A message from Gold Entertainment Accountants

FROM: D. Jae Gold, BA, CPA, CA, CFE
GOLD ENTERTAINMENT ACCOUNTANTS
A DIVISION OF G & G PARTNERSHIP, LLP
rocknrollaccountant.com

Dear SAC members, clients and friends of Gold Entertainment Accountants:

The past number of weeks have been extremely difficult for our clients & friends (individuals, families, businesses) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus is having a dramatic impact on our lives and businesses. Firstly, we wanted to take a moment to let you know that during these unusual times, we hope and pray that our clients, friends and families are staying safe, healthy and productive. We have taken steps here at our office for the safety of our staff, clients and community and will continue to do so.

This document is meant as a summary of various items that affect those in business (and particularly in the cultural areas) from an accounting / tax / small business viewpoint. Please read it right to the bottom! At a time like this, the number one goal is to have you and your family stay safe and in good supply of food and medicine, and distanced from others. And not stress about tax season!

To help with this, the Federal Government, the Ontario Government and the CRA (federal tax department) have laid out plans for relief of worry and stress regarding tax filing and tax payments. Below is a compilation of information from various sources of interest to the music industry regarding tax filings, tax payments, and business cash flow. There are changes daily to these new government programs, please note it is a very fluid situation. This information is correct and up to date as at March 24, 2020.

Although there are extensions for tax filings and payments noted below, we encourage all taxpayers to submit their tax information (personal or corporate) as soon as possible to their accountants for processing and filing. Some assistance will be based on the 2019 personal tax return assessments.

1) In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the CRA will defer the filing due date for 2019 tax returns of individuals. The return filing due date will be deferred from April 30, 2020 until June 1, 2020. (a one month extension from April 30th). Note that self employed individuals have June 15, 2020 as a filing deadline, and that has not changed.

2) For individuals, the CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer until September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020, and before September 1, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. Note that taxes owed prior to March 18, 2020 and all payment plans already in effect are not changed by this deferral, they are still due.

3) For low and modest income families, the Government will provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the GSTC. This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. In order to qualify for this credit, you must file the 2019 income taxes in a timely fashion, hence our encouragement to all taxpayers to submit their personal tax information asap. Changes to the Canada Child Benefit (“CCB”)…….. For individuals receiving the CCB, payments will be increased for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.

4) The Government will be waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020. The requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits will be waived as well. The EI sickness benefit is 55% of an employee’s earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per week. The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived if individuals are quarantined; and, as a result, they are able to be paid for the first week of their claim. If an individual cannot complete the claim due to quarantine, the claim can be backdated to cover the period of delay. Priority will be given during application processing for those under quarantine, without the need to provide a doctor’s note confirming contraction of the virus.

5) The federal government has created the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) This program provides $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB covers Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home to care for children due to school and daycare closures. The CERB applies to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who are not otherwise eligible for EI. Additionally, workers who are still employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19 also qualify for the CERB. The CERB is expected to be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April as well as via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

6) To support businesses facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10 per cent of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as nonprofit organizations and charities. Note that the definition of ‘Eligible Employer’ includes individuals and partnerships.

7) Although there has been speculation about extending the corporate filing deadline, no formal pronouncements were made by the Government in respect of corporate filing deadlines.

8) For businesses, the CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This is for self employed businesses as well as incorporated businesses.

9) The CRA will not initiate any new audits for the next 4 weeks. For any ongoing audits that are currently in process, the CRA is suspending all activity as well. COLLECTIONS, AUDITS AND TAX DISPUTES………The CRA has released an official statement providing updates on its collection, audit and objection strategy amid the COVID-19 concerns. The CRA is temporarily revising how it administers collection, audit and objection matters.

10) The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. This will be based on the 2019 income tax return, another reason to get your 2019 personal tax returns filed quickly.

11) The Government will be placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.

12) Canada’s large banks have confirmed that based on each individual situation, they will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products (bank loans, lines of credit, etc). If you want to pursue this, call your mortgage company to start the application process.

