Music News Digest, Sept. 18, 2017

ADISQ recently unveiled the nominations for the 2017 edition of its awards ceremony, which will be hosted for the 12th year by comedian Louis-José Houde at Place des Arts’ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal on Oct. 29, and televised live by ICI Radio-Canada.

Daniel Bélanger and Klô Pelgag head the list of nominees with seven and five creative award nominations, respectively (and several more industry award nominations). The Alaclair Ensemble rap group, Patrice Michaud, Avec pas d'casque and Céline Dion all received four nominations each, while 2Frères, Alex Nevsky, Les soeurs Boulay, Peter Peter and Safia Nolin earned three each. In all, 117 artists and 88 craftspeople and music industry professionals share a total of 276 nominations. For a complete list of ADISQ nominations, visit here 

—Near-perfect late summer weather in Toronto on the weekend ensured the success of the second edition of the Kensington Market Jazz Festival. The festival launch party was held on Friday evening at clothing store Tom's Place, with a grand piano brought in for the fest. It was christened in fine style by acclaimed singer/pianist (and now a CBC Radio host) Laila Biali, while Persian-Canadian artist Sina Bathaie also performed.

City councillor Joe Cressy and Mayor John Tory were on hand for the event, the latter stressing the importance of the arts in making T.O. a creative city. KMJF founder Molly Johnson accepted all the accolades with grace, and others on hand included Greg Godovitz, Joanne Smale, scene mainstays Rosie Levine and Patti Habib, Gary Cormier, Universal's Warren Stewart, Richard Flohil, and Celine Peterson (Oscar's daughter). 

—This month Music PEI is bringing delegates from across the globe to participate in the province's annual music business development conference, Showcase PEI. In this initiative, 50 international delegates are attending, while showcases feature up to 22 of PEI’s top artists. The event has helped to create over $2M in work for PEI artists since its inception. The showcases in different PEI venues present the artists' music to festival buyers, promoters, agents and venue programmers in private showcases in an effort to create new business opportunities. 

In tandem with industry associations in England and Denmark, the Artist Exchange Program pairs an artist from PEI together with an artist from those countries. The artists co-write for 2 days, go on a tour of the Maritimes and perform at Showcase PEI. This is a reciprocal program with our artists going to England and Denmark with the same opportunities. This year PEI’s Dylan Menzie is partnering with UK artist Jake Morley and Nick Doneff is paired with Denmark’s Ida Wenøe. More details here

—The Tragically Hip documentary Long Time Running received unanimous critical praise in its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last week. On Sunday, it was announced that the film, directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier, placed as the first runner-up for the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award. The winner was Agnès Varda and JR’s Faces Places

Held last Wednesday at The Mod Club in Toronto, the Spirit of John Benefit Concert for the Alzheimer Society of Toronto reportedly raised over $70K. The event is named after Spirit Of The West singer John Mann, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers in 2014. Hosted by Dave Bidini, the evening featured Spirit of the West,  Danny Michel, Andy Maize & Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), Tom Wilson, Martin Tielli (Rheostatics), Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath), Danny Greaves (Watchmen), Justin Rutledge and Damhnait Doyle. Chris Tait (Chalk Circle) was musical director.

On his FB page, Danny Michel described the event as "epic. John was in wonderful spirits and performing with him standing next to me was an absolute honour. John rarely speaks and doesn't sing anymore but he stood centre stage snapping his fingers and dancing the entire night."

— VIFF LIVE is a 5-day series at the Vancouver International Film Festival  that expands the spotlight from festival cinema to live music with a focus on local emerging artists. Music BC is partnering with Do604 and VIFF on this showcasing series from Oct. 2-6. The series aims to create a unique immersive experience for musicians and audiences alike by blending inventive visual elements with live music performances, in a large venue setting. 

— Music BC recently announced the appointment of Paige Guscott in the role of Communications and Community Engagement. She was previously the music coordinator at The Roxy Cabaret in Vancouver.

— It has been five years since Toronto singer/songwriter Luke Jackson toured Ontario and Quebec with some talented comrades in a Songs Of Nick Drake tribute. By popular demand, the show is coming back, with a concert set for Toronto's Church Of The Holy Trinity on Oct. 21. Featuring members of Ron Sexsmith's band and a string sextet, the lineup includes Emm Gryner, Elizabeth Shepherd, Kurt Swinghammer, Valery Gore, Justin Nozuka, Don Kerr, Jason Mercer, David Matheson, and Sahra Featherstone. More info here

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