Music News Digest, Feb. 25, 2021
Raine Maida (pictured) is one of the Canadian stars behind the LOOP/POOL pot brand, a major new sports and entertainment complex is planned for Toronto, and CMW, NXNE, and the Junos are forced to go virtual. Others in the news include Polaris Prize, Maple Blues Awards, Jazzahead, Rising, ADVANCE, CARYS, Music Publishers Canada, A2IM Indie Week, Daft Punk, The Carleton, Michael Menegon, and CE Days.
By Kerry Doole
LOOP/POOL is a Canadian cannabis brand co-founded by a collective of artist-owners and dedicated to supporting emerging talent through the sale of licensed cannabis products. Through its philanthropic organization Pool/Fund, a minimum of five percent of proceeds will be used to support the next generation of Canadian artists. Just announced as co-founders are the members of Our Lady Peace, Roy Woods, Blue Rodeo, Felix Cartal, Stars, dvsn and Kiesza. OLP’s Raine Maida is on the Board of Directors. LOOP/POOL has secured investment from Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd., Kiaro Holdings Corp., Michael Wekerle, and others, after a successful pitch on the Season 15 finale of CBC's Dragons’ Den. More on the company here. Source: Business Wire
– Plans have just been announced for a new 7,000 seat sports and entertainment complex to be situated at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The project is headed by Global entertainment company OverActive Media, a firm partly owned by The Weeknd that owns two of Toronto's most popular esports franchises, the Overwatch League's Toronto Defiant, and Call of Duty League's Toronto Ultra. Among other things, the venue will serve as a home for these two franchises.
OverActive Media President and CEO Chris Overholt told blogTO that "It is a venue that we expect will provide an alternative to the Scotiabank Arena and will attract premier entertainment acts from around the world into a different experience than what an arena environment can offer. We see everything from John Legend to big convention opportunities, speaking events, corporate project launches, gala dinners, award shows and esports to be available to be hosted in this venue."
Yesterday (Feb. 24), The City of Toronto extended a cancellation of major in-person events until July 1, including Canada Day celebrations, citing coronavirus concerns. The ban impacts such major music and arts events as Canadian Music Week, the Juno Awards, North By Northeast, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Indigenous Arts Festival, and Luminato. Officials said in a news release Wednesday that the cancellation affects City-led and City-permitted “major outdoor events.” Most of these events are expected to proceed in virtual form, though details have not been fully reported. Source: Global News
– Polaris Music Prize organizers have announced its key dates for 2021. The prize’s 40 album Long List will be released June 15, and the 10 album Short List will be named on July 15, with the winner announced in the fall. The 16th edition of the prize will be streamed at CBCMusic.ca/Polaris. The Polaris Music Prize awards $50K to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2021 Short List will receive $3K each courtesy of Slaight Music.
– The final of four segments of the 24th Maple Blues Awards streamed from Blue Frog Studios in White Rock, Vancouver, on Monday. Hosted by Jim Byrnes and Dalannah Gail Bowen, the half-hour show announced four MBA winners. Matt Andersen was announced as the winner of the Male Vocalist of the Year while Hamilton's The Smoke Wagon Blues Band won the New Artist/Group of the Year. Cindy McLeod was honoured with the John Valenteyn Blues Booster of the Year award, recognizing outstanding achievement in the blues music scene in Canada. A tie win was announced for Horn Player of the Year for Mark LeClerc and Mat "Moose" Mousseau.
Liam Docherty and Lindsay Beaver performed a song each on the show. The segment streamed via Facebook here and on Toronto Blues Society's YouTube channel here. All sessions are available to replay on both of channels. Download the Maple Blues Awards’ digital program PDF here. See the full winners list here.
– CQM and CIMA are once again partnering to coordinate the Quebec and Canadian delegation at Jazzahead 2021. The virtual edition of the event will be presented from April 29 to May 2 and will feature several showcases, networking and conferences. Québec Jazz and Canada Jazz will promote participants via a virtual collective booth that will link all the profiles of registered Canadian professionals. Register as a professional here
This year, Canadian partners will reimburse 50% of the registration fee to Canadian participants. From March 10 to 12, Jazzahead is also organizing a matchmaking activity with Canada, the US, and Brazil for participants registered at Jazzahead from March 10 to 12. Register in advance to get all the information on how to participate.
