Music News

Music News Digest: Quebec Music Industry Architect Rosaire Archambault Honoured, You’ve Changed Records Turns 15

Also featured in our weekly roundup of news: a farewell for former Horseshoe Tavern owner X-Ray MacRae, a new immersive Pink Floyd exhibit in Toronto, a Canada Day tribute to Gordon Lightfoot and more.

Rosaire Archambault

Rosaire Archambault

Courtesy photo

Awards news

On June 20, at a ceremony during the 35th edition of the Francofolies de Montréal, the Association professionnelle des éditeurs de musique (APEM), in collaboration with SOCAN, presented Rosaire Archambault, one of the architects of Québec’s modern music industry, with the Christopher J. Reed Award. The honour is given to “a person who is engaged in their professional community, who respects creators and copyright, and whose contribution to the music publishing world is known and appreciated."

SOCAN's Words & Music noted that "last October, ADISQ honoured him with the Industry Homage Félix Award. recognizing his decades of service 'for my career at Archambault, on the distribution side, on the retail side, and then all my years at Audiogram with Michel Bélanger,' the music industry veteran summarized. 'I was a distributor, a record dealer, a producer, a publisher, all trades that support music creation.'" Archambault transformed the record label Disques Sélect, founded in 1959 by his father, into a record distribution venture.


– On June 13, SOCAN presented Roxane Bruneau and Mathieu Brisset with four No. 1 Song Awards, in Gatineau, just before Bruneau's three performances at Salle Odyssée. The songs “Si jamais on me cherche,” “Partout,” “Le blanc des yeux” and “Une bouteille à la mer” all reached No. 1 on the Top 100 Mediabase Francophone chart, between 2021 and 2024. All four songs are published by Les Éditions Musique Variole and Les Éditions Inspire.

– MDM Recordings Inc. and the Henry Armstrong Award committee has announced City Natives as the 2024 recipient of the Henry Armstrong Award. The award-winning east coast hip hop trio became the first Indigenous artists to win Rap/Hip Hop Recording of the Year at the 2023 East Coast Music Awards, and recently took home the 2024 award as well. City Natives will receive a $10,000 bursary along with a tailored mentorship program of professional development services, and was chosen by a juried selection process via a committee of Canadian music industry professionals. In its third year, the Henry Armstrong Award is an annual bursary and mentorship initiative created to develop, elevate, and support the diverse talents in the Canadian Indigenous music community. Watch the announcement video here. For more information, please visit:


Industry news

– An impressive gathering of the Toronto music clan came to the Horseshoe Tavern on Sunday night to bid a fond farewell to the famed club's former co-owner and music booker X-Ray MacRae. Amongst those performing short sets to honour a man who boosted their careers significantly were Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy, Tom Wilson (Junkhouse) and son Thompson, Stephen Stanley (Lowest Of The Low) and Hugh Christopher Brown (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), and Daniel Greaves and Joey Serlin (The Watchmen), as well as David Owen and Union Duke. Tom Wilson acted as MC, and some funny and touching stories helped make this night very special.

The evening served as a benefit for the Shine! Music Bursary charity (at X-Ray's request), so it was fitting that Junkhouse anthem "Shine" was featured. Kudos to former Horseshoe and Ultrasound booker Yvonne Matsell for organizing the music. Industry notables spied included agent Ralph James, manager Jake Gold (his client The Tragically Hip were supported by MacRae), former label head Steve Kane, promoter Serge Sloimovits, man about town Cam Carpenter, The BamBoo's Patti Habib and X-Ray's business partner Kenny Sprackman, plus ace bartenders Teddy Fury and Sue Carrington. Read the Billboard Canada obituary here.


– Canadian artist-run indie label You’ve Changed Records is celebrating 15 years of existence. It was founded in 2009 by Daniel Romano and Ian Daniel Kehoe, then both members of Attack in Black, and Constantines guitarist Steven Lambke. “We were young, impatient artists who wanted the freedom to do our own things,” Lambke recently told The Globe and Mail.


The label’s debut releases were Shotgun Jimmie’s Still Jimmie and a split record by Attack in Black and Lambke’s Baby Eagle project. This past weekend, Shotgun Jimmie, backed by Attack in Black, plus Lambke and Status/Non-Status, played anniversary shows at the Casbah in Hamilton and the Rex Hotel in Welland.

