Canadian music labels are looking for a bigger piece of the pie, or whatever else might be cooking in the tandoor, and another Canadian Music Week may just show them how to do it.
Executives, bands and other professionals of the music industry will descend on Toronto for Canadian Music Week, the week-long showcase profiling more than 700 going from March 10-14. Some of the highlights of the convention include a special, one-night-only appearance by 1980s Canadian hair band Platinum Blonde at the Mod Club tonight, as part of their induction into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.
But a special showcase going this year at CMW isn’t so much about Canadian music as it is about the opportunities it has to expand abroad, India in particular. As part of its Spotlight On India showcase, delegates will meet and greet with industry professionals from one of the world’s fastest growing economies tomorrow and Friday at the Fairmont Royal York, and then see popular Indian acts at night (such as Farid Khan, Delhi 2 Dublin and The Kominas) at Revival on those nights.
“The convention is pretty much business-to-business,” says CMW President Neill Dixon, “More recently in the last five years we’ve done international spotlights to speed up the process of promoting and marketing Canadian music in international markets.”
The Indian music business is quite developed in its own right, says Dixon, and continues to grow with the emergence of an educated, upwardly mobile and technologically savvy middle class. He adds that India’s post-secondary school demographic dwarfs the entire population of Canada itself.
“There are 1.2 billion people in India,” says Dixon. “And there are more people in college and university in any one year there than the entire population of Canada. It’s a mindblower, and it’s our target market at entry level. They’re also very accessible in terms of language. They speak English, because of their British history, and they look to the West for the latest in fashion and music. So we have a vested interest in exporting development, and promoting reciprocal trade.”