CIMA President & CEO Andrew Cash.
CIMA President & CEO Andrew Cash.

CIMA AGM Delivers Positive News

The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) covered a lot of ground at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Thursday (Oct. 27), including financial health and investments, the election of new board members, and the announcement of a new annual conference, Make It Music.

“Most of us have had almost a full year of operations, close to it and getting back in the swing of things. Artists are touring, releases are coming out and we’re all navigating this new way of being and so is CIMA,” noted CIMA chair Tim Potocic of Sonic Unyon Records and Distribution. “CIMA is rolling into a development phase with lots of new initiatives and reframing some of the old ones.”

During the hour-long Zoom, there were also pre-recorded performances by Toronto folk band Bassett and BC-based hip-hop act Teon Gibbs, and a presentation from Fay Milton and Lewis Jamieson, the UK co-founders of global pressure group Music Declares Emergency (MDE) about sustainability and net-zero goal.

Arts & Crafts president/co-owner Kieran Roy was tasked with delivering the audited financial statement, disclosing a surplus and the fact that revenue was up about 5% and “getting closer to where we used to be,” he said. Investments were up almost 10% “which recognizes that business was starting to get back to usual in terms of travel and export initiatives.” 

Roy also said the board looked to FACTOR’s success at making investments through ScotiaMcLeod and back in March did the same with $366,000 of “aggregate yearly surpluses that had built up over time.”

That kind of investment is important, as some of the emergency financial support the industry has received throughout the pandemic is winding down, noted Andrew Cash, CIMA’s president.

CIMA will, of course, continue to lobby the government on a range of issues crucial to the music sector from holding the federal government to its 2019 election campaign promise of increasing the Canada Music Fund to $50 million from $26 million to consulting with the CRTC after Bill C-11 is ratified.

“After a few challenging years for the music sector and the country, CIMA is putting the focus on the future and that means how do we help to make it better for music companies, for artists, to succeed in a climate of constant change and disruption,” Cash said. “With the economy in flux, with our climate at risk and technological innovation advancing at such a fast pace, we all need to be ready. It is against that backdrop that we are looking ahead.”

With that in mind, he announced the new three-day Make It Music conference for Feb. 14-16, referring to it as “a new future-forward knowledge assembly.”

“Make It Music will focus on engagement and knowledge exchange, designed to really drive inspired ideas and future thinking for our music companies,” he said, adding there will be music, international speakers, and the acknowledgement of the achievements of CIMA members. More details to come.

Cash also said CIMA will hold another brunch and panel during Juno Week in Edmonton, this time titled The Long Game: Building Global Careers in the Independent Music Sector, as well as its second ever Juno after-party “in order to highlight and claim space for the incredible accomplishments of our independent artists and the companies that support them.”

CIMA’s website is also getting rebuilt and re-branded, but the current one is functional and includes the “equity tab,” with all the work they have done the past couple of years: CIMA's Statement Against Community Violence and Commitment to Equity and Inclusion; Breaking Down Racial Barriers (Volume 1) Report; About the BDRB Declaration; Sign the BDRB Declaration; and Resources.

CIMA continues to look inwards to be the leaders in acknowledging anti-Black racism and learning how to make the necessary changes and providing the tools for its members to do the same. Beyond its partnership with the Breaking Down Racial Barriers series and subsequent findings, it puts on a monthly workshop and has made its equity committee (chaired by David “Click” Cox) enshrined in its bylaws.

At the end of the AGM, the board members were announced:  re-elected incumbents Susan de Cartier (Starfish Entertainment), Meagan Davidson (Tiny Kingdom Music), Gourmet Delice (Bonsound), Amanda Rheaume (Ishkode Records) and Daniel Turcotte (Monstercat) to three-year terms.

They will join incumbents Simon Mortimer-Lamb (Nettwerk), Justin West (Secret City Records), Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon), David Cox (CLK Creative Works), Gord Dimitrieff (Aporia Records), Shauna de Cartier (Six Shooter Records), Kesi Smyth (604 Records), Iain Taylor (Cadence Music Group), Kieran Roy (Arts & Crafts Productions) and Sandy Pandya (Pandyamonium/ArtHaus).

In the coming weeks, the newly elected Board will appoint two new directors to one-year terms, selecting people “who can address imbalances and gaps in CIMA's leadership representation of ethnic or cultural diversity, gender, sexuality, skillsets, geography, and/or genres of music.”

Leave a comment