By David Myles
Posts on the SOCAN blog Music.People.Connected. offer the opinions of the contributors only, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of SOCAN.
I had just finished sound check, was eating dinner pre-show, when the presenter came to tell us that New Brunswick had just issued a proclamation limiting public gatherings to fewer than 150 people.
Our show was cancelled, as well as every other gig we had planned for the next couple months. I was not alone, every musician I know was in a similar situation. You could see it everywhere.
Touring is our primary source of income. Now, without that revenue stream, the other sources of income become vitally important.
I was thinking about all this, while I was reading everyone’s posts, when it hit me: what would it look like if CBC Music/ICI Musique played all-Canadian/Franco-Canadian content for the next two months? It seemed easy and direct – a simple way to make a big difference.
The infrastructure already exists for SOCAN to collect the royalties and for CBC to program the music 24 hours a day.
CBC Music/Ici Musique’s mandate is already to support Canadian/Franco-Canadian music, their job is already to be engaged with it, and their on-air personalities already love it. And 24-hour Cancon might allow them to expose listeners to Canadian music that they haven’t already heard.
This would benefit Canadian artists, across all scales of the sector. From musicians cancelling a club tour, to Jessie Reyez, who was going to open the biggest tour in the world for Billie Eilish. Imagine how heavily invested she would have been in that tour, “all in,” with all the merch that was manufactured, for example.
CBC Music/Ici Musique taking this kind of action would make a real difference in the lives of all sorts of Canadian/Franco-Canadian musicians. It’s a tremendous opportunity.
Now is the time for them, and us, to rally around our creative community.