Seventeen Manitoba Acts Showcase at Toronto’s Canadian Music Fest

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Manitoba will have a strong presence at one of Canada’s biggest music industry festivals this month. A whopping 17 Manitoba acts are making the trip to Toronto to showcase for industry, media, and fans at Canadian Music Fest (CMF), which runs March 19-24 during Canadian Music Week and features 500 showcasing bands over five nights at 45 live music venues.

Showcasing acts include pop/rock outfits Imaginary Cities, Boats, Federal Lights, Take Me To The Pilot, Oldfolks Home, Pumas, Salinas, and The Treble; hip-hop acts Abstract Artform and Goody; roots rocker James Cohen; metal band Waster; and punk rockers Diver City. Winnipeg-based indie label Pipe & Hat will have its own showcase featuring soul/pop band The Noble Thiefs, rock act The Revival, pop/rock duo Mise En Scene, and rock ‘n’ rollers The Bokononists.

The annual event encompasses not only the popular music festival, but also a conference, trade show, and multiple awards shows. This year, several Manitoba’s artists, music companies, and radio stations could pick-up hardware at three separate awards events.

The Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards, which honour pioneers and builders of the Canadian music industry, will be held on March 21. Winnipeg is home to several Station of the Year nominees, including 92 CITI FM (Classical Gold), Birgin 103.1′s Ace Burpee (On Air Talent of the Year Major Market), 102.3 Clear FM (Mainstream A/C), and Energy 106 (Contemporary Hit Radio). Winnipeg’s live touring scene also got some attention, with nominations for Paquin Entertainment (Booking Agency of the Year), Pyramid Cabaret (Club Venue of the Year), Pantages Playhouse (Performing Arts Centre of the Year – Under 1,500 Capacity), Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts (Performing Arts Centre of the Year – Over 1,500 Capacity), Club Regent Casino (Casino/Specialty Venue of the Year), MTS Centre (Major Facility of the Year – Over 8,000 Capacity). A 30-year veteran of the music scene, Winnipeg-born Ralph James of The Agency Group will be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2013.

Winnipeg-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Jodi King landed a Canadian Radio Music Award nod in the mainstream a/c category for her song “Happy”. The CRMAs, which showcases up-and-coming “buzz” bands at an annual luncheon during CMW, will be awarded on March 20.

Local nominees for the 13th annual Independent Music Awards, better known as The Indies, include John K. Samson for Songwriter of the Year, Doc Walker for Country Artist/Group of the Year, and Propagandhi for Punk/Hardcore Group of the Year. The Indies will be handed out at Toronto’s Kool Haus on March 22. Both a public and an industry vote decide the winners.

MANITOBA AT CANADIAN MUSIC FEST

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20
Take Me To The Pilot @ Hard Rock Bar, 11pm – LivemusicTO/Anchor Shop Showcase
Salinas @ Czehoski, 1am

THURSDAY, MARCH 21
Diver City @ Hard Rock Bar, TBA – Supernova Showcase
Federal Lights @ Czehoski, 9pm
Federal Lights @ The Piston, 12am
The Treble @ Supermarket, 12am – TAG Showcase
Oldfolks Home @ Global Village Backpackers, 12am – Big Things Showcase
The Bokononists @ Shanghai Cowgirl, 12am – CMF Acoustic Sessions
Abstract Artform @ Comfort Zone, 1am

Pipe & Hat Showcase @ Bovine Sex Club
The Bokononists, 10pm
Mise En Scene, 11pm
The Noble Thiefs, 12am
The Revival, 1am

FRIDAY, MARCH 22
Goody @ Concierge Lounge (Inside Marriott Hotel), 8pm – CMF Acoustic Sessions
Waster @ The Hoxton, 8:30pm
Imaginary Cities @ Lee’s Palace, 11:30pm – The Besnard Lakes
Waster @ Bovine Sex Club, 12:00am
Pumas @ Rancho Relaxo, 1am

SATURDAY, MARCH 23
The Noble Thiefs, Shanghai Cowgirl 11:30pm – CMF Acoustic Sessions
Boats @ Rancho Relaxo, 12am
The Treble @ Czehoski, 12am
James Cohen @ C’est What, 1am
Federal Lights @ The Dakota Tavern, 2am

Many of the Manitoba artists and industry professionals were able to access financial support for their work at CMW through the Market Access Program, a program jointly funded by Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music.