The FYI Bulletin: June 22, 2023

The CCMA has named Dean Brody as this year’s recipient of the Gary Slaight Music Humanitarian Award, honouring the multiple CCMA Award winner for his remarkable initiatives through

The FYI Bulletin: June 22, 2023

By David Farrell

The CCMA has named Dean Brody as this year’s recipient of the Gary Slaight Music Humanitarian Award, honouring the multiple CCMA Award winner for his remarkable initiatives through The Dean Brody Foundation. Awarded annually, the award recognizes an individual(s) and/or event(s) that have made an outstanding contribution of time and energy in the support of humanitarian causes through country music.

Founded in 2011, Brody’s Foundation began supporting the rescue and prevention of young girls being exploited and trafficked around the world. Initially focused on Brazil, he quietly committed himself to the cause after travelling and seeing the crisis firsthand. Since the foundation’s inception, the hat star has personally and privately donated over $500K to the organization and has made over a dozen self-funded trips to Brazil to work alongside Meninadança and their “Pink Houses” initiative, providing safe homes for at-risk girls along Brazil’s “exploitation highway”, the BR-116.


In 2021, Brody expanded the foundation’s mission in partnership with the global organization International Justice Mission (IJM), supporting their efforts to combat the online exploitation of children (OSEC) in the Philippines and prevent harm before it happens. In his quiet and humble manner, He has also supported countless grassroots charities across Canada in addition to higher profile events including his 2022 partnership with the National Hockey League Players Association, donating $60K to the local minor hockey community in his hometown of Cranbrook, B.C. to ensure children of families facing financial barriers could access the sport.

The CCMA Award of Achievement is named in recognition of generous donations made by the Slaight Music Foundation. The 2023 Slaight Music Humanitarian Award will be presented to Brody during a private industry event as part of Country Music Week 2023, taking place September 14-16 in Hamilton, ON. For further details on the Slaight Music Humanitarian Award and other CCMA Awards of Achievement click here


– The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) distributed $70M to music publishers and self-published songwriters, as reported in the agency’s 2022 year-end fiscal results.

Overall distribution increased by 14% from 2021, primarily driven by substantial growth in online streaming and audiovisual distributions, with an increase of over 15% for online distributions and a 16% rise in audiovisual distributions compared to 2021.  Distribution for International collections for 2022 surged over 570% compared to the previous year.

Agency President Paul Shaver summed up the extraordinary result by stating that “This outcome is a direct result of higher music consumption and improved rates in the marketplace as CMRRA, with the guidance of the Canadian Publishers Committee (CPC), continues to negotiate and push for fair compensation for the music publishing and songwriter communities.”

The Unison Fund has announced Board Directors for the 2023/2024 period as follows: Mark Watts, Chair; Vanessa Thomas, Vice Co-Chair; Eric Wolfe, Vice Co-Chair; Brian Huston, Treasurer; Charlotte Thompson, Secretary; with Shawn Hook, Daniel Glick, Sarah Kilpatrick, and Donald Robins serving as directors.

Separately, the Fund is touting its 10th annual Charity Golf Classic to be held Tuesday, July 25th at Lionhead Golf Club in Toronto. Details and registration details can be found here.


– Records on Wheels’ Don Ierullo recently celebrated a 75th and former CBS sales exec Karen Hunter organized a luncheon. No word on whether (brother) Vito behaved himself.

– Canada’s Walk of Fame is expected to announce 10-plus Walk of Fame music acts set to be inducted into its pantheon later this month, along with other notables who have made a difference in the North Country.

– BC Entertainment Hall of Fame StarWalk has been adding to its already considerable list of inductees. Loverboy made the honours a few weeks ago, and this past week Rocket Norton was added. Congrats to all!


As an aside, Norton has a terminal cancer diagnosis but last fall he was able to raise $320K at a charity fundraising concert he pulled together with friends that included members from his own band Prism alongside others from Loverboy, Chilliwack, Powder Blues, Trooper, Streetheart, the Headpins, plus appearances by Lee Aaron and Nick Gilder. The money went to a local org providing comfort to fellow cancer patients. He's planning an even bigger F**K Cancer concert on Oct. 1 at Vancouver’s Hard Rock Casino. Details here.

–  A rousing cheer for Ron Kitchener whose Open Road Recordings celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The imprint is a division of RGK Entertainment that has publishing, management and concert promotions under its umbrella. Over the years the label has released albums by Taylor Swift, Tim Hicks, Dean Brody, Doc Walker, High Valley, Jason McCoy, River Town Saints.  Dustin Bird, Hunter Brothers, Dayna Reid, Graham Scott Fleming, Madeline Merlo, and The Road Hammers. Here's a track from Hicks' latest album, entitled Campfire Troubadour, Vol 2.

