Director Sara Stasiuk
Message from the MARIA Board - John Kendle
Pictures from North by Northeast 2008
Aboriginal Music Program News
Market Access Program News
A Sample of New Music Releases
Manitoba Film & Sound Notes
FACTOR Funding Deadlines
Manitoba Music Out and About Pictures
Click here to download your own copy (7.47 MB PDF)
Music darling Feist lived out the dream of every musician and filmed a segment with a modified version of her song "1 2 3 4" on Sesame Street.
This is particularly fascinating given Feist's questionable counting skills; original lyrics include "One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten / Money can't buy you back the love that you had then". This issue was ignored by re-writers who only have Feist counting to four and, apparently, loving it ("I love counting / Counting to the number four"). The segment is a nice play on Feist's popular video for "1 2 3 4," including her entrance, although there is a disappointing lack of sequins.
The Real Question: Will this overtake Sesame Street's disco hit counting song in popularity? A quick poll amongst people at my desk (i.e. me) indicates no because counting to four lacks the sheer emotional impact of counting to 12.
(Manitoba Music Trivia: Acoustically Inclined did a fantastic cover of the counting song live on the Winnipeg Folk Festival mainstage -- and probably elsewhere -- back in the '90s.)
P.S. - My mom has that exact same peasant shirt. Yay...
The European Commission this week released a proposal to extend copyright protection for performers and sound recordings to 95 years, bringing it into line with the copyright term for authors and composers in the region, which is currently 70 years.
The current term of 50 years means that performers can outlive the copyright, losing a revenue stream late in life, when arguably they need it the most. The extended protection would also apply to record companies, allowing labels to generate increased revenues on back catalog as the industry continues toward increased digital distribution and falling CD sales.
This proposal follows other unsucessful attempts to extend copyright, most noteably in the UK. In 2005 the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property advised against copyright extension.
Unfortunately for Canadian performers and record companies, recent Canadian copyright debates and the proposed copyright reform legislation are stuck in a place far from this issue. Current copyright terms in Canada are 50 years. Extended copyright terms for performers would provide income and recognition where it is well deserved, with the performers.
Shocking news out of the BBC... apparently one in three people has been hungover at work, one in 10 people has been drunk at their desk and it is causing significant problems for offices. According to a study by Norwich Union Healthcare, some of the worst offenders work in the creative industries...
Forty-one per cent of people working in media and creative jobs said they had been to work while still drunk - four times the average."
Click here to read the full disturbing and revolutionary article...
The Brandon Folk Music & Art Festival is set to get underway for its 24th summer on July 25 to 27 at the Keystone Centre Grounds. This year’s event offers the people of Brandon and beyond the opportunity to come together as a community and observe and support our many talented artists, musicians, and performers.
While smaller than the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Brandon Folk Fest offers a diverse line-up of musical talent as well as workshops, open mics, and spoken word.
Manitoba acts hitting the stage this year include Twilight Hotel, Jacob and Lily, Venus Murphy, The Dusty Roads Band, Serena Postel, Little Black Dress, and Jeremy Proctor. The line-up also includes acts like Saskatoon's Deep Dark Woods, Vancouver's CR Avery, Toronto's David Hein, and California's That 1 Guy.
Brandon's weather forecast looks pretty sunny and warm, so for people who skipped out on some of Winnipeg's Folk Fest due to the storm insanity might consider a weekend trip.
An indie rock band from Tempe Arizona has come up with a scheme for enticing private investment in their next recording project. They will place the names of donors into the newly recorded songs.
Our fans have been asking more and more frequently about when we're going to record our next album. The problem has not been a lack of songs - we have enough songs to record two new albums. We simply haven't been able to afford to stop touring and record it. Finally, something had to be done. This was our solution. - guitarist Josh "The J" KeyFrom July 14th through September 30th, Psychostick will be accepting the $50 donations (limited to only 380) through their website. Businesses will have the opportunity to name drop in one of only 20 places for $250. In addition to the name use, every donor will receive a signed copy of the new album and a signed poster.
The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is one of the premier alternative theatre festivals in the world with a reputation for bringing evocative, hilarious, fascinating productions from across the globe.
Fringe Fest is also a great place to see Manitoba music, with dozens of shows spanning July 16 - 27 at its outdoor stage in Old Market Square; the heart of the historic Exchange District and "Fringe Central."
One of this year's offerings is a return performance of Pink Floyd's classic Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety by some of Manitoba's finest musicians. The show debuted at last year's Fringe to enthusiastic crowds and this year's players remain largely the same, including Twilight Hotel's Dave Quanbury and Brandy Zdan, Mike Petkau, and Vanessa Kuzina.
Featured Bands at the Fringe
July 16 - Groovy Mustache, The Monty Yanks
July 17 - Flo & FloSoul Band, Deano Dean & MixSoul
July 18 - Crazy Maiden presents 20 Pound Shovel, SPF 90
July 19 - Honeyeyes, Andrew Neville & The Poor Choices
July 20 - English Moccasins, The Original PainKiller
July 21 - Haunter, Dr. Rage & The Uppercuts
July 22 - Arbra Hill, Radio Electric
July 23 - Nastic, Inna Riddum
July 24 -...
A new digital comic book brings the debate over Canadian copyright reform into full half-toned colour. Produced by the Appropriation Art Coalition , "51st State" is a 9 pages of opinions and rebuttals from the likes of Charlie Angus, Stephen Page, Michael Geist, David Emerson, and Stephen Harper. 51st State is an ironic chronicle of the fight to maintain Freedom of Expression in Canada. 51st State is a clickable comic book. It links to 193 websites, blogs, films and papers and articles.
The comic is a true work of appropriation. All text is and source imagery was grabbed from the internet. The Appropriation Art Coalition claims to reflect a broad spectrum of Canada’s art community, but focuses on art practices and affiliated disciplines where appropriation of existing work is involved. The comic takes a definite side in this debate, but also provides a pretty good overview of the events leading up to the introduction of the new copyright reform legislation earlier this year.
For best results download (PDF 2.8 mb) to your hard drive and then click links.
A few years ago the Winnipeg Folk Festival started programming a second evening stage. This is something that other festivals do, but it was always one of Winnipeg's charms that the whole audience came together for the evening concert. I've had mixed feelings about this second stage and I know that some of my festival diehard friends did was well. But, this year, I checked out the alternative stage at a very specific point in the festival and the experience made complete sense to me.
The headliner at the festival this year was Ray Davies, former frontman of The Kinks, a huge figure in the landscape of popular music and a hero and idol for many. On the festival mainstage, however, he mostly plays the role of a heritage act. People loved this show because of what they were doing when they first heard these songs, and because it allowed them to relive those formative years. For those of us who just missed this period of pop music history, this show is a guy playing quaint, outdated pop songs. These songs were important at the time, but do they stand up as songs against all the great songwriters we just spend three days listening to? "You really got me, You really got me" -...