Natal Day office closure

The Music Nova Scotia office will be closed Monday, August 3 for the Natal Day holiday. We'll re-open on Tuesday, August 4th.

Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”

From The Onion AV Club:

Any music fan eager to bulk up their collection in the ’90s knew where to go to grab a ton of music on the cheap: Columbia House. Started in 1955 as a way for the record label Columbia to sell vinyl records via mail order, the club had continually adapted to and changed with the times, as new formats such as 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs emerged and influenced how consumers listened to music. Through it all, the company’s hook remained enticing: Get a sizable stack of albums for just a penny, with no money owed up front, and then just buy a few more at regular price over time to fulfill the membership agreement. Special offers along the way, like snagging discounted bonus albums after buying one at full price, made the premise even sweeter.

Click here to read the full article.

Rethinking royalty distribution methods


The Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship yesterday released a major study which has gained a fair bit of traction in both music trade magazines and blogs, as well as the mainstream media. The report gives a detailed analysis of the problems currently plaguing the music rights industry; a problem which has earned a lot of attention pitting online service providers and record labels against artist coalitions, managers, and music publishers. The report is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the complicated web of royalty distribution systems worldwide, and looking for potential remedies and solutions to the problem. Download the report free here.



Rock’n’Roll Rewind – The Bars of 1978

Cameron Carpenter is our go-to guy for all things Toronto; he curates the industry guestlist for our CMW Tiki event every year. Here's an article of his that's making the rounds, from all the way back in 1978.

I was just getting over my dreaded hamburger assignment when the phone rang. “Got another sorty for ya Scoop!” What would it be this time: Hot Dogs? Pizza? Subs? The voice returned "I want you to go to about a dozen bars and do a report on them." I grabbed my age of majority card and hit the streets.

For the last couple of months I’ve been in places I never thought I would be seen in. I’ve drunk drinks I never even knew existed, and thrown up in alleys even dogs avoid. It's been quite an experience and here, in no particular order, is the lowdown on Toronto’s hottest rock’n’roll bars.


Click here to read the full article.

Canada Day Office Closure

The Music Nova Scotia office will be closed Wednesday, July 1st for the Canada Day holiday. We will re-open on Thursday, July 2nd.

Music Nova Scotia Award Nominations Now Open

Deadline: July 27, 2015, 5:00 p.m. ADT.

(June 30, Halifax, NS) Music Nova Scotia is now accepting applications for music and industry award nominations for the 2015 Music Nova Scotia Awards until Monday, July 27 at 5:00 p.m. ADT. No extensions will be given so all applications must be in on time. You must be a Music Nova Scotia member in good standing at the time you apply. To submit an application for an award nomination for any category, please visit

Please click the following link to read the 2015 Music Nova Scotia Awards Manual and ensure your submission(s) fulfill the criteria required for your nominee. The cost to submit is $30, HST included. Submissions can be paid online through PayPal, which will accept a PayPal account or a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover).  You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay with a credit card.  Once you make your PayPal payment, you will be given a PayPal transaction ID number which will give you access to the online submission form.  If you cannot use PayPal, please contact our Member Relations / Operations Manager Lisa Stitt (902.423.0291) to pay by cheque, in the office with any method (debit, cash, etc.) Once you make your payment, Lisa will provide you with access to the nomination form which will bypass the PayPal submission form.

Music Nova Scotia may present awards in fifty (50) categories.

Music Awards (29 categories)

All Nova Scotian artists who are members in good standing and have released recordings between January 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 are eligible to submit for the 2015 Music Nova Scotia Awards. There are eight (8) categories that do not require a recording: Aboriginal Artist of the Year, Acadian/Francophone Artist of the Year, African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year, DJ of the Year, Electronic Artist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Musician of the Year and Digital Artist of the Year. You are not eligible to be nominated for the same recording two years in a row.

Industry Awards (21 categories)

The Music Nova Scotia Industry Awards recognize the achievements and contributions of our industry professionals and leaders from across Nova Scotia over the past year. These awards celebrate the people and companies who are working to build a strong and vibrant Nova Scotia music industry. All Music Nova Scotia members in good standing are eligible to submit.

