The Andy Kim Christmas Show is well-entrenched as a musical highlight of holiday season in Toronto. Now in its 14th year, the 2018 lineup looks to be the very best yet. Joining Kim and host Russell Peters are Broken Social Scene, Billy Talent, Tom Cochrane. Alex Lifeson, Ron Sexsmith, Kim Mitchell, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Hayden, Peter and Leah of July Talk, Bif Naked and Theo Tams. Proceeds support CAMH's Gifts of Light program. The fun takes place at Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Dec. 5. Tix here
– Another seasonal high point for the T.O. music industry is the Unison Holiday Schmoozefest, set for Dec. 10 at Spice Route. Early bird tickets are now available here, until Nov. 16. They will save you $5 and give you a chance to win a free foursome in the Canadian Entertainment Charity Golf Classic at the Toronto tournament (value $1.5K).
– The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced that artist submissions are now open for Junofest 2019. Held on March 15 and 16 in London, ON, the event showcases over 100 artists of all genres, from across the country. Canadian artists only are eligible. Apply here by Dec. 21.
– The star-studded After The Storm benefit for victims of the Sept. 21 tornadoes that hit the Ottawa-Gatineau region takes place at TD Place in Ottawa on Saturday (Nov. 10). Performers include the Jim Cuddy Band, Matt Mays, Kira Isabella, Sarah Harmer, Jeremy Fisher, Jim Bryson, LGS (Le Groupe Swing), Cody Coyote, songstresses Rebecca Noelle, Kellylee Evans, and Craig Cardiff. The concert doubles as the 11th edition of the CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Rock for Public Service concert. That means admission is free, with money raised coming from donations to the United Way, either at the venue or online.
– A feature-length documentary about Canadian rock legends Triumph is being worked on, drummer Gil Moore recently reported on the "Ouch, You're On My Hair" podcast. It is being produced by noted Canadian filmmakers Banger Films (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Super Duper Alice Cooper, Metal Evolution). After 20 years apart, Moore and bandmates Rik Emmett and Mike Levine played at the 2008 editions of the Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma, but there have been no Triumph shows since then. Source: Blabbermouth
– The indie101 Music + Tech & Industry Conference held as part of Indie Week in Toronto (Nov. 6-11) , is well under way, but there plenty of informative sessions still to come. Sessions on Friday feature Women Influencers, How To Maximize Your Media Coverage, Barriers & Solutions in the Music Biz, Funding, Export Ready, a songwriters panel, Sound Recording, demo listening, and an urban music boot camp. Saturday features a Tech Day at Harris Institute, covering songwriting, cryptocurrency, marketing, and online distribution and rights. More info here. Indie Week closes out with an awards show at Mod Club on Sunday.
– One of Hamilton's most important music clubs is up for sale, the CBC reports. This Ain't Hollywood is housed in a century-plus old pub, and has functioned as a regular live music venue for the past decade. Co-owner Lou Molinaro confirms it is being placed on the market, with a listed price of almost $2.15M, noting that "ideally, we would love for it to stay a venue." The club is named after a song by local punk heroes Forgotten Rebels. They play the joint on Nov. 10, with other bookings including UIC (Nov. 24), Hamilton legends Teenage Head (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1), and Sianspheric (Dec. 7).
Created in 2016, Music PEI's New Business Growth Program has helped artists improve business practises and create new revenue opportunities. For 2018-19 the program is being re-branded as Takin Care of Business Program. It retains many of the same components and goals but the Eligibility Criteria has been expanded to include Emerging Artists. John MacPhee (Paper Lions) has been hired to deliver the program. Application deadline is Nov. 23. Submission forms here.
– "Half Chance" is a focus track on Nashville-based Canadian songsmith Liam Russell's upcoming EP, No Contest. An eye-catching video directed by one of the directors/producers of Westworld has just come out. Read our earlier review of the track here.
– On Dec. 16, the Jim Cuddy Band hosts A Night of Country Covers at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. A benefit for the Daily Bread Food Bank, it features guest turns by Colin Cripps, Devin Cuddy, Bazil Donovan, Travis Good, Terra Lightfoot, Andy Maize, Matt Mays, Miranda Mulholland, Doug Paisley and Sam Polley. Tickets (on sale today) will go fast.
– Canadian disco star France Joli is included in the lineup of the 2019 Ultimate Disco Cruise, one that promises to "relive the magic of Studio 54." Others in on the fun include KC and The Sunshine Band, Kool & The Gang, The Spinners, Gloria Gaynor, Village People, Tavares, Rose Royce, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Thelma Houston, The Trammps featuring Earl Young, Yvonne Elliman, Musique, and The Australian Bee Gees Show. The cruise sails Feb. 14-19, from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and Cozumel.
– Montreal duo Folly and The Hunter (multi-instrumentalists Laurie Torres and Nick Vallee) has announced a hometown farewell show for Dec. 14 at Montreal’s Bar le Ritz PDB. The band is also sharing the new video for “The Line” from their latest Outside Music LP, Remains. The film was created by Juno-winning director Christopher Mills.
– On Saturday (Nov. 10), Community Living Toronto hosts Community Rocks, the organization's signature fundraising event, at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Sam Roberts Band plays, and there's a disco-themed dance party. All proceeds go towards supports and services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Tix here
– Toronto-based singer/songwriter Audra Santa recently self-directed a sensual video for her track "Afterglow." It was reportedly too steamy for Facebook, which rejected it for a boosted post campaign for its hints of nudity and sexual themes. It can be viewed on YouTube without warnings, however.
– ole has announced a worldwide 360 deal signing of Nashville singer-songwriter Scott Stevens to its red dot label. The deal includes exclusive publishing and recording rights, and administration of all properties on YouTube, with all releases to come via red dot. Stevens' current single, “Sounds Like Us”, has been streamed over 620K streams on Spotify. ole has also just entered into a joint publishing arrangement with Lee Brice’s Pump House Anthem to sign songwriter Brian Davis.