Warner Music Canada will be celebrating its 50th anniversary over the next few months by releasing a series of 50-song playlists, in addition to a vinyl and digital album of brand new recordings by its Canadian acts and more.
“It’s an honour [sic] to be associated with the legacy of Warner Music in Canada and it is with pride that we continue our support of music in this country with our current roster of artists,” Warner Music Canada president Steve Kane said in a statement. “Long before I joined the company, I was an avid fan of many of the artists on the label and spent a lot of hard earned dollars making sure that their records were a part of my collection.”
The first playlist, released this week on Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, features the biggest songs the label has worked with over the past half century, from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Prince, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Eagles, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Muse, Bruno Mars and Coldplay, and Canadians Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, k.d. lang, Blue Rodeo, Alanis Morissette and Billy Talent.
Other playlists covering various genres will follow, in addition to a call out to the public to put together and share their own Warner-based playlists.
Warner Music Canada is headquartered in Toronto with regional offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax and a total staff of 82.
Twenty-five years ago a 4-CD set was released celebrating that milestone and the staff also flew to Hawaii for the anniversary. This August staff from across the country will come together in Toronto to celebrate the big 5-0 at Blue Rodeo’s annual summer concert at Budweiser Stage (Aug.19). Warner Music Canada has been the one and only home for the multi-platinum selling roots-rock band since 1987.
The vinyl and streaming-only album is currently in the works featuring new recordings by Warner Music Canada’s current roster “that honor the legacy of Canadian artists that have been signed, developed and distributed through the label over the last half century,” according to the press release. The liner notes will include a history of Warner Music Canada, pieced together by employees past and present.
Until 1967, Warner Bros. Records was distributed in Canada by Compo Co. of Montreal. Warner-Reprise Canada Ltd. was formed in 1967 by Phil Rose as the first international branch operation of Warner-Reprise Records. In 1969, after Kinney National Company bought Warner-Reprise, the Canadian arm became known as Kinney Music Canada, until 1972 when it adopted the name WEA Music Canada (in 1970, Elektra Records joined Warner Bros. and Atlantic to form WEA Distribution). In 1990, when Time bought Warner Communications, WEA Music of Canada underwent its final name change: Warner Music Canada. Now owned by Access Industries (since 2011), the company operates in over 50 countries.