ECMA artists get business boost from music week

The East Coast Music Week underway in Charlottetown is a showcase of some of the best talent the region has to offer, but for artists it’s also a major business opportunity.

Talent scouts eyeing acts for television advertisements and tours

East Coast Music Week is not only a showcase of some of the best talent in the region, it's a major business opportunity for artists.

Ross Burns and his band Gypsophilia have been attending the East Coast Music Awards, underway this week in Charlottetown, for seven years. He's done business deals during previous music weeks and made new friends he ended up touring with.

"There have been lots of times where there have been real tangible benefits," Burns says. "Where we’ve met someone who had no idea who we were before they saw us play a showcase at the ECMA, and then we were booked in their venue."

The industry is changing, according to some in the music business, and there’s less money to be made from songs played on the radio.

"Unless you have your song on an ad or a TV show or a nice placement in a film, it's difficult to sell records," says Jody Colero, with music production company Silent Joe Inc.

Touring also makes money and at this week's ECMAs there are 50 talent scouts from other countries. Andy McLean, the executive director of the East Coast Music Association, says artists should do their best to tour outside of Canada.

"Cause then it feeds back into the home market," he said. "It's like, 'Oh my God, you're going to play Denmark.' Who knows, it could be a little festival — three people and a few cows. But in a way the perception is important."