13) Ontario’s Minister of Finance will release an economic and fiscal update on March 25, 2020, instead of a full budget. This update will include a realistic one-year outlook based on current economic projections and will aim to provide certainty to hospitals, schools, municipalities, and other government partners for the year to come.

Special for the music industry ……. CIMA, the Canadian Independent Music Association (of which our firm is a member) has provided the following valuable information and links:

14) Special for the music industry ……. CIMA, the Canadian Independent Music Association (of which our firm is a member) has provided the following valuable information and links:

  • 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.
  • 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/
  • Live-streamed concerts from empty venues: URGNT TRNTO
  • I Lost My Gig Canadais a support group on Facebook for folks from various disciplines in the Gig Economy to gather, listen, and share.
  • Toronto Musicians Association has information and resources for financial assistance and bill payment relief here.
  • Ontario Presents is offering to host online phone-based meetings free of charge for any Ontario-based artist, agent, presenter, or other art presenting industry professional who needs to host a meeting but does not have the means to do so. You may contact natalie@ontariopresents.ca.
  • Other resources:
    IATSE, information for film and TV workers https://www.iatse.net/coronavirus-update-portal
    ACTRA, information for actors and musicians https://www.actratoronto.com/coronavirus-updates/

15) For those operating through a corporation, if you need to change your payroll remittances due to 6) above, and would like assistance, do not hesitate to contact your accountant right away.

16) For anyone taking money out of RRSP’s, note that this will be income in the year of withdrawal. If you take the $ out in $10K increments, then less tax will be deducted (for maximum cash flow now), but taxes may be due next year on the 2020 cashed in RRSP’s.

17) Other ways to earn income or use your spare time: a) sign up with hashtagpaid.com as an influencer if you have 5,000 + followers on Instagram; b) Skype, Zoom calls or facetime music/acting/voice lessons; c) write / edit/ create new works, or take courses to enhance skills.

Note that most accounting firms are encouraging their clients to use a digital client portal to submit the 2019 personal tax information as well as any corporation information that needs to be submitted. Our portal system has been in place for a number of years now, is working great, and has added efficiency to the tax preparation services we provide.

FIND THE LINK TO OUR CLIENT PORTAL HERE: http://www.ggca.com/

FIND THE LINK TO OUR TAX CHECKLIST HERE: http://rocknrollaccountant.com/home2/#services

The CRA encourages those who need to update or access their tax information to use one of the CRA’s self-serve options, such as My Business Account or the CRA BizApp mobile web application.

If our firm can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact our office. The partners in our firm remain vigilant and are monitoring the situation and responding as conditions evolve.

Sincerely,

The Partners of Gold Entertainment Accountants
(A division of G & G Partnership, LLP)

 

Looking back on “Decades” presented by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame

Decades_Toronto_Sound_of_the_60s_70s_80s_914
Photo from http://www.cshf.ca

Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame concert, Phoenix Theatre, Toronto.

A gala concert to kick-start the festive season was a great way to celebrate this year’s batch of songs being celebrated by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The mostly seated crowd enjoyed two sets of speeches and songs from a variety of Canadian performers.

The first set featured a few local boomer classics; “Opportunity” by Mandala, and “I Would Be The One” from the short-lived band Kensington Market. A Foot In Coldwater and Klaatu were also recognized.

Maestro Fresh Wes played a couple songs, one during each set. “Let Your Backbone Slide” was the inducted song, and Maestro followed it later on with “Stick to Your Vision.”

Lorraine Segato led a reunited Parachute Club through “Rise Up.” In a rousing speech, Segato recalled the progressive alliance of music makers and fans of all stripes and backgrounds who made Parachute Club a cultural force for a period in Toronto. She also sang “Magic Carpet Ride” written by John Kay.

K.D. Lang, Blue Rodeo and Joni Mitchell songs were played alongside a song best known for it’s performance by Bonnie Raitt. New Brunswick-born and Oshawa-raised Shirley Eikhard’s “Something to Talk About” was sung by Megan Worth.

