Toronto Blues Society | » April 2021 – Loose Blues News

April 2021 – Loose Blues News

Published April 14, 2021 in Loose Blues News, News

CIUT FM Honours the Legacy of Late John Valenteyn: After the upsetting passing of John Valenteyn last year, CIUT FM is preparing to honour his legacy with Andrew Galloway, Brooke Blackburn, Dr. Julie Hill, and Sugar Brown (aka Ken Kawashima) hosting the show on a rotating schedule and keeping Valenteyn’s and Blues spirit glowing up at the station. More details to be announced by CIUT FM.

Downchild on Vinyl! Recorded at the 2019 TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Downchild’s 50th anniversary romp is available in CD and vinyl (their first vinyl release in over 30 years!). The special release features all-star guests including, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Shaffer, David Wilcox, Kenny Neal, Gene Taylor, Peter Jeffrey, and Erja Lyytinen. Plus, $5 from every CD sold will be donated to the Unison Benevolent Fund, benefitting musicians in need. You can get your copy from Downchild’s website.

Money Matters: If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, make sure to revisit our previously aired Money Matters: Managing Your Finances & Bookkeeping for Musicians workshop hosted by musician Julian Taylor. Panelists Arif Uddin (Bookkeeper & Finance Manager), Chris Enns (Financial Planner & Opera Singer), Geoffrey Blasutti (Accountant & Tax Supervisor), Ingrid Denda (Financial Advisor & Planner) gathered online early January to provide some useful info to our community. The video is still available for free replay on our on TBS Youtube channel as well as TBS Facebook page. A list of resources and references that were discussed during the panel were shared after the event as well and can be found on our website.

Award Season continues: Congratulations to TBS Musician Advisory Council (MAC) member who just won “Solo Artist of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The awards were presented over a four-day extended stream. No blues category, regrettably (Hey, blues is folk music!). Crystal Shawanda and Julian were both nominated for Indigenous Artist Or Group Of The Year and Julian also received a nom for Contemporary Roots Album Of The Year for The Ridge. Watch a replay at

Big Congrats to the unstoppable force of nature, Bobby Rush, for taking home the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. The Best Contemporary Blues Album award went to Fantastic Negrito, beating out some of the more predictable candidates. In addition, The Blues Foundation’s main event, The Blues Awards (formerly the W. C. Handy Awards) will take place on June 6. Info at

Folk Music Ontario Showcase Applications now Open: 2021 showcase and award applications for the (virtual) Folk Music Ontario conference are now open. Please visit FMO’s website for more info.

New Grants & Funding for the Music Industry: It was an exciting week for the music industry last week as a bundle of new grants to keep the sector alive announced by the Department of Canadian Heritage. $181.5 million will support the planning and presentation of COVID-19 safe events (live and digital) and provide work opportunities. Funding will be disbursed in grants through Canada Council’s Digital Now program to adapt or create works for virtual audiences as well as Canada Council’s Explore and Create Program for new/early career artists, groups and organizations, Canadian Heritage’s Support for Workers in the Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund and FACTOR’s Support to Live Music Events

SOCAN Support for Streaming: Canada’s Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada has expanded its online performance royalties program, effective March 25. SOCAN members will now be able to receive performance and reproduction rights royalties from free and ticketed online concerts on more digital platforms for one-time live digital broadcasts and copies of music.

Can’t Stop stopped: It was the only gig left for many bluesicians, established artists, up-and-comers and many blues bands you never heard of even though they are a big deal in their part of the world. Can’t Stop The Blues was a streaming platform that brought a steady flow of top notch blues to your Facebook. Two super-fans put it together, probably thinking it was a stop-gap for some of their favourite bands to keep busy and have a payday (albeit via Tip Jar). They posted on their Facebook Page that “we are developing a program to allow artists, venues and fans to continue to tap into the power and reach of Can’t Stop the Blues!” so maybe they’re not done yet. Kudos to Karen Gottheimer and Judy Eliyas – Blues Power in Action!

#ForTheLoveOfLive: Please consider taking a look at Canada Live Music Association’s campaign and support live music today. With the Federal Budget scheduled for April 19th, 2021, the time is right now to make a final push. Go to to sign the petition and support their awareness campaign bringing attention to the damage COVID-19 shutdowns have caused Canada’s live music industry.

The Canadian Live Music Association writes, “Live music is a significant economic driver across the country (contributing upwards of $3b to Canada’s GDP and supporting 72,000 jobs pre-pandemic). We know that Canadians will want to return to live music venues when it is safe to do so; however, additional targeted, sector-specific funding will be essential to ensure that shuttered companies and individuals can survive the months ahead. It is critically important that the Federal Government include in the spring budget:

1) Urgently implement a “Phase 3” of $25m sector-specific funding: protect all venues, concert promoters, festivals, production/sound + lights/supply companies, others whose core business is live music (talent agencies, management companies, and so on) and self-employed people working in live music.
– Build on Phase 2 so that initial investment isn’t lost
– Save live music infrastructure so artists can tour and perform in the future
– Enable the sector to support meaningful rebuild and recovery
2) An extension and enhancement of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) at 75% targeting hard-hit industries until the end of 2021; and
3) An extension and enhancement of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) for hard-hit businesses, including deeper support for medium-sized businesses, until the end of 2021.”
The TBS would like to know your feelings about how and when live blues venues should re-open. We will be gathering info for future workshops and info sessions. Send your comments to [email protected]
Beyond the immediate need to get back to gigging, a new organization called Music Declares Emergency is a group of artists, music industry professionals and organizations that stand together to declare a climate and ecological emergency and call for an immediate governmental response to protect all life on Earth. More about them (and another petition) at

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The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.