Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Canadian Music Week: Part 1
By Maurice Ali: FOF Records/FOF Inc. and Journalist
Some old stock from the old days where we sold CDs throught store front record stores!
The Canadian Music Week Convention is now separate from the Canadian Music Week performances. The vast array of music being played in the venues around Toronto this week are really for the music lovers. The convention is pure business. That is what I love, but I won't be there this year. The reason is simple and it is the 1,000 dollar entry fee. Worse yet is the two hundred fifty dollar student pass to get in. What student has 250 dollars to go to a convention? It is clear to me that Canadian Music Week does not get it. Do they have any idea what has been going on the last few years? I really would like a head count of the actual number of real record labels that were in attendance (as opposed to big multi-media giants looking for prey.....) and my guess would only be a handful.
Apart from the money, I would shy away because of the negative atmosphere that still permeates the industry. Personally dealing with once big industry retailers and seeing them go bust was heartbreaking. There is spilt blood everywhere and the feeling has a carry-over effect to the optimistic and more avant-guard corporations like Fortress have at the present time. Still I want my voice heard at venues like this. It is obvious, by that entry fee, that they are simply not interested in us at the lower end.....
Fortress is in the rather unique position of practically being a mid-sized company for a record label. How so? Simply this; by all standards FOF is small business, but the music industry is so decimated now that there is no more traditional mid-sized record companies. Fortress Of Freedom Inc. is the closest thing with it's small troop and multi-media ability and corporate conglomerate status. That is actually a rather heady position to be in as we slowly claw our way out of recession and the rationalization of the music industry. Nothing is for sure but we have a chance to make a mark on the music scene and people like Shane and the others who have shown their loyalty to the rather unique vision of only a few years ago, may be the really big winners here.
I have a feeling that if I did shell out the grand for the convention and the Gene Simons photo op (how much of the entry fee whet to get him there.....), I would only be snubbed by big business there and the last gasps of any label still kidding themselves that they can make money from CDs. Still, at 250 dollars it would have been worth it to rub shoulders with everyone and really talk about the issues the pertain to all of us. That will not happen this year, the industry priced itself out of Canadian Music Week!
I have more urgent matters. For one, we are involved in an iPhone application for direct purchase through customer's cell phones. That is where it is "at" in today's reality. Next year Canadian Music Week had better be more inclusive to the industry in the future, or it will be made redundant.
Gianna with one of our last retail cheques from Sam The Record Man!
From files of Maurice Ali