-- Tommy Mottola says his ex wife needs help. Mottola launched Mariah Carey's career in 1990 with "Vision of Love." He is urging the singer to seek “more seasoned and respected professionals” to guide her career after her disastrous New Year’s Eve performance. He also blasts the singer’s decision to do a reality show in a letter exclusively given to the NY Post's tattler column, Page Six.
-- Calgary pressing plant Canada Boy Vinyl has come to the end of its groove.
An automated email reply from the company says it doesn't expect to continue operations and the CBC reports seeing a lawyer's letter in CBV's front window alleging it owes $66,000 in unpaid rent. One of the co-founders, Dean Reid, has declined to comment but has responded to emails saying the company will have something to say next week. A stack of deposits from clients expecting deliveries remains in question, as does the disposition of master discs and the exact cause of the company's apparent demise so far remains unclear. As of 9pm EST, the company's website offered no suggestion that it was anything but business as usual.
-- Stingray Digital Group Inc. is moving to acquire Classica, an international pay TV channel with a focus on opera, ballet and classical music and a catalogue of 1500 titles and 2000 hours of content.
The Montreal-based firm will acquire Classica from Unitel GmbH, which will continue to produce and deliver programming for Classica. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; however, La Presse pegs the deal at around $15M with about $8M to acquire the chain and $7M for content.
Classica is currently distributed by Unitel through existing partnerships across four continents and available to an estimated 20M subscribers. Stingray says Classica will complement its other classical music products acquired from Berlin-based EuroArts and Brava NL.
Stingray itself reaches about 400M subscribers in 152 countries through in-store and residential distribution platforms.
The transaction is estimated to attract as much as $6M in annual revenues.
-- Drake tops this year's list of nominees for the iHeartRadio Music Awards. He notches 12 nominations, including song of the year for "One Dance" featuring Wizkid and Kyla, male artist of the year and hip-hop artist of the year. He’s closely followed by breakout act The Chainsmokers, who scored 11. Others receiving multiple nominations include Justin Bieber, Rihanna, twenty one pilots, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé. The show will be held March 5 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Full nominations list here
-- The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced the artists and repertoire for its inaugural Canada Mosaic concert series, set in Roy Thomson Hall on Jan. 21. The highlight of the evening is a performance of André Mathieu’s Rhapsodie romantique by French-born, Quebec-based pianist Alain Lefèvre who has more than two dozen recordings in his catalogue and a global reputation.
Canadian Heritage granted the TSO $7.5M to prepare a "national musical celebration" for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations in 2017, which highlights and showcases Canadian composers, soloists and as many as 36 orchestras from communities across the country. An earlier report that tickets are complementary was incorrect. They can be purchased here
-- Rufus Wainwright makes an appearance at the popular boutique theatre Landmark On Main Street in Port Washington, NY on April 21. Darlene Love, Fran Lebowitz, Roger McGuinn and Joan Osborne have either played or are set to play the community hall that has a capacity of 425.
Wainwright has been commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to write his second opera based on the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinous that has its premiere in Toronto in Oct. 2018. Prima Donna, his first opera, co-authored with Bernadette Colomine, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009. It went on to play London's West End, NYC and Toronto's Luminato Festival. He subsequently released a 2CD recording of the opera that, in part, was funded through Pledge Music.
-- At a time when live music venues across the country are struggling, the Regent Theatre in Picton, ON, is proving an exception. In 2016, the 440 seat capacity room in Prince Edward County featured 60 shows, up from 18 a year earlier. The CanCon-heavy lineup has included Joel Plaskett, Bahamas, Molly Johnson and Big Sugar, plus comedy acts like Tom Green. Credit the resurgence to booker Chris Loane, formerly with the Rivoli in Toronto. He is profiled here
-- The Music Heals Charitable Foundation yesterday announced the support of Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in a new initiative to increase access to music therapy for seniors living in the Tri-Cities area. Hard Rock Casino has committed to donating $6K to Music Heals which will add hundreds hours of music therapy programming at a facility in Coquitlam throughout 2017.
-- Prolific rootsy songsmith Jerry Leger is recording a new album with his band The Situation, set for a spring release. He will preview some of the new material at his January residency (every Wed.) at the Cameron House in Toronto. He has also released a new track, a cover of “The Law” by Leonard Cohen, a major influence. This is part of Latent Uncovers, a series of cover songs and videos created and produced by Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) and Mitch Fillion (Southern Souls).
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