The final Music and Industry nominees will be decided upon by a peer jury of esteemed local professionals with expertise in the music industry of Nova Scotia. Music Nova Scotia staff are not members of this jury, and do not contribute to the selection of the final ballot for nominees.

Nominees who are members of Music Nova Scotia will receive a complimentary delegate pass to Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week 2015 (NSMW), which offers access to all showcases (subject to capacity), the conference and the Late Night Stage, as well as the special NSMW delegate rate from our hotel partners (see for details).  

If you are not currently a member you can purchase a Discounted Delegate pass through Lisa Stitt. (, 902.423.0291)  If you become a member of Music Nova Scotia you will receive a complimentary delegate pass for your nomination.

The nominees in each category will be announced on September 1, 2015. Voting for all awards will also open on this date. Only current members are eligible to nominate and vote. Update your Music Nova Scotia membership now.

Winners will be announced at Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week in Yarmouth, NS, November 5-8, 2015.

For more information on NSMW, please visit


For any other submission enquiries, please contact:
Serge Samson
Event and Member Training Manager
Music Nova Scotia
(902) 423-4153

Insomnia, anxiety, break-ups … musicians on the dark side of touring

While many may envisage the life of a touring musician to be that of a glorified jetsetter, the reality is far from idyllic. A recent study by charity Help Musicians UK found that over 60% of musicians have suffered from depression or other psychological issues, with touring an issue for 71% of respondents.

Singer Alanna McArdle recently announced her departure from Cardiff punk band Joanna Gruesome for mental health reasons, her statement hinting that the strain of touring may have been a factor in her decision to quit.And when Zayn Malik broke the hearts of millions by pulling out of One Direction’s tour of Asia – leaving the boy band shortly after – a source close to the band told the tabloid press: “Zayn went because he’d had enough. Have you ever been on the road for four years? ” 

“The classic image of a touring musician would seem counterintuitive to all we know about well-being,” says Isabella Goldie of the Mental Health Foundation. “Drinking in moderation, avoiding drugs, getting sufficient amounts of sleep, and having a support base of close friends and family nearby. These are the bonds that help keep you grounded ... It’s no surprise that some musicians struggle.”

Click here to read the full article.


Tim Hicks, Brett Kissel, Dallas Smith and Special Guests Florida Georgia Line to Perform on the 2015 CCMA Awards Show

June 25, 2014 (Toronto, ON) – The Canadian Country Music Association® (CCMA®) unveiled today that Tim HicksBrett Kissel, and Dallas Smith will perform on the 2015 CCMA Awards Show, as will special international guests, Florida Georgia Line. These are the first acts announced to take the stage as part of the 2015 CCMA Awards Show, which will broadcast on CBC-TV at 8 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. NT) with an encore airing on CMT (Canada) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Sunday, September 13.

Taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the first time in over 30 years, the CCMA is thrilled to be bringing both Country Music Week and the 2015 CCMA Awards Show to Atlantic Canada this fall. “This year’s CCMA Awards Show will have a whole new look and feel compared to years passed,” said Don Green, President of the Canadian Country Music Association. “Awards shows, just like country music, are constantly evolving. We think country music fans new and old, and viewers both at home and in the stands will all take memorable moments away from this year’s big event. For fans who plan on attending the 2015 CCMA Awards Show in-person: get your tickets now! We anticipate a sold-out crowd for this unforgettable event.”

Two time JUNO Award nominee and 2014 CCMA Award winner for Rising Star, Tim Hicks has cemented his status as one of the biggest breakout Canadian country music acts seen this decade. Hicks boasts five Top 10 singles, nearly 4 million YouTube hits, two JUNO Award nominations, and a fourth Gold-certified single fueled by the anthem, “Here Comes The Thunder”. In 2013, Hicks became the highest selling digital Canadian Country Artist of the Year for his debut album Throw Down, as well as the Most Played Debut Artist overall at Country radio. Hicks’ sophomore album, 5:01debuted at #1 on the SoundScan Country Album sales chart last August (2014), making this his first #1 country album and paving the way for an undeniably huge year in 2015.

