Music News Digest, Oct. 23, 2017

The star-studded David Foster Foundation's annual Miracle Gala and Concert was held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Saturday night, with a guest list that boasted such draws as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Tyler and Brian Mulroney.

The concert featured performances by Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan and Carly Rae Jepsen and raised a staggering $10.2 million.

Founded in 1986 by the decorated Victoria-raised music producer to the stars, the annual raises money to support the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing or awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Foster recently explained that his goal is to establish an endowment fund for the foundation from $30 million to $50 million by 2018 so that "hopefully long after I'm gone it'll still be doing the work." Sources: Canadian Press, Georgia Straight

–  MusicNL Week in St. John's, Newfoundland, recently culminated in the presentation of the 25th annual MusicNL Awards. The gala event at the Convention Centre was hosted by local hero Alan Doyle. Singer-songwriter Steve Maloney was one of the big winners, taking home the Ron Hynes SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award as well as trophies as Alternative Artist and Country Artist of the Year. Two other triple award victors were pop-rocker Janet Cull and roots group The Kubasonics. Here is a full list of winners.

Band Together is the title of an upcoming benefit concert to support the Canadian Alliance To End Homelessness. Set for Nov. 4 at The Orpheum in Vancouver, the potent lineup comprises Blue Rodeo, High Valley and Dustin Bentall. Tickets are now on sale.

– SOCAN recently hosted its third annual #ComposersWhoScore meeting, designed to strengthen the relationship between the performing rights org and its film and television composer community. Nine composers and representatives of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC) were connected simultaneously, via videoconference, in SOCAN's Toronto and Vancouver office boardrooms. Topics included the collection process for international royalties.

– Music PEI hosted a showcase at English Folk Expo in Manchester England, Oct. 19-21. Prince Edward Island was the spotlight region for the event this year and Vishten, The East Pointers and Irish Mythen performed to buyers from the UK and Europe. Following EFEx, Music PEI created a showcase in London for industry professionals. Dennis Ellsworth and Kinley Dowling are featured on that lineup. At M for Montreal on Nov. 17, Music PEI will present Sorrey, Dennis & Kinley and Meaghan Blanchard at a stage takeover.

– Music Conference Alberta is welcoming music teachers, choral conductors, band directors, and studio instructors from across the province to the Sheraton Red Deer Hotel from Oct. 26-28 for three days of professional development. Delegates will attend interest sessions, concerts, masterclasses, open rehearsals and rehearsal labs, and will take part in interactive panel discussions and one-on-one sessions. More information here

– The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA) has announced the 10 singers who are working with celebrated baritone Brett Polegato. The results will be showcased on Nov. 6 in the concert Singing Stars: The Next Generation, to be held at Zoomer Hall (70 Jefferson) in Toronto. The singers will be featured in an evening of operatic or oratorio arias with pianist Rachel Andrist. At the conclusion of the concert, one of the singers will be chosen to receive a coveted IRCPA Career Blueprint Award and three days at the National Opera America Center in New York. Info here

– On Friday, the official remix of Justin Bieber and BloodPop's smash hit “Friends” was released. It features Julia Michaels, co-writer of the track. The original version on the song (out via UMC) is already approaching 250 million Spotify streams. Michaels is on a serious roll, with her debut single “Issues” has now been streamed nearly 1 billion times worldwide. She recently picked up her first nomination at the American Music Awards in the category of New Artist of the Year.

– Music Canada Live has just begun conducting an Economic Impact Assessment of BC’s live music sector. This province-wide study, facilitated by Nordicity, will focus on the live music sector, including the documentation of the sector’s activity, by profiling BC-based venues, festivals, and promoters. This investigation will culminate in an analysis of the economic impact of live music in BC as it relates to the operation of live music companies, as well as tourism generated by live music in the province.

– The City of Vancouver is undertaking a Music Ecosystem Study. As part of the Vancouver Music City Initiative, a partnership between the City, Music BC and a working group of music industry professionals was formed to examine the Vancouver music ecosystem; analyzing strengths, weaknesses and gaps that exist across the industry, Vancouver’s infrastructure and its music community. From there, the study aims to create a strategy to help nurture and maintain a healthy music economy in Vancouver. A music ecosystem audit and inventory is being conducted by Sound Diplomacy. Music Canada Live's press release on these initiatives here

– Dream Serenade has long been one of Toronto's most popular annual benefit concerts. Created and curated by Hayden Desser, it raises funds for Toronto's Beverley Street School and services for children with developmental and or physical disabilities and their caregivers. This year's edition takes place at Massey Hall on Nov. 11. Announced performers to date include Hayden, Sam Roberts, Big Sound, Hannah Georgas, Skydiggers, Owen Pallett, and Sloan. A surprise guest last year was Gord Downie. Ticket info here

– The Wise in Vancouver reports that retro honky-tonkers Petunia & The Vipers will return for another run of Monday nights in the Lounge. They will kick off their residency on Monday, Oct 30th, sharing the bill with High Society, and will appear (almost) every week afterwards until the spring.



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