Conventions & Awards

Canadian Music Week 2015 Recap: Spike Lee, Panels, Showcases and More

image from www.musicbc.orgCMW2015 has concluded with its  full rotation of panels, showcases, mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as a keynote speech by Spike Lee. Yet again, Canadian Music Week cemented its valuable place on the music industry calendar

SynchAudio recaps the highlights of the festival

Running from May 1st to 10th, Canadian Music Week has begun to evolve into a ten days festival that touches every corner of downtown Toronto. With so many years of operation it runs smoothly, like a well oiled machine, and isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. With a fully packed schedule of panels and networking on the inside, and hundreds of live performances on the outside, you can see why there is no rest for Canadian Music Week!

image from www.musicbc.orgThere’s something for everyone at Canadian Music Week. For indie artists, like those SynchAudio represents, there are multiple opportunities to meet with industry professionals (such as the Sync Summit), for the pros to network and cut deals among themselves (The International Marketplace), and for anyone in the industry to sit in on educational sessions on self marketing, booking tours and getting heard on the radio.

Panels ran from approximately 9am until 5pm and were generally divided into three topics: Music (touring and licensing), Radio and Digital Media. 
Some of the more memorable Digital Media panels included one of the opening keynotes with Brian Solis, “It’s Time to Move on to Social Media 2.0” where he addressed the importance of digital media in your marketing campaign.

We were also entertained by Tatiana Simonian, a vibrant and engaging speaker who presented “Bands and Brands, Big Data means Big Opportunities”. Tatiana shared intriguing stats from Nielson Entertainment, and demonstrated that artists ought to be capitalizing on the fact that brands are activating specifically around their profiles and their music. With significant returns to be made for bands and brands alike, independent artists must seek to empower themselves using digital media marketing strategies and cooperate with like minded brands.

Live music and touring was a big component this year, featuring aptly titled panels like “How to Get Booked For a Festival Even If Nobody Knows Who You Are”. These panels were led by booking agencies and festival organizers from all over the world and offered a great opportunity for local bands to get their music into the hands of those responsible for securing their spot on major shows.

During the Sync Summit, 28 top music supervisors were invited to directly inform and educate participants from the wider CMW event. Indie artists, managers and label reps all came to swim with the big fish of music supervision, and according to SynchAudio founder Farinoush Mostaghimi, “It was a great time for business networking and we created more possibilities for artists to sit directly with professionals.” You can check out the full review of the Sync Summit online here.

There were other opportunities for patrons to create meetings with the pros, including The Mentor’s Café (hosted by Gary Taylor, Benom Plumb, Catherine Moore and Bob Breen) that allowed you to get up close and personal with a one on one, face to face meeting. Mentor’s Café was an important rendezvous for eager minds to meet with their mentors for invaluable advice from various sectors of the music industry including broadcast and licensing.

But it would have been remiss, of course, for a festival of this size and stature to not feature live music. And on this note, CMW2015 was again a mega hit.

The festival exploded across downtown Toronto with hundreds of showcases all over the city. We caught as many as we could, including jazz act Vito Rezza (certainly one of the top jazz percussionists in the world) in the elegantly casual atmosphere of the Jazz Bistro.

CMW brought out big name mainstream artists like Colbie Caillat, Magic!, Death Cab For Cutie and Of Monsters And Men, and there were also multiple awards shows including the 15th Annual Indies presented by Sirius XM.


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