2016 Year In Review

As 2016 comes to a close, we take a look back at highlights of Music Canada Live’s second year in operation. Thank you to our founding members, members and many stakeholders who continue to support the association and recognize the value and power of a united, clear voice for Canada’s live music industry.

Wishing you all the best for safe and restful holiday season,

Erin Benjamin
Executive Director
Music Canada Live

Looking Back at 2016

First Ever Canadian Live Music Industry Awards: A Resounding Success
Federal Advocacy Objective: 5 Key Recommendations for Growth
Smart Practices: Tool and Resource Development for Members
Working Groups: Research and Key Dialogue
Annual General Meeting: Our First Board Election
Austin-Toronto Music Business Trade Summit: The Business of the Music Business
US Dollar: Championing the Needs of Members
Membership Milestones: Music Canada Live Surpasses 100 Members
Secondary Ticketing: Action and Activity
Regional Advisory Council Program: Local Conversations, National Goals
Partnerships: It Takes a Village…

Looking Forward to 2017

What’s Coming Up in the New Year

The First Ever Canadian Live Music Industry Awards

In May, Music Canada Live co-presented the inaugural Live Music Industry Awards with our founding member, Canadian Music Week. The awards boasted a total of 133 nominees from across the country including an impressive selection of live music greats – for and non-profit, big and small, rural and urban. Celebrated in a ceremony hosted by Collective Concert’s Jeff Cohen and Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham that featured performances from New Swears and Kloe, the show was sponsored by the El Mocambo. The Canadian Live Music Industry Awards celebrate the best of the live music business sector and were a highlight of CMW’s Live Music Summit.

See full list of winners here.

Canadian Music Week and Music Canada Live are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Live Music Industry Awards will be held Friday, April 19, 2017 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.


Federal Advocacy Objectives

In October, Music Canada Live shared our submission for the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Cultural Policy Review.

As announced at the AGM in September, the Music Canada Live federal advocacy agenda includes the 5 key recommendations. These recommendations were made to Canadian Heritage to effectively support the Minister Melanie Joly’s efforts as she re-imagines this country’s cultural policy framework and to reinforce the economic, social and cultural value of live music.

Music Canada Live’s recommendations are as follows:

  1. With the industry’s guidance, draft and implement a federal live music strategy
  2. Complete a national economic impact study on Canada’s live music industry
  3. Create a national investment strategy for the commercial and not for profit concert industry, inclusive of festivals
  4. Convene a federal task force examining the health and well being of Canada’s live music stages
  5. Facilitate the creation of new sub-domains (live music) for Statistics Canada’s Culture Satellite Account


Smart Practices


Working Groups, Research and Key Dialogue

  • Music Canada Live has been working with CAPACOA and other organizations in a Performing Arts Taxation Working Group to advocate for revisions to key international non resident tax legislation and regulations.
  • Music Canada Live continues it’s work in a key role with the Ontario Live Music Working Group, a Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport industry initiative, convened to help inform music policy within the Province of Ontario including the core objective of a provincial live music strategy. It’s co-chaired by Executive Director Erin Benjamin and Assistant Deputy Minister (MTCS), Kevin Finnerty.
  • Music Canada Live has engaged with the City of Toronto, the Film and Entertainment office and Toronto members including sitting on an industry-led noise bylaw review committee and attending meetings convened by the City in support of local venues and clubs. 2016 also saw a continuing dialogue between the City of Ottawa and Music Canada Live on behalf of its members working towards live music research in the City of Ottawa.
  • Music Canada Live also continues to pursue a dialogue with the Nova Scotia Departments of Finance re: alcohol and gaming regulatory and legislative environment, as well as the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (for more on these efforts see Regional Advisory Councils).
  • Music Canada Live continues to be very active in its role in the 2017 JUNO host committee, engaging with City Councillors and staff advancing the music cities agenda on behalf of live music.
  • Released by Music Canada with support from Music Canada Live in December of 2015, the report Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario continues to open multiple doors and facilitate dialogue with the important statistics and findings; demonstrating the size and scope of the industry in the province of Ontario. The benchmark study takes a comprehensive look at the impact of live music and has served as a most powerful calling card for the association in conversations with government across the country.


Annual General Meeting and First Board Election

Thank you Lula Lounge for hosting this celebratory event and for founding and new board members, past and present who volunteer their time on behalf of their national organization.

Read full press release.