Tom Cochrane came out for an acoustic song and played “Life is a Highway.” Cochrane was joined by fellow Tom, Tom Wilson, for a version of “The Weight.” Wilson continued with a tribute to Crowbar, describing the trill of his 12 year-old self hearing Crowbar on Hamilton radio. Toronto radio host Roger Ashby got a shout-out and a bunch of people piled onto the stage for a jamming finale of “O What A Feeling.”

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

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. Celebrates International Women’s Day: Bonnie Dobson

International Women's series - Bonnie Dobson
Photo by: Laurie Lewis

It took a chunk of her lifetime, but Bonnie Dobson is pleased to finally receive recognition for the brilliant song “Morning Dew” which she wrote, but failed to protect at the time. In 2017, she found her way to the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, The following year, she returned to Mariposa – the festival where she debuted the song in its inaugural run in 1961. By then, Dobson was a seasoned performer but still “new” to the world of publishing. She’d played multiple stints at Ash Grove, the legendary L.A. folk and blues spot. During one stay in L.A. she saw the film “On The Beach” which inspired here to write about life after a nuclear holocaust. “I had never written anything in my life,” she said in Jason Schneider’s book Whispering Pines.

Playing traditional folks songs was more exciting than returning to the University of Toronto, and Dobson slowly found her way to New York City. There, she recorded two albums of folk songs, a children’s record, and her third effort, a 1962 live album featuring her show stopper “Morning Dew,” recorded at Folk City in Manhattan. Dobson knew it was a great song, but had yet to publish the track.

Born November 13, 1940 in a union activist household, and an older sister immersed in the nascent Canadian folk revival inspired Bonnie to try her hand at performing.

Dobson recorded a self-titled album for Nimbus 9 in Toronto in 1969, featuring a re-recording of “Morning Dew,” before leaving for England, marriage and a career in post graduate academia.

After a few more records, including another self-titled effort, she walked away from music until 2013, when she returned to the stage.

“Morning Dew”’s merits were obvious to a few people who covered the song in a folk style, but Fred Neil’s version was the first to rock harder. Tim Rose covered the Fred Neil arrangement and connived his way into a co-writer’s credit for the song which was virtually in the public domain when he decided to record it.

“The worst part was when I came to England in 1969 and I gave my debut concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Everybody had thought that Tim Rose had written “Morning Dew,” because he had never mentioned me at any time, having anything to do with that song. I still get my royalty cheque, but I still consider it quite a grievous injury.” After a half century, Bonnie has been more widely appreciated for not only “Morning Dew” but her singing career overall. Her 2018 Mariposa return re-affirmed her spot in Canadian women songwriters.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

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.

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

SAC_Logo

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.

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.
  • 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/

S.A.C. Celebrates International Women’s Day: Lorraine Segato

International Women's Day - Lorraine Segato
Photo by: Marko Shark

Lorraine Segato was born in Hamilton, on June 17, 1956, but made her home in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood. Home to some of the city’s longest standing live music venues (including The Rex, Horseshoe, and Cameron House) and long lost legends (the 360 and the Bamboo, for instance), the neighbourhood was developing a vigorous live music scene by the 1980’s.

Segato played with the all women self-proclaimed feminist rock & roll band Mama Quilla II along with Lauri Conger who would soon join her in The Parachute Club. In 1982, drummer Billy Bryans (who also did a stint as only male in the all female 7 piece group Mama Quilla II later formed the dub funk reggae group ‘V’ along with Segato as they’d been developing their musical interest in Caribbean and Latin musical flavours.

Working with the Rastafarian Mojah, already a denizen on the local scene with Truth and Rights, they built their original repertoire along with Rough Trade’s bassist Terry Wilkens.  ‘V’ were offered a gig opening the inaugural Festival of Festivals (later known now as TIFF) in 1982, and things snowballed from there when ‘V’ could not do the gig then Bryans and Segato formed a group for the show which later became known as The Parachute Club
Opting to record with Daniel Lanois, who had engineered the Mama Quilla II EP that Bryans had produced, the new band, featured Segato, Conger and Bryans, along with Margo Davidson, Julie Masi, Steve Webster and David Gray.

