The wait will soon be over. The much-publicised and multi-million dollar renaissance of Toronto landmark club The El Mocambo continues apace, and it will be Canadian music industry insiders who get to check out space first. The 4th Annual Live Music Industry Awards (presented by Canadian Music Week and Music Canada Live) take place at the Elmo on Friday, May 10 (4.30-6.30 pm). Tix here.
Nominations for the Legends of Live award, one recognizing an artist who has made a great contribution to the Canadian industry through live music touring and concerts, are currently open. Past winners include Billy Talent, The Tragically Hip, and Blue Rodeo. Nominations for the other awards will open in the new year. More info here or by contacting email@example.com
– Hamilton hard rock ensemble Monster Truck continues to tour Europe and the UK, a happy hunting ground for their sound. The band has just completed a Nov/Dec European tour with Black Stone Cherry and The Cadillac Three, and has already announced a 25 date headline European tour, set for April and May, supporting current album True Rockers.
In a label press release, guitarist Jeremy Widerman says, “One of our favourite things to do is touring Europe/UK, and when we get a chance to headline it’s even better. Expect a long, raucous set filled with songs from every album.” The trek begins April 18 in Bristol, closing out in Stockholm on May 23. MT plays Mavricks in Barrie tonight (Dec. 21) and Venue in Peterborough, Dec. 22. Extensive North American touring includes Canadian shows Feb. 6 to March 30. Dates here
– In a media press release, Universal Music Canada (UMC) shines a spotlight on its impressive domestic roster, one featuring multiple acts poised to make a splash in 2019. Artists such as Allan Rayman, Chad Brownlee, The Beaches, Johnny Orlando, and The Reklaws have already achieved real prominence, but names such as Amaal, Ashs, Bad Child, bulow, East Adelaide, Jade Eagleson, New City and Valley may be less familiar. We strongly suggest checking them out (links included above).
– The winners of CBC and Musicount's 2018 Canadian Music Class Challenge are Cloverdale Traditional School, Victoria; École Agnes Davidson, Lethbridge; École élémentaire publique Julie-Payette, Kanata, Ont.; Mildenhall Montessori School, Etobicoke; Orchard Park Secondary School, Stoney Creek, Ont.; J. Percy Page High School, Edmonton, and the Calgary Arts Academy. More than 1,000 submissions involving 15,000 music students from every province and territory were received. Winning classes receive $5K of new musical instruments for their school.
– Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ) has announced the four projects chosen for support through the TD Discovery Series Special Projects initiative. They are Moodset, a new jazz and R&B collaborative; pianist Thomas Francis' The Jazz Gene; Ernesto Cervini's Tetrahedron featuring guitarist Nir Felder; and Spectrum Music's Coding Chaos. Now in its ninth year, the scheme provides marketing and public relations support, as well as a bursary, to this group of artists.
– Winnipeg's Big Fun Festival runs Jan. 23-27 at multiple city venues. The lineup of over 30 acts includes Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Partner, Bernice, Woolworm, Yes We Mystic, Occult Burial and November. The festival also hosts a series of panels with industry professionals, organized in conjunction with Manitoba Music's January Music Meeting.
– A coroner’s inquest is finally set to begin (on March 25) in the death of Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson in a stage accident at Toronto's Downsview Park in June 2012. Recommendations will be issued, but these will be non-binding. Charges laid relating to the tragedy were stayed because of long trial delays.
– Alberta Music and the Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) have announced the shortlists for the 2018 Edmonton Music and Film Prizes. The Music Prize nominees are Audrey Ochoa, Celeigh Cardinal, Jesse and the Dandelions, Lindsay Walker, Marco Claveria, Nuela Charles, Scenic Route to Alaska, Striker, VISSIA, and Zaitsa. Launched in 2012, the prizes each award $10K to the winners with a further $1K to the runners-up. The winners are to be announced at a reception on Feb. 5. A list of Film Prize hopefuls here.
– An impressive grouping of Hamilton artists showcase at the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal in February. To help cover the hefty costs involved, a benefit show, The Hammer Comes Down, is set for This Ain't Hollywood on Jan. 13 ( 3-6 pm). It features Big Rude Jake, Rae Billing, Sarah Beatty, Deeps, Justine Fischer, Tim Gibbons, Cory Mercer, Jay Pollmann, Dave Rave, Matty Simpson and Suzie Vinnick. Tix here. A separate fundraising link hosted by local music dynamo Ellen Davidson can be found here
– A strong contender for the title of best musical New Year's Eve lineup in Toronto is Fresh Start 111, hosted by Hannah Georgas at The Rivoli. The bill features Tim Baker, Julie Fader, The Weather Station, and members of Tokyo Police Club, Grand Analog, The Elwins, Ten Kills The Pack, Goodnight Jasmine, and more. Tix here
– The ECMA 2019 New Year's Eve Bash in Charlottetown, PEI features Reeny Smith, Joel Plaskett Emergency, The East Pointers, Hillsburn, and DJ Hype! It is on at Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward (18 Queen St, Charlottetown, PE). Tix here
– Music BC has announced its continued partnership in 2019 with Seattle's famed Bumbershoot fest, taking place Labour Day weekend (Aug. 30-Sept. 1). Music BC presents four BC artists at various stages throughout the weekend. Applications are now open here, with a Jan. 8 deadline.
– Indie Week in Toronto has announced its 2019 dates as Nov. 13-17. The fest is already accepting artist applications, with a super early bird deal in effect until Jan. 15.
– The Arthritis Society of NB is calling on local talent to apply for a chance to take home the Rock the Joint 2019 title. The Sanctuary Theatre will stage the very first RTJ event in Saint John, on March 22, where provincial talent will battle for $2.5K and a set on the Area 506 Main Stage in 2019. Submit here
– Toronto R&B artist Surauchie has released a video to accompany her single "Sometimes," out via Public Records/Forwxrd Records .
– The Drake in Toronto continues its What's In The Box series over the holiday period. Highlighting some of the best local rock talent, it runs Dec. 26-30, at the bargain price of $5 per show. Bands include Teenanger, Practice, and Yes Yes Y'All.
– Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard's trial date for his sexual assault and interference case is now expected to come in 2020. This week in Toronto, his preliminary hearing date was officially set for July 11 and 12, 2019, with the trial happening at least six months after that, according to the crown. Source: Narcity
– New additions to next year's Mariposa Festival in Orillia, ON, include My Son the Hurricane, Carole Pope, Steve Poltz, and Melanie. Early Bird pricing closes Dec. 31.