Ottawa’s First Ever MEGAPHONO Showcase Festival!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a part of this exciting new event in Ottawa — MEGAPHONO! It’s first showcase festival is taking place February 3-5, 2015. There are 34 local and 6 regional bands, playing in 10 venues, from the Mercury Lounge to Raw Sugar to the Diefenbunker! Add in some industry gurus from across Canada and the U.S., some great panels, and the release of an Ottawa music sector profile called Connecting Ottawa Music, and you’ve got an exciting three days to get your heart, mind, and soul all fired up! Check out the full release below, join our Facebook events, and spread the word!



MEGAPHONO has released the full artist lineup and schedule for its inaugural music showcase festival in Ottawa, happening February 3rd to 5th, 2015. The 40-artist fest will feature local & regional favourites, including Last Ex, Jeremy Fisher, HILOTRONS, Evening Hymns, Boyhood, Jim Bryson, Amanda Rheaume, FLO, The Yips, Jill Zmud, and Steve Adamyk Band, as well as out-of-towners Socalled, Heat, U.S. Girls, Michael Rault, and Crosss.

The showcase festival will host music industry guest delegates from the US and Canada including record labels, publishers, booking agents and music supervisors from LA to NYC and Toronto to Montreal. Ottawa artists and music entrepreneurs will have the chance to connect one-on-one with these guests with the hopes of finding new opportunities for Ottawa-area music outside of our city’s borders.

All participants will enjoy a tightly-scheduled three-day musical adventure around the city, including performances from 34 local artists and 6 out-of-towners. Venues include the cold war-built Diefenbunker, where bands will play in a Bank of Canada vault meant to protect the country’s riches in case of nuclear war; legendary drinking hole The Dominion Tavern; new favourite House of Targ, and the cozy St. Alban’s Church. Afternoon showcases will see artists in the Elmdale Oyster House, Record Centre, Raw Sugar, and Pressed.

MEGAPHONO kicks off Tuesday February 3rd at 12PM for THE MEGAPHONO LAUNCH LUNCH, which includes a 2″ TAPE CUTTING CEREMONY, followed by the release and discussion of the recently-completed Ottawa music industries profile Connecting Ottawa Music. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Funded by the Ontario Music Fund (OMDC) and compiling responses from over 800 local musicians and 50 music businesses, Connecting Ottawa Music profiles the local music ecosystem, identifying recommendations for ways to move forward as an industry and help to build Ottawa as a musical hub.

Daytime panels are aimed at helping local artists and music entrepreneurs increase their knowledge, gain insight to help them make career decisions, and network with local, regional, national, and international festival attendees.

A TRIBE CALLED RED: A look at the tremendous rise of Ottawa’s greatest musical export since Alanis. This Juno-award winning DJ collective and their core team discuss their successes and how they built a musical mammoth out of Ottawa. Panelists: Guillaume Decouflet (ATCR manager), Dee Jay NDN (ATCR); Adam Countryman (ATCR booking agent- The Agency Group)

WEARING ALL THE HATS: Local artist entrepreneurs discuss the ins and outs of grinding out a career as a musician in the Ottawa area. From studio engineering to composition to production to live sound, this group wears a lot of hats. Our panelists will talk about how they balance all of their different musical roles and make it work. Panelists: Lynn Miles, Jim Bryson, Mike Dubue (HILOTRONS), Matt Ouimet

IF WE ONLY HAD AN AGENT: One of the most important pain points for today’s up-and-coming artists is convincing an agent to sign you. Our panel of booking agents will help you decipher the mystery of how they find and sign new acts, and what it takes to put pen to paper. Panelists: Adam Countryman (Agency Group), Nicole Rochefort (AIM Booking), Josh Iden (Panache)

JUST THE SIZE OF MONTREAL: Too big or too small? For a lot of Ottawa-based artists, Montreal’s live music market has always been a tough nut to crack. Hear from some of that city’s key music players on the particular challenges of building an audience in Montreal, the differences between its Franco and Anglo scenes, and tips on what you can do to improve your chances of success in everyone’s favourite weekend party destination. Panelists: Dan Seligman (Pop Montreal), Andre Guerette (Guerette Agency), Michaël Bardier (Heavy Trip)

Local artists and music entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with guest delegates in a series of speed meetings: 7-minute meetups to pitch their wares and make new connections.

Tickets and festival passes are now on sale at; full delegate passes (available exclusively to artists and music entrepreneurs) for the week including all shows, panels and networking activities are a steal at $75; individual day passes and show tickets range from PWYC (pay what you can) to $40.

Paper tickets go on sale Friday January 16th at Vertigo Records (193 Rideau) and Compact Music locations (206 Bank & 785 Bank).


Want to get involved? We are looking for:
– sponsors
– community partners
– and, of course…VOLUNTEERS!

Jon Bartlett or Lesley Marshall

A special thank you to our sponsors:
The Audio Recording Academy TARA / APCM (Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique) / Downtown Rideau BIA & Chill Factor / Scotiabank / Novotel / Beau’s / Algonquin College: Music Industry Arts / Uber

And our co-presenters:
CKCU / CHUO / E-Tron Rec. / Arboretum Festival / Ottawa Showbox / Small Talk / Ottawa Explosion


Canadian Folk, Blues, and Jazz radio shows

I maintain a list of Canadian Folk, Blues, Jazz, and other related shows aired primarily on campus and community radio stations. It is broken down by province (see the navigation in the upper left corner). Not all stations have shows listed, but they are probably still quite open to receive and play the music. I rely primarily on information provided by the stations and hosts themselves.

