Canadian Music Week has announced four of the inductees to the 2016 Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame: singer-songwriter Andy Kim, broadcaster Rob Steele, and Quebec live music veterans and cultural influencers André Menard and Alain Simard. The tributes and presentations will take place at the annual Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre on May 5.
Menard and Simard, whose inductions were announced simultaneously, were chosen because their “immense impact… on our country’s musical landscape,” said CMW president Neill Dixon.
Ménard has worked live show and concert production since 1975, and has had a 30-year association with Simard as co-founder and vice-president of L’Équipe Spectra. He is also the cofounder and artistic director of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal which brings 2 million people to the city each summer for the 10 days festival.
Menard has received many other awards, including the first Hall of Fame Award, presented by National Jazz Awards Canada (2004); the Reconnaissance award presented by RIDEAU (2003), and the prix Events producer of the year presented by the Jazz Journalist Association (2002).
Simard founded the Montreal International Jazz Festival, as well as the FrancoFolies de Montréal, the Montreal High Lights Festival, La Grande Mascarade, and more recently, the Montreal International Film Festival. He been the president and CEO of L’Équipe Spectra since its inception in 1977.
Simard and Menard also released a joint statement via CMW: “It’s incredible to have been part of our music scene for all these years. In our daily work, drawing inspiration from artists creativity and people’s enthusiasm towards what you are producing in your job is a rare fate. Plain amazing to be recognized by your peers for this!”
Montreal-born Kim, who has sold more than 30 million records, recently released It’s Decided on Arts & Crafts, with Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew. In the ’60s, the 16-year-old went to New York and worked in the famed Brill Building alongside Jeff Barry. There he wrote and recorded such classics as “How’d We Ever Get This Way?” — the first of nine Billboard Top 40 hits — and No. 1 songs like “Rock Me Gently” and the Archie’s “Sugar, Sugar.” His songs have been covered by such legends as Bob Marley, Tom Jones, Wilson Pickett, Ike & Tina Turner and Gladys Knight.
“Andy Kim’s contributions to the Canadian and international music community are truly remarkable in his career, which spans over half a century. As a former recipient of the Indie Award for Favorite Solo Artist during Canadian Music Week, we are so proud to have him as part of the CMW alumni and are thrilled at his induction into the Hall of Fame,” Dixon said.
“The moment I heard the news I realized this voyage I’m on still surprises. I’m humbled and honoured to be recognized in the same breath as my great peers and friends in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame,” said Kim.
Steele, who is called a “natural leader and pacesetter with more than 18 years in the industry,” joined the board of directors of Newfoundland Capital Corporation in 1997 and in 2001 was appointed president and CEO. Under his leadership, the company became Newcap Radio in 2015, now operates 95 radio licenses across Canada and employs almost 1000 people.
“In the decade or more that Canadian Music Week has worked closely with Newcap, we have taken great pride in watching them grow from a regional broadcaster with holdings on the east coast and northern Ontario, to a truly national operator, with stations from coast to coast,” said Dixon. “Steele, as head of the operation, has been an integral part in both their physical and corporate growth, and has led the way in their acknowledged leadership in talent development and forward thinking broadcasting.”
Canadian Music Week takes place over 10 days next May (4th to 14th), combining three conferences, a trade expo; film festival; comedy festival; four awards shows and music festival in more than 50 downtown Toronto venues.