Do Canada's musicians and songwriters still need Canadian content rules to survive?
Protecting Canadian music.
More from this episode:
In 1970, a song called American Woman by Winnipeg band, The Guess Who was climbing high in the charts. As lead singer Burton Cummings belted out "American Woman ...stay away from me," it was a time when Canadians were worrying about being swamped by American culture.
Then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau described in a Washington speech that living next to America was like sleeping with an elephant. The Guess Who may not have intended the song to be interpreted politically, but it was ....and that was a sign of the times.
One year later, Canada's broadcast regulator the CRTC brought in tough new rules forcing radio stations to play 30 percent Canadian music. CanCon was born, and some say it was the foundation of the Canadian music industry today.
Did it work? You be the judge. This is the week of the 2018 JUNO Awards where the best of Canadian music is celebrated and showcase. And it's no accident that those awards took their name from Pierre Juneau, the man who presided over the CRTC and brought in the CanCon regulations in 1971. Did they succeed in giving Canadian music enough room to breathe?
The regulations are all about radio play, but how many people listen to their music on radio now? In a world where the music has moved to digital downloads, streaming music services — YouTube, Vimeo, Vine — it's now out of reach of the only place where Canadian music is being counted — on radio. Do you care where your music comes from, or is it like food...better to buy local?
Some music critics complain that the CanCon rules only give already-established artists more airplay, and that the Junos showcase and reward those artists unfairly propped up by CanCon rules.
Our topic today: Do Canada's musicians and songwriters still need Canadian content rules to survive?
Kai Black, Executive Producer, Special Projects & Branded Content for CBC Music
Shachi Kurl, Executive Director, Angus Reid Institute
Jasmyn Burke, lead singer of Weaves. Their Album Wide Open is nominated for a 2018 JUNO for Alternative Album of the Year
Ruth B., Edmonton singer who won JUNO Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2017. This year she's nominated for three JUNOS: Artist of the Year; Album of the Year; and Pop Album of the Year for Safe Haven
- CBC Music: Junos
- Inside The Junos - podcasts
- Podcast: How the JUNOS got its name
- Canadian content rules for online media have weaker support, survey suggests
- Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly urges change at CBC, CRTC to boost Canadian content in digital age
The Globe and Mail
- Pierre Juneau: The Godfather of Canadian swagger
- Ottawa announces sweeping CanCon review: 'Everything's on the table'
- Blowing up the system to save it
- CRTC relaxes content rules to help Canadian TV broadcasters compete with digital media
- How do we apply Canadian content rules to a world in which we're all creating all the time?
- Heritage Minister has promised to overhaul broadcasters' CanCon requirements. Why not just abolish them?
Government of Canada