– CARAS has announced the release of the fifth episode of The Juno Awards’ docuseries, Rising. The latest instalment, now streaming on the Juno Facebook and YouTube channels, highlights Toronto-based singer/songwriter/actor CARYS. The digital content series, presented by TD, has garnered over a million streams across all platforms. Each episode examines the creative process and story behind various up-and-coming Canadian artists.
– As its first initiative of 2021, ADVANCE, Canada's Black Music Business Collective, announces the launch of the Amplify Interview Series. The monthly series, available for streaming on the ADVANCE website, premieres Feb. 26 at 1 pm ET with Katrina Lopes and Zamani Millar. Subscribe to the official ADVANCE YouTube channel here.
– The 23rd season of the TD Markham Jazz Festival now comprises a series of monthly online concerts through March 2021. Concert # 5 happens on Feb. 28. at 2 pm, and features The Mark Kelso Jazz Project, led by veteran drummer/composer Mark Kelso. Go to markhamjazzfestival.com and click on the “CONCERT LINK” button.
– The legendary French dance duo Daft Punk has called it quits 28 years after forming in Paris. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo broke the news with an 8-minute video titled Epilogue, excerpted from their 2006 film Electroma. No reason was offered for the split. Daft Punk helping define the French touch style of house music. Their debut album, 1997’s Homework, was a dance music landmark, featuring classic singles Around the World and Da Funk. By the release of its follow-up, Discovery, in 2001, the duo had taken to making public appearances in the robot outfits that came to define their visual identity. The singles One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger cemented them as global superstars—a status they continued to expand in subsequent years with records including Human After All, live LP Alive 2007, and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack album. Source: Pitchfork
– On International Women's Day 2021 (March 8), Women in Music Canada is collaborating with Music Publishers Canada, The MPA UK and ICMP to host an online discussion on The Year Ahead in Music Publishing. The event will gather industry leaders to highlight the huge impact women have on shaping our industry and to discuss what the year ahead looks like for music publishing and the key challenges our industry must overcome.The high-calibre panel features Mary Megan Peer (peermusic), Jennifer Mitchell (Red Brick Songs), and Vivian Barclay (Warner Chappell Music Canada), Indigeous singer/songwriter Amanda Rheaume, and co-hosts Lucie Caswell (UK MPA) and Almudena Velasco Rodriguez (ICMP). Register here
– Tickets are now on sale for A2IM Indie Week, presented by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). The four-day international conference and networking event, the largest of its kind, is aimed at maximizing the global impact of independent music, will be held from June 14- 17. It culminates in the capstone event - the 10th Anniversary A2IM Libera Awards. Featuring keynotes, panels, exclusive networking sessions, and more, Indie Week has historically attracted over 1,200 participants from more than 30 countries. Indie Week 2020 was slated to take place in NYC, but with Covid lockdowns it went virtual, reportedly the first major music conference to do so. Tickets here.
– On Feb. 27, The Carleton in Halifax is hosting the 4th annual Young Gifted Black & Jazz Ain’t Nuttin’ But Soul shows in association with Jam Productions and Ali during African Heritage Month. Featuring host Zamani, with Jah’Mila, Amariah Bernard Washington, Zoey Tolliver and LaToya Downey Saunders, live music gets underway at 6 pm.
– Toronto singer, songwriter, fFIDA and Junction Arts Festival artistic director Michael Menegon launches his second full-length album Time is Now with a free Facebook Live album release show on March 5 at 8 pm. The album is co-produced by brilliantfish (Rob Greenway). Here's a video for the first single.
– On March 12 and 13, Creative Manitoba presents Creative Entrepreneurship 2021 – Embracing Change. CE Days are designed to teach you the business basics all in one place. Learn from local artists and creators who’ve been through it all and know their stuff. Info and registration here