The Parachute Club’s popularity exploded with their first album and it’s anthemic hit “Rise Up.” In 1984, the song won the band’s first Juno Award, and their first of three top 40 hits.

The follow-up LP and it’s title track, “At The Feet of the Moon” from 1984, made the Top 10, but changes were coming. Steve Webster left to join Billy Idol’s touring band, and his replacement, Russ Boswell, stayed until he was hired to play with Corey Hart. Nonetheless, The Parachute Club won another Juno, for Group of the Year, in 1985. The band also scooped several CASBY awards, and a collection of remixed songs came out.

“Small Victories” was the third and final Parachute Club album of new material. It had the hit “Love Is Fire,” a duet with John Oates who also produced the record. The track garnered the band another Juno, this time for Video of the Year.

Percussionist Julie Masi left the group and was replaced by Rebecca Jenkins. Aaron Davis stepped in for departing keyboardist Lauri Conger after that.

By 1988, Parachute Club had six Junos, two Platinum and one Gold Record award. They released one more single, “Big Big World” and decided to suspend the band.

On their separate roads, Lorraine Segato pursued a solo career, releasing three albums, starting with “Phoenix” in 1990. “Luminous City” was released a few years later 1998, and in 2015 Segato issued “Invincible Decency.”

From 2005 to 2018 the band, with four original members, played the occasional shows. They were inducted into the Canadian Indies Hall of Fame in 2006.

A couple of members have sadly left us. In 2008, Margo Davidson, who left music to become a social housing activist, passed away at age 50. Billy Bryans, 63, died in 2012.

Segato was later married to Ilana Landsberg-Lewis and produced several large fundraising concerts for the Stephen Lewis Foundation featuring activists Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox & Angelique Kidjo. She has worked on music related documentaries in recent years. “Lowdown Tracks,” profiling the lives of homeless street performers on TVO. Previously, she wrote and directed “Queen Street West: The Rebel Zone.” Most recently, Segato has written an autobiographical stage show called Get Off My Dress that will be mounted in 2021.

In November, 2019, Segato performed with a host of others at a Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame show at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. “Rise Up” was among the songs celebrated. After a quick speech about the coalescing of this progressive minded music scene on Queen West 40 years ago, Segato performed the song as well as a cover of “Magic Carpet Ride.”

She told interviewer Pamela Roz in late 2019 she would be touring her Wild Women (Don’t Get the Blues)

Show featuring established and emerging women artists showcasing songs written by Canadian Women Songwriters.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these Lorraine Segato songs as part of our new Spotify playlist episode  – https://spoti.fi/2Ip8f5r

Copy of Spotify Ep. 6

1. Rise Up
Performed by: Parachute Club
Written by: Parachute Club
Produced by: BMG Music/Columbia House
Album: Wild Zone – The Essential Parachute Club (1992)
Source: Discogs

2. Love is Fire
Performed by: Parachute Club
Written by: Parachute Club
Produced by: BMG Music/Columbia House
Album: Wild Zone – The Essential Parachute Club (1994)
Source: Discogs

3. Hole in the Wall
Performed by: Lorraine Segato
Written by: Lorraine Segato
Produced by: Get Off My Dress Productions
Album: Invincible Decency (2013)
Source: Discogs

4. Only Human
Performed by: Lorraine Segato
Written by: Lorraine Segato
Produced by: Get Off My Dress Productions
Album: Invincible Decency (2013)
Source: Discogs

5. We Gave the Night Away
Performed by: Lorraine Segato
Written by: Lorraine Segato
Produced by: Get Off My Dress Productions
Album: Invincible Decency (2013)
Source: Discogs

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: Bullen Family

Bullen family - BLACK HISTORY SERIES (IG) 2020
Photo: www.eddiebullen.com

Eddie Bullen’s birthplace of Grenada is better known for The Mighty Sparrow and calypso grooves than jazz music. Arriving in Canada in 1980, Bullen has since worked to add jazz to the canon of music people associate with this island in particular and the Caribbean in general.

