With Canadian Music Week in full swing this week, we asked Conference Manager Danya Dixon and Executive VP International Gary Taylor to tell us more about the event, and what’s in store for CMW 2015.
Danya Dixon, Conference Manager & Programming Director for CMW.
For those who don’t know much about CMW can you give us a brief overview of the event, how it’s structured, etc.?
CMW is comprised of many different events including the music, film and comedy festivals, 4 awards shows and 3 conferences.
How on earth do you go about managing and programming such a huge event?
Believe it or not, we start planning a year in advance. We have an incredible team who are dedicated to making these events a huge success and fun for all.
With so much going on what advice would you give to attendees trying to plan and organize and maximize their CMW experience?
Start prepping in advance to avoid disappointment. Our programming schedules for both the conferences and festivals are posted online in advance to ensure the planning process is smooth sailing. There is a lot to choose from, so you have to narrow down what it is that you are looking to get from attending. Are you in it for the networking, coming to enjoy your favorite band or wanting to learn from the pros in the biz? Once you have that figured out, you can start planning for your CMW experience.
Any top tips for CMW 2015?
If you are coming to network and get noticed, bring business cards, have your websites and social media platforms up-to-date. Look and be presentable! I believe first impressions matter in this industry! Be the person who stands out (for all the right reasons)!
Gary Taylor, Executive VP International for CMW (you can read more about Gary here)
Can you tell us about some of the speaker / keynote highlights coming up for 2015’s CMW?
First off, now in its 33rd year, Canadian Music Week is recognized as one of the premier entertainment events in North America focusing on the business of music. The Canadian Music Week festival spans 10 nights of performances, with 1,000 showcasing bands at more than 60 live music venues in downtown Toronto. All convention functions take place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street W. Toronto.
Leading off the charge of Globally recognized Recoding Artists is Bryan Adams who is the 2015 recipient of the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award. The award – bestowed to the singer-songwriter in recognition of his social activism and benevolent support of humanitarian interests and causes – will be presented on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards gala in Toronto during Canadian Music Week 2015. Held at the conference centre, The Gala is attended by the Who’s Who of the Canadian Music Industry and our guests from all over the World! It is played out with a party of over 1,000 attendees and the production of it is second to none!
We’re very proud that every year CMW manages to secure important and relevant music and multi-media key note speakers who impact the Entertainment business globally. This year we see Cameron Strang, Chairman CEO, Warner/Chappell Music & Warner Bros. Records World Wide doing a Fireside Chat with Ralph Simon, CEO & Founder Mobilium Global Limited London, UK. Cameron just happens to be a proud Canadian from Vancouver who attended the University Of British Columbia and graduated in Law. You can imagine trying to get Cameron away from his responsibilities was a bit of a chore and it took a team of us to keep on target and secure a commitment from him and his team. No doubt we’re pretty damned ecstatic about hosting him!
And I must mention the truly esteemed Ralph Simon, Cameron’s interviewer. Ralph is a true friend of CMW and our inner circle CMW team. We can always count on him to come up every year and wax eloquently to our delegates as a speaker on relevant panels of his expertise and do interviews such as Cameron. Ralph’s bio begins with: “Ralph Simon is acknowledged as one of the founders of the modern mobile entertainment & content industry. Over the last 17 years, he has been a prominent global mobile trailblazer and innovator, helping grow the mobile entertainment, health and content industry while playing a central role in its impact and presence. Today, mobile is a key platform to reach the over seven billion mobile subscribers worldwide.”
You’ll get the drift of why Ralph is held in such high esteem from us and the rest of the World who are hip to Mobile creators. He remains accessible and humble throughout it all. You could almost see him on a beach in Hawaii surfing his butt off and hanging with the locals.
Next up is a Fireside chat with Spike Lee. Another score by the team at CMW. I mean, come on, Spike Lee for Crumbs sake. If that isn’t a hook to get excited about I can’t imagine what is. Spike will be waxing at a Fireside Chat being interviewed by the esteemable Richard Crouse. Richard is a television personality and host on Canadian television and news. He has been the film critic for Canada AM since 2005 and is the regular film critic for CTV’s NewsChannel and the twenty-four hour news source CP24.
