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Canadian Music Week ​Acquired by Loft Entertainment & Oak View Group as Founder Neill Dixon Retires

Just as its 42nd year gets underway, the founder and president of the major industry festival CMW announced today (June 3) that he's stepping down, passing the reins over to the entertainment company founded by Randy Lennox and the American venue and hospitality enterprise.

Neill Dixon

Neill Dixon

Courtesy Neill Dixon

As Canadian Music Week kicks off its 42nd anniversary, the festival and conference is undergoing a big change.

The major music event, which brings artists and industry to Toronto every year for a week of performances and panels, is changing hands. Festival founder and president Neill Dixon announced his retirement today (June 3) at the welcoming address for the CMW conference, with Toronto mayor Olivia Chow in attendance.

The festival has been acquired by Toronto-based Loft Entertainment and American hospitality and sports company Oak View Group, who plan to expand its offerings while maintaining Dixon's vision.

Recently named one of Billboard Canada's Power Players, Dixon was on hand at the June 2 inaugural Power Players event, presenting Gary Slaight with the Power Players Impact Award as his final public appearance before announcing retirement.


Under his leadership, CMW has grown into a major hub for industry events, hosting the Live Music Industry Awards, The Indies awards, Jim Beam National Talent Search, Radiodays North America and more.

"It has been an incredible journey to see Canadian Music Week grow from a small gathering of music lovers to one of the most influential music festivals and conferences in the world," Dixon says.

Loft Entertainment and Oak View Group (OVG) will keep the event's headquarters in Toronto, as they look ahead to its future. Loft is a new venture from industry titan Randy Lennox, former Universal Music Canada CEO and Bell Media President, launched in 2023.

The creative services company's partnership with OVG on the acquisition boosts the latter's expansion into Canada. OVG already has partnerships with Canadian sports organizations Canada Basketball and Great Canadian Gaming, and is currently leading a major renovation of Hamilton's FirstOntario Centre. (It was also recently entangled in the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust complaint against Live Nation).

With an American partner on board, it seems likely Canadian Music Week will look to grow its international footprint, while remaining a home for Canadian music activity. Details for the 2025 edition, the first under the new ownership, are coming soon.


CMW is on now, until June 8. Find festival and conference programming on the event website.

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Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash

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