Canadian Music Week Returns to Toronto


By Karen Bliss

Canadian Music Week (CMW), the long-running industry conference held annually in Toronto for the past 41 years kicks off today (June 5) with a festival component, but the panels, keynotes and awards are later on in the week (June 8-10) at the Toronto Westin Hotel.

Among the dozens of panels that cover all areas of the music industry from live to recorded are topics of interest to the songwriter. Below are the panels that directly impact the creator, however other topics from music supervision to AI are also helpful, as well as some keynotes and in conversations, such as peermusic CEO Mary Megan Peer, and Chuck G on the 50th anniversary of hip hop. Some of the panels also include songwriters/musicians for representation, such as Dan Hill, Lucas Silveira, Domanique Grant, Donna Grantis and Andrea England (see speaker profiles).

Meanwhile, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame has done the work for you and extracted the main songwriter-focused panels:

10:15 AM — 11:00 AM
Thursday June 8th
Harbour Ballroom B/C

Artificial Intelligence and Safeguarding Human Artistry
(Moderator: Miranda Mulholland) Join Music Canada, AI experts and music industry leaders to discuss recent advancements in AI, the value that AI presents as a tool to unlock creativity in the industry, and also the risks that AI poses if the creators behind our favourite music can no longer control how their art is used. Panelists will dig into the potential of the technology and how music and the broader creative industries are coming together to protect human artistry.

11:00 AM — 11:45 AM
Thursday June 8th
Piers 2/3

Independent Music Publishers Forum (IMPF) presents: Creating The Future; A Panel Discussing an Independent Perspective on Music Publishing
(Moderator: Ger Hatton) The music publishing business is not always understood. It’s the global business of songs and of the people behind this business — songwriters, lyricists, composers, producers, and music publishers. Independent music publishers are a force for cultural diversity in music and are the powerhouse of the industry. They partner with each other as sub-publishers to ensure that the work created travels around the world. The ultimate goal of the music publisher is to foster and promote both the song and the songwriter. They are the facilitators to access music.

3:00 PM — 3:45 PM
Thursday June 8th
Piers 2/3

Co-write or Go Home: The Art of Collaborating in High Level Writing Rooms
(Moderator: Vivian Barclay) Canadian songwriters have made their way into high level writing rooms around the world in cities like London, Stockholm, Nashville and Los Angeles. Why is co-writing so important? And what are best practices for bringing your A game to a co-writing session? Topics covered include: how to hone your collaborative skills, song camp preparedness, writer / producer share splits and more.

Presented by Music Publishers Canada, in partnership with Honey Jam.


1:45 PM — 2:30 PM
Friday June 9th
Piers 2/3

Jukebox Jury
(Moderator: Sean Ross) The song salesmen engage the gatekeep-ears in this popular and instructive CMW event that allows musicians to see what happens to their music inside glass-walled offices. Top PDs/MDs listen to new tracks supplied by promotion execs and respond candidly. Will they consider it for their playlists? Why or why not?


11:00 AM — 11:45 AM
Saturday June 10th
Piers 4/5

Stories from Behind the Glass / The Mechanics of Producing a Record
(Moderator: Joe D’Ambrosio) A unique opportunity to listen and learn from the pros.  Stories from Grammy and Juno-winning producers with an extensive array of credits across all genres.  Join moderator Joe D’Ambrosio, one of the most successful producer and mixer managers in our industry, during this unique interactive, power-packed, insightful session.

1:30 PM — 2:15 PM
Saturday June 10th
Piers 2/3

Unlocking the Future: Tools for Music Creation, Distribution & Innovation
(Moderator: Karen Bliss) From creating new music in your bedroom to releasing tracks and then amplifying and marketing them to your audience – new innovative tools are changing the process from beginning to end. This means artists, managers, and labels need to be more technologically savvy and approach the process with a fresh mindset. On this panel we’ll explore progress in AI music creation and production, efficiencies in connecting platforms together, and how to launch and monetize tracks through distribution and streaming channels that truly engage your fanbase. Our speakers from Beatport, Splice, and Audius will reflect on how the process has changed and what this new horizon means for creators.

3:30 PM — 4:15 PM
Saturday June 10th
Piers 2/3

Intelligent Creator Tools: TechAid for Artist Monetization
(Moderator: Janisha Jones) This session will examine tech based platforms that automate labor intensive processes while increasing income and saving money for artists and rights holders. There are platforms and apps that can compose a song to order by tempo, genre and cultural influence. They can repurpose music into instrumentals, samples, remixes, etc. Montreal’s Landr has expanded from automated mastering to virtual studios, a samples archive and distribution services. Other revolutionary tech tools that empower creators will be highlighted that help artists to create and share more efficiently, free up imaginations and tap new revenue streams.

4:30 PM — 5:15 PM
Saturday June 10th
Harbour Ballroom B/C

Kids Help Phone’s Mental Health Anthem Is A Certified Hit And a Mega Fundraiser
(Moderator: Kevin Barton) Feel Out Loud, a collective of 50+ Canadian artists banded together to record the anthem What I Wouldn’t Do (North Star Calling) in support of Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only 24/7, e-mental health service offering free, confidential support to young people. The anthem coincided with Kids Help Phone’s launch of a $300 million movement, the largest movement for youth mental health in Canada’s history. Panel includes Bob Ezrin, Roy Woods, and The Reklaws. Presented by Kids Help Phone and Loft Entertainment

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