Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Canadian Music Week 2012!
By Maurice Ali
The official CMW guide on the left and a flyer for a band on the right. That band
(giveaway Canadian with its cultural mix) also gave away business cards
and a pin-on button with their logo, which I lost - pisses me off !
I should tell you from the outset that I had no intention of reporting on Canadian Music Week 2012 (May 21-25, 2012). I have reported on the trade show for the past couple of years and had lost all interest in doing it again. So I, in a fit of regret, I rushed over to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel located in downtown Torontol to check it out.
It seems that this was as good a moment as any to make some comments about the music industry and the Canadian music market. First of all there is a noticeable separation between the broadcast world and the "hands on" music world. You can see it in how the event is scheduled. The seminars and trade show is located at the Royal York Hotel, one of the most expensive in the country. The rest are located at bars and clubs where the real music people rub shoulders with the common folk. Occasionally the suits at the broadcast tribe will bring in a band or two to play their"minstrel show" at the Royal York. But they aren't going anywhere like the Rivoli or Elmo. But sooner or later the broadcasters and music people - what is left of them - have to rub shoulders at some seminars and it is here I would like to present some evidence of what is wrong with our beloved music industry.
In the photos that follow you will see the usual heavy drinking at business meetings. Not a Scotch on the rocks but plain old beer. In the old days when a hit song could set a record label up for the year, the staff could relax and smoke a few, drink a lot and hang out with the cool people. Those days are gone and you guys have got to get your game face on! If your job is not on the line now it could soon be as the music industry gets populated with former advertising guys like me. They don't take to drinking on the job so easily. The music is in desperate straights and drinking at trade functions is simply unacceptable. You work for me the limit is one glass if even that!
Evidence of drinking at one seminar!
Apart from that there was the usual petitioning of bands handing out business cards, CDs and plastic cards with codes to download their music for evaluation. There is also a large, thick booklet with every venue and each day's event for the real music people. Even buttons of bands as I found out.
CDs and business cards and plastic cards with downloadable music
(two cards shown front and back)!
As for Canadian Music Week and the remaining record labels. I can only say that over the past few years I can't find any of them. Price is the obstacle. If I could petition for change it would be to drop the price for booths for registered businesses as record labels. Let the people who make the music come back into the business at CMW's trade show! Move the venue from the Royal York to somewhere less expensive and make it a real trade show. A thirty year tradition based on pot possession claims against the Beatles (at the Royal York Hotel) has lost its luster.
An interview of an actual musician at the Royal York Hotel!
The bottom line for the Canadian Music Week and Canadian music industry is that there was a huge vacuum created when the industry collapsed and in this vacuum came guys like me, who never had anything to do with the music industry, but these guys are all business, drive cheap old cars and admire the "Spartan philosophy" and some even sleep on the hard floors - real hardcore those Spartan guys can be. I am one of the better ones, sympathetic to the creative artists with a soft touch to accompany my skills. As the economy improves, so will come the real opportunists with more money and a new form of ruthlessness that doesn't come with guys like me. There is money in the music business and if the music people can't figure it out, we will. I can't put it any plainer than that.
Canadian Music Week 2012 goes, not with a bang, but a whimper.
FOF RECORDS: CUTTING EDGE MUSIC!