Words & Music is pleased to extend its helpful “how-to” series for our members, “The Breakdown,” into the realm of short, question-and-answer videos.

 In this episode, former SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante talks with Toronto-based mixing and mastering engineer Jason Dufour, who worked as an assistant at the legendary Phase One, and was later hired as staff engineer at Revolution Recording. Jay has since gone independent and is quickly joining the ranks of the industry’s elite. Dufour has mixed consecutive No. 1 singles for July Talk, and won Recording Engineer of the Year at the 2017 JUNO Awards for his work on their Alternative Album of the Year-winning release Touch. Known for his relentless work ethic, creativity, and meticulous attention to detail, Jay has dedicated his life to the art of mixing records.

Our question this time is, “What’s the most common challenge for mixing engineers?”

For the seventh consecutive year, on Feb. 12-20, 2021, Le Phoque OFF will be held in Québec City, albeit virtually. Though the event started as a single after-party, Le Phoque OFF has become a genuine hub for the province’s alternative scene. Its mission is to introduce tomorrow’s artists to the various players in today’s performing arts market.

In addition to the musical showcases – featuring, among others, Ariane Roy, Alexiane, Kanen, LaFièvre, Narcisse, Pastel Barbo, Pure Carrière, and Quitte La Ville – Le Phoque OFF also presents a Pro component this year. On the menu: the return of Messe Basse—Lepointdevente.com, with topics and issues of interest to all players in the cultural sector; panels on exporting your music, presented by SOCAN (February 17, 18 and 19); conferences presented by Mallette and SMAQ I(Les Scènes de musique alternatives du Québec); virtual reality networking; and more.

This year’s edition of Le Phoque OFF will take place on the Fanslab platform. Pro accreditation (at a cost of $20) grant access to all programming. Along with an accreditation, attendees can also purchase a virtual booth to promote their organization and/or artists, at a cost of $60. If you have any questions about exhibitor booths, contact production@phoqueoff.com.

The public is also invited to take advantage of musical showcases via the Lepointdevente.com distribution platform. An all-access pass for the shows is on sale at a cost of $12.

SOCAN wishes you a great Phoque OFF!

The Canadian live music industry has launched #ForTheLoveOfLive, a new awareness campaign to bring attention to the damage that COVID-19 shutdowns have caused Canada’s live music industry – the artists, festivals, venues, promoters, clubs, concert halls, arenas, talent agencies, unions, crew, and many others working in the supply chain that connect Canadians with extraordinary live music experiences.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is asking fans, industry, and all those who miss live music to share their memories and support their friends and neighbours who make up this industry.

“Live music is a major economic driver across the country, and we know that Canadians will want to return to live music venues, when it is safe to do so,” said Erin Benjamin, President and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “Real people in your community are at risk of losing their jobs forever. They need additional, ongoing, targeted support from governments, to ensure that when COVID measures are lifted, Canadians continue to have access to the artists and live music experiences they know and love.”

The live events industry was one of the first to shut down, prioritizing the safety of artists, crews, and fans by cancelling or postponing thousands of events across the country. And with ongoing uncertainty, live events will be among the last to return. Since shutting down in March 2020, the industry has experienced a crippling 92% annual revenue loss.

“The venue ladder is a crucial part of building a fan base and maintaining a sustainable living as an artist. It’s been heartbreaking to watch beloved venues close – venues where so many careers were started and so many memories were made. When we are able to return to live performances, and it’s safe to do so, support will be crucial to our artists and our stages,” said Miranda Mulholland, JUNO-nominated artist, and Vice-Chair Massey/Roy Thomson Halls.

 Fans are encouraged to join the live music industry and support this campaign by sharing their favourite  live  music  memories,  concert  videos,  and  photos  on  social  media,  using the

#ForTheLoveOfLive hashtag. For more about the impact of the necessary COVID measures on the Canadian live music industry, fans are encouraged to visit www.canadianlivemusic.ca/fortheloveoflive.

The Situation in Numbers

Before March 2020, the Canadian live music industry created 72,000 jobs and contributed approximately $3 billion to the national GDP.  Since March of 2020, the industry has reported:

  • 92% average revenue
  • 64% of the industry is at risk of permanent
  • One in four arts, entertainment, and recreation workers lost their job in 2020. That’s 114,400 artists, technicians, marketing staff, arts administrators, and other cultural workers who could no longer earn a living out of their profession.
  • $99M in GPP lost due to the shutdown of music venues in Toronto alone (as of October 2020).
  • 85% of professional musicians agree that if they can’t perform live, they will have a difficult time making a living.
  • More live music venues are predicting to close, losing jobs and the future of Canadian music.
  • Over three times as many individuals and organizations report very high or high levels of stress and anxiety today (76% and 79%, respectively) as compared to before COVID-19 (26% and 25%).
  • The live music industry has been dramatically impacted by the pandemic – extending to musicians, live music venues, staff, crews, music festivals, and Canadians believe that these sectors/professions need support from governments to help recover from the pandemic.