A 1985 single he worked on garnered him a Juno Award when Liberty Silver won for her R&B single “Somewhere Inside Your Love.”

Since then, Bullen has led several musical lives; in the 1990’s he was half the production duo The Ed-Ian Cartel, with Ian Wiltshire. They released a string of 12” singles straddling Caribbean and Canadian dance styles like soca, house, electronic, R&B and reggae.

Beyond production duties, Bullen has also written and played on records from soca artists and the occasional reggae star like Ninjaman.

He’s backed Byron Lee, Melba Moore, Deborah Cox and many other performers on stage. When he isn’t working on other artists’ songs, Bullen creates television music in Canada and abroad.

Bullen’s first solo disc, “Nocturnal Affair” came out in 1996 and in 1999, he released “Caribbean Dream,” an atmospheric c.d. with Dan Gibson. The meditative soundscape environment on here is unlike Bullen’s other releases.

Taking inspiration from popular jazz instrumentals of the 1980’s, the Toronto musician enjoyed radio success with “416,” a track from his 2004 “Make It Real” c.d. He has since released two more discs, “Spice Island” and “Kaleidoscope.”

Bullen has played with Toronto 70’s funk band Crack of Dawn at their reunion shows including the Beaches Jazz Festival over the last couple of summers. He has also worked with Crack of Dawn singer Glen Ricketts, along with his son Quincy.

While running Thunderdome Sounds, his record label, and QDB Music, his publishing company, Bullen continues to seek out young talent, to work with, and to mentor; he started a high school co-op program, back in 1986.

With a laid back groove to the smooth, Bullen performs with several of his own groups; The Eddie Bullen Band, The Caribbean Jazz Collective, and Father and Son; Dueling Pianos.

The latter features his two sons Tre Michael on percussion and elder son Quincy facing his dad, each armed with a grand piano. These performances have featured a mix of classic jazz instrumentals, classical, and jazz takes of popular songs. So Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” fits right in with Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” hit.

“We can spar with each other” at these shows, according to Quincy, a popular keyboard player in his own right. He plays all over the musical map, from classical tones to EDM tracks. He also performs with the funk band Kush.

Quincy’s debut release was with a teen jazz band called the Quintessential Boys. He’s since released several solo c.d.’s, starting with “On Q” in 2010. The follow up, Quantumplations, veered into R&B and dance music. More recently, he’s released “Poise Debris.”

“Poise Debris” heads into harder rock with cuts like “Work With That” and classic funk, a la Prince, with tight jams like “Groove On Adelaide.” Quincy has explained the piano was ground into him as a kid, but he had his dad’s blessing to try other instruments later. Quincy plays a bunch of instruments, but the keyboards keep calling him home. He described his intense practicing schedule growing up in his father’s musical house; “one hour before (school), one hour after. That was my life for years.” This got him into the Royal Conservatory, which took over Quincy’s musical education. The senior Bullen jokes that’s why he has Quincy play some classical sounds at their concerts together.

Somewhere on the way to his Toronto Jazz Festival debut at 18, he found time to act on DeGrassi- The Next Generation t.v. show. Tre Michael has also acted. The family jokes that the younger son got off easy, with a less stringent musical education. The three occasionally perform together, but keep busy with their respective projects.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these Bullen Family songs as part of our new Spotify playlist episode  – https://spoti.fi/31Qr3U2

Spotify Ep.5

1. Sunset Marquee
Performed by: Eddie Bullen
Written by: Eddie Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Kaleidoscope (2020)
Source: eddiebullen.com

2. Kaleidoscope
Performed by: Eddie Bullen
Written by: Eddie Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Kaleidoscope (2020)
Source: eddiebullen.com

3. Morpheus
Performed by: Eddie Bullen
Written by: Eddie Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Kaleidoscope (2020)
Source: eddiebullen.com

4. All Day Blues
Performed by: Quincy Bullen
Written by: Quincy Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Poise Debris (2018)
Source: quincybullen.com

5. Groove on Adelaide
Performed by: Quincy Bullen
Written by: Quincy Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Poise Debris (2018)
Source: quincybullen.com

6. Tomorrow
Performed by: Quincy Bullen
Written by: Quincy Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Poise Debris (2018)
Source: quincybullen.com

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: Bucky Adams

Bucky Adams - BHM

Born April 25, 1937 to a large family in Depression era Halifax, Charles “Bucky” Richmond Adams was fortunate to find himself in a musical household. Bucky Adams started teaching himself how to play instruments at a young age. By age 11, he entertained the Queen during a Royal visit to Halifax.

