15 Things You Should Know About the Canadian Music Business

Canada is hot. The market north of the border continues to yield talent that scales the Billboard charts and drives sales worldwide, from Justin Bieber to Michael Bublé, Drake to Deadmau5, Avril Lavigne to Arcade Fire.

These acts, among many others, are nominees for Canada’s Juno Awards, presented April 1 in Ottawa. But before the Junos comes Canadian Music Week, the music festival, conference and exhibition that taking place March 21-25 in Toronto, drawing artists, executives and fans. In recognition of CMW’s 30th anniversary, Billboard Magazine offers 30 things you should know now about the Canadian music business. We’ve put together 15 of them here.

1. Canada is the world’s sixth-largest music market. It ranks in sixth place in digital sales, seventh in physical sales and 10th in performance rights revenue. Digital trends: Internet users, 26.2 million; broadband households, 9.5 million; smartphone users, 8.1 million. Recorded music by sector (2010): physical sales, 66%; digital sales, 29%; performance rights, 5%. (All data according to IFPI.)

2. The Independent Digital Licensing Agency offers digital distribution, royalty collection and administration, and help securing capital financing primarily for independent labels. IDLA is owned by its independent label members and offers everyone the same 9% administration fee without a fixed term. Unlike CD Baby or TuneCore, there is no upfront fee.

3. The Polaris Music Prize is a jury-chosen cash award for the best album of the year without regard to genre or sales. Held each September, it’s adjudicated by about 200 selected music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers, and a final “grand jury” the night of the event. Since 2006, the winners have been Final Fantasy, Patrick Watson, Caribou, Fucked Up, Karkwa and, in 2011, Arcade Fire.

4. Numerous government and private grants and no-cost loans are available to Canadian musicians for a range of career-development activities. Funding sources include the Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Media Development Corp., Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings and MuchFACT. Almost all the provincial music industry associations have grant programs, such as Music BC and Manitoba Film & Sound. There’s also the Radio Starmaker Fund, funded by private broadcasters.

5. Slaight Music, co-founded by Canadian radio industry heir Gary Slaight, has invested, sponsored and donated about $2 million to more than 20 artists and 14 music-related organizations, including the Polaris Music Prize, Unison Fund, Juno Awards, the Canadian Country Music Assn. Humanitarian Award, Dixon Music Hall, Honey Jam and the Canadian Music Managers Forum. All funding decisions are made by Slaight and business partner Derrick Ross-there is no application process. The Slaight family sold Standard Broadcasting in 2007 for $1.1 billion. Slaight will be honored for his work on March 31 during Juno Week by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

6. Dance-pop band These Kids Wear Crowns, signed to EMI Music Canada, is now managed by Coalition Entertainment (Simple Plan, Finger Eleven), and the group’s album, Jumpstart, is getting a global release. In Australia, where the act has toured three times, the title track is almost double-platinum (140,000 units). The album is also out in New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Japan and France, and will soon arrive in another 14 territories.

7. There are many synch opportunities for acts in Canadian TV productions. Among the current Canadian shows various music supervisors are placing tracks in are “Degrassi,” “Flashpoint,” “Arctic Air,” “Lost Girl,” “The L.A. Complex,” “Rookie Blue,” “Heartland,” “Dussault Inc.,” “Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays” and “Mr. D.” Among recently licensed tracks are Broken Social Scene’s “Sweetest Kill,” Hooded Fang’s “Den of Love,” Land of Talk’s “It’s Okay,” Wren Kelly’s “Jump,” Winston Hauschild’s “Lonely,” Leeroy Stagger’s “I Believe in Love” and Kuba Oms’ “Ride On.”

8. The Sheepdogs, the ’70s-styled rock band that won Rolling Stone’s magazine cover competition last summer along with a record deal with Atlantic, also landed a deal with Bedlam Music Management (City and Colour, Dinosaur Bones, Monster Truck). The band has finished recording an album with Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. Meanwhile, the band will play select U.S. dates from March to June, including South by Southwest and Coachella. The Sheepdogs’ 2010 album, Learn & Burn, is gold in Canada.

9. For Live Nation Canada, the first quarter includes national tours by Canadian acts like Jann Arden, Hedley and Simple Plan. In April, Johnny Reid kicks off a 27-date tour. that ends at Halifax Metro Centre on May 16 with a lone date scheduled on July 13 at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome. Road warrior Bryan Adams also launches his first full Canadian tour in 20 years on April 11 in Newfoundland, ending June 22 at the MTS Center in Winnipeg. Top upcoming tours by non-Canadians include Madonna, Van Halen, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Diamond and Iron Maiden.

10. The Air Canada Centre in Toronto, which ranked as one of Billboard’s top 10 highest-grossing arenas with a 15,000-plus capacity, will host Van Halen (March 17), Nickelback (April 22), Red Hot Chili Peppers (March 27-28), Bryan Adams (May 3) and Il Divo (May 19), with other bookings pending.

