This is your brain on Music...

How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins

Food for thought: Business and Culture

This Op-Ed piece was published in today's Globe and Mail. Do you agree that artists and arts organizations have been forced to become more 'entrepreneurial?

Thomas Hodd teaches Canadian Literature at Université de Moncton.

Fifteen years ago I worked in the private sector as a proposal writer for an I.T. services firm. I sat in board meetings with some pretty high-level people. And much of the conversation involved words like “export,” “delivery of services,” “marketability,” and “strategic positioning.”

What’s disturbing is that I now sit on arts and culture boards and they use the same language.

Not so long ago “arts and culture” was all one needed to say when talking about the country’s story-tellers, actors, film makers, dancers, artists, poets, and musicians. Everyone knew what you meant. Then it became “the cultural sector,” now the buzzword is “cultural industries.”

What’s behind this shift? It started innocently enough. During the recession, governments cut back on funding for the arts as part of an overall debt reduction strategy. But the exception became the norm, forcing the arts community to look elsewhere for money. Soon corporate sponsorship became the mainstay for many arts organizations.

...continue reading.

The end of the roadie: how the backstage boys grew up

Before the live-music industry became a billion-dollar behemoth, being on the road was, for many bands, a wild west of sex, drugs and even some rock'n'roll. Hedonism was rife, and it wasn't just the musicians who pillaged. Their road crews were right there with them, benefiting from a macho atmosphere where the expectation was that after they had unloaded the gear they would match their employers in debauchery.

Some roadies became famous in their own right. Led Zeppelin's tour manager, for one: there's a Richard Cole Appreciation Society on Facebook, glorifying the man who was, according to the unofficial band biography Hammer of the Gods, "responsible for much of the mayhem" around the group. Then there was a metal roadie called Jef Hickey, who carved out such a reputation that half an episode of's 2011 documentary series, On the Road, is devoted to him. Rock musicians speak of him in awed tones: "One time we were on a plane, and he went up to this stewardess and asked her if she had any drugs," claimed former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri – and that was onlythe most printable of Hickey's antics.

Roadie annals are full of such stories, many of them involving unpleasant treatment of female fans. But that era has long passed, and with it the idea of roadies as folk legends. They have since osmosed into "techs" – low-key professionals who often have degrees and treat the job as a job. "Bad behaviour isn't acceptable any more, to be drunk and carrying on," says Chris McDonnell, the Charlatans' sound engineer. "A lot more is expected of you. People think it's crazy backstage, and it's girls and drugs, but it's not. It's people working and having a cup of tea."


Read the full article here.

FACTOR Guidelines for the Sponsorship Program have changed

Please note! FACTOR's Sponsorship program guidelines have been changed/clarified. New and genre-specific music festivals, broadcaster conferences, workshops, industry association events, and international showcases are examples of projects that may be eligible under this program. See more:


Two Music Jobs!

It never rains, it pours; two music-related positions came across my desk today, with Symphony Nova Scotia and Limelight Communications Group Inc. Polish off that resume and apply!

Patron Relations Specialist, Symphony Nova Scotia

Symphony Nova Scotia is searching for the right person that combines an innate customer-centered approach with exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail for the position of Patron Relations Specialist.

Working in a team environment, and reporting to the Director of Development, the Patron Relations Specialist will contribute to the overall goals of the Symphony by providing vital support for the Development team in stewarding and growing donors, patrons, engaging the broader community, and achieving revenue targets.

Read full job description here.


Relationship Management Coordinator, Limelight Communications Group

LimeLight Communications Group Inc. is a fresh and innovative company bursting with Inspiring Speakers & Show Stopping Entertainment for conferences, corporate meetings and special events! Nothing is more important to us than making sure our clients events are a success.

We are looking for an individual who has a passion for technology, boundless energy, an entrepreneurial spirit and can bring new ideas to life with creativity and business impact. As we continue grow and expand our client base, we have an immediate opening for a Relationship Management Coordinator.  We need a process driven individual who gets the importance of connecting with our customers, increasing productivity and generating sales. 

