COVID-19 Information & Resources for Canada’s Music Industry (Prepared by CIMA)

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As the music community comes together during the novel COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to keep you informed of developments as they roll out. Artists, performers, and musicians are without income, and the entrepreneurs and companies that work to promote, support, and elevate Canadian music are all seeing their livelihoods in jeopardy. Please review the information below in case it may be of assistance. We are staying abreast of the situation as it pertains to the music industry across Canada, and implore everyone to stay as safe as possible through this stressful and uncertain time.

Please note that S.A.C.’s offices are closed, and we will be working remotely until the proper health officials advise that it is wise to return. We are working to understand what that means for upcoming programs and events, and we will keep you posted via our various social platforms.

JUNE 16 UPDATE:

Extension Announced to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This morning, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the extension of CERB by eight weeks, underscoring that even as provinces and territories gradually reopen their economies, many Canadians are still not finding jobs or cannot return to work. The PM added that in the coming weeks, his government will look at international best practices and will monitor the economy to determine if any additional changes need to be made in the program.

By the first week of July and through the summer, millions of Canadians were set to come to the end of their 16-week eligibility for benefits under CERB. With this extension those who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 can continue to claim $2,000 a month in taxable incoming for a maximum of 24 weeks between March 15 and October 3, making the maximum allowable benefit $12,000 through the program.

JUNE 15 UPDATE:

Today the Government of Canada announced that as of Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). This means that owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need:

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.

Eligible businesses will qualify for financing of up to $40,000, with 25 per cent of this being forgivable based on the current terms of CEBA loans. Businesses can contact their primary financial institution for more information or to apply directly for CEBA. More information on the expanded CEBA can be found on the program’s website.

JUNE 1 UPDATE:

Today the government of Ontario announced that it is enacting a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees who have been temporarily laid off because of COVID-19 on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the outbreak. This will ensure businesses aren’t forced to terminate employees after their 13 weeks of temporary layoffs have expired. Learn More

MAY 28 UPDATE:

The Government of Canada has launched a two-week consultation on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The goal of this consultation is to inform potential changes to the CEWS to maximize employment and meet the needs of businesses and workers. The Department of Finance is seeking to hear from businesses of all sizes, labour representatives, not-for-profits and charities.

The consultation portal will be open until June 5, 2020.

There are two options for sharing your input, a survey or more in-depth email submission. They’ve also laid out a series of questions to consider.

More details on how to participate in this consultation here.

MAY 25 UPDATE:

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that applications are now being accepted for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 per cent for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. Applying for CECRA makes financial sense for property owners, as their success depends on the success of their tenants.

Canadian Chamber and the Government of Canada team up with accounting profession to provide free advice to small to medium-sized business, not-for-profits and charities to navigate uncertainty
Small to medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations and charities will now have direct access to a network of qualified business advisors to help guide them courtesy of a new, government-funded program from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The program, called the Business Resilience Service (BRS), is run through the Canadian Chamber’s Canadian Business Resilience Network in collaboration with EY and with support from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and Imagine Canada. The BRS will provide options for any vulnerable small to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity to immediately connect with experienced accounting and tax professionals across the country from professional services firms. The program, delivered to organizations free of charge, will:

  • Provide guidance on program options and eligibility
  • Rapidly direct businesses – including enterprises involving Indigenous peoples, women and diverse groups – to the most appropriate support organizations
  • Help organizations make decisions to support recovery plans
  • Provide real time insights and feedback to policymakers

The BRS program, coordinated by EY, will be provided for four weeks from Monday, May 25, and will involve support from approximately 125 business advisors from across the accounting profession. Organizations can access the BRS seven days a week by calling 1-866-989-1080.

MAY 19 UPDATE:

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Government of Canada will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. Government will consult with key business and labour representatives over the next month on potential adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold. Any potential changes following the consultation will have as key objectives to maximize employment, ensure the CEWS reflects the immediate needs of businesses and supports the post-crisis economic recovery.

Regulatory Changes: The Government has made regulatory changes to prescribe certain types of organizations in order to extend eligibility for the CEWS to additional groups. For more information click here.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses.

The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come. The government will continue to work on solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.

Support for Women Entrepreneurs

On Saturday, Minister Ng announced that the Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the coming weeks, this investment will help thousands of women entrepreneurs and business owners navigate this crisis. It will help ensure women across the country—whether they’re a restaurant owner in Campbellton, New Brunswick, a manufacturer in Prince George, British Columbia, or a retailer in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut—get the support they need through things like business workshops, mentorship and skills training to adapt to a digital marketplace.

Empowering women-owned businesses across Canada remains a key priority, and the government will continue working hard to ensure women entrepreneurs are supported through the pandemic and into the economic recovery.

MAY 8 UPDATE:

The Canadian Federal Government has announced Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations: next steps to support the industry impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. You can find the press release here.

