Behind the Scenes at Canadian Music Week

[This is from my weekly column in the Metro papers. – AC]

A giant chunk of the Canadian music industry (and chunks of the industry from the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Australasia) is now arriving in Toronto for Canadian Music Week, the largest conference of its kind in the country and one of the biggest in the world.

There are two sides to CMW: the outward fan-facing experience featuring more than 1,000 bands playing at dozens of venues, plus the film and comedy festivals. Then there’s the industrial-grade experience which is directed at insiders from radio, TV, record labels, music retail, promoters, managers and the rest of the star-making machinery behind the popular song.

It’s this second part — the stuff the public never gets to hear about — in which I’m most interested. So much business gets done at the bars and over dinner. Relationships begin with accidental meetings in hotel lobbies and outside of gigs. And then there are all the discussion sessions that take place as part of the industry concert. These talks — scheduled as conferences within the conference — will help shape the future of music as we know it.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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