Wherever possible, the station’s website, music director’s contact information, showtimes, and show host names and emails are provided. With this latest update, I checked all of the emails, so I can verify that they at least worked for me. I also went through the links page and removed/changed information there and added new stations. Finally, I updated the design so that that information is contained in public Google spreadsheets as opposed to html tables.

Check it out:

If you see anything that needs amending, please do not hesitate to let me know.

New home for List of Canadian Folk-Blues-Jazz Radio Shows

I’ve been maintaining a list of these kinds of shows that are aired on campus and community radio stations for a while now. I recently re-designed the listings, which can now be found at

Let’s take a balanced approach to Copyright Reform

Michael Geist, one of Canada’s people-in-the-know when it comes to Canadian copyright (among other things), has written an excellent post about some upcoming calls to action regarding copyright reform. I’ve posted a few highlights below, but I strongly encourage you to check out the whole post.

CRIA Launching Grassroots Campaign for Canadian DMCA
Thursday April 09, 2009
by Michael Geist

As the Canadian government considers its next move on copyright reform, it would appear that the Canadian Recording Industry Association is readying a grassroots campaign to argue for a repeat of Bill C-61.  The following leaked email was widely distributed from an executive at one of the major record labels:

“I’m sure that all of you are aware of the current challenges that we have within our industry around copyright infringement. What you may not know is that there is a lack of support within our government for laws that are currently in place NOT protecting copyright work. Virtually every other developed nation in the world has taken one key step to keep peer to peer downloading under control: they have modernized their copyright rules for the digital age. It is time Canada’s Parliament implement similar, long overdue reforms, in keeping with our country’s commitments under the 1996 WIPO Internet Treaties.

You can make a difference by understanding the current challenging situation, talking to your colleagues about it, and letting your MP know how you feel about this. Below and attached is a Frequently Asked Question form that can bring you up to speed on the issues and other info that you may not be aware of. Take a minute to review, and then please follow up by sending an email to your MP if you feel that music and these matters are important to you.  In addition to the email message, or as an alternative, please write a letter or call your MP and the Heritage and Industry Ministers.”

The letter then lists the addresses for Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore along with links to a series of supportive organizations and a non-functioning link to a Copyright FAQ that is currently hosted at Universal Music (but indicating that the source is CRIA).

While the industry may face some challenges in generating a major grassroots campaign demanding a Canadian DMCA, more important is their planned Copyright FAQ which unsurprisingly tells only one side of the story.  There are no questions about the robust copyright collective system in Canada, private copying, the Songwriters proposal, the CMCC, the effectiveness of notice-and-notice to address online infringement, etc.  Instead, the FAQ states [with commentary in brackets from me]:

Copyright Reform FAQ

“Q: What is Copyright?
A: Copyright is the right held by the creator of a literary work, musical work, artistic work or software to decide how that work should be reproduced and made available to the public. It is the foundation upon which the copyright industries – and the jobs they support – is built.”

[according to the Supreme Court of Canada, it is also a law that seeks to strike a balance between creators rights and users rights.  The effects of copyright extend well beyond just the “copyright industries.”]


“Q:  Does copyright piracy put your job at risk?
A: Yes. Canadians who work in the copyright-related industries have seen numerous job losses – from the artists who create music to truck drivers who deliver CDs and DVDs to retailers. Since the advent of widespread P2P file sharing 10 years ago, retail sales of music have declined by more than half; this has forced ongoing job reductions and slashed funds available for Canadian artist development.

It is not only the music industry that is affected. For example, a Business Software Alliance study found that a reduction of software piracy in Canada by 10% over the next four years could generate more than 5,200 high-skilled jobs and inject $2.7 billion into the economy.

[Loss of jobs for truck drivers who deliver CDs and DVDs is about a move to digital distribution, not infringement.  Further, there is plenty of debate over the sources of declining CD sales, including an Industry Canada funded study that found a positive correlation between file sharing and music purchasing.]


“Q: What was Bill C-61?
A: Bill C-61 was copyright reform legislation introduced in Parliament last year. It set out to modernize Canada’s Copyright Act to accommodate today’s digital technologies, and to address the widespread piracy of copyrighted works. The bill, which died on the Order Paper when an election was called, would have brought Canada’s copyright rules closer in line with those of other developed nations. Its passage would have signaled to Canadians that Internet piracy is unacceptable under law.”

[Bill C-61 also would have created enormous problems for consumers, educators, librarians, researchers, artists, and millions of Canadians who would suffer a loss of rights over their personal property and restrictions on their ability to create and interact with digital media.]


“Q: Do artists support copyright reforms?
A: Yes. ACTRA and AFM Canada, leading organizations that represent tens of thousands of Canadian artists, fully support copyright reform. Their support is based on the best interests of their members. To see what some artists have to say, click here.”

[But many artists do not.  The Canadian Music Creators Coalition, which includes some of Canada’s best known musicians, argue against these reforms.  Moreover, the Songwriters Association of Canada has argued for a different approach on P2P and acknowledged that reforms based on protecting DRM are bound to fail.]


“Q:   What can I do to help?
A: Contact your Member of Parliament to let them know that you think copyright is important and to ask that they prioritize the passage of appropriate copyright reform legislation. It will take you no more than a minute or two to send an email to your MP, and just a few more minutes to write a letter. Ask family, friends and colleagues to do the same.”

[We agree on this.  My 30 Things You Can Do remains relevant (albeit a bit outdated for contact information) – Canadians should contact their MPs and urge them to ensure that any new reforms strike the right balance.]

(Links updated November 2013)

List of Folk and Jazz radio shows

For a while now, I’ve been maintaining a list of folk and jazz shows on campus and community radio stations in Canada. It is an ongoing work in progress. It’s not the prettiest page, but the folks out there seem to appreciate it *insert smiley here*. What it lacks for in design it makes up for in content:

(November 2013: new site link is