Alberta’s Brett Kissel took home the 2014 CCMA Awards for CMT Video of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year. He also won the 2014 Canadian Radio Music Award for Country Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and was the first country artist to be awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2014 JUNO Awards in 17 years. With countless sold out shows across North America, Kissel was primed for his major label debut album through Warner Music Canada, Started With A Song, which saw a total of five Billboard Canada Top 10 singles, including “Raise Your Glass”, “3-2-1”, “Tough People Do” and “Something You Just Don’t Forget”. Kissel’s current single, “Airwaves”, was released earlier this month, and is the first single from his forthcoming second album.

Hot on the heels of a successful 2014, Dallas Smith is showing no signs of slowing down this year. Smith won the 2015 JUNO Award for Country Album of the Year, and was chosen by SiriusXM as Country Artist of the Year at the 2015 Indie Awards. Named by Mediabase as 2014’s most played Canadian country artist at radio, Smith is the only male Canadian artist to spend multiple weeks at the top of the Country Airplay Chart in the Nielsen BDS era for his single “Wastin’ Gas”.  Additionally, the Gold-certified #1 track broke the record for the highest one-week spin total at country radio in Canada ever. His latest album, Lifted, reunited Smith with prized producer Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen) and was followed by the sold out 2015 headline Tippin’ Point Tour. 

The CCMA could not be happier to be welcoming special guests, the supremely popular Florida Georgia Line (FGL), to the CCMA Awards Show this year. Fueled with three scorching consecutive #1 hits – Gold-certified “Sippin’ On Fire”, “Sun Daze” and 2X Platinum-certified “Dirt” – FGL radiates with their Gold-certified sophomore album,Anything Goes. This latest album soared to a #1 debut on the all-genre Billboard 200 and Billboard Top Country Albums charts with music critics and fans alike embracing the superstar duo’s fresh sound. FGL has skyrocketed to stardom becoming the only artists in history to join Brooks & Dunn in achieving four back-to-back, multi-week #1 singles; breaking the record for the longest #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and selling over 21 million tracks worldwide off their 2X Platinum debut Here’s to the Good Times, and Anything Goes. The talented duo is currently taking their signature show across North America with their headline Anything Goes Tour 2015, making a special stop in Halifax for the 2015 CCMA Awards Show.

The 2015 CCMA Awards Show will see eight CCMA Awards presented, will highlight a number of special performances and will include appearances by a collection of Canadian personalities and country music acts. This year’s show will be produced by Bristow Global Media Inc. Tickets are available at all Ticket Atlantic locations, by phone at 1-877-451-1221 or online at, with prices ranging from $60.00 to $106.00, plus service charges and fees. Additional CCMA Award Show performers and presenters will be announced throughout the month of August.


Final Showcase Line-Up Announced for the CCMA Songwriters’ Series: Road to Halifax

June 24, 2015 (Toronto, ON) – The Canadian Country Music Association® (CCMA®), in association with Music Nova Scotia and the Country Music Week 2015 Halifax Host Committee, announced the final showcase in the Road to Halifax, CCMA Songwriters’ Series, headlined by multi-CCMA Award winner, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, will feature multi-ECMA Award winner Bruce Guthro, as well as local artists/songwriters The Ryan Sisters and Jordan Musycsyn.

Tickets for the Tuesday, July 28 showcase, taking place at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, go on sale this Friday, June 26 at 10:00 a.m. AT. Ticket prices are $33 (includes all taxes and fees) in advance, and $38 (includes all taxes and fees) at the door; and can be purchased via the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre box office online (CLICK HERE), by phone (902-539-2300) or in-person (50 Maillard Street). Box office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Doors for the Membertou showcase open at 7:00 p.m. on July 28, with the event commencing at 7:30 p.m.

