The 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs) is now accepting applications for the Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award, with an Aug. 31 deadline. This prestigious award recognizes the exceptional contribution of an individual, group, or organization active in any aspect of the Canadian folk music scene (performance, promotion, presentation, etc). It includes volunteers in all their diversity who, year after year, lend support to folk clubs, festivals, house concerts, etc. All submissions are adjudicated by members of the CFMA Board of Directors. Submit here. The Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award will be announced at the 17th edition of the CFMAs, which takes place the weekend of April 1-3, 2022 in Charlottetown PEI.
– The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) has announced the nominees for its Awards show, set to be streamed live from the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on June 12. Nominees in 18 categories were selected from 250 Canada-wide submissions by an invited panel of jurors comprising Indigenous and music industry professionals and peers. Notables listed this year include Leela Gilday, Julian Taylor, DJ Shub, Twin Flames, Anachnid, Murray Porter, and G.R. Gritt. See the full list here.
The SSIMAs and SSIF are produced by Mather Simard’s Indigenous entertainment and tourism firm, Indigenous-Experiences.ca on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee comprising six (6) organizations that represent Indigenous communities across Canada. The Festival itself began June 1, and runs to June 21. More info here.
– Girls+ Rock Ottawa is debuting the LAUNCH // GRO Artist Development Program, a comprehensive and practical development program that will help emerging artists from underserved communities build the foundations for a sustainable career in music. Four solo artists or bands will receive the training and mentorship to help them create a portfolio to kick start their music careers, including media training, a press tour, filming a performance video, and recording time at ArtHaus Studio in Toronto, ON. More info here.
The program is open to women, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals and bands between the ages of 18 and 29. Priority will be given to artists from underserved communities and artists with marginalized identities. Priority will also be given to alumni of G+RO programs and Ottawa-based artists.
– The live-stream by ace Toronto chanteuse Lily Frost scheduled for June 4 is being postponed, thanks to ongoing provincial restrictions streaming from venues that have been extended. Frost is hopeful it can happen in July, and she urges fans to use Bandcamp Friday (June 4) if they're considering purchasing her work. Her most recent album, Retro-Moderne is already on the platform and Lunamarium should be up then, coinciding with its 20th anniversary.
– CIMA has announced its inaugural CIMA Summit: Indie Music Connects series on June 22 and 23 (from noon - 3 pm EDT). This 2-day virtual summit connects CIMA members from across the country to each other, to cutting edge thought leaders, keynote speakers, indie industry notables, current trends and new ways to survive and thrive in a post pandemic music industry. Rapper/producer Cadence Weapon will help launch the new CIMA program Ask Me Anything, where members can access the advice, knowledge, and experience of indie music luminaries. Artists in a Fireside Chat will discuss how they have adapted and pivoted to meet the challenges of the pandemic, and other sessions discuss the future of music, breaking down racial barriers in the music industry, the current independent market both nationally and internationally, policy advocacy and more.
CIMA members get the chance to connect with its Board of Directors as well as meet their new President, Andrew Cash. That’s six hours of programming over two days for only $25 for CIMA member companies. More details soon. Registration is now open, and members should e-mail Sam Rayner (firstname.lastname@example.org) for info.
– The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced details surrounding the release of upcoming original digital content for June. To coincide with Pride Month, the CCMA’s Pride Month Conversation Series, a digital series dedicated to championing the LGBTQ2+ community and its allies, launched on June 2, featuring discussions hosted by Stephen Krajinovic, the host and producer of ET Canada Pride. It will be available weekly on all CCMA digital platforms (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube). The CCMA will also leverage its platforms to provide an international stage for Indigenous voices throughout June via an in-depth digital series — National Indigenous History Month Achimotak Series — available on the Association’s YouTube channel from June 4. To be shared across CCMA social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), series guests include Don Amero, Alan Greyeyes, Troy Kokol, Crystal Shawanda, and Jade Turner. It is hosted by Desiree Dorion.
– On June 11, Sudbury-based power pop combo Dany Laj and the Looks releases a new album, Ten Easy Pieces, via We Are Busy Bodies. Here's a brand new video for one of the tracks.