11. Cirque du Soleil production “Dralion” in January opened the busiest year since 2010 for the K-Rock Center in Kingston, Ontario, an SMG Canada venue. Bookings at the 7,000-capacity building this year include shows by Megadeth, Deep Purple, Hedley and Jann Arden with upcoming dates by Billy Currington, Bryan Adams and Johnny Reid.

12. Management company/label Coalition Music (Simple Plan, Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven, Justin Nozuka) purchased a 12,000-square-foot building in 2010 that was once a convent. The company built a large recording studio with an SSL board, a soundstage/showcase room in the former chapel and plenty of rehearsal space (the nuns’ bedrooms). It also operates a “music business for musicians” school. The Artist Entrepreneur program starts April 16.

13. According to Music Canada, the trade organization representing the major labels, “the digital market is still relatively untapped.” ITunes, Slacker, Rdio, 7digital, SiriusXM, HMVDigital, Zune, Rara and eMusic have all expanded into Canada; Pandora Radio isn’t available; and Spotify is reportedly finalizing deals with the labels. Among the Canadian-owned legal digital services are phone companies Bell Mobility, Telus, Rogers’ urMusic, Research in Motion’s BBM Music and Galaxie Mobile, and broadcasting networks CBC Music and Astral Radio (music and music video). Also operating are online store Puretracks, Internet radio Mediazoic and Motime for mobile content.

14. The most recent estimates from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) forecast February royalty distributions of $39.3 million, including about $12 million from cable TV, $10 million from radio airplay and $2 million from satellite radio. The total figure represents an increase of 7% across all distribution pools except concerts, international and private copying. “Once a final decision has been made by the courts regarding [pending digital copyright issues], SOCAN will work toward distributing to members as soon as possible the monies collected” for those uses (Billboard.biz, Dec. 6, 2011).

15. Walk Off the Earth had 30,000 subscribers on YouTube before its cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” went viral-amassing 69 million views for the video of the quintet playing the song on one guitar. Union Label Group founder Matt Colyer stepped in as manager and the group has signed with Columbia. At the time, the band had seven songs in the can co-produced with Justin Koop (Grade, Silverstein). It’s now finishing up the album.

By Karen Bliss, Toronto


How to Use Twitter’s Vine App for Musicians

Vine apps

Twitter’s Vine App allows you to upload 6 seconds on looping video. 6 seconds!! You might be thinking what’s the point in a 6 second video?

Twitter states that like limiting the characters on twitter to 140 characters, videos on vine are limited to 6 seconds to increase creativity.

1. Share a clip of your show or fan footage

2. Shout out your fans / announce competition winners

3. Promote the release date of your new single / album

4. Show fans a glimpse of the studio / back stage

5. Creatively show off your artistic inspiration

Fans increasingly want to be connected with you as musicians, Vine seems to be a quick and easy way to connect with your fans in a ‘cool’ creative way.

* Tip – Like with twitter use # ( hashtags) to be found by people who aren’t following you

Twitter Music

What is Twitter Music and why you should start using it?

You may or may not have heard this week that Twitter uncovered its new foray into music.  It’s already the number one free app across many countries in Apple’s App Store (including Canada).

If you’re thinking why another music service or how it benefits you as an artist, hopefully I’ll shed some light on Twitter Music

What it isn’t:

Twitter music is not a music streaming service and is NOT directly selling music  (who wants to compete with Apple right now?)

What it is:

A music discovery service.

Every since Twitter launched it has changed the face of how any form of entertainment is discovered, shared and reviewed. Leveraging off the vast community that is already talking about music, Twitter Music was born.

You can listen to full tracks or previews; all music is sourced from iTunes, Spotify or Rdio and linked ready for direct purchase.

Currently only on iOS but will be launching on Android shortly.

The idea is that you follow your favourite musicians and under the suggested tab you will be able to discover similar bands you may like. This is huge for upcoming acts that are active on twitter. The idea is that upcoming acts will benefit from the “Emerging” and “#NowPlaying” sectionswhich will help you be discovered by music fans looking to consume more music like yours.

It is a work in progress but one that you should be a part of as a music fan and as a musician.

Are you already using Twitter Music? Send us your feedback in the comment section below; on Facebook or on Twitter @canadianmusic

Shania Twain Turns Dreams Into Reality As Her Creation SHANIA:STILL THE ONE At The Colosseum At Caesars Palace Is Unveiled

Shania Twain, international superstar and one of the world’s best-selling female artists of all time, has been busy preparing for the Dec. 1 premiere of her highly anticipated new Las Vegas production SHANIA:STILL THE ONE at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. As the premiere rapidly approaches and demand for tickets remains strong, 14 new performances for spring 2013 will go on sale Friday, June 8 at 10 a.m. and include:

March 2013: 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30
April 2013: 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10

Prices range from $55 to $250, plus applicable fees, and may be purchased by calling 800-745-3000, online at www.shaniainvegas.com or www.thecolosseum.com and in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office, open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT. For groups of 10 or more, call 1-866-574-3851.

