By Kerry Doole
– The 2022 American Music Awards were held in LA last Sunday. The only Canadian artist to register a win was Drake, as featured guest on Future's hit, Wait For U, in the Favorite Hip-Hop Song category. Drizzy had topped the list of Canadian nominees with six nods. The big winner on the night was Taylor Swift. See the full list of winners here.
– For the fifth consecutive year, the SOCAN Foundation has announced the winners of the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Canadian Songwriters, sponsored by SiriusXM Canada. Five cash prizes of $5K are awarded to young creators from across the country in recognition of their work and potential. Again, this year, 5 additional songwriters were recognized in the honourable mention category, each receiving a $1K prize. The grand prize winners are Anna Johnson (Alberta) for Boys on Bikes, Pop; AVIV (Ontario) for Drowning in the Culture, Indie Pop; Avril Jensen (Quebec) for Van Gogh, Pop; Danie (Ontario) for Summer, Soul/Jazz, and Velours Velours, (Quebec) for Tournesol, Country-Rock. The honourable mention prize winners are DeeDee Austin, Brighid Fry,, Allegra Jordyn, Fin McDowell, and Mia Kelly. More information here
–Nominations for The City of Hamilton Arts Awards are now open, with a Dec. 9 deadline. For these awards, citizens nominate artists for consideration by independent juries of arts professionals who choose notable artists and arts community leaders to honour for their excellence and contributions to Hamilton. More info here.
– Canadian Music Week has announced the 41st Annual Festival will return in person June 5-10, 2023 in Toronto. The CMW Conference, Canada’s largest and longest-running industry conference, will include the CMW Music Summit Conference, June 8-10, and Radiodays North America, June 8-9, at the Westin Harbour Castle. The CMW music festival will present over 200 bands at 20+ venues June 5-10, in downtown Toronto. Artists can apply to the festival now until Feb. 2023 here. The early bird rate is $25 until Dec. 2. The Live Music Awards will return to CMW, as well as the 22nd Annual Jim Beam® INDIE Awards. The submissions portal for the INDIE Awards opens on Feb. 21 here. More CMW info here
– Junofest Presented by CBC Music will showcase artists, of all genres, from across the country in Edmonton, March 10-12, 2023. Over 50 artists will perform in more than 10 venues for fans, media and the music industry. The deadline to apply here is Dec. 22.
– An important call to action for Canada’s live music community (companies, venues, festivals and organizations) has been sent out. They are all invited to join a special sector-wide town hall hosted by the CLMA, CAPACOA and Festivals and Major Events (FAME) and help join forces to launch a new advocacy campaign aimed at inspiring the federal government to act by reinvesting recovery funding in the live performance sector through the next budget cycle and beyond.
During this session, these orgs will share their strategy to engage the federal government on the question of permanent and increased funding for a range of Canadian Heritage programs, including those accessible to both not-and-for-profit entities. The town hall is set for Nov. 28 at 3 pm EST with presenters Frédéric Julien (Director of Research and Development, CAPACOA) and Erin Benjamin (President & CEO, CLMA). A town hall en francais is set for Nov. 29, at the same time. Register here.
– CIMA will be returning to The Great Escape in Brighton, UK next May 10-13, hosting Canada House showcases on-site and providing business opportunities for participating Canadian companies. The Great Escape is the festival for new music, showcasing 500 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across the city. CIMA is now looking for bands/artists who want to showcase at Canada House in 2023. The deadline to apply here is Nov. 25.
– The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has extended the contract of music director Gustavo Gimeno through the 2029-30 season.
– Geddy Lee, The Tragically Hip, and Billy Talent are among the top Canadian musicians donating rare items for the Healing in Harmony Holiday Auction in support of trauma survivors. The fundraiser will help the Toronto-based NGO Make Music Matter expand the innovative music therapy program for marginalized communities. The auction launches today (Nov. 24) and runs to Dec. 4. The online fundraiser will feature a variety of lots, from personalized autographed guitars, never before seen photos, and vinyl to event passes, merchandise, and professional services for musicians. One notable item is an Ensoniq ZR-76 synthesizer owned by the late Oscar Peterson, donated by his wife Kelly Peterson. Geddy Lee has donated a signed Signature Fender Jazz bass and fellow rockers Billy Talent and Cone McCaslin from Sum 41 have also donated signed guitars. Sign up here.
Look for Grammy-winning producer David Bottrill, chair of Make Music Matter’s Board of Directors, to make an announcement of a new Healing in Harmony project in Toronto in the coming days.
– Following a world premiere at TIFF this year and in honour of Native American Heritage Month, American Masters – Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On premiered on Nov. 22 on PBS. The profile of the Indigenous icon can now be viewed on the PBS Video App.
– Noted Toronto-based indie label Arts & Crafts is opening its own record shop on Black Friday, Nov. 25, located at 55 Berkeley Street in Toronto. Look for opening day specials and anyone who purchases an item that day will be entered to win a 6-month Arts & Crafts Record Club subscription.
– Award-winning Toronto-based world music group, Sultans of String are screening their new film, Sultans of String: The Refuge Project - Visual Album, at The Westdale Theatre in Hamilton on Dec. 8. It recently won an award at the Cannes World Film Festival, and includes music and interviews from both the group's Refuge and Sanctuary albums. The latter leads the Canadian Folk Music Awards with 4 nominations. More info here.
–Ontario Creates'Creative Industries in Conversation Series explores best practices, knowledge sharing and networking for the creative industries. The next two sessions will be held virtually. and will be made available on the OC website as podcasts. The Nov. 24 session is entitled Being Seen: Directives for Authentic and Inclusive Content with the Black Screen Office, and the Jan. 26 session is Short-Form, Big Impact: Getting a Handle on TikTok.
– Reggaddiction, a 10-piece band featuring three vocalists, has just released a new album, Ganja Harvest. It features all 10 songs from Neil Young's legendary Harvest album recorded and mixed by Juno winner Dubmatix and remixed by Reggaddiction. An album launch will be held at 3030 Dundas in Toronto on Dec. 10., and it's a free event.
– Musically adventurous Canadian singer/songwriter Selina Martin releases her fifth album, Time Spent Swimming, tomorrow (Nov. 25). Contributors on the record include Doug Friesen and Chendy Leon. She is now based in France, but let's hope Martin can return here for shows to promote the album.
– Soulful Toronto singer/songwriter Dione Taylor is playing four shows in Alberta, Nov. 24-27. Itinerary and tix here
– Toronto rock band Mr! Mouray has just released a new album, What's The Stouray. The group features former Made guitarist Simon Bedford-James and veteran music biz entrepreneur and musician Jaimie Vernon (Bullseye Records). The new album was co-produced, engineered and mixed by Juno-winning studio wizard John Critchley. Check it out on Bandcamp here.
– The well-travelled International Pop Overthrow takes over The Casbah in Hamilton, Nov. 24-26, presenting a plethora of power-pop and indie rock acts. Notables we spied on the list include Cool Blue Halo, Los Chukos, James Clark Institute, Mr! Mouray, and Danger! Death Ray. More info here.
– Truth (aka Brandon Hack) is a Toronto-based indie dance/pop artist who made a splash last year with the EDM cut All Night. Here's his new single.