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FYI

Music News Digest, Nov. 9, 2023

Awards news

Music News Digest, Nov. 9, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Awards news


The Music Nova Scotia Awards were handed out during ceremonies in Yarmouth last weekend. Heading the winners list with three trophies was Andrew Jackson, with other winners including Jah'Mila, The Bombadils, Jon Hines, Kayo, Rich Aucoin, Rankin MacInnis, Terra Spencer & Ben Caplan, Classified, Nicole Ariana, and Adam Baldwin. Industry Awards winners included  Micah Smith, Nik MacDonald, Erin Costelo, and John Mullane. See the full winners list here.

– The 2023 British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) Awards took place on Nov. 5 at River Rock Casino in Richmond. Notable winners included Madeline Merlo, Tim and the Glory Boys, Tyler Joe Miller, and Chris Buck. Performers included Shawn Austin, Parker Graye, Teigen Gayse, and Tony Stevens. Check the complete winners list here.

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– Sibling pop duo Tegan and Sara will receive the 2024 Humanitarian Award for their work with the LGBTQ+ community at the 2024 Juno Awards in Halifax's Scotiabank Centre on March 24. They will receive the honour from Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page. A press release notes that "Tegan and Sara have been proudly open about their queer identities since the beginning of their career in 1998, cementing themselves as outspoken advocates for LGBTQ+ equality and gender justice. The Tegan and Sara Foundation is an extension of their work, identity and longstanding commitment to supporting and building progressive social change. The Foundation raises awareness and funds, fights for equality and justice through flagship programming, and supports grassroots organizations, activists and communities often go unrecognized by major funding institutions."

– Singer/songwriter Rose Cousins and musician and CBC music host Damhnait Doyle have been named co-hosts of the 2024 East Coast Music Awards, set to happen on May 2 at 8 p.m. at the Delta Prince Edward Confederation Ballroom in Charlottetown, PE. Tix here.

Festivals news

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– A very impressive lineup for the  11th edition of the 21C Music Festival at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto has been announced. Headliners include Brad Mehldau, Laurie Anderson, Kronos Quartet: Five Decades, Lara St. John, and Bridget Kibbey with the Calidore String Quartet and Mervon Mehta. This season, the fest spans from Jan. to May 2024 and features 14+ premieres (1 world and 13 Canadian). Works by 3 Canadian composers will be featured, and 8 Canadian artists and ensembles are included in the season. Tix and info here.

Industry news

A Not So Silent Night -  Family Christmas with the Wainwrights/McGarrigles is a genuinely star-studded benefit concert for the Kate McGarrigle Fund in Montreal. The concert will also raise money for the Canadian Cystinosis Research Foundation this year. Those appearing on Dec. 2 at L'Olympia (1004 Sainte-Catherine E) include Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Anna McGarrigle, Robert Charlebois, Ariane Moffat, Patrick Watson, Bon Enfant, Jeremy Dutcher, La Force, and more. Tix here.

Artists news

 Punk survivor and Order of Canada recipient Art Bergmann played a rare gig in Toronto (one of his former hometowns) last week. Accompanying him at The Horseshoe Tavern was an A-list band comprising local veterans Steve Koch, John Dinsmore, and Joel Anderson, and they added real muscle to Bergmann's typically literate material. He may now be physically frail, performing seated, with a cane by his side, but the fire in his belly remains. The first half of his set focused on material from his fine recent albums ShadowWalk and Late Stage Empire Dementia, while renditions of earlier favourites oft featured fresh new takes. Those spied in the crowd of Art admirers included music scribes Mary Dickie, Jennie Punter, and Jason Schneider (co-author of the recent Bergmann biog The Longest Suicide), artist Raeanne Schacter, author Donna Lypchuk, musician Darryl Gould, industry veteran Brian Hetherman, label head Phil Klygo, and documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig. Entertaining in quirkily bohemian fashion as show openers was Luxury Bob.

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– Sri Lankan Canadian musician Tara Kannangara (currently on tour with Jeremy Dutcher on vocals and trumpet) has just released a charming new song and video, "Lisa Turtle." "This song is my love letter/anthem to Lisa Turtle, my favourite character from the iconic 90s sitcom Saved By The Bell," she explains. The video is directed by Brittany Farhat (Monowhales, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Dizzy) and features choreography from Leah Fay Goldstein (of July Talk). 

– 6 Hearts, a new project comprising members of two of the East Coast's most acclaimed roots groups, Vishtèn and The East Pointers, has just released its first song, “More Love." After the passing of  Vishtèn member Pastelle LeBlanc, remaining members Emmanuelle LeBlanc and Pascal Miousse created Vishtèn Connexions, working with other artists as a solution to moving forward with her in spirit. Their upcoming EP, Expansion, will feature six artists on its six songs (out in spring 2024), including this one with 6 Hearts.

– Singer/songwriter/CBC arts show host Talia Schlanger will preview songs from her debut album, Grace For The Going, at Handlebar in Toronto on Nov. 12. Also on the bill of this recommended PWYC show is Miranda Mulholland.

– POSTDATA, the solo music project of Wintersleep lead singer and songwriter Paul Murphy, has announced further live shows for 2023 and 2024 in support of his newly released album, Run Wild (Paper Bag Records). Following some initial release shows with Yukon Blonde, dates at POP Montreal, Music Nova Scotia, and Supercrawl, POSTDATA is now playing shows across Atlantic Canada, supporting Chantal Kreviazuk + Raine Maida on their theatre tour. 2024 will see an outing with Saskatoon's indie-rock band, Close Talker in April and May.  Info and tix here.

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– Veteran Toronto hard rock band Coney Hatch releases a live album titled Postcard From Germany via Anthem Records tomorrow (Nov. 10) and launches it the following night with a final live performance of 2023 at the El Mocambo in Toronto. Recorded on Dec. 12, 2018, at the HEAT Festival in Ludwigsburg, Postcard from Germany is a live recording of the group's first show in Germany. The double CD features two new songs and a remastered version of Coney Hatch's classic self-titled debut.

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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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