Arbor Records Signs Deal with EMI Music Canada

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Winnipeg label Arbor Records, one of North America’s premier Aboriginal music labels, has just inked an associated label deal with EMI Music Canada. Under the new partnership, EMI will be responsible for all pressing, distribution and marketing of Arbor’s catalogue in Canada as of September 1, 2004.

The partnership with EMI couldn’t have come at a better time. Over the last short while, Aboriginal music has garnered increasing levels of attention and the label is instrumental in the development of the scene. Arbor is home to such artists as hip-hop outfits Slangblossom and War Party, Juno winners Eagle & Hawk, country favourite Ray St. Germaine, and singer/songwriter Lucie Idlout, as well as many prominent pow wow groups. Arbor has been steadily growing, putting out even more albums from critically-acclaimed artists. The label was founded by Studio 11 owner and multiple Juno winning and Grammy nominated producer Brandon Friesen in 1993. This deal will solidify Arbor’s ability to further develop the Canadian Aboriginal music community.

"EMI Canada has had previous successes in Aboriginal music with releases by Susan Aglukark, Buffy Ste. Marie and Robbie Robertson,” Friesen said in a press release. “President Dean Cameron is a strong supporter of Aboriginal music and culture and we're honored to be working with a focused, supportive company. We have a number of talented artists on our roster with break through potential and EMI is willing to work with us to deliver this music to mainstream.”

With the upcoming release of RezOfficial’s the Foundation and Convulsions by Slangblossom in late September, the deal will help EMI and Arbor bring Aboriginal hip-hop into the mainstream. Both albums will include radio edits that will make their way to radio through the EMI October radio sampler, which is a welcome push. EMI will offer Canada-wide distribution and a sustained marketing campaign.

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