  • The goal of the Fund is to protect jobs and support business continuity for organisations whose viability has been negatively affected. It is designed to complement the other federal government measures in response to COVID-19, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.
  • The Prime Minister just announced that the wage subsidy program will be extended beyond June. This may help organisations that did not qualify for the CEWS to now access the program as we enter the peak season for productions and presentations. You can apply to the CEWS here.
  • $198.3 million will be allocated to the arts and culture sector through existing funding programs at Canadian Heritage.
  • $55 million will be distributed through Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) in order to help artistic organisations that support artists.
  • We will use a two-phased approach to speed up the distribution of funds:
    • Phase 1 is for funding recipients who are projecting a significant financial impact as a result of the pandemic:
      • A formula-based top-up will be provided to existing recipients through Canadian Heritage’s arts and culture programs, which include the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, Canada Arts Training Fund, and Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program. To simplify the process, current recipients of targeted programs will only need to fill out an attestation. Once this document has been received and reviewed, funding fill flow shortly thereafter. Clients will be able to apply for up to 25% of recently approved funding. The minimum amount awarded will be $5,000.
      • Like Canadian Heritage, the CCA will use a formula-based approach to deliver the funds. Clients will be able to apply for up to 25% of recently approved funding.
      • If your organisation receives funding from more than one participating department or agency, you may only request funding from one of these organisations for support from the Emergency Support Fund. Canadian Heritage and the CCA will coordinate their funding responses to avoid double funding.
    • Phase 2 will provide temporary support to other organisations, which include those in the arts and culture that do not currently receive funding from Canadian Heritage, the CCA, and our other participating organisations. Further details on Phase 2 will be announced in the coming weeks.

APRIL 24 UPDATE:

This morning the Prime Minister announced that the Government has reached an agreement in principle with all province and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA).

  • The program will provide forgiveable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business (including nonprofit and charity) tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The government will cover 50%, with building owner (landlord) paying 25% and tenant paying 25%.
  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver the CECRA, a collaboration between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships.
  • Provinces and territories have agreed to cost-share total costs and facilitate the implementation of the program
  • It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenant’s payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.
  • Under a rent forgiveness agreement, which includes a moratorium on eviction, the mortgaged commercial property owner would reduce the small business tenant’s monthly rent by at least 75 per cent. The tenant would be responsible for covering 25 per cent, the property owner 25 per cent, while the federal government and provinces would share the remaining 50 per cent.

APRIL 21 UPDATE:

Earlier today the Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator for Employers.

From the news release – “To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).  This important economic measure provides a 75% wage subsidy of up to $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks, preventing further job losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS. The CEWS calculator can be found on CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Web page. This Web page incorporates feedback received during user testing with stakeholders, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.  It includes detailed information and instructions about who can apply for the subsidy, how eligibility is assessed, and how the subsidy is calculated.  The calculator also includes a printable statement feature that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and, as of April 27, enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily.

By providing employers with additional details about their subsidy claim, the CEWS calculator can equip employers with important information they can use now to make more informed decisions about retaining and re-hiring workers. A series of information sessions will be held in the coming days to provide a forum for eligible employers.

The CRA also encourages employers to sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client, as employers will be able to apply through these portals. The CRA will open the application process on April 27, 2020.  CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA. Funds for approved applications will begin to be released on May 5.”

The Government of Canada is providing $500 million in 2020-21 to establish a new COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the complex financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors.

The Fund is meant for organizations that can’t qualify for the existing wage subsidy because of the lumpy or irregular nature of their revenues as well as to cover contract workers. The Fund will also provide advances on future grants and contributions to help maintain liquidity as well as small subsidies to cover some fixed costs. Read the full news release here.

Eligible organizations and businesses include:

  • Canadian not-for-profit cultural, heritage and arts organizations
  • National Sports Organizations, Multisport Service Organizations, and Canadian Sport Centres and Institutes
  • Canadian journalistic organizations
  • Canadian book publishers
  • Canadian production companies that work in the film or television industries
  • Organizations in the music industry
  • Television and radio broadcasters
  • Recipients of the Digital Citizen Initiative

More details to come in the coming days.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, and who might not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Further changes have been made to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Minister Steven Guilbeault tweeted the following update: “Creators who are receiving royalty payments from prior copyrighted works are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, provided that they meet other requirements.” Read the full news release here.

Who is Eligible?

To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government will be changing the eligibility rules to:

  • Creators who are receiving royalty payments from prior copyrighted works are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, provided that they meet other requirements.
  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Extend the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

Further details and information on how to apply can be found here.

The Government of Canada is:

  • Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million, and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs.
  • Announcing its intent to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon.

APRIL 8TH UPDATES: 

The Government of Canada has announced new updates and changes to the Emergency Wage Subsidy programs for businesses. Legislation authorizing this new subsidy is expected to go before Parliament next week. CIMA continues to advocate for more changes to this subsidy program to ensure that those in the music industry will qualify for this support.