Austin-Toronto Music Business Trade Summit

Music Canada Live was pleased to produce and participate in the inaugural Austin-Toronto Music Business Trade Summit in Toronto, June 2016. Attendees included music industry professionals from businesses operating in either Austin TX or Toronto, City Councillors and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

The Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance is a first-of-its-kind partnership between two of the world’s music epicentres. Led by private industry stakeholders, with support and partnership from both cities, the purpose of the Alliance is to create new music industry revenue, trade and commerce opportunities between the two cities.

For a recap of the event watch this report by City News.


US Dollar

In January 2016, Music Canada Live sent letters to Ministers Morneau, Joly, Chagger and FINA Committee Chair Easter, helping them to understand the impact of the low dollar on the “concert sector, and those companies and community organizations who bring a wonderful variety of exceptional talent to their audiences, employ tens of thousands of Canadians, add to the culture of our country and provide exponential economic benefit to local, regional and provincial businesses.”

Read Executive Director Erin Benjamin’s letter to the industry, published in FYI Music News.


Membership – Music Canada Live Surpasses 100 Members

Our members aren’t just the lifeblood of this organization, they are the heartbeat of the live music industry across the country. If you would like to discuss becoming a part of Music Canada Live, please contact Lara Farcasan, Networking and Outreach Manager at lfarcasan@musiccanadalive.ca.


Secondary Ticketing

Music Canada Live and a team of members began working with MPP for Kingston and the Islands (ON) Sophie Kiwala who proposed a Private Members Bill in the form of an amendment to the Ticket Speculation Act. Music Canada Live was able to offer its resources and expertise to the MPP to help ensure the proposed changes to the legislation are in the best interest of the industry.

The bill has had its second reading and now awaits discussion and debate in front of the General Government Committee where stakeholders can participate (as Music Canada Live will) and present feedback and recommendations regarding amendments to the proposed amendment which has been publicly supported by the Attorney General.

MPP Kiwala has asked for support for the amendment, including the signing of a petition. Music Canada Live Advocacy Committee has recommended members support the MPP’s initiative by way of signature.


Regional Advisory Council Program

Music Canada Live’s first advocacy program, inspired by recommendations from the Music Cities & the work of Music Canada, the Regional Advisory Council Program launched November 2015 with the first Councils in BC and Quebec.

Through the course of 2016 three Regional Advisory Councils established chairs, each with for and not for profit leadership. Councils continue to develop capacity and pursue research of issues presented by stakeholders. The program continues to inform the work of Music Canada Live through its many working groups, members and directly on behalf of the organization’s members.

Highlights from 2016 include:

  • Directly delivered sector’s priorities for the BC Music Fund to Creative BC (fund’s administration) and advised on live music program guidelines.
  • Working with City of Halifax to implement a live music task force to draft a live music strategy.
  • Convened first live music meeting in Ottawa, providing an opportunity to network and connect the industry to the work of the City of Ottawa with the help of members TD Place in May.

Please contact Lara Farcasan, Networking and Outreach Manager at lfarcasan@musiccanadalive.ca for more information on the Regional Advisory Council program or to participate in a Regional Advisory Council in your area.



Over the course of 2016 Music Canada Live entered into over 25 key and innovative partnerships, from sitting on panels, sponsoring awards, to creating full blown events. Thank you to each and every partner for your role in celebrating and championing live music.

Ambitious City
Arboretum Festival
Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance
BreakOut West
Canadian Music Week
Canadian Organization of Campus Activities
Canadian Event Safety Alliance
City of Halifax
City of London
City of Toronto
Creative BC
East Coast Music Association
Folk Alliance International
Folk Music Ontario
Guelph Chamber of Commerce
Halifax Pop Explosion

London Music Office
M for Montreal
Mundial Montreal
Music New Brunswick
Music Canada
Nova Scotia Music Week
Ottawa Festivals
Ontario Media Development Corporation/Ontario Music Fund
Ottawa Music Industry Coalition
Ottawa Women in the Music Industry
Toronto Women in Music

Unison Benevolent Fund
Women in Music Canada


Looking Forward to 2017

As Music Canada Live welcomes 2017 and Canada’s 150th year, it will continue to ensure:

  • Live music has representation at policy tables at every level of government.
  • That the association continues to build strong, stand-alone relationships with all governments.
  • That key corporate and other partnerships that advance goals and needs of members continue to be identified.
  • That research that reinforces the economic weight and significance of the sector is prioritized.
  • That a deeper relationship with the tourism industry is forged.
  • As live music continues to grow as a revenue source for artists, Music Canada Live works to meet the needs of its members through strategic advocacy and a dedicated suite of relevant programs and services.

Happy New Year from the Board and Staff of Music Canada Live!


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