Today our Spotlight – Connected Music Series. We got to sit down with Jesse Mitchell. We talk about this amazing series of artists and how this great event came to be. Check it out now
Who are you, what do you do at CMI, and how long have you been with the team?
Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) is a national not-for-profit organization. It’s dedicated to providing customized, hands-on creative and entrepreneurial development for emerging artists, artist managers and industry professionals. 2021 will mark our 10 year anniversary!
My role at CMI is Director of Live Events & Artist Curation, and I have been here for over 8 years!
Congratulations on the first year doing this concert series! Were you nervous about how this series would be received?
Thanks! We were actually less nervous and instead more excited to do this series! During this past summer we already had the chance to produce a handful of other (online) music performance series in Toronto and Calgary, so were very confident and excited to do something nationally!
What made you decide to put this initiative forward?
TD Bank has always been known as being the bank that supports music and artists. They are constantly trying to find ways to help out, especially even more during this pandemic. Between TD and CMI we wanted to focus on creating a series that would promote the diversity of music within Canada, give artists (paid) performance opportunities during Covid-19. At the same time also spotlighting significant spaces while supporting all the different music content video/audio creators across Canada. Our goal for this year was to curate Indigenous, Black, and South Asian artists.
What was the selection process like with so many unique and cultural sounds and components to factor in?
Firstly, the biggest thing that came into factor was (obviously) Covid-19 because that really affected the available spaces that were still open and usable, it affected which artists were available and able to pull this off, and most importantly the safety health and guidelines in each market and ensuring we were following everything correctly.
When it came to actual selection process of artists/spaces curated, CMI leaned heavily on all our partners across Canada to ensure we had some amazing choices. Examples include the Music Industry Associations (Music Ontario, Music New Brunswick, etc). Specific cultural community associations (R.I.S.E, Red Rising Music, etc) or some of CMI’s third party custom programs (The Juno Master Class). Lastly, CMI was able to tap into our deep pool of artists and managers that we’ve been working with for the past 10 years in our programs.
Why did you decide to spread out over about a month? That’s quite ambitious for a first year series!
We really wanted to have this program run, and finish off the year strong in 2020! We also wanted to have multiple shows per week (instead of let’s say just 1 per week). This makes it feel more like a music series as the performances are aired (online) from all over Canada.
Do we plan on making this an annual event?
Yes, our goal with the help and support of TD is to make The Connected Music Series an annual event.
Assuming this time next year live performances will return, do you think the series will stay online?
As of right now the goal of The Connected Music Series is strictly online and we are taking it each day at time right now. Thankfully, when live performances do return both TD and CMI have some other great live performance programs that will be running too!
What has the response been so far from audiences
The response has been great and you can really tell there is a hunger for real live music! Airings of these performances can be viewed on both Youtube and Facebook. Search “The Connected Music Series” or adding CMI to any of your socials! @CMIncubator
What words of encouragement would you like to give to people in the music industry that are struggling in these times?
In history it seems that a lot of times when something this catastrophic happens to an industry, it forces business to be creative and innovative to find other ways to run. The Music Industry is one of the most innovative and creative industries out there. I hope in some way that we can find a way to come out of this even stronger when/if things do get back to normal.
Visit www.canadasmusicincubator.com for more info
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