What It Means for Canadian Employers: To help employers keep and return workers to their payroll through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy on March 27, 2020. This would provide a 75-per-cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

This wage subsidy aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. While the Government has designed the proposed wage subsidy to provide generous and timely financial support to employers, it has done so with the expectation that employers will do their part by using the subsidy in a manner that supports the health and well-being of their employees.”

For a full breakdown of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy click here.

APRIL 2ND UPDATES:

  • The Canadian music industry is asking the Federal government for further action including robust financial support and flexibility in funding rules that would support the artists and the industry’s small business community that is suffering through the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full release here.
  • The Government of Canada announces details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to help businesses keep Canadians in their jobs. Read the full release here.
  • SOCAN announces $2-million Enhanced Emergency Program: SOCAN announced today that it is expanding its efforts to provide
    financial assistance to struggling members as a result of the COVID-19 crisis by allocating up to a total of $2-million for emergency royalty advances. For more information click here.

In order to further support small businesses, The Government of Canada has announced the following updates:

  1. Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
  2. Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
  3. Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
  4. Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, and who might not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

For Individuals:

Support for Individuals & Families:

Support for people facing unemployment: 

Support for people who are sick, quarantined or in directed self-isolation:

Support for people who are unable to work:

Support for people who need it most:

Support for seniors:

Support for students & recent graduates:

For Businesses

Avoiding Layoffs:

Access to Credit:

Supporting Financial Stability:

More Flexibility:

WHERE TO START for Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs:

  • Visit Canada’s website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.
  • Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
  • Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare your business in the days and weeks to come.
  • Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.
  • The Department of Finance Canada has a thorough resource here outlining how the government is taking action to help Canadians experiencing hardship, including detail about flexibility for taxpayers.
  • For individuals, make sure you can access either your CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account to apply for EI relief funds before the applications open in April 2020. Better to sort that out now if you’re unsure of your login information!

SUPPORT FOR SELF-EMPLOYED, SMALL BUSINESS AND NON-PROFITS/CHARITIES

1. Introduction of an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave. This measure could provide up to $10 billion to Canadians, and includes:

  • Workers, including the self-employed who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
  • Workers, including the self-employed who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other dependents who are sick, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits
  • EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures.

2.  Introduction of an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.

3.  Providing eligible small businesses with a 10% wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.  Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organizations and charities.  This will help employers keep people on their payroll and help Canadians keep their jobs.

4.  Increasing the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

5. Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest to deal with exceptional circumstances.

OTHER RESOURCES & INFORMATION:

  • Airline Cancellation Policies: A comprehensive guide by Forbes can be found here.
  • Alberta Music has shared information for Albertans and Canadians alike on how to prepare for COVID-19 in the arts sector. Get more information here.
  • Bandzoogle has put together this handy blog: How musicians can ask fans for support during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Canada Council for the Arts: Information about CCA’s cancellation policy can be found here
  • The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM): has sent an open letter to federal and provincial ministries overseeing culture, social security and employment.
  • Canadian Live Music Association‘s Request for relief to the Canadian government can be found here.
  • Canadian Musician has compiled a free ebook (PDF) called “Pushing Through the Pandemic” to help musicians navigate the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting key sources of financial relief and resources for creators, as well as exclusive career-building tips to keep them productive. Learn about livestreaming, home recording, boosting your streaming revenue, asking fans for support, and more.
    Download or view online: https://canadianmusician.com/pushing/
  • Canada Public Health has info about the situation available here.
  • CAPACOA is asking you to track cancellations affecting the Canadian live performance sector here.
  • Event Safety Alliance: Preparing your organization for COVID-19. More information can be found here.
  • FACTOR: Information about FACTOR’s cancellatoin policy can be found here.
  • Government of Canada Trade Commissioner Service: Resources for Canadian businesses can be found here.
  • Music BC has provided information and resources on their website and is encouraging company and artists to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding Music BC’s programs.
  • Manitoba Music will be providing information and resources, including support efforts. Keep an eye on their updates here.
  • Music Managers Forum Canada has an incredibly thorough resource page that is being constantly updated here.
  • MusicOntario will be reposting all sorts of things on our socials/to our stories – have a peek there for various updates, interesting content from the community, streaming events, and other tidbits to help pass the time.
  • PRS Foundation: Advice for overseas activities or performances. More information here.
  • Radio Starmaker: The Board of the Radio Starmaker Fund wants to inform all stakeholders that any previous tour dates that were approved and were to take place between February 15th and August 31st of this year will be fully funded if they were canceled as a result of the coronavirus. All you will need to do when filling out final paperwork is indicate the reason for the cancellation was coronavirus – no other proof will be necessary. This same policy will also be in effect with regard to tour dates approved by the Board for Round 74. We are currently examining the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the implications it may have on future touring. Currently, when we open our next round we are considering a moratorium on requests for tour funding for all performances from April 1st to May 31st of this year given the very high likelihood of cancellation. We will be monitoring this situation over the next few weeks and making a final determination on or before April 10th when we plan to open the next round of funding. In the meantime, we wanted everyone to know this is a possibility as tour plans are made this year.
  • SaskMusic will be launching an emergency relief fund for music industry professionals impacted by lost income due to COVID-19. More information can be found here.
  • Unison Benevolent Fund has information about how they can help here, or you can call 1-855-986-4766 for inquiries to help you deal with the financial or emotional impact of coronavirus.
  • Worldwide Independent Network has a list of resources for the indie music community across the work here.
  • World Health Organizationhttps://www.who.int/