The list of heavyweights who are amongst the leaders in the Biz is pretty well off the hook. Some of the stalwarts are:
Rich Bengloff – President, A2IM New York. Rich’s perspective on the music industry and independent music in particular, has been frequently published in both trade (Billboard, FMQB, etc.), consumer print and digital publications (NY Times, Hypebot, Huffington Post, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, Daily Tech, etc.), and other media (Bloomberg Television, NPR) etc.
Dave Berg – Nashville TN. He has received Songwriter of the Year honors from ASCAP, Billboard, and NSAI. In 2007, his co-written song “Stupid Boy” recorded by Keith Urban, earned a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance. Recent activity includes “Wine After Whiskey” which appears on Carrie Underwood’s latest album Blown Away, and “While He Still Knows Who I Am,” which Kenny Chesney cut for Welcome to the Fishbowl.
Maurin Auxemery – Artistic programmer, Festival International De Jazz De Montréal. Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival by Guinness World Records, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has been synonymous with a passion for music for over three decades.
There are too many more to list however a look into our speaker list will show you the scope of it all.
What artists are you excited about seeing at the showcases?
Bio: Hailing from Kelowna, British Columbia, The Wild! are living anything but the cliché faux-California lifestyle the Okanagan is known for. Instead, they are ripe with grit, Southern-fried twang and a give-‘em-hell attitude that has struck a chord with listeners everywhere. Blending a bold mixture of supercharged rock and roll, blues and equipped punkrock attitude, The Wild! is recognized as being a reckless group of individuals who write music for reckless groups of individuals.
Bio: GOODWOOD ATOMS is a band born of the prehistoric beauty of British Columbia. Their name suggests that in everything terrestrial, there’s something cosmic, something eternal. It speaks to their sound, too, which weaves acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocals into otherworldly soundscapes, held together by a rhythmic backbone that winds like a helix towards tribal grooves, triumphant climaxes and atmospheric breakdowns.
Bio: Skye Wallace is Vancouver’s babely, badass purveyor of dark folk. Simultaneously visceral and ethereal, she has been revered coast to coast as “a national treasure” (Sad Mag). A truly powerful, captivating, and dynamic performer, this girl is known for her sultry songwriting and a charged live show that is bound to stick with you.
From a music licensing and sync perspective is this a good event to attend in order to engage with brands, agencies, and music supervisors?
Sync licensing is the catch phrase in this day and age of music streaming, free downloading and downright musical theft. Music lovers love music, love the bands and artists that make the music HOWEVER they somehow justify that just because musicians love what they do and love to build fan bases they feel fan based spiritual collatoral is enough payment! Bottomline very few muso’s are making a living in the music biz because of this. Therefore sync licensing is the flavour of the day and most likely forever. Everyone has to leap into that circle of revenue. This is why every musician, manager etc. have to seriously consider attending CMW’s SYNC SUMMIT.
Can you tell us a little bit about the CMW Sync Summit?
It’s a golden opportunity to meet, impress and build a new direct business relationship! And get contacts to 30 of some of the very top music supervisors in Film, TV, advertising and game initiatives. Speakers participating in this year’s Sync Summit have worked on a variety of mainstream and cutting edge Indie projects including major television shows, motion pictures, games and iconic cultural brands.
Is CMW a good place to come if you’re hoping to break into or do business with the Canadian music market? Are there opportunities for international companies within this market?
With up to 3,000 delegates and 99.999% of those attendees being neck deep into the music business, it’s hard to think that you couldn’t think of CMW as a sold foundation to build a career in the music biz and do business in Canada. And to top that off it’s Internationals doing business with Internationals.
Dig this great dialogue to Neill Dixon (CMW’s founder and President), from Jens-Markus Wegener (Managing Director, Imagem Music Berlin)
I have a little success story to tell you that happened during my trip to Canadian Music Week and your Spotlight on Germany/2014.
We recently signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with Andrew Campbell – Managing Director / Radio Promotion – Gordeon – Berlin – http://www.gordeonmusic.de/. The first time I ever met him was at CMW. Without you guys we wouldn’t have signed him even though we are both based in Berlin. Isn´t that great? Yes, we Berlin based Folks need to go to Toronto to get to know each other!
Thanks for your tireless work!
Jens-Markus Wegener – Managing Director – Imagem Music – Berlin – http://us.imagem-music.com/“