Music News Digest: May 31, 2017

The 3rd annual CIMA Celebration & Awards Gala, taking place on Monday, June 12, at Toronto's Glass Factory, promises to be a must-attend event.

The event gets underway at 6:30 pm and celebrates this year's recipients and nominees for their contributions to independent music. The Marketing Award Recipient will be announced during the Celebration & Awards Gala. 

2017 Award Recipients

Builder Award: Donald K. Tarlton (DKD) - Presented by Slaight Music

Brian Chater Leadership Award: Sheri Jones (Jones & Co.)

Entrepreneur Award: Rob Lanni & Eric Lawrence (Coalition Music) - Presented by Gowling WLG

Unsung Hero Award: Steve Jordan (Polaris Music Prize) - Presented by MuchFACT

2017 Marketing Award Nominees 

Arts & Crafts for Gord Downie's Secret Path

Dine Alone Records for Monster Truck's Sittin' Heavy

Six Shooter Records for Tanya Tagaq's Retribution

— SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste has been chosen as one of Billboard magazine's 53 International Power Players for 2017, a list citing the executives "driving industry success outside the United States." The trade magazine references the PRO’s record income of $330M in 2016, plus SOCAN's acquisition of the U.S. copyright-administration companies Audiam and MediaNet.

— Band members in The Tragically Hip have separately invested in soon to be public, licensed producer of medicinal marijuana company, Newstrike Resources. The company is set to go public on Thursday and will trade under the symbol HIP on the TSX.

The company operates from a two-storey, 14,200-square-feet industrial plaza in Brantford, ON. No terms of the deal were announced; however, the band members are described as “significant investors” in Newstrike and “active stakeholders in the evolution of the company”.

Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits joins the rarefied group of Diamond-certified albums, marking sales of more than 10M copies in the US, the Recording Industry Associated of America has announced. Vinyl editions of the album and his 1969 debut, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man, are to be released on Friday, June 2.

The Detroit rocker’s website sports a short series of video clips synced to his classic ’Turn the Page” take about life on the road (included on Night Moves) with a printed banner at the end that reads “One more time” that suggests the 72-year-old is contemplating retirement. He appears at The Palace in his hometown on Sept. 23. It’s his 17th appearance at the 24K capacity arena that for years was home to Detroit Pistons.

Alanis Morissette has found one way to flog her career showstopper, Jagged Little Pill. The Grammy-winning album is to launch as a musical in Cambridge, Mass. next May.

Separate from the original 1995 Glen Ballard production on Maverick Records, the singer has released acoustic and live editions, plus a 4-disc 20th-anniversary doorstop collection that combines the entire enchilada.

—  The school Drake is mostly identified with is, of course, Degrassi, but one of Aubrey Graham’s real schools was Vaughan Road Academy in Toronto. He was part of its Interact program, which let students focus on extracurricular activities such as music and acting (Ellen Page was another attendee). The Academy will close on June 30 because of declining enrolment. Drake was a no-show at a farewell party on the weekend.

 — Hometown band Mother Mother will open Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition summer concert series in August.

Here’s the rundown of what wet coast fans have on tap.

• Saturday, Aug. 19 – Mother Mother
• Sunday, Aug. 20 – Billy Currington
• Tuesday, Aug. 22 – The Pointer Sisters
• Wednesday, Aug. 23 – High Valley
• Thursday, Aug. 24 – ZZ Top
• Friday, Aug. 25 – Chicago
• Saturday, Aug. 26 – Colin James
• Sunday, Aug. 27 – Huey Lewis and The News
• Tuesday, Aug. 29 – Tom Cochrane with Red Rider
• Wednesday, Aug. 30 – The B-52s
• Thursday, Aug. 31 – The Doobie Brothers
• Friday, Sept. 1 – Rick Springfield
• Saturday, Sept. 2 – The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo
• Sunday, Sept. 3 – iHeartRadio Beach Ball (concert lineup to be announced shortly)
• Monday, Sept. 4 – iHeartRadio Beach Ball (concert lineup to be announced shortly)

— Every picture tells a story: This picture of Jim Cuddy, Tom Cochrane and Barney Bentall sitting on a bench together in Santa Maria Mallorca, Spain, was posted on Facebook and on Twitter this week. When we asked Tom the background to the snapshot, here's what he told us:

"We were in Mallorca with Gold Metal Plates which helps raise money for Canadian Olympians, for their training and such.
 We did 2 organized shows, plus a number of disorganized ones. Ha!"


Raffi has announced a handful of Nov. concert dates in BC and the NAT in Ottawa this Nov. that are part of his Singable Songs 40th Anniversary Concert Tour. Proceeds go to the singer’s Salt Spring Island Centre for Child Honouring. The “Baby Beluga” singer-songwriter has sold over 15M albums, DVDs and songbooks since giving up a career as a folkie in 1976 to pursue writing and performing songs for the very young.

— The inaugural ArtsFest Waterdown last year was a success, drawing over 20K attendees, and it is back with a very strong performance lineup this year. The free street festival in the small town near Hamilton, ON, sports eight high profile music headliners: The Canadian Brass, Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, Susan Aglukark, The Good Brothers, Lunch At Allen’s, The Shuffle Demons, The Once, and Mozart Effect Chamber Ensemble.

The inclusion of acts on the True North Records roster is no surprise, for the noted independent label is based in Waterdown, and head Geoff Kulawick is Chair of the fest’s board of directors. Ontario and Canadian government support and corporate sponsors ensured a return, and a turnout of 35K plus is anticipated. The fest runs Aug. 19-20.

— After making a mark in Canadian rock as a member of Rheostatics, Dave Bidini has gone on to become a prolific author and journalist. He’s about to don a new hat, as publisher of a community newspaper, and he has just launched a fundraising and subscription launch for the West End Phoenix.

Based in Toronto’s West End, the monthly broadsheet will focus on stories of that area. Notable contributors signing up include writer Michael Healey, illustrator Jeff Lemire (Secret Path), and musician Odario Williams (Grand Analog), while Serena Ryder and Margaret Atwood are amongst the patrons. More info here

— Canadian singer/songwriters Matt Epp and Faouzia have been named winners of the Grand Prize in the 2016 edition of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). They won for their collaboration “The Sound,” a track that earned them a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award in January. The ISC prize nets them $25K in cash and more than $45K in other prizes.

— Given that they are both favourites on the Celtic and folk festival circuit, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are well-suited to create their own festival. The dynamic duo has just announced just such an event, The Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest.

Part of the Canada 150 Passport program, the shindig will focus on Cape Breton and Irish roots music on Aug. 25 and 26, in Keene, ON. Performers include MacMaster, Leahy, US star Rhonda Vincent, Next Generation Leahy, Evans & Doherty, Natalie MacMaster’s Cape Breton Jam Band, and David Rankin & The Gaelic College, with more TBA.

 Prairie Debut has announced the appointment of Po Yeh as executive director, replacing Lynn Bailey. The block-booking network arranges tours by Canadian classical and world music artists to communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Yukon.


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