Music News Digest, July 20, 2023

Fast-rising singer Josh Ross leads the pack of recently announced nominees for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards (CCMAs), with six nods.

Music News Digest, July 20, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Fast-rising singer Josh Ross leads the pack of recently announced nominees for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards (CCMAs), with six nods. He is followed by The Reklaws (named as hosts of the show), Dallas Smith and Tenille Townes, with five apiece. Other notable nominees include Shania Twain, Brett Kissel, Whitehorse, and Orville Peck. Ross, The Reklaws, Smith and Townes will also all be performing at the televised ceremony, along with Sam Hunt and the American rock band Train. The show will air live on CTV at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16. See the full list of both artist and industry nominees here. 2023 Country Music Week takes place in Hamilton, Sept. 14–16. More info here


– The SOCAN Foundation has announced the 2023 TD Incubator participants. In the fifth edition of the program, 25 musicians will receive funding (a cash grant of up to $3K), mentorship, and career development tools. See the full list of successful applicants here.

Festivals news

– Mississauga Italfest is set for the weekend of Aug. 11 and 12 at Mississauga Celebration Square. The impressive musical lineup includes Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Jazz Project, Elissa, Armando, Joee, Carlo Coppola, and direct from Italy Pino Gioia and Sandro Giacobbe. Info and tix here.

 – The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has announced its 17-day 2023 Bandshell concert series, running from Aug. 18 to Sept. 4. The eclectic list of headliners includes Amanda Marshall, Jann Arden, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Marcia Griffiths, William Prince, Brett Kissel, Dionne Warwick, A Flock of Seagulls, The Washboard Union, and, in celebration of 50 years of hip hop, Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, and Haviah Mighty will bring down the house with classic hip hop anthems that have shaped popular culture through the decades.   All CNE Bandshell concerts are free with admission. More info here.  


– The first annual Ian Tyson Memorial Music Festival - Fly Spirit Fly, is set for the Municipal Reserve in the community of Black Diamond in Diamond Valley, AB, on July 30 from noon to 10 pm. Artists include John Wort Hannam, Girl Crush, the Wandering Spirit Dance Troupe, and Peter North's highly-acclaimed Ian Tyson tribute show, The Gift, featuring former members of both Ian Tyson's touring and studio recording groups.

– The Global Asian Music Festival 1MX makes its North American debut in Toronto on Sept. 10 at Budweiser Stage, with performances from Dabin, UMI, Ben&Ben, Thuy, Guapdad 4000, BGYO, Justin Park, DJ Tilt, DJ Jayemkayem and DJ Hedspin. Tix are available now here.

Industry news

– The Music PEI AGM is scheduled to take place on Aug. 15th at 7 pm via Zoom. It will include the presentation of the Year-End Statement for the fiscal year 2022/23, the announcement of the new Directors, and a report on the previous year’s activities from the Executive Director. If you have any questions, email
– The Mariposa Folk Foundation has slated Oct. 14 for Autumn Mariposa III, an open-air afternoon concert (1-5 pm)in Orillia, ON, featuring performances by Mariposa fan favourites Aysanabee, My Son the Hurricane, Aleksi Campagne, and Angelique Francis. Tickets ($50) are available here.


– Nominations for Charlottetown's 2023 Arts & Culture Awards are now open. Award categories include Emerging Artist:, Artistic Excellence, Lifetime Achievement, Champion of the Arts, and Late Great. Nominations can be submitted here up to Aug. 14.

– As reported in FYI here, the newly minted Canada's Rock of Fame includes Rough Trade and Michel Pagliaro in its first group of inductees. They will both celebrate that honour by headlining upcoming shows at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. Rough Trade will perform on Sept. 29, just a day after Canada’s Rock of Fame Induction event at Massey Hall. The Phoenix show will feature many special guests, including Hawksley Workman and Chilina Kennedy. Tix now on sale here. Montreal rock hero Pagliaro plays on Sept. 30. Tix here.



– The late Toronto/Hamilton roots troubadour Big Rude Jake is the subject of a new documentary that explores his colourful life and career. Directed by Kyree Vibrant,Big Rude Jake: Pursuing the Pearl of Great Price gets its world premiere at Cinecycle in Toronto this evening (July 19). Tix here. Here's the trailer.

Artists news

– This December, The Weather Station (led by Tamara Lindeman) will settle in for a hometown residency at Toronto’s Great Hall for three nights, performing two entire albums each evening over three nights, Dec. 11-13.  “The shows will feature all-star bands, and we'll be playing each album in full, with full arrangement, and unreleased songs from each era as well," reports Lindeman. Tix here.

– Acclaimed Toronto singer/songwriter Lori Cullen plays a free hometown show at the Harbourfront Centre's Music Garden on July 27 ( 7 pm), accompanied by Kurt Swinghammer and Chris Gartner. Highly recommended. Info here.

– Ken Tizzard and Music For Goats, the roots music project headed by Watchmen bassist Tizzard, is releasing new tracks every six weeks, to be collected in full on a new album, The Dagg Sessions, releasing in Dec. The album is named in honour of late MFG drummer Steve Dagg. Here's the most recent cut, Dollar A Day.

– Toronto-based jazz pianist and composer Chris Donnelly has made a mark with his solo work and as a member of the imaginative Juno-nominated trio Myriad3. His new project, Artificial Jazz, teams him with South African/British vocalist Nicky Schrire. A genre-defying debut EP, She Walks, is coming out on July 28. Here's the title track.



Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

keep readingShow less