Lorraine Klaasen: A Precious and Rare South African Musical Artist in Canada

Lorraine Klaasen

 

S.A.C. Celebrates Canadian Music Week Spotlight On South Africa: Musical Performance By Special Guest, Lorraine Klaasen 7PM May 8

40 square miles of misery. With a few cold water taps shared by thousands of people, Soweto, with its tiny shanties on scrublands, had some of the worst living conditions in South Africa, the richest country on the continent in 1976.

In 1963, the series of townships in Johannesburg’s south west were finally, officially named Soweto. Originally meant to warehouse black migrant workers for Johannesburg’s white population, plans for the South Western Township had been afoot since the dawn of apartheid in the early twentieth century. Before the system was codified in the 1940’s, South African officials visited Canada to study our Indian Act and the reserve system. Indigenous Canadians needed a white government agent to allow them a pass to leave their reserve. Segregation may have been an American term, but it certainly occurred here, and white South Africans were eager to legitimize their institutional racism, Canadian style.

In mid June, 1976, student demonstrations against teaching only in Afrikaans, the language of the hated Boers, quickly turned deadly, beginning a protracted struggle between Soweto’s inhabitants and the South African regime. It wasn’t until 1983 that Soweto would gain a measure of autonomy within the apartheid system. This is the chaotic, hate filled atmosphere Lorraine Klaasen left to pursue a musical career. The journey brought her to Canada, and later to international success as a singer. Staying in Soweto would result in multiple Klaasen family members’ deaths.

Lorraine Klaasen was born and raised in Soweto, the daughter of one of South Africa’s favourite singers, Thandie Klaasen. The senior Klaasen has been described as the Ella Fitzgerald of South Africa, and a favourite singer of Nelson Mandela. Her house filled with visiting musicians, young Lorraine sang locally as well, until landing a gig touring Israel when she was 19. There, she learned Hebrew and later in Greece, Klaasen would learn enough of that language to sing it. Klaasen has also recorded in Tsonga, Sotho, isiZulu and Xhosa (the clicking one), as well as our two official Canadian languages.

By the time Klaasen got here in 1979, she was just in time for a Canadian winter, with “no family. No friends. My husband was working.” Still, the determined singer landed a gig at Le Bijoux in Old Montreal in 1980, where she played a mostly jazz repertoire until 1986.

That year, Klaasen produced her show “African Broadway” and incorporated more sounds of South Africa into her music. She was also invited to the African Mama festival in Holland, with lifelong friend Miriam Makeba and other African luminaries like Manu Dibango. She would record her first album. “Soweto Groove,” and the album’s title would become the name of her band.

From making a big splash at the giant Montreal Jazz Festival, Klaasen has since hit most Canadian jazz festival coast to coast. She has also performed in the Caribbean, U.S. and in Europe, along with the motherland, in Africa. In between, she released more music on CBC and on local labels such as Justin Time in Montreal.

She has described occasional visits to Soweto as having her “batteries recharged.” In 2013, her c.d. “A Tribute to Miriam Makeba,” won her a Juno award for World Music album of the year. She had grown up calling Makeba “Auntie” and played her songs regularly from a young age so recording a tribute to the legendary singer and activist came naturally.

In addition to regular performances and recording albums, Klaasen has been visiting grade schools, mentoring and educating youth with spoken word presentations and workshops.

Klaasen released a c.d. in 2016 on Montreal’s Justin Time label, called “Nouvelle Journee” featuring songs in several languages, from Greek to several indigenous South African languages (not Afrikaans!). More recently, she recorded a c.d. in South Africa using local talent to help out. “African Connexion” intersperses covers like “Pata Pata” (which Klaasen also recorded for her debut l.p. in 1989) with mostly self-penned songs. Klaasen has performed at Afrofest, Canada’s largest live African music festival held in Toronto early in the summer. In recent years, she re-located from Montreal to London, Ontario.

In 2014 Klaasen performed with her mother in Montreal, one last time after a few false alarms. The last show together saw Lorraine’s daughters Jessica and Lydia Lomumba join the two senior Klaasen ladies.

