2017 Top Stories Of The Year

As FYIMusicNews wraps 2017, top stories included the passing of Gord Downie, CMT giving country music the boot, and the demise of MuchFACT.

2017 Top Stories Of The Year

By Nick Krewen

The tragic passing of Gord Downie; the call for Copyright Review; Sunrise Records picking up the ashes of the HMV retail chain: these were just a few of the stories that made 2017 so memorable.

Here is a month-by-month summary of  - and hyperlinks to - some of the Canadian music industry's hottest stories:


Drake tops Nielsen Canada's year-end report. A big void created by showroom closings. Sarah McLachlan headed for Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. Randy Lennox named Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award honouree. Buffy to be celebrated for a life in music. CBC's Searchlight music competition returns. Arden, Feldman, Allen dropped from $27M Harvest Picnic lawsuit. Federal funding increased for foreign tour support. HMV goes into receivership, all stores to close.



IFPI names Drake global best-seller. Bell Media rings in 2017 with another content deal. Classified, Ria Mae frontrunners for ECMAs. MuchFACT reaches $100M funding milestone. R.I.P. - Stuart McLean. Toronto mayor addresses the loss of music venues. Massey Hall receives federal funding for revitalization. Sunrise goes national with HMV's demise. Red tape thwarts Matador Ballroom reopening. UMG revenues pivot from sales to streams. R.I.P. Ritchie Yorke.


The Weeknd replaces Beckham as H&M's new man. Global recording revenues grew by $1.1B in 2016. Manager Joanne Setterington on The Strumbellas' growing global success. Drake album blows up online. HMV's closure is a KO for DEP Distribution. Trump's border war gongs musicians. R.I.P. - the King of R'n'R songs, Mr. Chuck Berry. Is it adios for ole? . Slaight Foundation gifts $5M to Massey Hall.


SOCAN, SODRAC consider marriage. FACTOR deletes loan repayment policy. Jazz Cartier plans to trump his Juno with an American hit. CBC partners with CARAS for Juno broadcasts. UMC set to rock with new downtown digs. Scott Borchetta and Bell Media launch The Launch. Canadian music broadcast industry winners. IFPI: Global music industry value jumps 5.9% to US$15.7B. IFPI: Canadian sales popped 13% in 2016. David Foster's Miracle Gala & Concert raises $6.5M in Toronto. SiriusXM privatization yields significant money gain for the music biz.



The Raj is back: Shoan wins wrongful dismissal case against CRTC. The report offers East Coast strategy for moving on. Daigle, Farina elevated at Bell Media as Corey exits. R.I.P. - Gerry LacoursiereLesley Soldat waves goodbye. R.I.P. MuchFact. Richard Mills takes a bow, but expect an encore! Nielsen radio listenership insights. SoundExchange acquires CMRRA. Nielsen Music Canada 360 Report zooms in on streaming trends. Festivals face growing challenges, planners say. CHUM Radio rocked the nation...60 years ago this week. Microforum boosts Canadian vinyl production.


SOCAN fiscal numbers hit several high notes. Five new Indigenous radio licences approved in urban markets. Music Supervisors Guild launches Canadian chapter. SOCAN Fêtes Adams, Vallance, Kim, Power, Nineteen85, Hedley and others. Philosopher Kings reunite at Mod Club. CDs are spinning big sales numbers for the Sunrise Records chain. Graham Henderson: 'It's time to end the value gap.'


Nielsen mid-year report shows streaming is still booming. Topics up for discussion in Copyright Review. Kissel, Brody, Barker tied with 5 CCMA nominations. 2016 private radio ad revenues nosedive. R.I.P. Streetheart vocalist, Kenny Shields. Stingray Music has over 1M mobile app users in Canada.



Calgarians bat crazy for Garth Brooks. UTA is closing its Canadian operations. Feds launch consultations on Copyright Board reform. Zifarelli to head Paradigm Agency's Canadian entry. Jack Ross, Ralph James launch APA Canada office. Nielsen publishes its first Canadian live music report. An unofficial history of WMC: from Middleton to Kane. CMT is giving the boot to country music.


R.I.P.  Skip Prokop. Gord Bamford donates $100K to MusiCounts. Lido Pimienta wins the 2017 Polaris Music Prize. Elite Canadian songwriters honoured at CSHF gala. Bell unplugs MuchFact program. What you need to know about Canada's new cultural roadmap. R.I.P. - Jan Matejcek, SOCAN's first CEO.



Slaight Foundation donates $500K to NAC Artists Concerts program. Music Canada delivers an action plan to boost music creator incomes. Massey Hall reno includes two new performance stages. Robert Charlebois honoured at Montréal SOCAN gala. R.I.P. Gord Downie. R.I.P. - Canada's 'Pet,' Juliette (Cavazzi). Finally, a study of Podcast listenership in Canada.


CRTC releases report on Canadians' viewing, listening practices. CRTC Report: Canadian Content funding is declining. Canadian digital royalty collections soar to C$58M. CRTC broadcasting report tracks behaviour, trends & $s. Michael Bublé returns to stage at Vancouver Juno Awards. El Mocambo signs distro deal with Universal, names Ticketmaster as ticketing agent. Warner Music Canada's half-century history now online. Alessia Cara Earns Four Grammy Noms.


New data reporting from Bell Radio to improve royalty distributions. Onex acquires SMG Venue Management. ole puts wrap on another gangbuster year. It's A Go: Copyright Review Hearings Set For 2018. Carleton Prof Elaine Keillor Gifts $2M for Canadian music studies. Stubhub's Jeff Poirier is not buying ON Ticket Sales Act.

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

keep readingShow less