As the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) enters its 68th year in 2017 as the oldest music trade association in Canada, not only can it look back on its storied history as an agent of change and a dogged opponent of legislative stagnancy in matters relating to safeguarding and advancing the interests of composers and publishers, it can also look forward to a similarly ambitious agenda in the coming year, in creating global business opportunities for its members and promoting their interests, and those of their songwriting partners through advocacy, communication and education.

A recently released report by Circum Network Inc. on the state of the Canadian music publishing industry, commissioned by CMPA and the Association des professionnels de l’édition musicale (APEM), revealed that, in the most recent year, their members’ businesses generated $199 million in revenues – 73 percent of that total from foreign sources.

Margaret McGuffin

Margaret McGuffin

The association will build on that solid foundation moving forward with Executive Director Margaret McGuffin and newly-elected President Vincent Degiorgio at the helm. Jodie Ferneyhough, with his 13 years of domestic and international experience as CMPA President and as a board member of the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), remains on the CMPA board as Vice President.

McGuffin, who will oversee the CMPA’s various strategic initiatives in the next year – which will focus on advocacy, leadership, education, market development, promotion and member relations – has been widely hailed as the right person at the right time to take on the challenges that await given her impressive body of experience which includes time as CEO of the Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC), as a member of the senior executive team at Access Copyright, and as a consultant to some of Canada’s leading copyright collectives, including the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA). She started her career at Connect Music Licensing (previously AVLA) and Music Canada (then CRIA).

“In the coming year, CMPA will collaborate with other trade organizations, including those in ACCORD and the Music Policy Coalition, to pursue our overall objective of strengthening the Canadian music publishing industry,” says CMPA President Vincent Degiorgio. “We will continue to champion the role of music publishers, songwriters and music creators in areas such as copyright, Canadian content in the digital world, and Canada’s innovation agenda.”

Creating global business opportunities for its members is an integral part of the association’s market development strategy which includes trade missions for publishers and songwriters, and the continuation of the highly successful Canadian Music Café initiative held during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It provides the opportunity for a select group of Canadian creators to showcase for a lineup of prominent music supervisors from the worlds of film, TV, advertising and video games.

CMPA is also providing international business-to-business opportunities with programs like CMPA Create Germany and CMPA Create L.A., which will provide the opportunity for its publisher members to meet with their peers, record labels, film and TV music supervisors in those territories, and offer the chance for their songwriters to collaborate with local writers during songwriting camps.

Beyond member relations, which will see the association develop enhanced communications to its members and stakeholders, CMPA is on a mission to define and increase the profile of music publishing by educating partners and stakeholders – and the public at large – on the role of music publishers and their song writing partners.

Many a publisher has mused over the glazed look they get at social engagements when they respond to the question of “What do you do?” CMPA and APEM, in collaboration with the SOCAN Foundation, recently defined, with great clarity, the role of music publishers with an engaging animated video featuring Sophie the songwriter and Patrick, her music publisher. Thanks to this short but informative production, the answer to that dinner party question is now, “Here, have a look at this!”