Understanding customer lifecycle marketing, event logistics and sales automation are key skills.  In this position you will help lead the transfer of our database from ACT to Infusionsoft  and help us move into the next generation of sales and marketing.  Our ideal candidate will help us reach out to our valued clients in some very cool and tech savvy ways through the use of innovative marketing campaigns, videos, and social media.

We are an entrepreneurial business with a strong team culture. Being a caring partner defines our relationship with each other and our relationship with our customers and suppliers. It is the cornerstone of our success that has enabled us to develop a truly national business.

Eligibility Criteria: This is a Work Smarts Funded Position 

- Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada 
- Between 19 and 30 years of age 
- Graduate of a college or university program
- Unemployed or underemployed
- Not received EI benefits in the last two years
- Not previously participated in a Career Focus project funded under the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES

Read full job description here.




The Tools I Use

Mastering engineer Noah Mintz of The Lacquer Channel is a go-to mastering engineer for a huge variety of clients, inlcuding lots of major label acts, plus MNS members like Matt Mays, Wintersleep, The Town Heroes, Gloryhound, Dog Day, and Mardeen. In this blog post, he offers insight into the mysterious world of mastering, and lists off the tools of his trade.

Read the full article here.

In pictures: the studios that are still in the mix


With album sales down and recording budgets slashed, what does the future hold for studios? Katherine Rose photographs the sites that have kept faith in the music.

Read the full article here.

NSMW 2014 - Update #1 for July 3


Music Nova Scotia will be sending updates with news and information leading up to Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week 2014 (NSMW), to be held in Truro Colchester from November 6-9, 2014.
For more information on NSMW, visit
Accommodations with special NSMW delegate rates in Truro Colchester include the following:
The host hotel for NSMW 2014 is the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre Truro (rooms are currently sold out). 
Awards Nominations Now Open:
Music Nova Scotia is now accepting applications for music and industry award nominations for the 2014 Music Nova Scotia Awards until Monday, July 14 at 5:00 p.m. ADT.
Please click the following link to read the 2014 Music Nova Scotia Awards Manual and ensure your submission(s) fulfill the criteria required for your nominee.
To submit an application for an award nomination for any category, please visit The cost to submit is $30, HST included. 
Now Accepting Volunteer Submissions:
Volunteering at NSMW provides a great opportunity to meet new people and gain valuable skills and experience. It also provides rewards in exchange for your time and efforts, including the chance to hear great music made in Nova Scotia.
If you want to volunteer for NSMW and be a part of this award-winning event, applications are now open. Click here to apply, or for more information contact Volunteer Coordinator, Cathy von Kintzel or Volunteer Manager, Alanna Swinemar.


'Purple Rain' Turns 30: Prince's Engineer Shares Majestic (And Maddening) Studio Stories

There are those high pressured, perilous jobs that are not for the meek. The U.S. Secret Service; a window cleaner for the world's tallest building—Dubia's 2,716 feet wonder Burj Khalifa; Kanye West's publicist. But during the '80s, one would be hard pressed to find a gig more intimidating or unpredictable than working as a music engineer for Prince. Susan Rogers has lived to tell the tale. 

An Associate Professor of Music Production and Engineering at the prestigious Berklee College from 1983 to 1988, Rogers had the ultimate insider's view of the obsessive, glorious run of arguably pop music's most prolific talent. 

"You are talking about someone who would play a show from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and then perform at an afterparty," she recalls of Prince's torrid pace. "Then I would book a recording studio for 1 a.m. while on tour and Prince would work on his music or say Sheila E's record. There is so much great, unreleased material from Prince. We would work all day and night long, and then he would be up the next morning ready to do it all over again."


Read the full article here.

Removal of 'tour tax' for foreign artists applauded

A federal immigration regulation, dubbed a "tour tax" by small concert venues opposing the rule that targeted foreign musicians and roadies, has been wiped off the books.

Included within reforms that Jason Kenney, the employment minister, and Chris Alexander, the immigration minister, have announced the removal of a work permit requirement for certain foreign artists who perform in bars and restaurants.

In a federal bulletin, the change was made to provide "consistent treatment to foreign artists, regardless of venue type."

Previously, foreign artists who wanted to perform in bars or restaurants required a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which cost operators and promoters money and time to provide, and prevented some acts from performing in certain venues.

The LMIA is no longer required, the federal bulletin says.


Read the full article here.


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