Viola Desmond Singer/Songwriter Contest Offers $10,000 First Prize: Submissions Now Open

(December 19, 2014 Halifax, NS) Singer/songwriters who are residents of Nova Scotia are invited to submit their work for a chance to win $10,000. Presented by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage in partnership with Music Nova Scotia, the contest pays tribute to Viola Desmond and her contributions toward the civil rights movement in Canada. The contest will also create a heightened sense of awareness around Nova Scotia’s Heritage Day holiday. The inaugural holiday honours Viola Desmond on February 16, 2015.  

According to Scott Long, Executive Director of Music Nova Scotia, music plays an important role in bringing people together to demand social justice and change. “Artists have a long history of being powerful allies when it comes to creating awareness for social change. Our artists have a unique set of resources that can amplify the messaging for improving social justice including their creativity, public notoriety and loyal fans. Artistic creativity inspires people to think differently about the world around them and has the power to activate people to demand change,” says Long.

The contest is administered by Music Nova Scotia and submissions are now open. Singer/songwriters submitting to the contest must keep in mind that the spirit of the contest is to create awareness around civil rights, social justice and Viola Desmond. In keeping with the spirit of the contest, singer/songwriters are encouraged to collaborate and co-write the work to be submitted. Collaborations are not mandatory for submission but the judging panel will assess them more favourably. The contest judging panel will be comprised of a diverse cross-section of creative industries professionals from across the province.

“Viola Desmond has long been an inspiration to African Canadians who have demanded social justice, and her story must be heard,” said Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and for African Nova Scotian Affairs. “We hope the artists who participate in this contest will help to increase awareness about the important role Viola Desmond played in Nova Scotia’s heritage, and their songs will create a lasting tribute to her legacy.”

Viola Desmond was an African Nova Scotian businesswoman who challenged racial segregation at a theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1946. She refused to leave a whites-only area of the Roseland Theatre and was unjustly convicted of a minor tax violation used to enforce racial segregation. Desmond's case was one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start resistance to segregation in Nova Scotia. Desmond acted nine years before the famed incident by civil-rights activist Rosa Parks. Desmond was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada. The government of Nova Scotia also apologized for convicting her for tax evasion, when, in fact, she was resisting a "whites only" discrimination policy.

Submissions to the contest close on Friday, January 16 and the top three (3) finalists will be announced on Thursday, January 29. The top three (3) finalists will perform on Friday, February 13 at Casino Nova Scotia’s Harbourfront Lounge. The winning submission will be announced on location following the performances. 

To view the contest rules and regulations and to submit to the Viola Desmond Singer/Songwriter contest please visit




For more information and media inquiries please contact:

Scott Long

Executive Director

Music Nova Scotia

902-423-6271 Ext. 101

Fairytale of New York: the story behind the Pogues' classic Christmas anthem

Once upon a time a band set out to make a Christmas song. Not about snow or sleigh rides or mistletoe or miracles, but lost youth and ruined dreams. A song in which Christmas is as much the problem as it is the solution. A kind of anti-Christmas song that ended up being, for a generation, the Christmas song.

That song, Fairytale of New York by the Pogues, has just been reissued to mark its 25th anniversary; it has already re-entered the Top 20 every December since 2005, and shows no sign of losing its appeal. It is loved because it feels more emotionally "real" than the homesick sentimentality of White Christmas or the bullish bonhomie of Merry Xmas Everybody, but it contains elements of both and the story it tells is an unreal fantasy of 1940s New York dreamed up in 1980s London. The story of the song is a yarn in itself: how it took more than two years to get right and became, over time, far bigger than the people who made it.


Click here to read the full article.

Take it to the Tiki Battle Launches January 9th, 2015 - Presented by Casino Nova Scotia & 92.9 Jack FM

Submissions close Friday December 19, 2014 at 5pm AST

(Halifax, Dec 9th, 2014) Take it to the Tiki is a four week battle that will see the winning band travel to Toronto to showcase on the Music Nova Scotia Tiki stage at Canadian Music Week in May 2015. 

The Tiki Stage during Canadian Music Week provides Nova Scotian artists the opportunity to perform for a targeted audience of influential music industry professionals, including national and international talent buyers, booking agents, managers, and media. 

Music Nova Scotia is calling all eligible bands to submit an application to the Take It to the Tiki contest. Twelve bands will be selected from the submissions received to compete during the preliminary rounds Friday, January 9, 16, and 23, 2015 at the Harbourfront Lounge, Casino Nova Scotia. The final round to determine the grand prize winner will be held Friday, January 30. A panel of Nova Scotia music industry professionals will determine the winners of each round, including the grand prize winner.

The winner of the final round will receive a prize package consisting of:

  • Showcasing performance on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at The Rivoli during Canadian Music Week
  • Canadian Music Week 2015 Delegate Passes for the performers
  • 1 night hotel accommodations in Toronto (Saturday, May 9, 2015)
  • Travel assistance cash prize of $1800

Runner-up prizes for the semi-finalists consisting of:

  • 1st runner-up: cash prize of $600
  • 2nd runner-up: cash prize of $400
  • 3rd runner-up: cash prize of $200

To apply for Take It To The Tiki 2015, log in to your profile account at and click "Apply to Take It To The Tiki 2015" in the "My Projects" block on the left-hand side. Please be sure to read the contest rules and regulations.

Submissions open Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Submissions close Friday December 19, 2014 at 5pm AST - No Exceptions

Understanding Sound Frequency: A Guide to Hz and kHz

Confused when the sound technicians start talking Hertz and Kilohertz? Here's a helpful article that roughly explains what all those crazy-sounding numbers mean.

