Terry Wickham
Terry Wickham

Music News Digest, Oct. 22, 2018

Terry Wickham is the recipient of the Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award for the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs). The award will be presented Nov. 30, during the CFMA Gala weekend, Nov 30 - Dec 1, at The Gateway in Calgary. Tickets are on sale now. Wickham is in his 28th year as Artistic Director of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and he also hosts the 'Live at Winspear' concert series. He was Producer of the Calgary Folk Festival from 1996 to 2005.  More info on the Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award here 

– Word of The Weeknd's first feature film role is now out. Rapup.com reports that a week ago the XO crooner was spotted on the set of the upcoming Adam Sandler movie Uncut Gems in  NYC. Performance scenes with Sandler and Trinidad James were shot at nightclub 1OAK in the Meatpacking district. The film, directed by Josh and Benny Safdie and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, is a crime drama.

– In other Weeknd news, the Toronto superstar has been recruited to help launch Hxouse, an incubator for young 6 creative talents. Hxouse gets an attention-grabbing two-day launch at the incubator’s hub at Artscape Daniels Launchpad and club Rebel.  A star-studded Nov. 6 concert at Rebel is headlined by the Weeknd, with other performers including Nav, Bryson Tiller and The Neighbourhood.  Expect a quick sell-out.

– Rising young Canadian pop artist Scott Helman recently recorded three new tracks, led by the single “Hang Ups.” It and the song “Dostoevsky” were recorded with producer Thomas “Tawgs” Salter who also produced Helman’s debut EP Augusta and full-length album Hôtel De Ville. The third song, “Lifeguard” was produced by Brian Howes and Jason Van Poederooyen (Mother Mother, Simple Plan). The single is out just a few days before Helman heads to Europe for 14 dates as support Vance Joy’s The Nation Of Two tour. US headline club shows follow.

– Work on Drake's 35K square-foot Toronto pile continues, but Drizzy hasn't stopped buying up real estate. Variety reports he has just purchased a US$4.5 million ranch-style residence next to his already sprawling residential compound in L.A.'s tony Hidden Hills community. This acquisition in the heavily "celebrified" enclave marks his third contiguous estate that pinwheels around the end of a short cul-de-sac that now encompasses 6.7 acres.

The 19th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival concluded in Toronto last evening, with the Awards Presentation at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Sun Jury and Moon Jury considered film, video, audio, and digital media works from Canadian and international Indigenous artists to select winners in over a dozen categories with over $30K in cash prizes handed out. The winner of the Bullseye Music Prize, Indigo, was announced on Oct. 20. The $10K cash award is sponsored by imagineNATIVE and Slaight Music.

– Johnny Reid releases his new album, Revival Live, on Nov. 9, via UMC,  recorded during his 47-date national tour earlier this year. Plugging the release, Reid will team up for several symphonic orchestral dates during the holiday season.

– Britney Spears is getting a pay raise in Vegas. Last New Year's Eve, she finished a four-year residency at Planet Hollywood, one that Variety notes "put long-term, live-in pop superstar gigs on the map in Vegas." That publication reports Brit is moving over to the 5,200-seat Park Theater in 2019, where reports suggest her fee goes up from $400K (US) a show to $507K. By comparison, Lady Gaga’s 74 dates at the Park MGM are valued at nearly $100 M (US). Celine Dion reportedly earns $476K per show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

– Created by Michael Boguski (Blue Rodeo) and inspired by Gord Downie's example, The Cold Manitoba Project is an artist collective and grassroots charity. Others involved include Chris Mason and Lucas Goetz (formerly of Deep Dark Woods), Jim Bowskill (The Sheepdogs, Blue Rodeo), Chris Sleightholm and Dustin Bentall, and the team has recorded a single entitled "Cold Manitoba," a song penned originally by Toronto songwriter, Eddie Orso. Released on Friday, coinciding with Secret Path Week – 100% of the proceeds from Cold Manitoba will benefit the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba – a Native-owned and operated treatment centre that directly targets the addictions problems facing First Nations Peoples in Manitoba and the surrounding area. 

– Barbra Streisand releases her new album WALLS on Nov. 2. It includes a mash-up of two beloved classic songs, John Lennon's "Imagine" and Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World." The singer explained online that she wove the lyrics "to convey the idea that if we could only arrive at a place where peace and tolerance and generosity ruled the day, just imagine what a wonderful world it would be!"

– The Etobicoke Jazz Festival in Toronto's west end runs in multiple venues, Nov. 1-4. An impressive lineup includes the Alex Dean Quintet, Lorne Lofsky, Mike Downes, KC Roberts, Chuck Jackson, Laila Biali, Kevin Breit & Sisters Euclid, The Jim Galloway Wee Big Band, and Mary McKay. Tix here

Monster Truck has announced its Down and Dirty Club Tour. Kicking off at the Capital Ballroom in Victoria on Feb. 6, it sees the band hitting 12 Canadian cities, including a Toronto show at The Opera House, Feb. 23. The group is promoting its new album, True Rockers. Tix on sale now.


Oli Herbert, a founding member and the lead guitarist for the Massachusetts-based heavy metal band All That Remains, has died. He was 44. A cause of death has not been disclosed, but a statement from a publicist for his family indicated that his death appears to have been accidental.

Herbert and his bandmate vocalist Philip Labonte founded All That Remains in 1998, along with drummer Mike Bartlett and bassist Dan Egan.

Over the past two decades, All That Remain released eight studio albums, including last year’s Madness. Their next album, Victim of the New Disease, is slated for release in November and was to be accompanied by a brief tour of the UK, starting on Dec. 1. 

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