Blog post by Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography and music and producing a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary for fun. Click here to read more.

Spotify Ep. 9 - CMW

Don’t forget to check out these Lorraine Klaasen songs as part of our new Spotify playlist episode  – https://spoti.fi/2ZWk8an

1. Africa Calling
Album: Africa Calling
Performed by: Lorraine Klaasen
Written by: Lorraine Klaasen, Mongezi Chris Ntaka, Yves Jeans
Source: Justin Time / Fontana North

2. Mina Nawe
Album: Africa Calling
Performed by: Lorraine Klaasen
Written by: Lorraine Klaasen, Mongezi Chris Ntaka
Source: Justin Time / Fontana North

3. Where To Now
Album: Nouvelle Journee
Performed by: Lorraine Klaasen
Written by: Lorraine Klaasen
Source: Justin Time / Fontana North

4. Imbizo
Album: Africa Calling
Performed by: Lorraine Klaasen
Written by: Lorraine Klaasen, Mongezi Chris Ntaka
Source: Justin Time / Fontana North

OFFICIAL BIO

Lorraine Klaasen, the daughter of the late legendary South African Jazz singer Thandie Klaasen, is one of the few South African artists who have preserved the classic sound of ‘Township Music’, which continues to be the most distinctive sound to come out of South Africa. Born and raised in Soweto and now based in London, Ontario, Lorraine has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence and showmanship

In 2008, Lorraine released the highly charged album ‘Africa Calling’.  Through working with South African record producer Mongezi Chris Ntaka, and featuring bassist Bakhiti Khumalo (who also memorably performed on Paul Simon’s landmark album, Graceland), Lorraine accomplished her childhood dreams of taking Township music to the rest of the globe and making a truly African record that touches every heart & soul that beats the world over.

Her CD ‘A Tribute To Miriam Makeba’ won Lorraine the 2013 Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year and was nominated for an APCMA Award in the Best International Indigenous Artist category.  It is a tribute to the legendary songstress, who remains the most important female vocalist to emerge out of South Africa.

Lorraine’s latest and most ambitious CD the 2017 Juno Award nominated ‘Nouvelle Journée’ showcases some of the musical styles that Lorraine has not yet recorded in her long musical career.  On this album she sings in the Tsonga, Sotho, isiZulu and Xhosa languages of South Africa as well as English and French.   The repertoire is thought provoking – the importance of family, empathy, love and hope make up ‘Nouvelle Journée.’ It’s an optimistic, danceable record but also a lucid, sincere and engaging work.  Recent performance highlights include the prestigious Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Festival International  Nuits D’Afrique,  Music of the Rainbow Nation and Hommage à Miriam Makeba in Toronto – as well as a very successful month long US tour.  Lorraine’s life on the road continues – with performances in South Africa, the United States, Barbados and at festivals in Ontario and Quebec.

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

The Artz of Schwartz – Eddie Schwartz inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

Eddie Schwartz induction

The keyboards were turned up. New synthesizers kept hitting the market. The guitars were getting pushed back, the horns started to sound more like keyboards, and keyboards began to emulate horns. The raw drums and precise click tracks on so many of the ubiquitous disco records at the end of the 1970s gave way to a different, slick but pounding drum sound. The sound of popular music was changing rapidly. The 1980s had begun.

Eddie Schwartz was doing well for himself as a singer and composer at the start of that decade, when he went from recognition in his native Canada to becoming a multimillion- selling songwriter. One of the demos he’d been shopping around was brought to the attention of budding superstar Pat Benatar in 1981. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” sold some 10 million copies on release, earning a 7x Platinum award in the States, and continues to be a well-loved and frequently played anthem.

His songs, and later his production style, made and maintained many of the world’s biggest voices of the 1980s, from Donna Summer to Joe Cocker.

Edward Sydney Schwartz was born in Toronto on December 22, 1949. After studying English and music at York University, he joined Kitchener singer Charity Brown’s touring band. He also landed a songwriting gig with ATV Music and a recording deal with Infinity Records. The ironically named label folded before Schwartz’s record came out, and his eponymous debut album was released on A&M in 1980. His followup, No Refuge, yielded an American charting hit, “All Our Tomorrows.” Schwartz enjoyed success in Canada with releases like “Strike,” “Over the Line,” “Heart on Fire,” “Special Girl”, and others. In 1984, Public Life was released, and then Private Life (Best Shots) in 1994, with the latter featuring Schwartz’s own versions of hits he penned for others, including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” a more straight ahead rocker than one might have imagined from listening to his records. His final release, in 1995, was Tour de Schwartz, which yielded the single “Bourbon Street.”

From the late 1980s, Schwartz’s writing and production skills were in great demand, and he concentrated on the behind-the-scenes of music-making. He wrote fellow songwriter Paul Carrack’s biggest solo hit, “Don’t Shed A Tear,” along with a couple of hundred songs for an array or artists.

