Manitoba Music Year In Review

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3Peat at Wall-To-Wall (Photo: Eric Ballard)

As 2016 draws to a close, we're taking a little look back at a year full of exciting initiatives, packed events, and most importantly — outstanding local music.

We launched SoundCheck: An Economic Impact Analysis of Manitoba’s Music Industry, which detailed the economic significance of this sector to Manitoba. In 2015, it produced over $93 million in GDP, generated over $32 million in tax revenues for government, supported over 4,300 jobs, and pointed to 31% increase in GDP impact since 2011, thanks to the hardworking artists and companies who foster this flourishing industry.

We hosted 23 professional development events that were attended by 500 people, held the third edition of January Music Meeting (which nearly doubled in attendance), and offered ---- unique opportunities for creative collaborations at two songwriter retreats.

Manitoba Music presented and co-presented over 30 market development showcases featuring over 50 different local acts, including events in Berlin, Warsaw, London, Liverpool, Nashville, Minneapolis, Toronto, Montreal, Morden, and Winnipeg.

Our Market Access Program offered financial support for 157 artists and industry professionals to showcase at 38 domestic and international events, including The Great Escape in the UK, Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, events across the U.S. like SXSW, Folk Alliance International, and Americana Music Festival, and national showcases at BreakOut West, Canadian Music Week, and Folk Music Ontario, and more.

We offered a unique capacity-building initative for Manitoba’s industry, the Music Industry Apprenticeship Program and Artist Management Apprenticeship Program. 

The live music scene continued to thrive across the province, with venues, clubs, and festivals presenting over 6,200 performances. 

We continued to connect with local audiences through MB Live partnerships, including two editions of Head In the Sand’s Portage Avenue pop-up party, SpaceLand, and Synonym Art Consultation's Wall-To-Wall Festival. We put 45 artists on stage Open Mic Nights at The Handsome Daughter with the Winnipeg Folk Festival and at New Music Nights at The Good Will.

Our Aboriginal Music Program kept things busy with the eight edition of AMP Camp, which brought together 18 artists from across Canada for a week-long business and artistic development residency; the sophomore Aboriginal Day Live mentor sessions and showcase in partnership with APTN; trade missions to Las Vegas and California; and the Aboriginal Music Mentors Program, which engaged First Nation, Metis, and Inuit youth and elementary school classrooms interested in learning more about the Aboriginal music community in Manitoba. Stay tuned for a new round of AMP Sessions videos in early 2017.

We continued our career development initiatives for the Western Canadian Francophone music industry via the Francophone Music Program, including Rame à la rencontre de l’industrie de la musique francophone in Winnipeg during Festival du Voyageur and again in Montreal, and launched

The sixth annual Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel, which we co-host with our friends at Manitoba Film & Music, raised over $4,000 for the Kevin Walters Memorial Fund.

This year, we added David Landreth and Claire Boning to the Manitoba Music team and said goodbye to long time staffers Ruben Ramalheiro and Roland Deschambault, who have jumped into exciting roles at True North Sports & Entertainment and BreakOut West, as well as Marti Sarbit, who had been with us at the front desk a few days a week.

The Loft Sessions series continued to rack up views for videos. Watch them at

Manitoba Fresh put a spotlight on 11 local acts with 99.1 Fresh Radio and our our Winnipeg Free Press Sunday Brunch Collective partnership landed four more artists in the media. Plenty of Manitoba acts landed media coverage this year, which we rounded up weekly in Signal Boost.

Our website got a fresh face and some upgrades and enhancements, attracting over 150,000 users for the comprehensive live music listings, music news, streaming playlists, free downloads, and hundreds of artist and industry profiles, racking up over 250,000 sessions.

Manitoba artists and industry landed 27 awards and 201 nominations with honours for Curtis Nowosad, William Prince, Jocelyne Baribeau, West End Cultural Centre, The Bros. Landreth, and more. 

How we crammed that all into one year, we’re not sure, but we’re charging full steam ahead into 2017 with big dreams, a large Americano, and a handful of salt and vinegar chips.

We would like to thank our amazing, innovative, creative, and talented members; the generous support of  the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, Manitoba Film & Music, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Canada Council for the Arts, The SOCAN Foundation, Bell Media, Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations, BreakOut West, Sask Music, Alberta Music, Music BC, The Forks, APTN; our tireless staff; our dedicated Board of Directors; our generous volunteers; and our many community and industry partners for another year of great music, continued growth, and so much fun.


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