We're taking a little look back at a busy year full of exciting projects, packed events at home and abroad, and stellar local music.
Local artists made plenty of headlines this year, included features and major mentions for media tastemakers including Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Globe and Mail, Paste, American Songwriter, Music Radar, CBC q, and more. Names in the international news a lot in 2019 include Ariel Posen, Boniface, Begonia, Don Amero, Faouzia, Mobina Galore, Living Hour, Micah Erenberg, Propaganghi, Royal Canoe, Taylor Janzen, The Bros. Landreth, The Mariachi Ghost, The Small Glories, and William Prince.
Manitoba artists and music companies picked up 43 awards and 208 nominations for their work in 2019, including Western Canadian Music Awards, Indigenous Music Awards, Trille Or, and more.
Local artists launched over 150 new music releases—including albums, EPs, and singles—and hit the road for tour dates across Canada and on stages in the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond.
Live music was in the spotlight at venues and festivals in Manitoba, with over 7,000 performances across the province this year.
Winnipeg was named as the host city for BreakOut West 2020.
We presented Manitoba Music Export events in key markets across Canada, the US, and overseas, planting homegrown talent in new territories and building important career connections with the global industry. We were back at major international export events including South by Southwest in Austin, AmericanaFest in Nashville, Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, The Great Escape in Brighton, and Folk Alliance International in Montreal. We also took over Toronto’s Burdock for our annual fall showcase, did a mini-tour of the Midwest, hit NXNE, and brought international delegates to Winnipeg to connect with the local scene in the lead-up to BreakOut West.
We produced the second edition of PASSPORT: Music Export Summit, an intensive training initiative for Canada’s music industry in parallel summits in Winnipeg and Halifax. Produced by Manitoba Music in partnership with Music Nova Scotia, Canada’s Music Incubator, and the National Music Centre, PASSPORT delivered intensive training sessions to prepare export-ready Canadian artists and music entrepreneurs with business skills and product development to help bring Canadian music to the world.
The Indigenous Music West program blazed a trail across the globe, launching in May with a showcase in Winnipeg before hitting stages and making business connections in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the U.S., and different cities in Canada. Presenting artists from across Canada, the program made waves at BIGSOUND, Reeperbahn Festival, and beyond.
Through the Indigenous Music Development Program we participated in the International Indigenous Music Summit and Indigenous Voices showcase at the Folk Alliance International Conference, partnered on the #AIRsessions for free music workshop for youth in Winnipeg's North End, we partnered with Canada Council for the Arts for the third edition of Market Builder Residency for Indigenous Artists & Industry in Toronto, brought music and business together for the Indigenous Day Live Music Meeting & Showcase with APTN, co-presented the Indigenous Artist Showcase at Folk Music Ontario, and shared new videos in the Talking Stick series
Our Francophone Music Development program continued to create new business development opportunities for the Francophone music scene across western Canada through Rame à la rencontre in partnership with Coup de Coeur Francophone festival in Montreal, Voix de Fête in Switzerland, and new music incubator project C’est dans l’air during Trille Or celebrations in Ottawa.
Some of Canada’s top music industry pros connected with local artists and music entrepreneurs for a three-day intensive conference at the sixth edition of January Music Meeting, in conjunction with the Big Fun Festival. We also co-presented a facilitated panel discussion on intersectionality and representation in music, exploring current issues and tangible ways forward.
We ran 38 professional development events in our MusicWorks series, including the new Arts Fundamentals stream in partnership with Creative Manitoba, our flagship DIY Series, plus Equalizer audio production workshops for women and non-binary artists, Manitoba Country Music Meeting in partnership with the Manitoba Country Music Association, and the Decipher hip hop professional development series.
We grew creative connections through the fifth edition of our summer songwriter retreat, with the help of a Bell Media national songwriting initiative, bringing together emerging artists for a week-long intensive of co-writing opportunities and creative mentorship.
We put 45 artists on stage at New Music Nights at The Good Will and Open Mic Nights at The Handsome Daughter and continued to connect with local audiences through MB Live partnerships, including Afro Prairie Film Festival, Festival du Voyageur, Harvest Moon Festival, Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, Pride Winnipeg, Rainbow Trout Music Festival, Real Love Summer Fest, sākihiwē festival, TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Wall-To-Wall Mural + Culture Festival, and Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Live local music was on the menu for our music video series, Snack Sessions. Streamed via Facebook Live, the project featured buzz-worthy emerging Manitoba acts playing some delicious tunes from the Manitoba Music environment.
We kicked off the MMMerch Fair pilot project, offering local musicians a creative space to sell their art and merchandise.
Thousands of people used our free MB Live app to find their music and over 170,000 users made manitobamusic.com their hub of all things Manitoba music, including comprehensive live music listings, music news, streaming playlists, songs of the week, and hundreds of artist and industry profiles.
We worked with Manitoba Film & Music for the eight annual Manitoba Music Rocks Charity Bonspiel, bringing over curlers together on the ice and raising over $5,000 for the Kevin Walters Memorial Fund.
This year, we welcomed Ashley Bieniarz and Jade Harper to the Manitoba Music team and said farewell to Andrea Davis. We were also lucky to have some smart / fun folks spend time with us as summer students and work placements, including Angelo Lamsen and Sydney Christie.
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, The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Canada Council for the Arts, The SOCAN Foundation, Bell Media, The Winnipeg Arts Council; our partners at Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations, BreakOut West, Sask Music, Alberta Music, Music BC; The Forks; our unfaltering staff; our dedicated Board of Directors; our generous volunteers; and our many community and industry partners for another incredible, productive, and fun year.