A few performers who recorded music by, or with, Schwartz include The Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, Rita Coolidge, Robert Palmer, along with divas like Amii Stewart and Donna Summer, and Canadians Gowan, Helix, Honeymoon Suite and April Wine.

Over the years, Schwartz has won many awards, including the high honour of being invested into the Order of Canada in 2012. In 2017, he became the first North American president of the Paris-based International Council of Music Creators. He also serves as co-chair of Music Creators North America and is president emeritus of the Songwriters Association of Canada.

In 1997, he moved to Nashville where he graduated from a music leadership program in 2000. Eddie Schwartz has spent much of this millennium in various capacities advocating for songwriters’ rights and revenues in Canada and beyond.

Eddie Schwartz is being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on May 9, 2019 during Canadian Music Week at Rebel Nightclub in Toronto, ON during the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards.

Many congratulations to Eddie on this highly deserved honour.

Blog post by Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography and music and producing a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary for fun. Click here to read more.

Spotify Ep. 9 - CMW

Check out our new Spotify playlist we created to celebrate this incredible achievement – https://spoti.fi/2ZWk8an

1. Special Girl
Album: Public Life
Performed by: Eddie Schwartz
Written by: Eddie Schwartz and David Tyson
Source: Warner Music Canada

2. Bourbon
Album: Blid Lyd!
Performed by: Direksjonsmusikken
Written by: Eddie Schwartz
Source: Direksjonsmusikken

3. Feed The Fire
Album: Public Life
Performed by: Eddie Schwartz
Written by: Eddie Schwartz and David Tyson
Source: Warner Music Canada

4. Don’t Come To Me
Album: Public Life
Performed by: Eddie Schwartz
Written by: Eddie Schwartz and David Tyson
Source: Warner Music Canada

5. Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Album: Crimes of Passion
Performed by: Pat Benatar
Written by: Eddie Schwartz
Produced by: Keith Olsen and Neil Giraldo
Source: Chrystalis/EMI Records (USA)

 

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

Pro Member Interview – Karen Kosowski

Karen Kosowki - SM
http://songwriters.ca/member/KarenKosowski

Producer and songwriter Karen Kosowski has one foot in the pop world and the other foot in the country world. She has produced a US Pop Radio Top 40 (Tryon’s “Somebody To Love Me”), a Billboard AC Radio #4 (Emma-Lee’s “It Won’t Be Christmas”) and a Canadian Country Radio Top 10 (Madeline Merlo’s “Motel Flamingo”) – for which she received a nomination for Producer Of The Year at the 2018 CMAO Awards. As an active songwriter, she has contributed to numerous pop and country hits for Canadian and American artists including most recently Brett Kissel’s Top 10 single “Anthem”. Recent releases include producing/co- writing both albums “Fantasies: Volume I” and “Fantasies: Volume II” from Emma-Lee, and co-writing“What A Song Should Do” and “The Worst Kind feat. Lindsay Ell” from Tim Hicks’s latest record “New Tattoo”.

Having written and produced the music for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games medal ceremonies, Karen has also landed numerous tv/film placements both on television networks such as HBO Canada, CBS, FX Network, Lifetime Network, TLC, YTV, MuchMusic, NickTeen, Space, and the CW, and in feature films including the award-winning thriller “The Scarehouse” and Wangofilms’ action movie “88” (starring Christopher Lloyd), which garnered her a 2016 Canadian Screen Awards nomination in the category of Achievement in Music – Best Original Song. She also received Producer of the Year nominations at both the 2018 CMAO Awards and in the 2015 NOW Magazine ‘Best of Toronto’ poll.

Karen is currently based out of her own private studio in the exclusive music mecca neighborhood of Berry Hill in Nashville, working with new talent from Liz Rose Music Publishing, Big Deal Music Publishing, BMG Publishing and more.

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For more information please visit karenkosowski.com

Contact: karen@karenkosowski.com

 

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry 

    I’ve been a professional songwriter and record producer for over a decade, but prior to that I actually spent many years as a solo artist. When I first started out writing songs as a teenager, there was a big emphasis in the music industry on singer-songwriter artists who performed their own material (this was the mid-nineties), so I started going out and performing my own songs, and renting gear and producing my own albums, very DIY. But 12 years and several albums later, I realized my true passion was the actual writing and producing, and not the other aspects of being an artist like touring, etc.  I’m grateful for everything I learned from the many years I spent as a solo artist, but I’m much happier helping other artists realize their vision!

  • Do you tend to write for one genre, or do you find your music crosses genre lines? 

    I grew up playing acoustic instruments but then got pretty heavily into programming, so I love experimenting with a hybrid of electronic and organic elements, which lands pretty naturally in the pop-country genre… but i sometimes swing full-on pop, or the opposite, to more rootsy country.  It depends on who I’m writing with and what they’re feeling in the mood to do!

