The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has announced the 30 recipients of the AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE financial assistance relief program, a joint effort between the CLMA and SOCAN, created to help small, independently owned and operated venues that have experienced significant financial challenges due to the pandemic.

From June 13 to July 13, independent live music venues with capacities of 500 or fewer in Canada were invited to apply to the program. The recipients were selected randomly by blind lottery, and each will receive $1,000 to help with recovery.

The 2022 AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE recipients are:

  • Aeolian Hall (London, ON)
  • Ausgang Plaza (Montréal)
  • Bez Arts Hub (Langley, BC)
  • Broken Record Bar & Music Room (Fredericton)
  • Bulldog Event Center (Winnipeg)
  • Cooperative Paradis (Rimouski, QC)
  • First Light Centre for Performance and Creativity (St. John’s, NL)
  • The Hayloft Dancehall (Cherry Valley, ON)
  • La Petite boîte noire (Sherbrooke, QC)
  • La Source de la Martinière (Québec City)
  • Le Pantoum (Québec City)
  • Le Verre Bouteille (Montréal)
  • LIVE! on Elgin (Ottawa)
  • Local Losers (Vernon, BC)
  • LopLops (Sault Ste. Marie, ON)
  • Lunenburg Opera House (Lunenberg, NS)
  • Supermarket Bar and Variety (Toronto)
  • Cameron Public House (Hudson, QC)
  • The CAP (Fredericton, NB)
  • The Caveau (Moncton, NB)
  • The Common / 9910 (Edmonton)
  • The Good Will Social Club (Winnipeg)
  • The Hart Gastown (Vancouver)
  • The LIDO (St. John, BC)
  • The Vat Pub (Red Deer, AB)
  • Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club (Winnipeg)
  • Victoria Event Centre (Victoria)
  • Vinyl Envy (Victoria)
  • West End Cultural Centre (Winnipeg)
  • Xeroz Arcade/Bar (Moncton, NB)

The initiative was created in partnership with SOCAN, which recognizes the intrinsic and vital relationship between their membership and live music venues.

“COVID has made it abundantly clear as to why partnerships are critical for our collective future,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “It’s by working together that we’ll be able to find our way to true recovery and beyond, and we’re grateful to SOCAN for their generosity and collaborative spirit. These venues are part of the heart of our community; the importance of the role they play in the industry cannot be overstated.”

“SOCAN is happy to work with the CLMA on such an important program,” said SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown. “We all missed concerts over the last couple of years, and we want to make sure that live music can return. Concerts are essential to our members, and to how we all experience our favourite songs.”

Following the Canadian government’s COVID lockdowns from the past two years, some small venues in Canada are returning to normal operations, but it will take time for them to return to pre-pandemic levels.

“The Canadian music industry was one of the hardest-struck sectors during the recent pandemic,” said Jon Evenchick, Owner and Manager of Live! On Elgin. “Live! On Elgin, like many other small businesses, was unable to pay our rent for many months due to closures and lockdowns. This grant from the CLMA will empower us to keep our doors open, so that we can continue to provide an invaluable service to grassroots musicians, who need an affordable room to play.”

Through AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE, a total of $30,000 has been distributed to eligible music venues that have experienced significant financial challenges due to the pandemic.

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The 20th edition of the Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (FME) was held from Sept. 1-4, 2022. Over the years, the annual festival – dedicated to the emerging music scene – has become a not-to-be-missed opportunity to discover new music in Québec. The 2022 version was no exception.

SOCAN presented one of the few “secret” shows that spice up the programming each year, featuring Alex Pic, leader of the Abitibi band Lubik, now pursuing a solo career. True to his reputation of giving shows in unusual places, Pic’s show took place in a bookstore on Sunday morning, to the delight of early birds.

Here are some images of the shows that impressed us most at this year’s FME.

Eli Brown has won the 2022 Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award, presented by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), in recognition of outstanding songwriting achievements in his early career, as an emerging star in-the-making. (Singer-songwriter Lou-Adriane Cassidy was similarly honoured as the Francophone Winner; click here for French news item.) In addition to receiving a cash prize, Brown and Cassidy will be highlighted at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Sept. 24, 2022, at Massey Hall in Toronto.

“It’s a privilege to be recognized here at home,” said Brown. “Canada has been dominating the charts for the past few years, and it’s cool to have contributed to this new wave. Thank you to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Slaight Family.”

“From an innovative producer-songwriter who is making waves in hip hop, to a pop-alt singer-songwriter who has been twice shortlisted for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, this year’s winners of the Slaight Music Emerging Songwriters Award exemplify how talented and diverse the lexicon of Canadian songwriting truly is,” said Nick Fedor, Director, CSHF.  “Without songwriters, there would be no songs to sing — so it’s imperative that we support and foster the success of emerging songwriters today, so that we can continue the legacy of celebrating Canadian songwriting excellence tomorrow. On behalf of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, congratulations Eli and Lou-Adriane on this deserving recognition.”

Eli Brown is a Los Angeles-based, platinum-selling Canadian songwriter and record producer, originally from Brampton, Ont. He’s best known for his work on Drake’s “In The Bible,” with Lil Durk & Giveon, and Chris Brown & Young Thug’s “Big Slimes,” featuring Gunna and Lil Durk. Inspired by sounds of the analog era, Eli caught the attention of numerous established producers with his unique and creative sound designs and relentless work ethic. As a true creative and music business innovator, he recognized the need for his fresh approach to “soundscapes” in today’s music, and created Loophole Sounds, a ground-breaking music tech company that creates sound design tools now used and loved by many industry creatives. Eli has collaborated with major artists and producers including Tommy Brown, PARTYNEXTDOOR, No-ID, Rex Kudo, DaHeala, and London On Da Track. The primary focus of the next phase of his creative growth is strengthening his skills in executive production and artist development. In partnership with global hit-producer Wondagurl (Drake, Travi$ Scott, Jay Z), he’s co-developing emerging artist Rhyan Douglas with global domination being the only goal in mind.

Brown has recently signed a global co-publishing deal with Toronto-based music rights company Kilometre Music Group as part of a joint venture with multi-platinum hit producer Tommy Brown (Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber).

Established in 2017, the Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award has shortlisted and bestowed the honour to songwriters who’ve gone on to have high-trajectory careers, including JUNO Alternative Album of the Year winner Mustafa; four-time 2022 JUNO winner Charlotte Cardin; and platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist Jessie Reyez.