Music News Digest: Sled Island Announces Lineup, Luminato Gets New Artistic Director
Plus news on CIMA,Cadence Weapon, Canadian Music Centre, a Climate Emergency Concert and more.
The SOCAN Foundation has announced the creation of a new award for mid-career composers, the Lori Davies Composition Award For Excellence in Dance, Opera or Musical Theatre. It is named in memory of Lori Davies, former Executive Director of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada. This yearly $5,000 award has an initial deadline of April 1, 2024. Applyhere.
- Calgary’s adventurous Sled Island Music & Arts Festival has announced the first wave of artists playing its 2024 edition of the event, running June 19 - 23. Joining Sled Island's previously named 2024 guest curator, Show Me the Body, are Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, Los Angeles indie rockers Cherry Glazerr, genre-bending rap artist Kari Faux, Montreal-based hip-hop trio Planet Giza, ‘70s Zamrock revivalists W.I.T.C.H., soundscape composer Laurel Halo, British electronic producer Forest Swords, post-punk three-piece Wombo, Philadelphia hardcore act Soul Glo, Toronto-based death metal band Tomb Mold, avant-garde ambient composer and Calgary native Sarah Davachi, and former Can singer Malcolm Mooney, with his group, Eleventh Planet.
Those are just some of the 200+ bands slated for the fest this year. Passes are currently on sale atSledIsland.com.
- The second edition of Four Winds Music Fest, staged at Riverstone Retreat, near Durham, Ontario, is set for July 12-14. The all-Canadian lineup features such notables as Bahamas, Terra Lightfoot, Joel Plaskett, Boy Golden, Great Lake Swimmers, Daniel Romano's Outfit, Logan Staats, Lindy Vopnfjord, Jerry Leger & The Situation, and more. A preview concert series, kicks off Feb. 10 with Terra Lightfoot performing solo at Black Bellows Brewing Company in Collingwood. Tix now on sale here
- This month CIMA returns to Guadalajara, Mexico for the 2024 edition of the FIMPRO Festival & Conference. The fest features showcases by top emerging international artists while the conference component attracts over 1000 important music industry players from across the Latin American countries. Working with FIMPRO, CIMA, in partnership with Alberta Music, Manitoba Music, Music BC and MusicOntario, will host a showcase and business initiative with 5 Canadian companies and their showcasing artists. Canada House will be held on February 28 at C3 on alternating stages and will feature performances from: Miesha and the Spanks, NADUH, Laurence-Anne, Begonia, and Terra Lightfoot.
- Hamilton free street festival Supercrawl is now accepting Submissions for Visual Art, Music, Family, Fashion, Theatre, Dance, Performance, Talks & Spoken Word at its 2024 event, Sept. 13-15. Full details at supercrawl.ca/apply
- The Luminato arts festival in Toronto has named Olivia Ansell as its new Artistic Director. The renowned arts curator will present her inaugural festival in June 2025.
- On March 17 in Halifax, Music Declares Emergency Canada presents a Climate Emergency Concert. It will honour two environmentally-conscious Canadian music legends, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, with participating performers including Talia Schlanger (see below), Braden Lam, Terra Spencer, India Gailey, and Aleksi Campagne. The event will also announce the first ever Canadian Environmental Music Awards, taking place later this year. Read more in this Billboard Canada feature.
- The Board of Directors of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) has announced the appointment of Holly Nimmons as new President and CEO. Nimmons has worked with the CMC since 2018, when she took on the role of Director of Development and Communications. She became the interim CEO from June to Dec. 2023 after the departure of Glenn Hodgins. Learn more here.
- Submissions are now open for the 2024 Canadian Songwriter Challenge, a component of the CSC (Canadian Song Conference) created by Music PEI through a partnership with other provincial Music Industry Associations. This project puts artists from PEI together with artists from across Canada to collaborate and co-write in pairs under the mentorship of a prominent Canadian producer. Each pair of artists will co-write and record two songs in demo form. Music PEI will provide the recording studio and will work with the other MIAs to select the other participating artists. It will run from May 27 - 29, and the deadline to apply here is Feb. 13.
- The Country Classic fundraiser for the Daily Bread Food Bank returns to Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern on Feb. 25. It is presented by The Jim Cuddy Band, and a stellar lineup of guests includes Doug Paisley, Terra Lightfoot, Colin Cripps, Luke Doucet, Bazil Donovan, Julian Taylor, Anne Lindsay, and more, all performing classic country tunes. Tickets on sale now at jimcuddy.com.
- Polaris Prize-winning rapper, producer, author, and former poet laureate Rollie Pemberton (aka Cadence Weapon) has announced that his sixth studio album, ROLLERCOASTER, will be released on April 19, via MNRK Music. He simultaneously revealed details of a North American tour this spring that begins on April 19 at Bridgeworks in Hamilton, followed by shows in Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Brooklyn, Portland and Seattle. Details here.
-Acclaimed Composer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies, The Lou Reed Band) has just released a never-before-heard track “BUS BUS OR NO BUS," recorded with his Toronto high school band The Glacials back in 1988.
- Anticipation is growing for the Feb. 23 release of El Viejo, the new album from Albertan roots star Corb Lund. The self-produced effort was recorded entirely in Lund's living room in Lethbridge with his band The Hurtin’ Albertans. A Canadian tour begins on March 5 in Vancouver with New West labelmates 49 Winchester. Check his full tour schedule here. A Bandcamp link here.
- Popular B.C. roots/bluegrass veterans The High Bar Gang have set out on a six-date B.C. tour with Barney Bentall, running Feb. 7 to Feb. 12. Info and tix here.
- Last week, Toronto rocker JEEN released a new album, Gold Control, another collaboration with noted producer/musician Ian Blurton. Streaming links for the focus track "Pour Your Heart" here.
- Singer/songwriter/NPR radio host Talia Schlanger has just released a debut album, Grace For The Going, via Latent. She plays a release concert at Toronto’s TD Music Hall on Feb. 15, and has five shows in PEI and Nova Scotia, March 12-30, including the Music Declares Emergency Climate Concert on March 17 in Halifax, at the Rebecca Cohn Theatre. She's also hosting the Climate Summit on March 22. Itinerary info here.