June was a memorable month for Quebec singing star Patsy Gallant. Last Friday she was announced as a Member of The Order of Canada by the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. Back on June 5, Gallant was awarded the Quebecor Prize at a tribute evening attended by 350 personalities from the cultural and business communities. Also receiving the Prize (which comes with $50K) was actor Andrée Lachapelle.
– Canadian electro-funk faves Chromeo have canceled their upcoming tour of Australia citing health reasons. A band statement noted that " Unfortunately, the rigors of our touring schedule have caught up with us and we need to prioritize our health and well being." Chromeo had three Down Under shows set for later this month. Source: Noise11.com
– A recent "Avril Night" of Canadian artists covering their favourite Avril Lavigne songs at a Toronto show recently raised over $10K for the Avril Lavigne Foundation. The event was hosted by Juno-winning bands The Beaches and The Elwins and also featured performances by Birds of Bellwoods, Brave Shores, The Darcys, Goodbye Honolulu, Kyla Charter, Leah Fay, Luna Li, Nefe, Poesy, Taylor Knox, Tyler Shaw and Valley. Lavigne expressed her appreciation of the benefit.
– Toronto's AfroChic fest has announced Aurora Cannabis as the lead partner at this years fest, now expanded to two days (July 14-15). Headlined by DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown (aka Ms. Erykah Badu), it also features Shi Wisdom, 11:11, Jayd Ink and more.
– Laila Biali will open this year's TD Markham Jazz Festival with an Aug. 15 show at Unionville’s Varley Art Gallery. Her accolades include SOCAN Composer of the Year and Keyboardist of the Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards. The fest runs Aug. 15-19, with more artists TBA.
– Last week SOCAN held open house events to launch its brand-new Los Angeles office and it also hosted its fifth annual L.A. Family & Friends Canada Day Bash at the Sunset Marquis Hotel Pool Deck. The new office is at 8564 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, the city’s creative hub. More than 150 local SOCAN member songwriters, screen composers, publishers, and others in the music industry ecosystem visited the new space during the open houses. Steven Ambers, SOCAN’s L.A.-based Director, International Development & Compliance, will now work out of the office.
The Canada Day Bash drew 200 SOCAN members and music industry representatives. Receiving their SOCAN Awards were Jeff Danna, Keith Power, and Stephan Moccio, while a No. 1 Song Award went to Murda Beatz for his contribution to Drake’s recent hit “Nice for What.”
– US musician Moses Sumney pulled out of the Montreal International Jazz Festival this week in protest of SLAV, a fest production featuring primarily white singers performing African-American slave songs. SLAV has been one of the fest's most popular shows but has also elicited sharp criticism. Sumney moved his show to a smaller venue. As the uproar over the show escalated, the Jazz Fest announced on July 4 that it was cancelling the show. Nine more shows had been scheduled July 4 -14. "Since the beginning of SLĀV performances, the festival team has been shaken and deeply touched by all the testimonials we have received," the festival said. Sources: CP, CBC
– Alberta Music is seeking volunteers to help sell Alberta Music artists' albums during two major summer events, Interstellar Rodeo (July 20-22) and K-Days (July 24). They will receive a complimentary festival pass and gate admission, respectively. Apply here
– The 2018 edition of the Gémeaux Awards has nominated 14 SOCAN members in various music categories. The technical and documentary gala of this 33rd annual celebration of the Québec television industry will be held in Montreal on Sept. 13. A list of the finalists here
– The late Canadian radio broadcaster, humorist, and author Stuart McLean is gone but certainly not forgotten. On July 14, the Orillia Opera House presents a tribute to McLean's much-loved CBC Radio show Vinyl Cafe, presented by his long-time Musical Director John Sheard.
– Toronto's Venus Fest has announced additional acts for its second edition, running Sept. 20-22 at The Mod Club and Opera House. Partner, Maylee Todd and Ora Cogan join previously announced female and female-identifying performers Zola Jesus, Moor Mother, Bully. A fest kick-off event at the Drake Underground on Sept. 15 features Leanne Simpson.
– At its recent AGM, the board of directors of Manitoba Music announced Gilad Carroll as this year's recipient of the Kevin Walters Legacy Award, which recognizes an emerging professional in the music industry. Carroll is a musician and composer, entrepreneur (co-owner of indie label Slow Shine Records), promoter, booking agent and the co-founder of Real Love Winnipeg and Real Love Summer Fest. MM also announced its board of directors for 2018-19.
– On Wed night The Pursuit Of Happiness drew a large and deservedly appreciative crowd to a free concert at East Lynn Park in Toronto, while local lads Jerry Leger and The Situation also impressed. Sponsored by The Danforth BIA, it launched their month-long series of shows in the park. Music biz types spied there included Cam Carpenter, Karen Pace, Jude Coombe, and Steve Stanley. Alex Pangman plays July 18.
– Speaking of great free music on offer in T.O. this summer, Canadian turned Kiwi vocal powerhouse Tami Neilson delivered a knockout show on the patio of Roy Thomson Hall last night (July 5). Wind, rain, and sirens were accompaniments, but her brilliant talent shone through. In attendance were her Canadian and NZ families (she is now based Down Under). At the after-party, she told FYI that 10 days ago she performed in Beijing at a Canada China Business Council (CCBC) gala. Neilson plays Mariposa on the weekend, followed by three more Ontario shows.
– Italian alt-folk duo Ilaria Graziano and Francesco Forni is making a real splash on the Canadian folk fest circuit this summer. The pair plays Mariposa today (July 6), Hugh's Room Live (July 9), then dates in BC. Itinerary here
– The first Iron Mountain Music Festival is on in Mission BC, July 14-15 at Eighteen Pastures Golf Course. Acts include Elvin Bishop, Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Harpdog Brown, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Popa Chubby.
Mickey McGivern, a Canadian guitarist and songwriter, passed away on June 29 in Pembroke, ON, at age 87.
McGivern was known for his guitar work on hundreds of sessions recorded in Toronto studios and released on Arc Records. His songs were recorded by many, including Dick Nolan, Johnny Paycheck, Dick Curless, Larry Scott and Joe Pain. McGivern was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1996.
Further details on Mickey McGivern's career here Source: Larry Delaney, Cancountry
Richard Swift, a US singer-songwriter, and producer, died on July 3, aged 41. He had been diagnosed with a “serious medical condition,” according to a fundraising page that raised $96K for him following a recent stay in hospital.
He was a member of indie rock band the Shins from 2011 to 2016, was the touring bassist with the Black Keys in 2014, and performed on The Pretenders' 2016 album Alone. From 2005 onwards, Swift released a series of acclaimed albums and EPs that blended classic guitar-driven songwriting with unique production touches and soulful vocals.
Swift also worked as a producer or mixer for Sharon Van Etten, Foxygen, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Damien Jurado. Source: The Guardian