Garth Hudson
Garth Hudson

Music News Digest, June 28, 2019

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, yesterday announced 83 new appointments to the Order of Canada., and the list includes two legends of Canadian music. Buffy Sainte-Marie is named a Companion of the Order of Canada, while Garth Hudson of The Band becomes a Member of the Order of Canada. Sainte-Marie is cited for "Her multi-dimensional contributions to music, visual arts and education, and for her continued support for Indigenous rights and environmental activism," and Hudson is honoured for "his unique musical contributions and for his mentorship of many emerging artists over the past 60 years." Other notable recipients include Donald Sutherland, Martin Short, and philanthropist Donna Slaight. Read the full list here 

–  Victoria-based musician, songwriter/ recording artist, and studio owner Kathryn Calder has been selected as the City’s new Artist in Residence. Calder is known for her work in The New Pornographers and Immaculate Machine, and she has also released three solo records. Her new project is Frontperson; she has composed for feature films, and also owns The Hive recording studio with her husband, producer/engineer Colin Stewart. The public is invited to meet Kathryn Calder at a free Meet and Greet event on July 17 from 6 – 8 pm at the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park. 

– Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is recovering from recent double bypass heart surgery, carried out at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. The Fredericton-born, Nova Scotia-based singer said on Facebook that she's doing well and she thanked fans for their love and support.

– The Canadian Live Music Association, with the support of Ontario Creates and in partnership with the City of Toronto, the City of Hamilton and Nordicity, is conducting research to demonstrate the contributions and impact stimulated by live music venues in Toronto and Hamilton. If you operate an active live music venue in Toronto or Hamilton, the org wants to hear from you. The survey is open until July 19.

– Singer/songwriter Charlotte Cornfield has spent a large chunk of the last four-plus years opening and booking Burdock, now well-established as one of Toronto's premier music listening rooms. On FB this week, she announced she is leaving the venue, "my second home," after 1500 shows. Cornfield found time to release a third album, The Shape of Your Name,  in April, one that has made the 2019 Polaris Prize longlist. We wish her well.

– Hamilton's Festival of Friends has announced The Trews, Tanya Tucker, and Loverboy as headliners of the three-day free event, held at Gage Park, Aug. 2-4. Other acts include Fast Romantics, The Spoons, Bleeker, and Ben & Noel Haggard.

– Toronto jazz singer Ori Dagan has taken home another prestigious award, winning Vox Pop Fan Choice for Best Short Form Music Video, Animated / Stop Motion at the 2019 Independent Music Awards in New York City this week. This is the latest accolade for his late 2017 release of Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole — termed jazz music’s first ever visual album. The multi-media project has won 14 Canadian and International awards to date.

– The 48th annual Nova Scotia Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Festival will be held July 25-28 in Bible Hill, at NSPECC, and will feature Ray Legere, the Bluegrass Diamonds, and Carolina Blue from North Carolina. This is believed to be Canada’s oldest annual Bluegrass Festival. Source: Pictou Advocate

– Toronto's second annual Bentway Block Party runs from noon-10pm on July 7. Playing the free event are The Elwins, Ellevator, Common Deer, Heavyweights Brass Band, and the Dynamic Diplomats of Double Dutch.

– On Wednesday, Ottawa's City Council approved a $25,000 Ottawa Music Development Fund. The fund, which will be launched this summer, will provide “support for the creation and expansion of projects that strengthen the music industry and ecosystem.” The money is part of a three-year, $300K “music strategy” endorsed by city council last year. Read more about the fund here.

– One of Toronto’s premier music venues, Danforth Music Hall, turns 100 in August. To commemorate the milestone, promoters Embrace and Live Nation present shows by two veteran Canadian indie rock bands. Wolf Parade play Aug. 16 and the New Pornographers are in on August 17. 

– Polaris Music Prize is accepting applications for artist/illustrator/designers from across Canada who'd be interested in creating Polaris Posters based on this year's Short List. Deadline, July 5. Details here

– Event mastermind Arlene Bishop reports that the recent two-night tribute to The Cabana Room held at Hugh's Room Live in Toronto raised $1120 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to honour the memory of Cabana kingpin Jimmy Scopes.

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