Gear Up for Global Toronto 2021

Back in the bright and sunny days of early 2020, Global Toronto 2020 was poised to give young and emerging musicians a platform to perform and an opportunity to remind audiences of the breadth of talent found in Canadian music. 

Covid, of course, had other ideas, and last year’s celebration went online, showcasing 800 participants from a staggering 75 countries over the course of five days in July. 

We’re all hoping 2021 will be better and the promising news of two different vaccine trials even might make some of us optimistic that we’ll be able to enjoy live music together again, in person. Really! 

As part of that optimism and enthusiasm, and hoping to build on the success of previous events, GT21 is currently scheduled for June 14-18 and, as it currently stands, will take place online only (we can’t be too careful at this point and no one wants to be disappointed by having to reconfigure the festival late in the game. 

GT21 is now accepting applications for the festival, but submissions have to be received by December 6. 

“For millennia, the place we now call Toronto has been the site for the coming together of diverse populations, and its reputation as one of the world’s most multicultural cities continues that trajectory,” the festival’s website says. “Rooted in that history, and in this place, Global Toronto is dedicated to moving the music landscape forward, operating through a global lens. Global Toronto engages in, grows and reflects the diversity and excitement of the music sector.” 

Curious? 

Canadian bands that are encouraged to apply include those that “are amazing,” as well as those with a diversity of artistic and musical aesthetics, expressions and approaches. Also on the list of traits for which GT21 is looking include pushing the boundaries of genre; identify as part of an “equity-seeking community” and are ready for an international stage but have not yet been part of any GT events. A jury will be convened to review the submissions and select the participants “with three guiding factors in mind: Artistic excellence — quality, originality, presence, songwriting, performance, musicality; Market readiness — history of releases/performance/touring, a team/capacity (or a strong DIY effort), the ‘package’ (web presence, quality of materials); and Equity — representative of equity-seeking communities, marginalised populations, under-represented styles/formats/instruments.” 

And if you’re wondering what “equity seeking” means in this context, GT defines it as “those who face collective challenges in participating in society, including but not limited to: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour); 2SLGBTQ+, people with disabilities (physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric, learning) and more.” 

Ready to apply? Everything you need to know is right here

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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