Music News Digest: May 8, 2017

iHeartRadio Canada has announced the lineup for the first ever iHeart Radio WestFest taking place Saturday, July 8 at Shaw Millennium Park in Calgary. An impressive one it is too, with scheduled performers set to include Fifth Harmony, Hedley, Iggy Azalea, Massari, Midland, Noah Cyrus, Ruth B,Scott Helman, and Virginia to Vegas.

This is the company’s first  major Canadian event to be held outside of Toronto. Rob Farina, Head of iHeartRadio, Syndication and Strategic Initiatives, Bell Media states that “With a stacked lineup of Canadian and international artists set to rock the stage, this event offers an up close and personal experience like no other, and we can’t wait to share it with the people of Calgary.”

Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning.

The Interstellar Rodeo fest in Edmonton has announced its 2017 lineup, and it is an eclectic list. Headlining are US soul star Aloe Blacc and Canadian favorites Broken Social Scene and Serena Ryder, with other notables including Suzanne Vega,  Basia Bulat, Amelia Curran, Cold Specks, Dan Mangan, Whitney Rose, John K. Samson, and Begonia.

Interstellar founder and producer Shauna de Cartier says “I just noticed more than half of our artists are women. I’m programming with that in mind, but I just hadn’t done the math.” The event takes place at the Heritage Amphitheatre at Hawrelak Park, July 21 to 23. More info here Interstellar's Winnipeg version runs Aug. 18-20, with the full lineup being announced this week.

In other festival news, Bestival in Toronto will not return in 2017, making it another apparent casualty of the fierce competition in the sector. Organizers say they hope to return later. Last year's headliners included Tame Impala, The Cure and Grimes.

Two giants of Canadian music were on hand at the Toronto Raptors playoff game at the ACC in Toronto on Friday night. As the team’s global ambassador, it was no surprise to see Drake courtside, but the presence of Gord Downie in the arena drew a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. Drake showed his respect by bowing down to Downie as the two met at halftime. Sadly their presence couldn’t inspire the Raptors, who were swept in four games by champs the Cleveland Cavaliers.

— SOCAN recently presented a No. 1 Song Award to Reuben Bullock, bandleader of Reuben And The Dark, for his song "Heart in Two,” which reached the summit of the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 Chart. "Heart in Two” is co-written by songwriter Stephen “Koz” Kozmeniuk, and published by Arts & Crafts Publishing, EMI April Music Canada, and Nyan King Music.

— On Wednesday, May 24, singer, songwriter, violinist, label owner and music festival organizer Miranda Mulholland will address the Economic Club of Canada on the reality for music entrepreneurs in the digital age.

The event runs from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre. Lunch will be served. Tickets are available for purchase on the Economic Club of Canada’s website.

Miranda’s speech will be followed by a question and answer discussion with Kate Taylor, author, film critic and arts columnist at The Globe and Mail.

Long & McQuade has acquired Saved By Technology, a national industry leader in electronic music and recording systems.

SBT was the first Apple VAR (Value-Added Reseller) in Canada focused on music and audio systems, at first concentrating on MIDI-based systems and later expanding to include the emerging field of Mac-based digital audio systems. Today the company is one of the oldest independent Apple retailers in Canada.

— The CCMA Discovery program hosts a finalists showcase at Boots & Bourbon Saloon in Toronto at 4 pm on May 11. Six acts are on the bill. Line-up here.

Manitoba Music is packing up and heading out across the Atlantic this month for a slate of industry events in England and Wales. 

Teaming up with fellow Western Canadian music industry associations SaskMusic, Alberta Music, and Music BC, Manitoba Music will co-host BreakOut West events at Focus Wales in Wrexham, The Great Escape (TGE) in Brighton, and a showcase in London.

Fresh from tour dates in Germany, roots troubadour Slow Leaves will hit the stages at Focus Wales on May 13. Juno-winning singer/songwriter William Prince will play London hotspot The Slaughtered Lamb for a Made In Canada showcase on May 16 before joining indie rock poet John K. Samson at The Green Door Sore on May 20 for TGE.

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