“My first step in creating the show was writing out the song list, building my ideas from there. I wanted to keep the hits at the heart of it all while weaving elements of surprise throughout the experience,” said Shania. “My vision is to bring the atmosphere of each song alive through multi- dimension sensory and share the journey of my life and career with the audience from a unique perspective. The Colosseum theatre is heaven for an artist and the opportunity to collaborate with such a brilliant team is making my dream show a reality.”

SHANIA:STILL THE ONE, created by Show Creator and Executive Producer Shania Twain, produced by AEG Live and directed by Producer/Director/Dancer Raj Kapoor, will take fans on a spectacular journey through the various stages of Shania’s life and career in an unforgettable evening filled with music, multi-sensory and visual experiences, fashion and the unexpected. “Shania wants her fans to share her spirit and passion in 4D and this show will capture the essence, soul and inspirations of Shania and her timeless music and lyrics brought to life with extraordinary beauty and powerfully intense visuals,” said Show Director, Raj Kapoor. “Shania’s creative world will be an immersive fusion of music, fantasy, spectacle and the fragile beauty of nature all brought together in a night of unforgettable entertainment.”

Show Creator / Executive Producer – Shania Twain

An amazing and accomplished singer and songwriter Shania Twain is a phenomenon. With more than 75 million albums sold worldwide, she is the top-selling female country artist of all time; has multi-platinum album sales in 32 countries; has the eighth-biggest selling album of all time in the U.S. and 18 top ten songs, eight of which reached #1. Since the beginning of her recording career, the multi-talented five-time Grammy Award winning artist has been deeply involved with the artistic and creative direction of her imaging, iconic music videos and sold out tours including her “Come on Over” tour in 1998 and the”Up!” tour which became one of the highest grossing tours in 2004. With her latest creation STILL THE ONE, Shania is sinking her teeth into the show’s production taking her artistic and creative diversity to new heights.

Show Director – Raj Kapoor

A director, producer, dancer, and visionary, Raj Kapoor is a creative talent whose imaginative work has been seen on stages around the world. He creates live experiences that inspire and excite and has worked with a list of who’s who in Hollywood including Carrie Underwood, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Usher, Rihanna, Nikki Minaj, David Guetta, DeadMau5, N.E.R.D., Mary J Blige, Maroon 5, Tony Bennett, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, Kid Rock, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, the Dixie Chicks, Josh Groban, Selena Gomez, Beach Boys and Britney Spears. Kapoor specializes in creating custom tailored productions with cutting edge choreography, impeccable styling, high-concept design and staging, state-of-the- art special effects and will interweave his unique version of story-telling to Shania’s overall creative vision of the show.

Production Designer – Michael Cotten

Michael Cotten’s unparalleled expertise in production design, theatrical staging, animation, electronic music, and graphic arts has garnered him a clientele that includes many of the world’s top performers and productions. Cotten designed the “History” tour for Michael Jackson in 1997 and when Jackson began planning his “This Is It” return to the stage for London’s O2 Dome in 2009 he again enlisted the talents of Cotten to design the extravaganza. Cotten is no stranger to Las Vegas and has lent his production and architectural talents to the city of Las Vegas with the “Sirens of TI” and Gloria Estefan’s “Live and Unwrapped” at Caesars Palace.

Costumier – Marc Bouwer

The creator of custom costumes, Marc Bouwer, will take Shania’s unforgettable fashion sense to play a major role in the telling of the show. After arriving in NYC from South Africa, he met fashion legend Halston. Under Halston, Bouwer refined his skills and became a master draper. Draping soon became the hallmark of Bouwer’s career—a distinction later dubbed “athletic glamour” by industry purveyors and international press. Marc’s innate sensibility, keen eye, and talent have landed him on the pages of revered international fashion publications and into the hearts of the world’s most glamorous and watched women. Marc Bouwer Couture has graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, Oprah, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Vibe Magazine and has a dream list of clientele that includes Angelina Jolie, Beyonce Knowles, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Eva Longoria, Halle Berry, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, Portia Di Rossi, Sarah Jessica Parker, and many more.

Lighting Designer – Peter Morse

Peter Morse has designed lighting and directed staging for concerts, theater, videos, and feature films for the past 35 years. He has worked with some of the greatest names in the industry – from Barbra Streisand to Bette Midler – yet he continues to inspire new generations of fans with his work creating awe-inspiring lighting for Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Usher and countless others.