Music Industry Associations Come Together in Toronto to Showcase 12 'Ready To Break' Acts
A dozen “ready-to-break” artists from across Canada showcased in Toronto earlier this week (Nov.
By Karen Bliss
A dozen “ready-to-break” artists from across Canada showcased in Toronto earlier this week (Nov. 13-15) and met and mingled with publishers, publicists, booking agents, managers, music supervisors, labels, and more, as part of Come Together, an opportunity put together by multiple provincial music industry associations and funding partners.
“Our goal is to create relationships and help the artists take their next step in terms of their business and careers,” Manitoba Music’s executive director Sean McManus told FYI Music News.
Held at the Cameron House, Gladstone’s Melody Bar, and Dine Alone Records, the showcases featured top talents Kellie Loder, Anthony Oks, Soran, Iamtheliving, Nicky Mackenzie, Shaela Miller, Julie Doiron, Ellen Frose, Clay and Friends, Keeper E, Mobina Galore, and Miesha and the Sparks.
“We used an industry jury, an artist selection committee, to make sure we had the best artists selected,” said McManus.
Launched last year in Toronto, Come Together is a coast-to-coast partnership between Manitoba Music, Alberta Music, Music BC, Musique NB, Music NL, Music Nova Scotia, Music Ontario, CIMA and SODEC Quebec to bring artists to Toronto, the country’s industry hub.
Funding agencies helping to bring the initiative to fruition were the Province of Alberta, Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia, Creative Saskatchewan, Manitoba Film and Music, The Government of Quebec, the Province of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, as well as FACTOR and the Government of Canada
“As export offices, we’re doing this kind of work with our artists around the world – we’re going to SXSW [in the U.S.], Reeperbahn in Germany and Great Escape in the UK and connecting with music companies and presenters in Australia and in Mexico and, for us, based in Winnipeg, for a lot of the artists — and offices across the country — being connected to Toronto is so important for us. It’s so valuable,” said McManus.
“We recognize that we have a wealth of artists where we’re from and we have some great companies, but we know that so much of the energy in the music sector is here in Toronto, and so it’s so important to be here and be connected and remind folks in Toronto of all the great stuff that’s happening across the country.”
All 12 artists had applied through their local MIA. Unlike other industry opportunities, none bypassed the application process. “With music industry associations, it’s always our goal to be as transparent with our members and community,” said McManus.
“The jury makes their selection based on the music that they love, but we are focused on artists that have momentum, and what we like to refer to as business readiness — those who are able to come and take advantage of the opportunity.”
The final 12 acts worked with their local music industry association to identify key music business contacts to invite. Some set up writing sessions, while others set up meetings while in town.
“The music industry associations work with the artists ahead of time to identify what their goals are and who they want to connect with when they’re here in person,” said McManus. “It's a chance to meet face to face and hear the artist perform and then afterwards continue to be involved and close the loop and make those connections. The music industry associations help with follow-up.”