– Last week, the BC government outlined its plan to reopen the province, and that's good news for music venues. Live performances played for an in-house audience have been banned off and on since March of 2020, but Vancouver venues are now planning for a fall season. Those announcing upcoming concerts include the Rickshaw, Fox, Hollywood, Biltmore, and Commodore. Source: Georgia Straight
– Mississauga rock trio Maybe May has just released a video clip for its current single, Survive, Satellite, and it has quickly grabbed attention. Check it out here.
– East Coast favourite David Myles has a live-streamed concert via YouTube on June 10 at 8 pm EST. He's a charming storyteller as well as a fine singer/songwriter, so this is recommended. Info here.
Michael Laderoute, a Toronto-based folk singer/songwriter, died on May 29, of cancer.
He was born in Arnprior, ON, in 1947. An obituary posted by Pilon Family Funeral Homes noted that Laderoute “was a poet, songwriter, fisherman, and all-around good guy to hang out with.. Michael worked for 17 years in the educational department at TD Bank. Before that, he rocked a telecaster in various Ontario bands..
“Over the last 20 years, Michael could be seen performing his own music at local clubs in Toronto. His monthly shows at the Tranzac Club were a thing of magic.”
During his career, Laderoute signed a publishing deal out of Nashville, hosted open mics,played festivals and participated in songwriting workshops in both Canada and the US. In Toronto he's played Hugh's Room, the Free Times Cafe, the Tranzac, and numerous other acoustic rooms. He's also played at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe and the famed Sons of Hermann hall in Dallas Texas. Laderoute has also traded songs with notable writers such as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark.
His debut CD, A River I Know, was recorded in 2006, with David Baxter producing and playing alongside Bazil Donovan and Laderoute, and it was well-received in North America and Europe.
Baxter forwarded this eloquent tribute to FYI: "In 2006 I was fortunate enough to produce A River I Know for my friend Micheal Laderoute. I turned out to be his only album, but it was full of some of the best crafted songs I've had the pleasure to work on. Michael mined the same vein as the romantic Texas poet/singers he admired so much, with just enough Ottawa Valley mixed in to make his own unique sound. He loved songs and the people who wrote them, he loved his old guitars, he loved Mexico and fishing for Marlin every winter. He was never in it for fame and fortune,. The process for him was it's own reward. I will miss him terribly."
Laderoute was highly regarded by other Toronto peers. That was shown in late 2020 when fellow singer/songwriters recorded 16 cover versions of Laderoute songs. An A-list lineup included Greg Hobbs, Justin Rutledge, Corin Raymond, Michelle Rumball, Nichol Robertson, Ben Sures, David Baxter, Jack Marks, Chris Staig, and Josh Cockerill.
The gesture deeply touched Laderoute. "Just before Christmas, a friend presented me with this wonderful gift," he recalled. " I have been overwhelmed with emotion and joy. I want to thank everyone who was involved in this project for all their hard work and dedication. You are deep in my heart...always." Check out the project on Soundcloud.
The funeral home noted that “there will be a memorial for Michael at some time in the future, when people can gather and songs can be sung. If you’d like to make a donation in memory of Michael, please consider the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.” Sources: Pilon Family Funeral Homes, Songwriters Unite, Tranzac
– Michael “Mike” O’Reilly, a pioneer of the Canadian Bluegrass music scene, passed away on June 1, age 76.
Canadian country music authority Larry Delaney posts that "Mike O’Reilly has long been recognized for his songwriting and recording achievements, initially heading up the bluegrass band Mike O’Reilly & Cody. He recorded two albums with that group in the late 1970’s (A Tale Of Three Cities and Alive…And Still Pickin'), followed by a 1985 solo album Antique Heart” He later headed-up the group The Radio Kings, releasing two albums, and in the 1990’s teamed up with Dick Smith on the release of a series of albums featuring O’Reilly’s vocal and songwriting talents.
As a songwriter Mike O’Reilly has had his songs recorded by bluegrass stars Del McCoury, Junior Sisk, Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen, Dan Paisley, Rhonda Vincent, and more.
A perennial winner of various categories in the Central Canada Bluegrass awards, Mike O’Reill, also hosted a bluegrass radio show (CJET -Smiths Falls, ON), and TV shows from CJOH in Ottawa. His knowledge of the history of bluegrass music and its artists is unmatched. He also had an impressive career as an actor playing character roles in several Canadian produced TV movies."
You can read a more extensive profile by Larry Delaney here. Sources: Larry Delaney / Cancountry, CMAO