Music News Digest, Feb. 7, 2020

Tim Baker (pictured) and Wintersleep lead the  East Coast Music Award nominees, Music P.E.I. Week is under way, new videos from Leonard Cohen and Robbie Robertson, and the Stones announce a new tour. Also in the news are the Edmonton Music Prize, nêhiyawak, Jon Box, 2020 CMAOntario Awards, Oshawa Music Awards, the Record Nook, BIGSOUND, CIMA, and farewell Buddy Cage.

Music News Digest, Feb. 7, 2020

By Kerry Doole

The 2020 Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week began last night, running until Feb. 9 in Charlottetown. At the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year concert at St. Paul’s Church, the first two Music P.E.I. awards were handed out, with Tara MacLean and Andrew Waite sharing the title of SOCAN Songwriter of the Year. Tickets for the 2020 Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week here. You can find the full schedule and list of the Music P.E.I. Award nominees here 

— The East Coast Music Association has announced the 2020 East Coast Music Award nominees. Tim Baker and Wintersleep lead the pack with seven nominations and The East Pointers follow with six. Ria Mae, Neon Dreams, and Rich Aucoin earn five noms, while Jenn Grant and Villages each corral four. A full list of the nominees here. Awards Week in St. John's, NL, runs April 29-May 3.


— The film documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band opens theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on Feb. 21 and nationally a week later. Robbie Robertson has now shared the music video for Once Were Brothers, the song from his Sinematic album that inspired the title of the doco. The clip is directed by filmmaker and documentarian Kevin Kerslake, who made era-defining videos in the 1990s for Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots and Green Day. Check it out below.

 –The Rolling Stones made public Thursday plans for their 2020 No Filter tour with the release of a video on Facebook, and a schedule of 15 show dates that open May 8 in San Diego and include a lone Canadian date the night following at Vancouver’s BC Place.

— The 2019 Edmonton Music Prize, worth $10K, has been awarded to the indie-rock band nêhiyawak, three Indigenous musicians of the Treaty Six Territory. The prize was awarded chiefly for the group’s album nipiy, released last year on Arts & Crafts. The first runner-up for the Music Prize is singer-songwriter Celeigh Cardinal, and the second runner-up is rock quartet, Royal Tusk. They each receive $1K. The Prize is administered by Alberta Music.  The 2019 Edmonton Film Prize went to Adam Scorgie, for his work as producer of the documentary film Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo.


— A reminder that a star-studded tribute to the late Jon Box takes place at Toronto’s Opera House on Saturday (Feb. 8). The fundraiser features Terra Lightfoot, Sloan, The Dirty Nil, Whitehorse, and more. More info on the concert here. Tix here

— Submissions are now open for the 2020 CMAOntario Awards, with a deadline of Feb. 19.  CMAOntario members in good standing can submit nominations. More info here

— Today (Feb. 7) at 7 pm, the third-annual Oshawa Music Awards (OMAs) hosts a press conference at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) in Oshawa to announce nominees in five categories:, and reveal the 2020 Industry Leader recipient(s), and inaugural, OMA Hall-of-Fame Inductees. The deadline for nominations for the remaining awards; Best Songwriter, Music Teacher of the Year, and Durham Song of the Year, is Feb. 15. Submissions welcomed here


— Toronto’s Downtown Yonge BIA has been very active in preserving the district’s rich musical heritage, and it has just acquired the famed double-sided sign from the Record Nook for the Neon Museum collection. The store was owned and operated by Toronto reggae legends Jackie Mittoo and Lord Tanamo. BIA's CEO/ED Mark Garner explains that “in the 1970s, The Record Nook was significant as both a retail store and a popular gathering place, almost like a kind of community centre for Jamaicans living here.” The sign joins the artifacts being collected and curated for the Neon Museum Toronto currently in development.


— Manitoba Music is partnering with the BIGSOUND Festival and Conference in Brisbane, Australia, for the second edition of the Indigenous North showcase, Sept. 1-5. Snotty Nose Rez Kids were featured last year. Apply for the showcase here by Feb. 20.

CIMA, through Music Export Canada, is again organizing a showcase & business mission to SXSW in Austin, TX this March This will mark the 15th year of CIMA’s attendance for this key showcase and business development opportunity at the famed fest/ conference. CIMA will also organize business events throughout the week. This year Canada House will be at The Venue on 6th St and open from Sun - Thursday with a focus on music, Wed and Thurs. Canadian companies are encouraged to use Canada House as a place to network, hold meetings etc. If you are a Canadian company interested in knowing more about these business events complete the form here

— The second Canadian Independent Music Video Awards hosts an event at The Hideout in Toronto, Feb. 13.  Presented by Dropout Entertainment, the Awards show will feature a video feed and awards presentation as well as performances by Johnny NoCash and the Celtic Outlaws, Bon Villan, Mountain Head, and Pterodactyl Problems. Over 25K votes were received for the Awards, and the winning video receives $500. Tix for the show here 

A video for Moving On, a track from Leonard Cohen’s posthumous chart-topping album, Thanks For The Dance, has just been released. Here it is.


Buddy Cage, a Toronto-born pedal steel guitarist ,best known as a longtime member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, died from multiple myeloma at the age of 73 on Feb. 4,


By the mid-1960s, he was working as a professional musician, both onstage and as a session player for the Arc Records label, and in 1969, he joined Ian and Sylvia Tyson’s band, the Great Speckled Bird, in 1969.

From 1969 to 1972, Cage also recorded four albums with Anne Murray and one album with Brewer & Shipley.

He remained active as a performer and session musician, playing with such artists as Bob Dylan (on Blood On The Tracks), Brewer & Shipley, Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, Phish bassist Mike Gordon, David Bromberg, and the Zen Tricksters.

Cage replaced Jerry Garcia in the New Riders in 1971, working as their pedal steel guitar player from 1971 to 1982. That separation lasted until 2005, when a reformed lineup of the New Riders began touring. The group’s final studio album, 17 Pine Avenue, was released in 2012.

Cage was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012, undergoing chemotherapy to fight the rare type of blood cancer. In 2016, a GoFundMe page created to help cover some of the rocker’s medical costs raised over $25,000. Sources: Ultimate Classic Rock, Wikipedia

Soleil Launière
Jaime Antonio Luna Quezada

Soleil Launière


Soleil Launière wins the Francouvertes: “It means a lot to me as an Indigenous artist”

Meet the Innu artist, big winner of the 2024 edition of the showcase-competition, who is the first Indigenous artist to win since the Quebec music competition started allowing submissions in Indigenous languages.

Soleil Launière has won the 28th edition of Francouvertes, becoming the first Indigenous artist to win the Quebec-based music competition.

The multidisciplinary Innu artist from Mashteuiatsh, Quebec won the grand final of the musical showcase on Monday, May 13. The Montreal-based artist edged out rapper Sensei H and maximalist rock singer-songwriter Loïc Lafrance.

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