Music News Digest, July 18, 2018

Tim Hicks has announced dates for his national headlining Get Loud Tour, kicking off in Toronto on Nov. 1. The trek includes special guests Tebey, Madeline Merlo (in the East), Andrew Hyatt (in the West), and Washboard Union (Toronto only) and hits 16 cities across the country with additional dates in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick TBA. Of note: For the tour, Hicks has partnered with PLUS1 so $1 from every ticket goes to Unison Fund and their work providing counseling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community.

– Cardi B leads the recently-announced nominees' list for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards with 10. She is followed by The Carters - i.e. the superstar couple of Beyonce and Jay-Z, with eight, while Drake ties with Childish Gambino at seven. They are followed by Bruno Mars (six), Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello (five), and Ed Sheeran, Khalid and Young Thug (four). Other Canadians featured in the nominations are Shawn Mendes, Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara. See the complete list here. The MTV VMAs air live from Radio City Music Hall in NYC on Aug. 20.  Source: Variety

– The Last Ship, a stage musical created by Sting, is setting sail for Toronto. The Princess of Wales Theatre will host the Canadian premiere from Feb. 9 to March 24, 2019, and The Police frontman will star in the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White. A look at the decline of northeastern England’s shipbuilding industry, The Last Ship is based on Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages, and his experiences growing up in the region. He told The Toronto Star's Carly Maga recently that “it’s a personal story for me because it’s set in the town I grew up in, in the shipyard that I lived next door to, literally within spitting distance.”

The musical had a four-month run on Broadway in 2014, with mixed results. It has since been revamped with a new streamlined book by director Lorne Campbell.

– A popular guest on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition, Robert Harris has also been delivering talks at Stratford Summer Music. He has now compiled some of these in a book, The Stratford Lectures – Ten Perspectives about Music. It launches July 19 at L’Atelier Grigorian, 70 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, at 5 pm.

– The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced Notable Life as the Producer of Record for the CCMA Awards, set for Hamilton, ON, on Sept. 9. Notable Life will produce the live two-hour broadcast, marketing, and social content and will collaborate with Canadian country artists and the CCMA through premium content and physical experiences in the lead-up to the Awards.  

– The 45th edition of the Home County Music and Art Festival in London, ON, runs this weekend (July 20-22). The lineup includes Rose Cousins, The Jim Cuddy Band, Donovan Woods, Tom Wilson, Melanie Brulee, Russell deCarle, Murder Murder, Digging Roots, Jadea Kelly, Harrow Fair, Valdy, The Sultans of String, and Mike Stevens.

–  Quebec’s Emie R Roussel Trio has won the 2018 Stingray Rising Stars contest; it was announced at the weekend's TD Halifax Jazz Festival. The Trio was chosen through a two-tiered process of peer assessment and online voting and receives $3K. The group has previously won a Félix Award and an Opus prize, and has toured internationally.

–  Ontario's ArtsFest Waterdown Summer Festival is looking for volunteers age 14 and up to help out with its third edition. It runs Aug. 18-19 and features musical acts like Lighthouse, Matt Dusk, Jully Black, and Matt Andersen. Sign-up here 

– Vancouver rock duo The Pack A.D. has announced a fall cross-Canada trek, entitled the Catch Us While You Can Tour, one that will include their 1000th live show.  On Sept. 28, their 2008 debut album, Tintype, will be reissued on vinyl via Mint Records.

– CIMA and WIN (Worldwide Independent Network) are now offering CIMA members an anti-piracy platform, powered by MUSO. CIMA label members can monitor their catalog and frontline releases for free, to check whether they are being accessed illegally. More info here

–  The Edwards Summer Music Series, hosted by former Jazz FM personality Jaymz Bee, continues at Toronto Botanical Garden every Thursday at 7 p.m. through Aug. 23. Upcoming shows include Ritmo Flamenco, Nhapitapi, Maiko Watson with Okan and Ammoye, and Toronto Jazz Orchestra.

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