The Road to Halifax showcase taking place in Yarmouth, featuring Michelle WrightMark Cameron, Samantha Power and Jason Price takes place this Saturday, July 27 at the Th’YARC Playhouse and Arts Centre. Tickets are still available. For additional showcase and ticket information, CLICK HERE or visit

Profiles on the artists/songwriters taking the stage in Membertou: 

Carolyn Dawn Johnson (Hometown: Deadwood, Alberta) 
Carolyn Dawn Johnson remains a staple in the country music industry nearly 20 years after setting out to pursue her dreams in Nashville. Johnson scored her first chart-topping hit as a songwriter when Chely Wright took “Single White Female” all the way to No. 1. The success then led to publishing deals and cuts with many other notable artists. Her critically-acclaimed debut album, Room with a View, spawned the Top 5 smash, “Complicated”, as well as other hit singles such as “Georgia” and the Top 10, “I Don’t Want You to Go”. During that time, Johnson criss-crossed the country on many high-profile tours as the opening act for the likes of Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. Her albums to follow included Dress Rehearsal in 2004, her independently released Love & Negotiation in 2006 and Love Rules in 2010. Besides laying down vocals for her own albums, Johnson’s angelic voice can also be heard on several outside projects with Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Jana Kramer, Johnny Reid, Blake Shelton, Dan+Shay, Kenny Rogers, Loretta Lynn, and Patty Loveless. Johnson’s unique way of expressing words has made her a writer in Nashville that aspiring newcomers hope to shape their own careers after. Through it all, the multi-talented Johnson continues to chip away at her own craft, while spending time throughout the year on the road singing background vocals for Miranda Lambert on her Platinum tour, in between doing her own headlining dates within the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook: Carolyn Dawn Johnson | Twitter: cdjmusic | Instagram: cdjinthehouse |Website:


Bruce Guthro (Hometown: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia)
Bruce Guthro is an artist who has captivated audiences around the world with his honest, straight-to-the-heart songwriting and live performances that are as engaging and personal as the man himself. Troubadour and storyteller, Guthro's music gets to the heart of the matter, and his success can be attributed to his ability to connect with his audience. His songs cross the boundaries of pop, folk, and jazz and showcase the vast abilities of the songwriter to put into words many diverse experiences, as though he has lived them all. On top of being a gifted musician, Guthro has been seen by national audiences on CBC-TV, acting as host of Songwriters' Circle. After all his achievements, Guthro remains as down-to-earth as when he first appeared on the Canadian music scene, writing truthfully and passionately about the world around him while leaving his audiences always wanting more.

Facebook: Bruce Guthro | Twitter: BruceGuthro | Website:

The Ryan Sisters (Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia) 
The Ryan Sisters have been impressing people with their heartfelt performances for many years. Maria and Lauretta have opened up for America's #1 Success Coach and best-selling author of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series, Jack Canfield, at the Success Symposium in Moncton, NB; have sang at the VIP reception for Dr. Wayne Dyer at his I Can See Clearly Now event in Halifax, NS and were the opening act for Oprah’s Law of Attraction expert Michael Losier. The Ryan Sisters just completed their full length CD entitled, I Can Breathe, which takes listeners on an inspiring journey of songs written by the sisters on the power of love, forgiveness and living your best life. The title track to the album, “I Can Breathe”, was co-written by Country superstar Johnny Reid.
Facebook: Ryan Sisters | Twitter: ryan_sisters  | Website:

Jordan Musycsyn  (Hometown: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) 
Jordan Musycsyn’s debut album, The Pitch, released earlier this year, was highly anticipated by the East Coast music community. A masterful storyteller, Musycsyn writes songs about life and love with humour and pathos. Whether drawing on his own life experience through humour, or reflecting on the human condition with songs of love and loss, Musycsyn moves his audience from laughter to tears and back again. His band consists of Mike LeLievre of Slowcoaster, Glen Bourgeois, Jordan Bruleigh and Cape Breton picker PJ Confiant on guitar.Musycsyn’s old school brand of folk-country has been compared to the likes of Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and John Prine.
Facebook: Jordan Musycsyn band | Twitter: JordanMusycsyn | Website:


Swift V Apple

Over the weekend Taylor Swift took on Apple on behalf of all musicians, and she won. Announcing surrender overnight;  executive Eddie Cue announced to the multitude that Apple would open its massive vaults to pay artists and labels for streaming music during its 90 day free trials. Over at Joy Of Tech, Nitrozac and Snaggy drew their interpretation of the epic battle.



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