George Canyon
George Canyon

Music News Digest, Aug. 15, 2018

George Canyon has announced his 12-date fall Made In Canada tour, promoting his new album, Southside of Heaven (out on ole label group/red dot). It begins in the hat star's hometown of Pictou, NS, on Nov.  1, finishing in Calgary, AB, on Nov. 17. Expect more dates TBA.  Tix go on sale Friday. The winner of multiple Juno, CCMA and ECMA Awards, Canyon has released 12 albums, and his songs have achieved nearly 7 million streams.

–  Arkells have announced Oct. 19 as the release date for their next album, Rally Cry, out via Universal Music Canada. In a press release, frontman Max Kerman terms it "our sharpest and most concentrated effort yet. Whether it’s political songs or love songs, they share the same starting place.” Upcoming dates include Skookum fest in Vancouver, Sept. 7, and Sonic Field Day in Edmonton, Sept. 8. A US tour follows in October, then headline dates in the UK and Germany, Nov. 16-29.

–  Jukebox Hero, the musical based on the songs of famed rock group Foreigner, debuted with three nights of workshop performances in Calgary on the weekend, to be followed by runs in Edmonton, Aug. 16 to 19, and at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre, Feb. 21 to 24. Foreigner founder Mick Jones was present for rehearsals in Canada and praised the production. Show producer Jeff Parry (Annerin Productions) told CP that “after Toronto, we’re going on the road for a three-week US tester tour. We’re going to Washington, Chicago, Atlanta and some Florida dates, and that’ll tell the tale if this thing sells tickets and what people think. After that, it’ll make or break itself.”

– Jack White has announced a nine-city Canadian tour in support of his recent solo LP Boarding House Reach. It begins in Edmonton on Nov. 2, closing out in Halifax on Nov. 14.

– POP Montreal has announced its final round of programming for the fest, running Sept. 26-30. Notable names include CupcakKe, Zola Jesus,  Alanis Obomsawin, Ninos du Brasil, Odonis Odonis, Devon Welsh (Majical Cloudz), and Richard Reed Parry’s Quiet River. A full list of performing artists here

POP Montreal also features a partnership with the Focus Wales festival. This brings three Welsh acts, Art School Girlfriend, Ani Glass, and HMS Morris, to showcase at PM. Focus Wales has previously showcased Quebec artists at its fest. It has a similar arrangement with BreakOut West, and Welsh bands Kidsmoke and Campfire Social will play BoW in Kelowna in October.

– The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) opens in Toronto on Aug. 17, but is in the midst of a labour dispute. Stagehands from the IATSE union have been locked out amid negotiations for a new collective agreement, and replacement workers from Quebec are reportedly crossing picket lines to assist in setting up the event. Local band The Carpet Frogs has cancelled their CNE booking to honour that picket line. 

– Now in its 32nd year, Folk Music Ontario runs Sept 27- Sept 30 in Mississauga, ON. FMO's pre-fest fundraising FMO Celebration Concert, takes place at Hugh's Room Live in Toronto on Sept. 25, featuring The Julian Taylor Band and guests TBA. Purchase tickets here. The deadline for private showcases and volunteer applications has passed, but applications for performance opportunities at Art Beat are open until Aug. 17.

– A reminder that the deadline to apply to perform at Folk Alliance International showcases in Montreal next year is today (Aug. 15) at 5 pm CST. Apply here. FAI runs Feb. 13-17, 2019.

– Toronto's Drake Underground, one of the city's premier music showcase venues, suffered severe flood damage recently. As a result, all concerts and events through to the end of October have been moved or cancelled, with a return to action hoped for then. It is business as usual for the rest of The Drake, a popular bar, restaurant and boutique hotel.

– Not Of is a ferocious noise rock duo from Toronto comprising John Ex and Victor Malang. They released the album Hypocritic Oath last month, followed by this video for the track "Barb Dwyer Esq." Of note: John Ex is John Crossingham, formerly with Broken Social Scene and Raising The Fawn.

– The third edition of the annual Northern Power Summit comes to the Rivoli in Toronto on Saturday (Aug. 18). This is a one-day Urban Music conference dedicated to helping Canadian artists and industry professionals working in these genres. The event also includes a showcase component and networking opportunities. More info here

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