  • Do you ever compose for film/tv/video games? What’s that like? 

    I had the opportunity to write a song for the WangoFilms feature film “88” (with my co-writer Peter Katz) starring Christopher Lloyd.  It was a fascinating and emotional way to write, because we were seeing the picture on the screen as we worked out the music.  Technically it was really different too, because the scene required a really fluid piece, with dramatic pauses… we were writing to highlight the emotion of the scene at every moment.  I got to try out some new things in Logic, and made a lot of use of tempo mapping!

In Memory of Justin Haynes, 1973-2019

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Photo of Justin Haynes from http://www.ottawacitizen.com

Justin Grant Alan Haynes was born February 24, 1973. As a boy growing up in Dunrobin, now on the outskirts of the amalgamated city of Ottawa, he attended school in Kanata where he was remembered fondly by a former music teacher. At the age of 12, Haynes discovered the music of revered jazz guitarist Joe Pass. He was playing out before the end of high school and making a name for himself in Ottawa’s music scene.

By the mid-90’s, Haynes lived in Ottawa’s Centretown and while he apparently liked it there, Toronto held more opportunities to play one’s own music. He joined the migration of some of his Ottawa musician friends and left for Toronto. He quickly found himself busy with all sorts of projects, including some with well known artists like Tanya Tagaq and Mary Margaret O’Hara. He also taught where he could, including music therapy related work with people on the autism spectrum.

A residency at the National Music Centre in Alberta 2012 seems to have only postponed the problem of making ends meet in Toronto. Haynes was quite candid about his struggles both online and in print.

Justin Haynes’ story is a sad one to tell. The 46-year-old composer and multi-instrumentalist was found dead in his basement apartment on March 13. A sad, premature death in the local arts community, but more frustratingly, Haynes had a lengthy, well respected career. If he couldn’t survive the life of a working musician in Toronto, one wonders if this is an indictment against the cost of living (renting) in Toronto.

Haynes worked with new players, seasoned veterans, on stage, in studios, composing and performing a wide range of styles. He played for audiences of all sizes; from The Rex downtown, to appearances at prestigious festivals across Canada, like the Victoriaville music festival and seminal American festivals including SXSW. He even performed at Canadian embassies.

Despite casting a large net in the musical pond of Toronto, regular gigs as a teacher, composer and player weren’t enough to pay all the bills.

Haynes found himself homeless briefly, and he wrote about life at Seaton House for Now magazine. CBC picked up the story, the city of Toronto officially responded, and it became one of those fleeting moments when homelessness makes the news.

Back off the streets, on ODSP, and living in a 500 square foot basement, Haynes was struggling with personal issues. The single father was trying to qualify for overnight stays with his son in the tiny apartment.

Despite recognition for Haynes musical pedigree among musicians, he spent years living hand to mouth. He wrote jazz, folk, solo and group music. The musician was well ensconced in soundscape creation, a growing field, but not necessarily a revenue stream.

A GoFundMe page was opened for his 12-year-old son, George Freeland-Haynes where the community came together and donated over $40,000.

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S.A.C. Spotify Episode 7: Remembering Justin Haynes. Click here to listen.

Blog post by Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography and music and producing a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary for fun. Click here to read more.

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

 

S.A.C. Black History Songwriters Series: Lillian Allen

LillianAllen

Writer; Poet; Performer; dub poetry embodies these three characteristics, distinguishing it from singers or poets. As a pioneer in the dub poetry world, Lillian Allen has written, recorded and performed for decades. The Juno award winner has published books, advised community advocacy groups and the government alike on various social issues and now teaches at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD University).

“Black History Month reminds me of the soulfulness of my ancestors whose vestiges of heritage and culture we carry with us as a people everywhere we go; what an amazing connection this gives us. We are like our own worldwide web. Black History Month calls on not just Black people but our entire country to reflect on and celebrate the resistance, hopes, sacrifices and achievements of Black people & our culture and our vital contribution to human enterprise, both tangible and intangible. It should also be a reminder that unequal societal conditions, marginalization, lack of opportunities especially among a section of our youth, was not always so and can and must be countered with culture, economic upliftment and participation in society’s processes.”

Lillian Allen grew up in Spanish Town, Jamaica and emigrated to Kitchener/Waterloo Canada in 1969 and later moved to New York City to pursue her studies and back to Canada where she settled in Toronto in the mid 1970’s.

Reading and performing her brand of poetry at community events to much accolades, her first of many books, Rhythm an’ Hard Times was published in 1982. Her first recording came out the following year. Active in Toronto’s arts & culture scenes, she collaborated with many musicians and artists.

Allen’s interest in writing and performing dub poetry received a jolt when she encountered the original dub poet Oku Onuora at a 1978 writers’ conference in Cuba. Onuora recorded the first dub poetry album, “Reflections in Red,” in 1979. Music is a fundamental component of dub poetry; the beat, usually reggae, is meant to add momentum to the uttered verses.

