A Cool Opportunity for Any Canadian Musician: Air Miles’ Big Break Contest

The people at Air Miles and their partners at Live Nation know how frustrating in can be for music fans in small towns across Canada. Big tours only hit the major centres, leaving them having to travel long distances to see major concerts. It’s also difficult for musicians in these centres. Sure, you can play at the local Legion, but there’s gotta be more to gigging than that, right?

Enter Big Break, a sub-contest tied to the Air Miles Detour campaign.

Organizers are looking for Canadian musicians–any musician, regardless of genre, age, whatever–to post a performance video set in an unusual place. Around the beginning of June, a panel of music industry people (me included) will pick one artist to open for the big Detour concert later this year. All expenses paid, of course. You can view the videos that have already been submitted here.

Wait. Back up.

  • The Detour contest works like this. Air Miles wants to bring a big, big concert featuring a big, big star to a small, small town (cf. the above reference to being off the beaten track and the use of the word “detour,” geddit?). Five communities across Canada were nominated in consultation with music industry experts. Past musical heritage counted as does the area’s current musical culture. After much angsty decision-making, it came down to these five towns:
  • Nelson BC
  • Moose Jaw SK
  • Mulmur ON
  • Morin Heights QC
  • Port Hawksbury NS

Air Miles cardholders are invited to go here to pick the town they’d like to see get the gig. Once you set your town, all the Air Miles points you earn over the course of the coming weeks will count as votes for that community. (You keep your points, of course.) Whichever town has the most votes wins. Simple, right?

If you have an Air Miles card, here’s a chance for you to bring a serious music to a community that might otherwise never see such a thing. And if you’re a musician, why not give Big Break a shot?


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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