Adams played trumpet early on, until he literally blew his instrument to pieces mid-show. He replaced it with a saxophone he borrowed from his dad, after rushing home during the break.

Adams formed a band with several of his professors at Saint Francis Xavier University before playing in a series of Maritime bands. These included The Rockin Rebels, an early-integrated band in the 1960’s.

He played with Toronto émigré Joe Sealy and they gravitated to performing more jazz. Playing jazz found him sharing stages with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and other stalwarts of the genre. Singer Linda Carvery toured the Maritimes with Adams and Sealy before working with The Nova Scotia Mass Choir, some years later.

From The Lobster Trap with Louis Armstrong in the 1960’s, to The Middle Deck with B.B. King in 1974, Adams established himself in the Maritime music scene. In 1974, CBC released a 7” (45 rpm) record credited to Bucky Adams and The Musical Friends. The e.p. featured four covers, including one by fellow Maritimer Gene MacLellan.

The following he year he formed Basin Street, with whom he recorded his first full length album in 1976. The title “Bucky Adams and Basin Street at Privateers’ Warehouse” suggests a live recording, but was in fact recorded in a studio. Copies were presumably sold during their residency at the Halifax venue.

This time, covers including a funky instrumental of the hit “Ain’t No Sunshine” were mixed with originals, all of which, including “Bucky’s Blues,” were credited to the band collectively.

In addition to numerous television appearances, Adams was featured on Canada Express, a weekly music television program which won him a Gabriel Award from the United Nations, for excellence in broadcasting.

Generations was a 1980’s band Adams worked with, but his recorded output picked up in the c.d. age. In 1996 he released “In A Lovin’ Way” featuring songs inspired by his childhood such as “Africville Shuffle” and “Maynard Street.” “Live at the Thirsty Duck” followed, recorded with Adams’ son Corey in Halifax.

Adams joined forces with the Hungarian-Canadian Botos Brothers for his third release, and “Freedom” is Adams’ final disc.

Later in his six-decade career, Bucky Adams volunteered at the seniors’ home where he would eventually live. For over twenty years, the Northwood Centre in Halifax enjoyed weekly performances by Adams. He called it his “Wednesday night music therapy.” Corey described watching one such performance; people entered the room using canes and holding each other’s shoulders. Later, when they heard a song they recognized, they’d find the strength to get up, dance, and move to the music. CBC did a profile on Adams’ for his 70th birthday.

Charles “Bucky” Richmond Adams passed away at age 75 on July 13, 2012. He is survived by his partner Glenda, his wife Clara, five children and many grand children and great grand children. Several years later, the East Coast Music Awards announced the African Canadian Recording of the Year Award would be replaced by the Bucky Adams Memorial Award. It debuted at the 2016 ECMAs.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these videos about Bucky Adams:

1.Charles “Bucky” Adams: A Celebration of Life Tribute in Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK89IoN0Id4

2.Bucky Adams – Basin Street – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMsNLu_bjlI

Performed by: Bucky Adams
Written by: Edwin H. Morris, Spencer Williams
Produced by: Russ Brannon
Album: Bucky Adams And Basin Street At Privateers’ Warehouse
Source: Discogs

3.Bucky Adams & Basin Street – Afro Minor (Canada 1976) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQk2YEPpa6E

Performed by: Bucky Adams
Written by: Basin Street
Produced by: Russ Brannon
Album: Bucky Adams And Basin Street At Privateers’ Warehouse
Source: Discogs

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.