From Above Ground Magazine:

The world of audio is wide, and measured in frequencies. (specifically Hertz or “Hz”and kiloHertz or “kHz”  Every sound has a frequency range, and understanding this will make EQing a mix far easier.   If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a basic rundown.  This is a general guide, but this will provide a good point of reference.

Click here to read the full article

Tickets for the 2015 CCMA Awards Show Now On Sale

November 25, 2015 (Toronto, ON) – Tickets to the 2015 CCMA Awards Show, set to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Scotiabank Centre on Sunday, September 13, 2015, are now on sale.


Tickets can be purchased online at; by calling 902-451-1221 or toll-free 1-877-451-1221; by visiting the Ticket Atlantic box office (located on the Scotiabank Centre promenade with entrances located on Carmichael and Duke Streets) or by visit a participating Atlantic Superstore outlet.


Pricing of tickets range from $67 for upper bowl seating to $113 for select lower bowl and floor seating. Taxes and service charges are included in the promoted ticket price; however tickets ordered online or by phone will be subject to an additional $2 order fee.


For Canadian country music’s biggest night, there will be no better place to be than the Scotiabank Centre; and for Canadian country music’s biggest fans, there will be no better gift to give this holiday season than tickets to the 2015 CCMA Awards Show.


The CCMA Awards Show will be broadcast on both CBC-TV and CMT Canada. The CCMA Pre-Show, which includes a Countdown Concert and Green Carpet, are set to take place in Grand Parade and on Argyle Street, respectively, before the CCMA Awards Show.


Anatomy of a mid-level independent tour

Jack Conte of the mildly-famous Youtube duo Pamplamoose has written a blog post which breaks down the numbers and efforts behind their latest 28 day/24 date tour. His post is an interesting look at what any modern mid-level artist can expect to incur in their attempts to maintain a professional, full-time career in music. Read the post here.

Contract Employment Opportunity: ECMA Marketing & Communications Manager

Employer: East Coast Music Association
Position: Marketing and Communications Manager
Location: Halifax, NS
Full-Time Contract Position: Immediately until May 1, 2015

Since its inception in 1989, The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) has been a regional collaboration of participants within the music industry. The ECMA is a registered non-profit association whose mission is to foster, develop, promote and celebrate East Coast music, its artists and the music industry locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The annual East Coast Music Week is the most comprehensive and exciting international music event in Atlantic Canada.

Position Summary

This position has overall responsibility for managing marketing and communications for ECMA’s annual awards and conference event, Eastlink East Coast Music Week (ECMW). The challenge of this position is to effectively position the event and the association with the media and the general public, often in a high-pressure environment. This position works under minimal supervision in a team environment and is accountable for ensuring appropriate messaging is communicated through the media, social media, and other sources. Occasional overtime is required to accommodate daytime and evening activities. Some travel is required within Atlantic Canada to attend meetings, conferences, and festivals.

This job description is a guideline only and the incumbent may be required to perform other duties, on an ad-hoc or permanent basis.

Click here for the full job description.

Nova Scotians Anne Janelle and Gypsophilia to Perform at Mundial Montreal

(November 19, 2014, Halifax, NS) The 4th annual Mundial Montreal festival will feature two of Nova Scotia’s most interesting folk and jazz acts, as cellist-turned-songwriter Anne Janelle and gypsy jazz collective Gypsophilia will perform on Wednesday, November 19 and Thursday, November 20, respectively.
Mundial Montreal is North America’s premier world music showcase event. Taking place annually, Mundial operates as a springboard for some of the most exciting world music talent emerging from Canada and beyond.
Music Nova Scotia Executive Director Scott Long believes these showcases could prove to be an important opportunity for both acts.
“Mundial Montreal is becoming one of the best festivals to showcase world music in Canada, and the networking and business opportunities for our Nova Scotian artists cannot be understated,” says Long. “The festival also allows us to demonstrate the diverse range of quality music coming out of our province today.”
Anne Janelle is a classically trained cellist who writes songs steeped in the rich traditions of folk, pop and jazz. She will be performing tonight at the Café/Petit Campus at 6:00pm ET. 
Gypsophilia is a group of seven young performers whose music straddles the jazz and indie worlds. They will be performing on November 20 at the Divan Orange at 4:20pm ET. 
For more information on Mundial Montreal, visit here.
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For more information please contact: 
Jeff Lawton
Marketing Coordinator
Music Nova Scotia
902-423-6271 ext. 108

Surviving The Yukon - Cud Eastbound Converted His Old Van Into A Strawbale Hobbit House

Cud Eastbound came into the new office on Gottingen a few times before he put his record out; this is what he's been up to since:

Cud Eastbound's '77 Dodge Camper has seen a good deal of North America, but it's about to spend a winter doing something completely new. Luckily, the vintage van, who is fondly referred to as "Night Danger" by its owner, doesn't have to worry about navigating icy roads or starting its engine in the frigid morning air.

No, all "Night Danger" has to do is keep Cud and his pup warm throughout an entire Yukon winter. While that's no easy task, it's safe to say that "Night Danger" has some help. After two months of traveling through Canada, it will take an extended rest stop in Dawson City, Yukon, and team up with a wood stove and some serious straw insulation to keep its inhabitants from freezing.


Click here to read the full article.


A Chat with Dionne Osborne, the Vocal Coach Who Changed Drake's Style

via Jezebel:

Drake is the type of artist whose technical abilities make a noticeable jump with every release. When in late October he dropped three new tracks, a few members of Jezebel staff noted that Drake was sounding like a properly impressive R&B vocalist: comparing "Days In The East" to 2009's "Best I Ever Had," for example, you can hear a real increase in control, depth, ease and decisivenesswhile his distinct, diffuse vocal texture remains.

We surmised that perhaps a mastermind vocal coach was behind this improvement, and we found Dionne Osborne, who's been working with Drake for more than four years.


Click here to read the full article.


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