The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and MusicOntario held their Annual General Meeting last night (Oct. 4) at Toronto’s The Hideout, where they hosted members, stakeholders, and supporters to celebrate the successes of the past year and at what's in store for 2019 and beyond.
The AGM was kicked off by a powerful performance by hip-hop artist Witch Prophet, followed by a presentation by Muzooka CEO Shawn Wilson that covered how the company is putting artists and managers back in control of their media assets while also ensuring that songwriters and publishers are properly paid when their songs are played onstage. The event wrapped up with a performance by two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee Megan Bonnell.
The AGM included the election of a new CIMA Board of Directors for 2018-2019 and remarks by CIMA president Stuart Johnston, and MusicOntario Manager Emy Stantcheva. The speakers covered CIMA and MusicOntario’s numerous export missions, their Canada-wide professional development opportunities, and the essential advocacy and policy work undertaken on behalf of Canada’s English-language independent music community.
"We hope to continue to grow MusicOntario as a trusted hub for the indie community to develop their crafts and careers, regardless of genre, culture, geography, or any other access barriers," says Stantcheva, "We are a place to make connections that bloom into professional relationships."
Much of CIMA’s policy and advocacy work was highlighted in Johnston’s remarks. He celebrated some of the last year’s policy wins, including a CRTC decision that resulted in a commitment of approximately $5.5 million per year for three years that is dedicated to music videos for the English market; and the maintaining of the cultural exemption in NAFTA (now USMCA).
Johnston did express disappointment that in the USMCA agreement, "the labour mobility issue was not resolved in terms of musician visas for the US. The US said it was a border security issue, so they would not entertain the discussion. We will continue to fight on this."
He also noted that "this has been a very challenging year for the music business and CIMA. We have been very engaged politically, and there has certainly been no shortage of issues. Some are ongoing, and others have been concluded in our favour."
Johnston followed up with CIMA’s policy goals for 2019, including advocating for the continuance of the Ontario Music Fund, a total increase of $10 million increase for the Canada Music Fund needed for a comprehensive modernization of the program, and the need for a new $10 million music exporting fund. CIMA will continue to engage in meetings with politicians and bureaucrats to provide strong advocacy and input on other important government reviews like the Copyright Act review and the Copyright Board reform.
“I’d like to congratulate and welcome our new and returning board members. We were thrilled to see a record number of nominees this year, and are grateful to everyone who put their name forward,” said Johnston,
“Having a board comprising dedicated and committed leaders of industry who generously volunteer their time means that we can draw on an invaluable wealth of expertise to best represent independent music companies and the artists they support.”
This year, CIMA was pleased to present its Road Gold certification to artist Samantha Martin and her band, Delta Sugar, an 11-piece blues/soul band from Toronto. Road Gold is a certification program that acknowledges Canada’s dedicated touring artists and bands who achieve or surpass 25,000 ticket sales in a 12-month period. This certification not only celebrates these tireless performers but also recognizes the countless hours of hard work by their teams behind the scenes.
Martin drew loud applause for a passionate speech that acknowledged the "sacrifice-makers," artists "who live and die on the road. We sleep in dodgy places; we drive in shitty weather." She also stressed that "women are not fillers in your lineup. We are ticket sellers. We refuse to be brushed aside any longer. Get used to it!"
In business matters, a new Board of Directors was elected to helm CIMA through 2018-2019. Out of a pool of 23 candidates, the following 9 were elected:
The following Directors were newly elected to the CIMA board for 2018-2019:
Simon Mortimer-Lamb (Nettwerk Music)
Michelle Szeto (Paquin Artists)
Anne Vivien (Musique Select Inc)
J Spencer Musselleman (Believe Digital)
The following Directors were re-elected for another term:
Justin West (Secret City Records)
Gord Dimitrieff (Aporia Records)
Lisa Logutenkow (Dine Alone Music, Bedlam Music Management)
Mathieu Drouin (Crystal Math Music Group)
Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon)
The following Directors will remain on the 2018-2019 board, as they are still serving their two-year term:
Chris Moncada (Last Gang Entertainment)
Jake Gold (The Management Trust)
Kieran Roy (Arts & Crafts Productions)
Pegi Cecconi (SRO Management/Anthem Entertainment Group)
Rob Lanni (Coalition Music)
Sandy Pandya (Pandyamonium Artist Management)
Shauna de Cartier (Six Shooter Records)
Tim des Islets (Noisemaker Management)
Iain Taylor (Cadence Music Group)
CIMA would like to extend a warm thank-you to the 2017-18 Board of Directors for its hard work and leadership, as well as to congratulate and welcome the 2018-2019 Board.