Music News Digest, June 22, 2023

Awards news

Music News Digest, June 22, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Awards news

It was announced on June 20 that hit-making singer/songwriter/guitarist and producer Bill Henderson is to be inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, with a ceremony in his hometown of Vancouver. On Monday, June 26, the CSHF will present Henderson with his induction at the SOCAN Annual General Meeting. A press release from the org notes that "He will be recognized for his distinguished catalogue of hit songs across multiple genres from psychedelic rock, adult contemporary to pop-rock, and for stage, television and film. With Chilliwack, he penned some of the band’s most successful songs with 14 albums under their belts, including Lonesome Mary, Fly at Night, I Believe, My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone) and Watcha Gonna Do."


"Bill Henderson is one of the Canadian music industry’s most respected leaders, on stage and off. From the early days of The Collectors, Vancouver’s first-high profile rock band, to the evolution of Chilliwack, becoming a solo artist and coveted songwriter and record producer, Henderson’s career spanning more than 50 years is about to reach another milestone."

Stan Meissner, CSHF Board Chairman, stated that Henderson "is the reason why Chilliwack is one of Canada’s most enduring bands. He has been the constant driving force and the heart and soul of the group through various incarnations, but it is his songwriting that has carried Chilliwack throughout the eras, taking their writing from on-stage jams to thoughtfully structured songs with great hooks, that brought critical and fan success over many decades."

– The 21st annual Forest City London Music Awards gala took place at the London Music Hall on June 18 with a show featuring a varied set of performers reflecting the city’s artistic community. “It’s the most diverse field of nominees that we’ve ever had, and we’re really, really proud of that,” awards chair and co-founder Mario Circelli told The London Free Press. Hall of Fame 2023 Inductees are The Bluesmen Revue, The McAuley Boys, Dawn Tyler Watson, and Bob Reid, and the Lifetime Achievement 2023 Recipients are Alfredo Caxa, Clark Bryan, and John Rowlands. The winners in the classical, jazz, world and Latin music categories were honoured recently in an awards ceremony at Aeolian Hall. Notable winners include New Friends, Dayna Manning, Emm Gryner, and Maggie’s Wake. See a list of winners announced Sunday night here.


Zealya Hallingham took first, Dominick Lamouche & Shawna Squires came second, and Paul Maher Jr placed third, in the NewFound Talent Contest sponsored by Equinore and presented by MusicNL and the NL Folk Arts Society. Talented young musicians, 19 and under, from across the province performed at the sold-out event at Play on Gower (Gower Street United Church, St. John's) in front of a panel of three notable judges. The contest aims to discover, develop, encourage, and showcase young entertainers and offers professional development prizes valued at over $6K. 

Festivals news

– The all-star Hot in Herre Fest is hitting Downsview Park in Toronto on June 24, headlined by R&B hitmaker Nelly and featuring Ne-Yo, Akon, Fat Joe, T.I., Rick Ross, Ja Rule, Chingy, and Keri Hilson. Tix here. Keep up with schedule info by following 


– The Zula Presents Something Else! Festival in Hamilton is internationally renowned for its imaginative programming of free jazz and new music artists. For its 10th edition this weekend, it moves indoors to Saint Cuthbert's (2 Bond St. N, Hamilton), with performances from June 23-25. Noted artists from Canada and NYC appearing include Bob Wiseman, Tania Gill, Hear In Now, William Parker, Beatings Are In The Body, and Ralph Alessi's This Against That. Tix and info at


– Wavelength Music, Toronto’s artist-run live music non-profit since 2000, is marking a return to open-air environs following previous events at Fort York and Toronto Island. From Aug. 18-20, at Ontario Place Trillium Park, the Wavelength Summer Thing will showcase a diverse lineup of artists curated by Anishinaabe musician/composer Daniel Monkman (of moccasin-gaze band Zoon and Juno-nominated rock band Ombiigizi) that will encompass global, hip-hop, electronic, and indie music, plus interactive art installations will give attendees moments to reflect on the history and geography of Toronto/Tkaronto and Lake Ontario (Niigaani-gichigami). More info here

– 54-40, The Watchmen, and The Verve Pipe are featured at the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent in NL today (June 22). The June 23 lineup is headed by Walk Off The Earth and The Beaches. Tix on sale here.

Industry news

– The Ontario Creates Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund is aimed at strengthening and stimulating economic growth in the interactive digital media sector by supporting the creation and commercialization of proprietary interactive content. The Concept Definition program supports early-stage activities that take place prior to and assist the applicant company in preparing for the full production of an interactive or video content project. The Production program assists in the creation of a market-ready interactive or video content project that will be made publicly available to an audience. The application deadline is Aug. 28. More info here 

– Since being forced to vacate Toronto roots music hub Hugh's Room in 2020, the board of the associated non-profit (Hugh's Room Live) has been hosting shows in a range of city venues while seeking its own space. There's now very encouraging news on that front, as a long attempt to purchase a historic building at 296 Broadview Avenue is coming to fruition. Brian Iler, Chair of the HRL Board of Directors, reports that "last week, the owner agreed to all the key terms of a sale to us. We are preparing the formal agreement of purchase and sale now. Before we can sign, though, and we want to badly, we need to be assured that the money we need is in place."


