Canadian Music Week Reports 41% of Musical Acts Were Women in 2019

Kieran Frost/Redferns
Azealia Banks performs at The Academy on Jan. 22, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. 

Canadian Music Week, which made a conscious effort to increase the amount of women participating in the festival, managed to near the 50/50 gender balance pledged to Keychange.

This year's event, which took place from May 6-12, was comprised of 41% female-led bands, the organization reports.

“We are extremely proud of the progress we've made and look forward to meeting our goal of 50/50 gender equality at Canadian Music Week by 2022," reads a statement from the organization.

CMW signed on to the Keychange 50:50 pledge three years ago to achieve gender parity by 2022. In 2017, 27% of the artists performing at the festival were women or bands led by women. In 2018, that number increased to 31%.

The brainchild of the U.K.’s PRS Foundation, which helps fund new music and talent development, Keychange is an international initiative launched in 2017 to encourage festivals and music organizations to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022. The figure includes women, transgender and non-binary people.

To date, nearly 200 music festivals and conferences have taken the Keychange 50/50 pledge.

PRS Foundation is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Musikcentrum Öst, Reeperbahn Festival, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Tallinn Music Week, Way Out West, Liverpool Sound City and Mutek.