Since its inception 17 years ago, founder Darryl Hurs' Indie Week Music Festival has grown from 40 acts performing at six venues to 240 spread over 25 downtown Toronto venues.
Hurs has added a conference, an awards show and an international flavour to the proceedings, with artists hailing from numerous parts of the globe, including 88 balaz (Taiwan), Altre Di B (Italy), Arliston (U.K.), ASTROFONICOS (Bolivia), Camila Andrew (Colombia), Chen Levy (Israel), and Leepeck (Poland).
Participating venues include the 120 Diner, Cherry Cola's, The Free Times Cafe, The Dakota, The Painted Lady, The Horseshoe and the Bovine Sex Club, among many others.
Here are a few recommended highlights and curiosities to check out over the course of the five-day festival, which ends Sunday with the 7 p.m. Indie Week Awards show at the Mod Club featuring performances by Bo Welland, Luxe, Piqued Jacks (from Italy), Free But Sharp Pain (from Japan), Triss (from South Korea) and Nikki's Wives.
Spotlight on Indigenous Programs: Curtis Running Rabbit Lefthand (Calgary), Jacquie Black (Indigenous Music Awards), Audra Santa (Downie Wenjack Fund), Thor Simonsen (Producer) and Sandra Sutter (PTW Energy – Indigenous Partnerships) will introduce you to the Canadian Indigenous music industry at 3:30 p.m. at Revival, to be followed by a TBA Indigenous music showcase at Hugh's Room Live later that evening.
Barry Stagg: It's been 41 years since Montrealer Barry Stagg - who has since relocated to North Carolina - released his self-titled album on RCA Records Canada, scoring two Top 50 AC hits in the process: "Stay" and "Children of the Dream." At 74, Stagg is flaunting a new album called One Heart At A Time that he recently showcased at MIDEM in Cannes. Stagg performs Thursday with Ventresca and Don Graham at the.B-Side Lounge.
Indigenous Showcase: On Nov. 14, following a panel about the biz, Indie Week presents a showcase of three emerging Indigenous artists at Hugh's Room Live - Kelly Fraser, Matt James, and The Singing Soldiers. James was just recently awarded the Best Country/Americana Alum of the Year at the 19th annual Native American Music Awards.
Steve Stewart: The former manager of Stone Temple Pilots has a new blockchain-based music publishing business venture with Vezt, which allows people to buy shares in hit songs for a limited time with cryptocurrency and receive royalties as a part-owner of the song. This could be a new way songwriters can leverage their music, make a little money and still retain ownership of their songs. He's at the Thompson Hotel, Wellington Ballroom l as a keynote speaker on Friday at 4 p.m.
Michelle Shocked: In her first Toronto appearance in over a decade, and before she performs a pair of Gary Topp-promoted shows at the Small Music Centre @ Artscape on Shaw Street near Queen St. W. - the outspoken singer and songwriter delivers a keynote speech entitled; "Musical Chairs: A Survivor's C.A.S.E. For Artists' Rights Now!". Shocked appears on Saturday, November 16 at the Front Room of the Thompson Hotel at 3 p.m.
Korea Splash: Held at the Revival Bar on Saturday at 6 p.m., a showcase featuring Korean artists Triss, Bobby Pins and Drinking Boys and Girls Choir.
For tickets, further info and conference schedules, visit here.