Over $550K in donations has been received, and $900K of $1.3M of Hugh’s Bonds (4.5%) have been sold, but HRL is eager to secure more to ensure the project moves ahead smoothly. Donate Online at Canada Helps here or E-transfer: 

–The recently-opened Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas has strong Canadian representation in key roles, and it has now recruited Toronto punk hero Damian Abraham (Fucked Up) to be a tour guide and curate some special programming at the museum on July 23 - July 25. He'll collaborate with US comedian/musician Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia) on one event. Tix here.

– The grounds used by Ontario's much-loved Havelock Country Jamboree are now up for sale. Six parcels of land that made up the music festival’s real estate portfolio are listed at a total of $13.04M, reports The Peterborough Examiner. 

– A reminder that Music NB's AGM will take place via Zoom today (June 22) at noon. Members can register here to attend.


Artists News
Bruce Cockburn is off to a flying start with his new album, O Sun O Moon, as his longtime manager and music biz legend Bernie Finkelstein informed FYI recently. It debuted on the Billboard US Americana Album Chart at #9, and placed just inside the Top 100 Album Chart at #98. In Canada, it debuted at #14 on the Current Albums chart. Reviews of the album and Cockburn's current tour have been glowing. This new video features fellow Canadian roots music star Susan Aglukark, who co-wrote the tune. Check Cockburn's upcoming concert itinerary here.
– Acclaimed Muskoka-based singer/songwriter Emma Cook closes out her current Ontario tour with a Hamilton matinee show (4 pm) at The Music Hall at New Vision United Church on June 25. Expect material from her latest album, Fight Left In Me, produced by Andrew Rasmussen (Carly Rae Jepsen, Wake Owl, Hannah Georgas). Cook has released five albums, reached the finals of the CBC Searchlight competition, and performed internationally. This show, in the venue’s intimate South West Lounge, is highly recommended. Tix here

– The Canadian blues music community has quickly rallied around one of its leading lights, Downchild's longtime lead singer Chuck Jackson. He has been battling cancer since 2020 and now needs an indefinite period of time off dedicated to recovery, concentrating on the necessary healing needed to rebuild his energy and immune system. A GoFundMe campaign has raised $44K and is no longer accepting donations. Aside from his Downchild duties, Jackson is the artistic director of Tim Horton`s Southside Shuffle and frontman of The Hogtown Allstars and The Chuck Jackson Band.

– '90s Canadian rock faves Rusty may gig just sporadically now, but their show upstairs at The Corktown in Hamilton last Sat. night confirmed they haven't lost an iota of potency. The set also reminded us just how many rock radio hits they had back in their heyday (Misogny, Wake Me, Soul For Sale, Groovy Dead, and California, to name just a few) and that these tunes stand up really well today. The dreadlocks of singer Ken MacNeil may have gone, but his onstage charisma and compellingly virile voice remain. Smart move to sport a Teenage Head T-shirt in The Hammer and to cover a Head tune, Lucy Potato. MacNeil was ably abetted by a rock-solid rhythm section and the searing guitar (and effective backing and occasional lead vocals) of Scott McCullough, now a proud Hamiltonian. Opening up for Rusty with two spirited sets was Pointless (a new band headed by Bill Priddle of nc-17 and Treble Charger fame) and Lightmares (see below).

– Sudbury rock trio Lightmares has long been recommended by reliable music authority Gary Topp, and, after a slow start, their performance at The Corktown vindicated Topper's taste. It's not easy to pin down the band's styles, with some songs suggesting '70s British rock and others possessing a Nirvana-esque feel. Definitely worth checking out.

– Grammy-winning Cuban-Canadian artist Alex Cuba has just released his ninth studio album, El Swing Que Yo Tengo (The Swing That I Have), to overwhelmingly positive reviews. His summer touring begins in Huntsville at the Algonquin Theatre tonight (June 22), followed by shows in Fenelon Falls and Barrie, then a hometown show in Smithers, BC on July 1. Following concerts are in Waterloo, Grand Prairie, three US cities, and then through BC. See his itinerary here.

– Next month, acclaimed Toronto singer-songwriter Jadea Kelly will return from her current LA base to her old hometown stomping grounds, the Cameron House. After taking to the venue's stage 13 years prior, Kelly is returning to the same time slot that she had over a decade ago. Kicking off on July 11, Jadea will perform each following Tuesday night in July from 6-8 pm and will welcome noted surprise guest artists. Expect material from an upcoming album (produced by Jim Bryson this past year). Kelly's fourth studio album, Roses, has notched over 2M streams across all platforms.

–  Castle Frank is the project of BC-bred, Toronto-based indie-pop songwriter Max Bergé, and he celebrates the release of his debut album In Your Blood tomorrow (June 23) with a gig the same night at Toronto's Monarch Tavern. Elliott Isaac and Robin Hatch support. Collaborating on producing the album were Nixon Boyd (Hollerado, Dizzy) and Matt Lederman (!!!, The Rural Alberta Advantage). 

– After selling out her Aug. 18 show at the Churchill Park Music Festival in St. John’s, NL, Alanis Morissette has added a second show on Aug. 19. Special guests are Feist and Meg Myers. Tickets for the second show go on sale today at noon here. 

50 Cent

50 Cent


50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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