– The recent star-studded Celebrating Gordon Lightfoottribute concert for the late Canadian music icon at Massey Hall was, happily, captured for posterity. It debuts July 1 on CBC Radio, CBC Listen and CBC Gem, featuring performances by Blue Rodeo and The Lightfoot Band alongside Allison Russell, Aysanabee, Burton Cummings, Caroline Wiles & Bob Doidge, City and Colour, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, The Good Brothers, Julian Taylor, Kathleen Edwards, Meredith Moon, Murray McLauchlan, Serena Ryder, Sylvia Tyson, Tom Cochrane, Tom Wilson and William Prince. Celebrating Gordon Lightfoot is available to stream as of 9 a.m. ET on Canada Day on CBC Gem and broadcasts at 12 p.m. (12:30 NT) on CBC Radio One and 4 p.m. (4:30 NT) on CBC Music and CBC Listen

– Immersive art exhibitions have become all the rage recently, and a new one in Toronto finds the perfect match of subject, form and location: Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon Immersive Audiovisual Exhibitat the INK Entertainment-owned Civilian House of Cannabis in Toronto. Housed in a cozy and trippy dome within the store, the exhibition pairs the iconic 1973 prog-rock masterpiece with 360° visuals from Quebec company NEST Immersion. Guests lay back on a beanbag chair and watch the fittingly space-themed visuals surround them, like a 21st century version of the old planetarium light shows that have been soundtracked by Pink Floyd for decades. The exhibit opened on Friday, June 21. Tickets are available here.


– This Friday (June 28) is the deadline to apply to perform at an Official Showcase at the 2025 Folk Alliance International (FAI) conference. From hundreds of applicants, 160 folk/roots artists are chosen to perform in front of agents, DJs, promoters, labels, venues, organizations and more. Next year's event runs in Montreal, Feb. 19-23, so a strong Canadian contingent is expected. Apply here.

– The First Peoples' Cultural Council's Music Program is open for applications, supporting the development of B.C. First Nations music creatives and professionals residing in B.C. through grants and training programs. It offers three areas of funding for artists, recording engineers and music industry professionals. Apply here by July 3.

– The 25th anniversary of the Toronto Music Garden is being celebrated by its popular Summer Music in the Garden concert series. The free performances take place Thursdays and Sundays, and a highlight of the lineup will be Juno-winning Canadian swing and bebop vocalist Caity Gyorgy on June 27. The series features classical, jazz, roots and folks, and other notable artists appearing include Secret Heart and Nichol Robertson. See the full schedule here.


Artists news

– American artist CatharineCarydisplays an innovative style on her just-released debut album, AIR CAKE, on which her original children's stories are combined with improvised music. Of note is the album's strong Canadian content, as it was produced by Montrealer Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, who has released it on her Orchard of Pomegranates label. The music is provided by Montrealers Eric Lewis (cornet, bass clarinet) and Ivan Bamford (drums and toys), and the record was made at that city's famed studio, Hotel2Tango. Check out a track here.

– New wave inspired synth-driven combo Autogramm recently announced live dates in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago and Cleveland in early July, in support of their acclaimed current album Music That Humans Can Play (out on Stomp Records). The band features members of such notable Canadian outfits as Black Mountain, Destroyer, Black Halos, and Lightning Dust, and they've been creating an international buzz. Check their itinerary here.

– It has been over 40 years since Toronto singer/songwriter Cherie Camp released an acclaimed self-titled debut album on WEA Records. After a long break from the music business, she recently released a second full-length, Love and Blood, co-produced by Gemini Award winning film composer John Welsman, a long-time collaborator with Camp (a song they co-wrote for the film Nurse.Fighter.Boy won a Genie Award for Best Original Song).

– Known primarily as one of Canada’s pre-eminent improvising drummers, BC's Kenton Loewen recently released his debut album as a singer-songwriter, Petrol Matches Boom. He has some heavyweight collaborators on board in the form of American guitar wizard Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Plant & Krauss), Matt Robertson (Björk, Ahnoni), Marin Patenaude and Jesse Zubot. The latter contributed strings and sound design, produced, recorded and mixed the album (at his Deep Bay Bunker studio on Vancouver Island), and released it on his label, Drip Audio. Here is the first single.

Drake and 50 Cent

Drake and 50 Cent

Rb Hip Hop

50 Cent Teases Possible Collab with Drake After Toronto Link Up

The American rapper, referenced by Drake in diss track 'Push Ups,' shared a photo with the Toronto superstar while he was in town for a performance at Rebel night club, hinting at a potential TV project in the works.

A hip hop legend linked up with one of Toronto's biggest stars, teasing a potential collaboration on the horizon.

50 Cent was in town this weekend for a Saturday (July 20) performance at Rebel night club, as well as a refreshing pit stop at Cabana Pool Bar earlier in the day. While on the ground in Toronto, he met up with Drake to talk possible upcoming projects.

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