The Friday Bulletin

Canada News

The Friday Bulletin

By David Farrell

Canada News

­– SOCAN interim CEO Jennifer Brown says she has confirmation from both the PM and Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault that royalty payments will not prevent creators from qualifying for benefits under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

CERB has relaxed its restrictive rules. Effective April 15, the benefit will now be expanded to include anyone making up to $1,000 a month or less, seasonal workers and anyone whose Employment Insurance (EI) has run out since January 1. The amendment was pushed forward by forward by CIMA and a coalition of Canadian music orgs.

Ticketmaster has removed the wording “if your event is postponed, rescheduled or cancelled” from its refund policy to reflect only cancellations as the way to get your money back. An updated FAQ on cancellation refunds and re-schedules can be found online here, and a list of Canadian event postponements and cancellations can be found here.


Festivals and Events Ontario has released results from a March 30-April 5 pandemic impact survey gleaned from 396 festival and event organizers across the province.

American singer Thomas Rhett earns his 10th No. 1 single at Canadian Country radio this week with Beer Can’t Fix It featuring Jon Pardi. Valory/Big Machine Records has the hit.

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival is sharing with the world performances by artists that have appeared at the annual on its Facebook page. The 2020 event calendar of events has moved from May to Sept. with Al Green Theatre as the tentative HQ in the city.

– BC Premier John Horgan hosted a free livestream concert Thursday featuring four musicians living in the province: Alex Cuba, Dan Mangan, and rising stars Folk singer Kym Gouchie from Prince George, and White Rock soul singer Desiree Dawson. Viewers could watch on the BC government’s Facebook or YouTube channels.


Mangan has been hosting his own Side Door 'Quarantunes' virtual concerts every Saturday this month, with proceeds going to a variety of local charities.

– Mississauga is the first jurisdiction we know of to extend the ban on festivals and other large gatherings beyond Canada Day. The city has extended the lockdown on these kinds of events until July 3.

– Celebrated Nashville-based CanCountry singer Steve Olsen has released Can’t Not as his latest single that can be streamed from his SLO imprint.

– Canadian Classics cover-band Toque–a quartet with histories in Shania Twain, Kelly Clarkson, Slash, and Michael Schenker bands, has just released Never Enough for You as a live-format video that’s shot in Nashville. Lyle Chausse’s LCE Music Management firm in Vancouver is handling shows and inquiries.  

Financial Relief

– The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy offers a 75-per-cent wage subsidy for up to 12 weeks for businesses of all sizes if they lost 15% of revenue between March 15 and April 11, or 30% of revenue between April 12 and May 9 or May 10 and June 6.30 percent of their revenue between May 10 and June 6. Additionally, under the Business Credit Availability Program, eight of Canada’s top banks offer $40,000 loans that are interest-free for the first year, 25% of which will be forgiven if paid off by the end of 2022.



French President Emmanuel Macron says he has backing for a world truce during the pandemic, that China, the US and the UK are on board and he is optimistic about Russia. Pope Francis also called for an "immediate global ceasefire" and an end to weapons manufacturing in a special address after Easter mass on Sunday.

–The newly minted National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), with 450 members from across the US, is set to lobby Congress and the White House for federal aid to help club clubs and theatres savaged by legislated closures. A similar pitch is being made in Canada by a consortium of venue operators and promoters under the Canadian Live Music Association banner.


– As more musicians explore the financial feasibility of virtual concert careers, it’s worth noting that Brit-pop crooner Cliff Richard grossed in excess of £1M two years back broadcast a live show to 517 cinemas in the UK and Ireland. The record for the most successful concert screened in UK/Irish cinemas is held by violinist André Rieu, whose Maastricht concert that same year grossed more than £1.66M.

And then there’s Club Q, run by four Torontonians who have created a trendy virtual club attracting the LGBTQ community with marquee guest DJs helping it attract almost 40K followers on Instagram.

Definitely Not Netflix

Handcrafting Papal Bells with Italy's Oldest Family Business

Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli, or the Marinelli Pontifical Foundry, is Italy's oldest family business and among the three oldest family businesses worldwide. The Marinellis have been handcrafting bells since 1000 AD, and current co-owners, operators and brothers Armando and Pasquale Marinelli are the *26th* generation to run the business. It's a tradition as beautiful as the tone and timbre of their timeless productions, and an important one as well: their primary client is the pope himself.

New York City's Last Accordion Repairman

Alex Carozza has been building and repairing accordions in New York City since 1960. The last craftsman of his kind in the city, Alex is the living memory of a once vibrant musical culture that has all but disappeared from New York. This is the story of a true classic.

Place Names, TV Ad, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

The following 2014 ad spot takes a creative approach in pitching its assets against Disney theme parks.

Meet TONTO, the synth Stevie Wonder made famous on Superstition

You may not know it by its name, but you know it by its sound. Is this 50-year-old holy grail of synthesizers still musically relevant today?  Whatever the case, it’s the biggest, badass gear we’ve seen. Discover the mysteries of TONTO at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.


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.

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