A True Currency column

This was my very first Canadian Music Week. I entered overwhelmed. I came out sharp, educated and inspired. I also am in a state of complete awe and admiration for all of the musicians, agents, promoters, producers, personalities and benefactors who were involved.

The whole thing could have been chaos for all of its parts, musicians, concerts, conferences, booths and affiliations, but these guys have been doing this event for over 30 years. It is a well-oiled, perfectly running machine.

Like an ant farm, we all play our roles in this creative game, making the process of bringing new music into the world not an unattainable luxury, but a commonplace staple, and it should be that way. Music should always be accessible.

I cannot go any further without thanking Audio Blood for letting me run up to Toronto and hungrily start throwing myself face-first into the tail end of Canadian Music Week.

I was especially motivated to attend for the Sync Summit alone; with keynote speakers like Spike Lee and Jared Smith, and conferences titled How To Get Booked For A Festival Even If Nobody Knows Your Name, you had better believe that Canadian Music Week is not just a “music festival,” so much as a big, beautiful buffet for musicians and industry insiders to network and take over the world collectively, once invaluable information has been traded off with each other.

If you’re a Canadian musician in any stage of your career, or an industry professional in any stage of your career, all I can say is getting your butt to CMW should be a vital part of your musical education.

I arrived in time for Friday’s Live Touring Summit. I was attending as both an industry professional and a working musician, so I took a lot of useful info away for both parts.

With panels boasting reps from our own local Greenland Productions, and as far away as New Zealand and Australia, Canadian Music Week, though taking place in Toronto, really opens up the rest of the world for us.

With a Mentors Café that allowed attendees to sit one-on-one with speakers and professionals, the festival was also manned by friendly, helpful staff and the Sheraton Hotel was more than welcoming – I say all this because I’ve attended at least a good fifty festivals or more and they can really be hit or miss. The miss ones kind of help you understand why Hunter Thompson would become such an abusive, savage maniac, chucking himself into a chemical tsunami. Thankfully, I didn’t need to resort to that. Not at this festival, anyway.

To capture the vastness of Canadian Music Week, I’ve broken my coverage into parts: Tune in tomorrow, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel, to read about Zoe Keating, The Gay Nineties and my critical ponderings on why Toronto beer is so expensive, yet so repulsive. (Exploitation of aforementioned event? Likely.)