CIMA (The Canadian Independent Music Association) has just announced Big Sugar, Jesse Cook, Terra Lightfoot and The Sheepdogs as recipients of CIMA's prestigious Road Gold certification. CIMA's Road Gold is awarded to those Canadian artists who have sold at least 25,000 tickets during their Canadian tour (s) over the course of any 12-month period, recognizing the hard work and dedication it takes to be a touring band or artist.
"On behalf of CIMA and our Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate Big Sugar, Jesse Cook, Terra Lightfoot, and The Sheepdogs on their incredible achievement," said Stuart Johnson, President, CIMA.
"By establishing an industry standard for an artist's touring business, we are recognizing the hard work and dedication it takes to be successful on the road. Selling 25,000 tickets over the course of a year, speaks to the economic impact Canada's touring musicians provide by filling venues from coast to coast."
A Billboard feature yesterday profiles Charles Koppelman and L. Londell McMillan, the Special music industry advisers to the Estate of Prince. It notes that “in recent weeks the duo have announced deals for the estate with Warner Bros. Records and Universal Music Group (which include previously unreleased material from Prince’s legendary vault,) Universal Music Publishing, Global Music Rights and Universal’s Bravado for licensing and merchandise -- all in time for the Jan. 21 due date of Prince’s tax bill's first payment -- and sources suggest streaming deals for most of Prince's biggest hits will be in place on Grammy night (Feb. 12.)” More here
The Regent Park School of Music (RPSM) in Toronto provides supportive music instruction to youth in high priority neighbourhoods at highly subsidized rates. Some A-list local musicians are joining RPSM youth in performance at a fundraiser this Sunday. The list includes Moe Berg (performing with his daughter), Don Kerr, Chris Gartner, and Ed Hanley. A silent auction features Blue Rodeo tickets, music lessons and camps from some of Toronto's great music schools.
A driving force behind the event is Kai Hutton-Wakely, a 9-year-old Toronto kid who loves playing piano and wanted to help local music. With the help of his mother Sue and Jazz FM, the benefit came together (Kai will perform too). It is on from 1-4pm at the Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave. Tickets: $15 Adult, $5 Kid. More info on RPSM here
--The news this week that Blondie and Garbage will co-headline a North American tour this summer has generated real excitement, especially regarding Blondie. It kick offs on July 5th in Saratoga, CA and wrap on August 12th in Dallas, TX. the only Canadian date so far is Toronto's Sony Centre on July 26, though the July 25 date at Artpark in Lewiston, NY, is accessible to fans in southern Ontario.
-- Here’s a cool rock ‘n roll family story: Toronto punk rockers The Discarded comprise dad Joel Wasson and his teenage sons, Jared Dean (17) and Caden Jax (14). They bonded together through punk rock in the wake of a divorce, and are about to release a self-titled debut album. Engineered and mixed by local rock god Ian Blurton, it sounds like a cross between The Ramones and Social Distortion. The album comes out on Feb. 17, followed by a record release show at Duggan’s Basement on Feb. 25. Of note: As J.P. Wasson, Joel drummed for Fifth Column, The Snowdogs, and others. Here he sings and plays guitar.
-- Variety reports that United Talent Agency (UTA) has canceled its annual Academy Awards party and will instead donate $250k to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee, and hold a rally “to express the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.” Trump’s travel ban hit close to UTA, according to a statement, because the firm represents Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.
-- The Kitchener/Waterloo-based sound and video company Sherwood presents a Music Industry Roundtable on Feb. 15, focusing on recording engineering. The notable guest list includes Juno winner John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, Rick Hutt (Recording Engineer/Studio Owner), and Ian Graham (Recording Engineer/Off Grid Studio Owner). Free of charge. Register with firstname.lastname@example.org
-- And another one bites the dust: The latest Toronto music venue to close will be the Holy Oak Café, at the end of the month. NOW states the cafe is closing on account of a rent increase of $1200 per month. An intimate West End space known as being queer-friendly, it has hosted performances by Bernice, Bonjay, Rae Spoon, Anamai, Bob Wiseman, Ben Gunning, Mary Margaret O’Hara and Ron Sexsmith.
-- The HMV store at Yonge and Dundas in Toronto will close by April 30, as will all stores across Canada in the doomed chain. Blog TO reports that the city’s flagship HMV store still has a steady flow of new stock coming in and is experiencing a surge in sales. No fire-sale type pricing there yet.