Billy Talent Facebook photo
Billy Talent Facebook photo

Music News Digest, April 10, 2020

Yesterday (April 9), top Canuck rock band Billy Talent released a new episode of its multi-part short film. Directed by award-winning Canadian director, Michael Maxxis, the film stars UFC fighters Rose Namajunas and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. This, the third episode in the Forgiveness series, features music from the band’s multi-week #1 hit single Reckless Paradise. Ben Kowalewicz and Jordan Hastings of Billy Talent chatted with fans during the YouTube premiere. 

CIMA is partnering with Unison Benevolent Fund and CAMH for a webinar entitled Mental Health in Music: Town Hall Discussion. Available to artists and industry professionals, it is led by CAMH’s Dr. David Goldbloom and noted singer/songwriter Catherine MacLellan and designed around the issues of mental health and community support in the Covid-19 era. It is on  Wednesday, April 15, 12:45 -1:30 pm (EST). The Zoom Webinar can be accessed at

– The CMRRA’s 2019 licence agreement with FacebookInstagram and Oculus VR enabled the launch of their music services in Canada. This is an opt-in line of business so if you or your songwriters would like to have your musical works included and have not done this already, please write 

 And on the subject of the CMRRA, CCS Rights Management topper Jodie Ferneyhough is profiled in the org’s newsletter that can also be viewed on the licensing agency website.

 Canada's Great Kitchen Party – Home Edition will host a variety show on Facebook live at 8 pm EST on  April 15 in partnership with Canada Takeout. Headliners will include Jim Cuddy, Alan Doyle, Ed Robertson, Barney Bentall and Tom Cochrane, with more names TBA. Friends and family can enjoy dinner and a concert together virtually and do their part to help restaurants on #TakeoutDay. Restaurants Canada estimates that 800K foodservice jobs have already been lost nationwide due to Covid-19, and foodservice sales are expected to be down nearly $20B for the second quarter of 2020.

– Neil Young has released a new version of Shut It Down, from his current album with Crazy Horse, Colorado. The new version, Shut It Down 2020, was inspired by fans reaching out to Young via his website,, expressing the elevated poignancy the song has come to represent during this current pandemic. Neil Young and Daryl Hannah created a video to accompany the track.

– Ontario Creates is now accepting applications for the 2020/2021 cycle of the Export Fund – Film and Television. The program provides eligible Ontario companies with funding support to participate in export development activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. The deadline to apply here is April 20. All applications must be submitted via the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal here 

– Canadian new wave favourites The Spoons pay homage to the front line heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic with a new video for their track Landing Lights. “We wanted to create a video that reaches out to all of the healthcare workers during this scary time,” says frontman Gordon Deppe. “We wanted to thank them, and let them know how grateful we — and the world are — for risking their lives every day for us. This video also goes out to those who are fighting for their lives, have lost their lives, and — of course — those ‘staying home’ to save many lives.” The track is featured on The Spoons’ most recent album, New Day New World — the group's first in eight years.

– The Connecting at a Distance program from the Manitoba Arts Council supports professional artists in all disciplines with micro-grants for creating and sharing artistic work while observing social distancing protocols during the Covid-19 pandemic. Grants for Individual artists are $500, collaborations are $1K. Apply here by April 20. 

– Now in its 18th year, The Independent Music Awards has announced this year’s nominees, and new Canadian singer/songwriter Storry shines with four noms for her debut record, Ch III: The Come Up which she wrote, funded and produced herself. A full noms list here. Vox Pop voting for the fan-favourite Song and Video projects at runs through April 23.

– Toronto singer/songwriter Rosanne Baker Thornley (RBT) has come up with a timely new song and video, Indiana Jones. She tells FYI "I was compelled to do something to impress upon people the critical need to stay home as well as ensure that the basic need of food is accessible to people. A great community came together while staying at home to do this video. Recorded live off the floor to ensure it was genuine and real, all footage was shot on phones by people staying at home."  Thornley encourages donations to or

– The Covid-19 casualty list grows daily. One of Canada's largest summer fests, Quebec City's Festival d'été de Québec (planned for July 9-19) has now been cancelled. Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana) has cancelled the month-long events held in July-August, due to the continued concerns over the spread of Covid-19. This is the first such cancellation in 52 years. Also just announced are the cancellations of the 2020 Toronto Summer Music Festival (scheduled to run July 9 to Aug. 1) and the 2020 TD Halifax Jazz Festival (HJF). To donate your HJF ticket or pass click here by April 21. Remaining individual event ticket holders will have refunds processed automatically.

–  Manitoba Film & Music and Manitoba Music are working together to launch a weekly concert series streaming on Manitoba Music's Facebook. Featuring 12 online performances, MB Live Sessions spotlights stellar local talent and supports artists impacted by Covid-19. Each virtual concert will be set in the artists' homes, offering a unique glimpse into their creative lives in this era of physical distancing. The series kicks off April 16 at 7 pm with Rayannah, continuing with Noah Derksen, Amber Epp, Hellnback, and more TBA.. Ashley Au and Anthony Sannie. The series is produced by Manitoba Music with support from the production team The Village Idiots.

– Toronto R&B duo dvsn releases a new album, A Muse In Her Feelings, on April 17 on OVO Sound. The group, comprising Daniel Daley and Grammy-winning producer Nineteen85, has revealed the album has an all-star line-up of features, including PartyNextDoor, Future, Popcaan, Summer Walker, Ty Dolla $ign, Buju Banton and Shantel May. Here's a new trailer.

Leave a comment