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FYI

Music News Digest, July 29, 2019

Susan Aglukark (pictured) is the 2019 Western Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Inductee, the YYC Music Awards nominees are announced, and the COC's Alexander Neef will become head of Opéra de Paris. Others making news include Valdy, Woodstock 50, Eamon McGrath, Tegan and Sara, Nikki’s Wives, Sarah McLachlan, CIMA, Midnight Desires, and MusicNL. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, July 29, 2019

By Kerry Doole

Inuk folk artist Susan Aglukark has been announced as the 2019 Western Canadian Music Hall Of Fame Inductee. The award will be presented to Aglukark on Oct. 3 at the WCMA Artists Awards Reception, taking place during BreakOut West in Whitehorse, Yukon. During a career that has spanned more than 25 years, she has been recognized as the first Inuk artist to win a Juno Award (she has won three), she has received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement, and is an officer of the Order of Canada.


– Calgary's YYC Music Awards has announced the 2019 nominees in 21 categories for their 4th annual gala, coming on Sept. 22 at The Palace Theatre. Tickets for this year's gala are now available. Spotify Playlist of Nominees here.

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– Veteran folk-rocker Valdy's last studio album, Between the Lines, came out in 2012, but he's now in the middle of a flurry of recording activity. The Regina Leader-Post reports that "he has plans for three new albums — a Christmas release that will also include music from other times of the year, an acoustic effort and a band disc. The latter two projects may come out together, while the bulk of the featured material will be original songs."

–  The cabinet of the French government confirmed last week that Canadian Opera Company general director Alexander Neef will be taking over as the head of Opéra de Paris at the start of the 2021-22 season. The Toronto Star's John Terauds reports that "rumours had been floating for about a year concerning the future of the German-born arts administrator who took over the COC in June 2008." The COC has confirmed Neef's departure at the end of the 2020-2021 season. He had worked alongside renowned Belgian opera administrator Gérard Mortier as casting director from 2004 to 2008 at Opéra de Paris.

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– The latest twist in the on-again, off-again saga of the planned Woodstock 50 fest is that the event, now set to take place Aug. 16-18 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD, will now be primarily a free event. Reports suggest organisers have decided to release tickets in the coming days free of charge. The end of the week is likely when instructions on how to get tickets are to be posted. Sources claim the event will be billed as a benefit concert with those snagging seats being encouraged to donate to their favorite causes. Sources:  Music Universe, TMZ

– Prolific Toronto troubadour Eamon McGrath releases his 7th studio album Guts on Sept. 6 viaSaved By Vinyl, and he tours Canada extensively into the fall, followed by a 10-date European trek. Itinerary here. Here's a new performance video for In Like A Lion, filmed earlier this month in Calgary.

– Just days after the pop duo announced an extensive fall North American tour, Tegan and Sara have added a second Toronto show, at the Winter Garden Theatre on Oct. 18. Tix now on sale.

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– Indie Week has announced Canadian alt-rock trio  Nikki’s Wives as headliners of the 2019 Indie Week Awards Show on Nov. 17 at Toronto's Mod Club Theatre. The group will be joined by performances from Indie Week’s Best of the Fest. Tix here 

– The New York Pops and Music Director  Steven Reineke have recruited Sarah McLachlan for their fifth summer season at  Forest Hills Stadium in NYC for a performance on Aug. 2. The New York Pops’  Kids in the Stadium program will offer more than 1,000 Queens children and their families an opportunity to attend and learn about live music for free for a fifth consecutive year. Tickets are available here

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– Applications are now open for CIMA's second Business and Showcase Mission to AmericanaFest UK in London. Held Jan. 28-30, 2020 AmericanaFestUK is a two-day conference, awards show and music festival with live Americana music from the US, Austria, Spain, Denmark, the UK and more. The day conference consists of over 200 international promoters, artists, and festival owners. The Mission offers Showcase, B2B, and panel opportunities and more at the event. The deadline to apply here is Sept. 13.

– Mercedes-Benz Canada is reportedly the first manufacturer to adopt the what3words navigation system, which offers precise location services by assigning three-word descriptors to every 3 m x 3 m square of the planet. The car company has partnered with Canadian musicians Charlotte Cardin, Allie X, and The Strumbellas to promote this new feature. – Benzinga

– Kim Mitchell’s Patio Lanterns is a Canadian summer classic, and it has just been given a hard rock makeover by the band Midnight Desires. Led by Actor/Writer/Composer Trevor Ziebarth (Sons of Butcher), the group specialises in covering '80s hit tunes.  MD plays Strummerfest Music Festival in Kitchener (Aug. 3), and Erie Wind Music Festival, Fort Erie, on Aug. 10.

– After a 3-year term, MusicNL Executive Director, Glenda Tulk, bids farewell to the organization with her final event, the successful Exploits Valley Salmon Festival weekend. “The Board of MusicNL would like to thank Glenda for her service, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours, "says Amy House, MusicNL Board Chair.

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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