Nova Scotia

N.S. group helping musicians tour the world

A Cape Breton music industry co-operative is helping local musicians tour the world.

A new Cape Breton music industry co-operative is helping local musicians tour the world.

Dawn Beaton, who has just returned from a U.K. tour with her sister Margie, says it wouldn't have been possible without the Cape Breton Music Industry Co-operative Limited.

"CBMIC has a great vision with things," Beaton said. "I mean as soon as we were done our performance, we were offered a tour of a European country. … That was, again, an example of pushing our market capabilities and accessing new places there."

CBMIC is a group of industry professionals, virtually all of them volunteers. They've been able to raise money — mostly from government sources — for projects such as the international tours.

"We've helped Carmen Townsend tour in Australia, Slowcoaster tour in Japan; we've helped the Collin Grant Band tour in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Tom Fun Orchestra tour in Australia," said Albert Lionais, the sole staff member at CBMIC. "There's some projects coming up in America and another one in Australia as well."

Since helping the four groups tour the U.K., Lionais said, more than 40 international offers have come in.

CBMIC chair Jennifer Pino said the goal is to increase musicians' opportunities so they don't need funding.

"It's great. I mean we took those musicians to the U.K. and we're starting to hear back that they are getting bookings. Some of the artists are starting to get potential U.K. agents," Pino said.

"What that means is a lot of bookings, and maybe the next time they go they won't need funding because they'll have an agent that has 10 gigs while they are there, not just two."