Toronto's Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced the dates and programming details for its 30th anniversary next year March 21-25, 2012, as well as the broadening of its entertainment brand. The convention, which added a film and digital component in recent years, has extended its Film Fest from two days to four days (March 21-24) and added the brand new Canadian International Comedy Fest (March 21-25)
CMW president Neill Dixon tells Billboard.Biz the expansion will not diminish CMW's long-time emphasis on music. "Music and film, comedy and music both are natural partners," he says. "I used to co-own the Toronto Comedy Festival so it was an easy decision. We started the film festival a couple of years ago as we were already working with the studios and their music supervisors, as well as composers, so it was a natural extension of our 'Music for the Screen' program for our delegates. Both the comedy and Film Fest gives the wristband holder added value as well as more options for their dollar."
NXNE, Toronto's summertime music festival and conference which just ended this past Sunday (June 19), has had a film component for a decade and this year its 50 conference panels integrated industries, such as film, digital media, non-profits and music. CMW's conference is bigger, including more keynotes and celebrity interviews and 90 panels. It has some integrated and broader-based panels, but tends to be focused on a range of narrow topics that are of interest to the various sectors of the music industry and beyond.
The CMW conference already includes Digital Summit North added five years ago; Radio Active/The Canadian Radio Conference; entry-level TuneUp Music Careers Conference and a Songwriters' Summit. There is also a tradeshow; the music festl with 800 artists in 55 venues; and multiple music awards shows: the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards; Canadian Radio Music Awards; Crystal Awards, "the best in radio creative;" and The Indie Awards.
Embedded within the music conference in recent years is the "International Marketplace," which focuses on a territory and a country. Last year, it was Southeast Asia and France. For 2012, there will be a two-day spotlight on Latin America and a focus on Spain and Portugal.
CMW, which is now tagged as Canada's International Music Convention & Entertainment Festival, began in 1983 under a different name, The Record Conference, presented by the now-defunct music business trade paper The Record. Dixon launched an awards component in 1984, which developed into a full-fledged music industry awards show. In 1991, the music festival was added, which for the past 14 years is tied in with the Juno Awards weekend. The Record ended its print publication for the web in 1999 and folded altogether in 2001. Dixon took over 100 percent control and ownership of CMW in 1993.