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Music News

Music News Digest: Canadian Live Music Industry Awards Announce Nominees, Luminato & LulaWorld Announce Festival Lineups

Our weekly roundup of news stories also includes deadmau5, Haviah Mighty, International Indigenous Music Summit programming and Toronto indie rock veterans Stephen Stanley and Dave Bidini.

Haviah Mighty

Haviah Mighty

Courtesy photo

Awards news

Canadian Music Week (CMW), in partnership with the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA), has named the nominees and performers for the Canadian Live Music Industry Awards (CLMI Awards), hosted by Canadian rap star Haviah Mighty on June 4, 2024 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. Tickets are available now here.

Now in its 8th year, the CLMI Awards will include performances by Haviah Mighty, contemporary blues guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, and dark pop artist ari hicks. The night will include a special tribute to The Tragically Hip performed by The Pursuit of Happiness, in honour of previously announced 2024 Music Industry Hall of Fame Inductee Jake Gold of The Management Trust. Also on hand for his induction into the 2024 Music Industry Hall of Fame will be multi-platinum selling Juno Award winner deadmau5.


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Festivals news

The programming by annual Toronto summer fest Luminato has drawn criticism in recent years, but the recently unveiled lineup for in 10 days (June 7-16) of performances at Luminato in the Square looks highly promising. Major names appearing at David Pecaut Square include New Orleans sensation Big Freedia, Indigenous composer-pianist-vocalist Jeremy Dutcher, opera star Measha Brueggergosman, K'Naan, Cris Derksen and Los Mirlos. More info here.

The LulaWorld Music Festival runs from May 30-June 9 in Toronto, and it certainly spans the globe. This year's edition, the 18th, showcases music, dance and film with roots in Iraq, Ukraine, Cuba, Pakistan, Peru, India, Nigeria, Syria, Thailand, Palestine, Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, and beyond. Held in the city's Latin and world music hub, Lula Lounge, plus Drom Taberna and the DoWest Fest, it is produced by Juana Hermida and Tracy Jenkins, the dynamic duo behind the LulaWorld Records label.

The fest will feature album release concerts from Nastasia Y (Ukraine) and Ahmed Moneka (Afro-Iraqi Sufi Soul) (a shared bill on May 30 that launches the fest) plus performances by Lina Makoul (Palestine), Juno winners OKAN, Kobo Town and more. Check here for more info, and go here for a special festival playlist.

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The IIMS (International Indigenous Music Summit) in Toronto has followed its lineup announcement with daytime programming details and schedule. This year’s Welcoming Ceremony & Feast will be held at Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts on Toronto Island. Notable Canadian Indigenous music supporter Elaine Bomberry is named as Keynote Speaker, with her address taking place June 11 at TD Music Hall at Allied Music Centre. All registered IIMS badge holders are welcome to attend.

Speakers at the IIMS 2024 daytime programming will include Drezus, Layla Staats, Susan Aglukark, Huia Hamon (Aotearoa/NZ), Marek Tyler (Indigenous Music Office), Kym Gouchie, Pîsim SB (Land Back Records), Sky Thomas (YIRRAMBOI) and more.Early bird registration pricing ends May 31. A full schedule here.

Industry news

FACTOR's Artist Entrepreneur program is a pilot program for artists rated 3 or Platinum Album Certified Artists who are investing in their own masters, copyrights, and/or live performances. It replaces the Comprehensive Artist program and is designed for increased flexibility for eligible activities and expenses during the program year – aligned with FACTOR’s fiscal (April 1 – March 31). The deadline to apply is May 30. More info here.

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– A reminder that the voting deadline for The Western Canadian Music Awards is at end of day, May 31. Members should check their email for an official voting link.

– Montreal punk band The Lookout has signed to Thousand Islands Records and will release the debut full-length album I Know The Future this Fall with the title track available June 6.

Artists news

Stephen Stanley’s name will remain inextricably linked with Toronto indie rock heroes The Lowest Of The Low, a group he co-founded, but he has since emerged as a compelling solo artist. He brought his band along for a Sat. matinee at The Casbah in Hamilton, and delivered a fine set that encompassed his body of work neatly, including material from current album, Before The Collapse of the Hive.From his Low days, Stanley retains a love of guitar riffery (along with lead guitarist Chris Bennett) and snappy wordplay, but he also writes eloquent narratives that dig deep. Highlights included the part spoken word piece “Straw Man,” upbeat new rocker “Hey Darlene,” “Under The Mynah Bird” (referencing the famed Yorkville band), and “Jimmy And The Moon.” The title cut of Stanley's fine 2017 album, the latter featured guest vocals from Evan Rotella, the opening act.

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Rotella impressed with his solo set, showing why, at just 19, the Niagara Falls-based singer/songwriter is rapidly attracting attention as well as the support of such fellow artists as Dave Rave and Stanley. Stylistic reference points would include Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen, and he already has an assured stage presence. One to watch. Rotella has a Wed. night residency (10 p.m. slot) for June at The Cameron House in Toronto. Stephen Stanley has a May 31 show at Which Craft in Guelph, with LOTL mainman Ron Hawkins sharing the bill.

– Well-respected veteran Hamilton singer-songwriter Pip Kummel recently released Every City, his 30th album. On June 7, at The HUB on Cannon St. in Hamilton, he hosts a free performance and album listening session, 7-9 p.m. Recommended. Info here. Check out Every City on Bandcamp here.

– Roots-rock singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Wayne (ex-The Warped 45s) earned kudos with last year's debut solo album, Crow Amongst The Sparrows. He has just released a new single, "Ready My Love," and it's equally impressive. Look for a sophomore album to be released later this year. Rheostatics fans need to check this one out.

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– On June 20 at C'est What in Toronto, indie-pop singer-songwriter Paul Manchinplays an album release concert for Master, a compilation of 40 songs from his now extensive catalogue (11 digital albums). Info here.

– Powerful folk/gospel singer/songwriter Diem Lafortune (aka Mama D) plays a benefit concert with her band at the Toronto United Mennonite Church on Wed. May 29. Proceeds go to Aurora House. Tickets here.

– The ever-entertaining Dave Bidini (Rheostatics, Bidiniband) will hold court at The Capitol in Hamilton on June 2 (an afternoon matinee), with Darryl Gould opening. Tix here.

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Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Music News

Allison Russell Named Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Nashville-based musician from Montreal has been having a huge year, including her first Grammy and her first Hot 100 appearance. Accepting the award on June 19 at the iHeartRadio Canada studio, she talked about her LGBTQ+ advocacy work and the importance of playing with underrepresented musicians.

It was a special Juneteenth for Allison Russell.

Not only did she serve as the special Toronto opener for Sarah McLachlan on the Canadian icon’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th anniversary tour, but she earned another big honour: Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

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