– Perhaps because of new hawkish CanCon regs, Spotify is trying to seem involved in being a CanCon-friendly platform. To this end, Charlotte Cardin has kicked off a ‘CAN you hear me’ series that champions homegrown talent “and diverse cultures found in the Great White North––from the jazz bars of Quebec to dance clubs in Ontario all the way to the powwows in the west.”

– Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ont., will host the National Centre for New Musicals, the Toronto Starreports. The idea is to create a hub “focused on developing new Canadian musicals, and supporting both young and established theatre composers, lyricists, book writers and artists.”

– Al Mair was celebrated with a commemoration held at Roy Thomson Hall on June 4. The music industry maverick died of cancer at age 82 last November and was held by many to have been one of the architects of today’s Canadian music industry––providing guidance when the CanCon regulations were introduced in 1971 and consulting on a wide range of issues, particularly those dealing with copyright and royalty reforms. As many as 300 attended the event which was more of a summit attracting a who’s who of longstanding music industry vets.


 Among the many in attendance were Mair’s former business partner Tom Williams, Brian Robertson, Stephen Stohn, Peter Steinmetz, Allan Reid, Ross and Janie Reynolds, Frank Davies, Mair’s son Sebastian and daughter Jennifer. There were many other notables too numerous to mention here, but they will crop up in the video of the proceedings below that was shot, edited and appreciatively provided to us by Tommy Solo

– Live Nation launches a new “pop-up” live music venue - YOW Stage, located in Ottawa’s largest multi-purpose exhibition facility, the EY Centre. Set to open in Nov. 2023, the 40K square foot semi-permanent venue will provide both general admission and reserved seating configurations, offering capacities of 1,800 and 2,500. The venue is located two minutes from the Ottawa Airport (YOW) and 15 minutes from the downtown core. 


– Acknowledgement to musician/singer/songwriter/broadcaster Roy Forbes (aka Bim) who is now holder of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from UBC. If you want to check out his part of the UBC Grad ceremony, click on the video link below and forward it to the 35-minute mark. His acceptance speech begins around the 40-minute mark.

– With the death of Gordon Lightfoot, Nicholas Jennings’ definitive Lightfoot biography has Penguin Random House ordering a reprint with the book back on the best-sellers list and now available in Costco. Topping this, Rolling Stone magazine, having ignored the first edition printed in 2018, has made a U-turn and added it to its influential “recommended” reading list, describing it as "The preeminent account of the late singer's life Jennings, in a word, is ecstatic with the book’s newfound success.

– Following the release of their -new single Mercy Mercy two-time Juno -winning rock band The Glorious Sons have announced North American tour dates that include 30 theatres and showrooms in the US and 20+ arenas and casinos in Canada. Victoria’s Save On Foods Arena is the opening date for Canadian shows, on Nov. 9.  Special guests on select dates will include The Blue Stones and the Velveteers.

– Food, restaurant and entertainment entrepreneur Frank D’Angelo has done some crazy things in his career, but running for mayor of Toronto?

– And from the archives: In the summer of 2016, 40 years after their Juno Award-winning hey day, the Hometown Band reunited for five concerts. This eclectic somewhat ahead-of-it’s-time collection of Vancouver BC musicians - original members Shari Ulrich (vocals, violin, mandolin), Claire Lawrence (saxophones & flutes), and Geoff Eyre (drums & vocals); along with keyboard player Michael Creber (a prized replacement for the late, incomparable Robbie King); and bassist Connie Lebeau & guitarist Norman MacPherson (filling the shoes of the late and so great Doug Edwards) - took the stage at Blue Frog Studios for their first show in 4 decades.

Below, the reunion band performs Claire Lawrence’s composition Into the Night.


Drake and 50 Cent

Drake and 50 Cent

Rb Hip Hop

50 Cent Teases Possible Collab with Drake After Toronto Link Up

The American rapper, referenced by Drake in diss track 'Push Ups,' shared a photo with the Toronto superstar while he was in town for a performance at Rebel night club, hinting at a potential TV project in the works.

A hip hop legend linked up with one of Toronto's biggest stars, teasing a potential collaboration on the horizon.

50 Cent was in town this weekend for a Saturday (July 20) performance at Rebel night club, as well as a refreshing pit stop at Cabana Pool Bar earlier in the day. While on the ground in Toronto, he met up with Drake to talk possible upcoming projects.

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