Lillian Allen was part of the first wave of dub poets including Mutabaraka and Linton Kwesi Johnson, credited with coining the term in a 1976 article. Johnson later explained he was referring to the rise of “toasting” among Jamaican deejays which developed into chattering or even singing along with extant songs and instrumentals. Dub Poetry is not toasting or “singjaying” though; there is a gravitas to the words which is not a requirement in reggae singing or toasting.

She explains in De Dub Poets her desire “to work within a form whose aim was to increase the dynamism of poetry, to increase it’s impact and immediacy, a poetic form that could incorporate many aspects of other art forms: performance, drama, fiction, theatre” and other elements. Her records “Revolutionary Tea Party” (1986) and “Conditions Critical” (1988) won Juno awards.

Allen co-founded the Dub Poetry Collective in between publishing books and performing live before assuming a new role, as a professor, at OCAD University.

Allen is currently developing a new BFA program in creative writing. The program will include performing, digital art forms and other elements integral to creative expression in 2019.

 

Blog post by Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography and music and producing a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary for fun. Click here to read more.

 

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Click here to listen to Lillian Allen’s new single on S.A.C.’s Spotify playlist Ep. 5 Black History Songwriters Series

 

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Playlist:

Song: Revolutionary Tea Party

Performed by: Lillian Allen

Written by: Lillian Allen

Source: Discogs

 

Song: Rub A Dub Style Inna Regent Park

Performed by: Lillian Allen

Written by: Lillian Allen

Source: Discogs

 

Song: Conditions Critical

Performed by: Lillian Allen

Written by: Lillian Allen

Source: Discogs

 

Song: I Dream a Redwood

Performed by: Lillian Allen

Written by: Lillian Allen

Source: AllMusic

 

Song: Woken & Unbroken

Performed by: Lillian Allen

Written by: Lillian Allen

Source: Spotify

 

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

A Conversation With Miranda Mulholland

Bill King was a recent guest on Blair Packham and Bob Reid’s In the Studio radio hour at Newstalk 1010, where Blair introduced him to Miranda Mulholland, a Canadian fiddle player and singer. In this interview Miranda talks about her festival, the Sawdust City Music Festival, and tells us what is upcoming for her this summer.

Read the full FYI Music News interview here!

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Follow Miranda on social media

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BlueBird North is now SongBird North

Intro SongBird North Slide

This name change announcement from Bluebird North to SongBird North concerns the showcase concert series presented by the Songwriters Association of Canada and sponsorship partners across Canada. We asked the Vancouver series’ host, Shari Ulrich, to write a statement outlining the idea behind the change.

“I performed at the very first Bluebird North presented by Amy Sky and Marc Jordon in Toronto almost 25 years ago. Other than Folk Festival workshops, I’d never experienced a song circle and fell in love with the format. In 1995, fellow board member Ron Irving launched the event in Vancouver, and for 21 years now I have produced and eventually hosted the series. When the word came that we would have to change the name, after some passionate whining, I quickly realized, it isn’t the name that makes the event so special, it is the remarkable songwriters from across the country, who say yes to sharing a stage with other great writers and their songs with the most appreciative audiences a songwriter could ever hope to have. Every evening is unique, magical, enlightening and highly entertaining. Songbird North will certainly be soaring long into the future thanks to the vision of the SAC.”

– SongBird North YVR Vancouver, Host – Shari Ulrich.

Checkout the SongBird Vancouver Facebook Page

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@SongwritersofCa

Checkout the website for more details.

Songwriters Update!

Intro SongBird North Slide

 

This name change announcement from Bluebird North to SongBird North concerns the showcase concert series presented by the Songwriters Association of Canada and sponsorship partners across Canada.  We asked the Toronto series’ producer, Blair Packham, to write a statement outlining the idea behind the change.

“For more than 20 years, the S.A.C. has presented the regular concert series that we called Bluebird North. A showcase for accomplished Canadian songwriters—four sitting in a row—each performance was unique, but they all shared some key elements: a celebration of the art and craft of songwriting, complete with road stories about hits and misses, and plenty of humour along the way. Decades ago, when I was asked to take over as producer of the Toronto shows, I wanted to change its name because I wanted to make it ours, not a tribute to some place faraway. That didn’t happen for a variety of good reasons, and in the interim, we in the lineup, there would be a good show that night. For the 2017/2018 season at the Royal Conservatory of  Music, we’ve decided to make that name change, but the shows themselves will remain reliably the same: excellent songwriters trading songs and stories, singing, playing and laughing together. We’re calling it SongBird North, as a nod to our glorious past and our promising future, not to mention our Canadian geography, which so often shapes the songs we write and sing.”

— Blair Packham

Songwriters Association of Canada