RIP: Big Sugar bassist Garry Lowe
RIP: Big Sugar bassist Garry Lowe

Music News Digest, July 9, 2018

CEO Jeffrey Latimer says the Walk of Fame is in talks with a city of Toronto councillor about including the stars in a revitalization plan for the downtown John Street strip. Making the granite slabs part of a more pedestrian-friendly John Street project could give them more prominence in the area, Latimer told CP last week.

—Why can't you get tickets to concerts, sports and other special events? CBC’s Marketplace investigated how bots and scalpers mean that fans lose out.

The Rolling Stones are staying with Universal Music Group, signing a worldwide agreement that covers the band’s recorded music and audio-visual catalogs, archival support, global merchandising and brand management. Hits Daily Double has the details.

Canadian Music Week returns for the 37th edition May 6 -12, 2019, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, organizers announced last week.

– The Imperial Vancouver in the Downtown Eastside has been acquired by MRG Group, which owns nine other venues and establishments, including Dublin Calling and Yale Saloon in Vancouver and other properties in Winnipeg and Toronto. Earlier this year, it acquired Vancouver-based event production co., Donnelly Events.

–  Elvis Costello cancelled the remaining six dates of his European tour on doctor’s orders to recover from surgery to treat a small but aggressive cancer. He's recovering and is expected to tour in North America later in the year, including a Dec. 4 show at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

–  $39M – That’s the figure The Star’s Ben Rayner cites as a Globe and Mail estimate of how much the remaining members of The Tragically Hip have netted from a 5.4% stake in cannabis producer Newstrike, which plans to market several weed strains named after Hip tunes.

– Chinese media giant Tencent  is set to float Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) on a US stock exchange, it confirmed on July 8. TME is expected to have a public valuation of around $30bn after its IPO in the US - with the process underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Source: MBW

–  The OMDC IDM Fund is aimed at strengthening and stimulating economic growth in the interactive digital media sector in Ontario.  It provides IDM content creators with funding for high quality, original interactive digital media content projects that make a positive contribution to the Ontario economy. The deadline for applications for the Concept Definition and Production programs in the Fund is Aug. 27. Information Sessions will be held on July 25 and Aug. 2. 

–  Wavelength's artistic director has been asked to step down amid abuse claims. The Toronto indie music non-profit's board is launching an independent investigation following an ex-staffer's allegations against Jonny Dovercourt. Wavelength’s 10-member board of directors has called for an independent investigation into allegations made by Dorice Tepley, a former volunteer-turned-employee who was terminated from Wavelength in 2015. Source: Now

– Nominations for the 2018 Music Nova Scotia Awards close on July 18. Info here 

–  Alberta Music is hosting a showcase at the K-Days fest in Edmonton on July 24. Taking the stage at Northlands, Edmonton Expo Centre are Andrea Nixon, Lindsey Walker, Jay Gilday, and Arlo Maverick.

RIP

Garry Lowe, Big Sugar bassist, passed away on July 7, from cancer at age 65. The news was reported on the Big Sugar FB page.

Lowe moved to Canada in the mid-1970s from Kingston, Jamaica. Soon after arriving in Toronto, he became an in-demand bass player for touring reggae recording artists, including Jackie Mittoo. He often accompanied them at Toronto's famed Bamboo club and was a founding member of Culture Shock, a popular local reggae band. Big Sugar leader Gordie Johnson recruited Lowe for his hit rock-reggae outfit Big Sugar in 1994.

When Big Sugar went on hiatus in 2003, Lowe formed the Truth and Rights Revue with fellow Big Sugar member and Toronto reggae veteran Mojah. The band released one album, 2005's Live Up.

In a press release issued on Saturday, Johnson stated “We lost our dear brother and sweet friend Garry this morning. He was my greatest musical collaborator, our wisest elder. We were blessed to be on life’s journey together. We were blessed to know him and share his music."

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