In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada has just launched a new $100K partnership aimed at providing financial relief to performing artists whose livelihood has been cut off due to the pandemic. Artists in any discipline can apply for a $1K grant to support a 45-60 minute livestream performance planned between March 19 and 31. The funding will come from Facebook Canada, and the NAC will receive and administer applications. More info here. The project was christened via an online performance yesterday afternoon by Jim Cuddy, his sons Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley, and Colin Cripps.
– Fronted by enfant terrible Art Bergmann, Vancouver trio The Young Canadians were key players on that city's original punk scene. Their Hawaii album now gets a 40th Anniversary Re-Issue as a limited edition 12” EP pressed on clear orange vinyl. Only 250 copies will be pressed and the package includes original liner notes and a download code. Of note: Bob Rock mixed the record. Portherhouse Records have also made the Young Canadians EPs Automan and This is Your Life available for purchase digitally worldwide. More info here
– The latest artist to turn to live streaming concerts is Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman. She has performed her #MeashaPopUp Livestream concert every night this week since Monday and Friday's finale will be at 7 pm EST and will be broadcast from a special location in collaboration with guests. The Livestream will be on her FB page: tinyurl.com/meashapopup She has a GoFundMe started for it as well, here. The singer explains that "I want to continue to contribute even if I’m not in your face or on a stage. I want you to hear my voice even if we can’t be in the same room."
– Music Business Worldwide stated yesterday (March 19) that The Weeknd's new album, After Hours, set for release via Republic today (March 20), has broken the all-time record for pre-adds on Apple Music. Pre-adds are Apple Music's equivalent of a traditional pre-order, allowing users of the service to get access to an album the moment it's released worldwide. In the case of After Hours, those pre-adds have already surpassed 975,000 globally, industry sources have confirmed. The Weeknd's previous album, Starboy, also on Republic Records, was a US No.1 after being released in Nov. 2016, and has now racked up 3.8bn on-demand audio streams in the US to date, according to BuzzAngle/Alpha Data.
– The coronavirus couldn't stop Luck Reunion. The self-described annual "anti-festival held in Willie Nelson's backyard" won't happen in-person this year, but last night (March 16) an online concert, Til Further Notice, was held instead. the A-list lineup included Willie, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Jewel, Nathaniel Rateliff, Paul Cauthen, Margo Price & Jeremy Ivey, Randy Houser, Canadian/Kiwi Tami Neilson, and more. Source: The Tennessean
– Coronavirus fears have forced The Blues Foundation to close The Blues Hall of Fame Museum and cancel the 2020 Blues Music Awards Show and Blues Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony. In lieu of live events, The Blues Foundation is beginning work to create virtual events that will celebrate BMA nominees and winners and 2020 Blues HoF Inductees. Details TBA. The Foundation will also create a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for blues musicians.
– The deadline to submit applications for Music PEI’s new Microgrant Program has been extended to April 17. More info here