BHM: Canada’s Music Landscape

"The Fire This Time, The Future Is Now"

Panelists will discuss what they think really needs to happen in Canada’s music industry to support Black music practitioners, creators, and industry workers. Is executing overnight knee jerk token Black hires enough? How do we measure success and expedite equality when it comes to fully eradicating anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry? Is there anything non-Black allies of Black music industry workers can do on their WOKE-ness journey to (really) help level the playing field? Are there any issues being ignored in this BLM-fueled journey to justice in Canada? 

Join us for the live stream at 7:00pm EDT
With a special performance from Krystle Dos Santos Set time: Approx 8:00pm EDT

Meet The Panelists! 

Dalton Higgins is a publicist, author of six books (including Drake biography Far From Over: The
Music & Life of Drake
), National Magazine Award-winning journalist and co-host of the Black Tea podcast on Rogers Media. A semi-retired (recovering?) music presenter, Higgins’ books are carried everywhere from Cleveland’s Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum collection, to Harvard University’s hip hop archive. Higgins has conducted many up close and personal interviews with a long list of Black music and culture icons; from Charlamagne Tha God and the late J Dilla, all the way to Jermaine Dupri (So So Def) and Chuck D (Public Enemy). Higgins has worked as a producer on a number of broadcast and podcast initiatives throughout the USA and Canada including CBC’s recent five part This Is Not A Drake podcast series voted one of Apple’s 2020 Best of the Year podcasts. As a publicist and indie PR company owner Higgins has managed publicity campaigns for a wide range of national and international artists over the last decade including Grammy Award winners and nominees (Buju Banton, Larnell Lewis / Aloe Blacc, A-Trak); BET Award winners (Giggs, Stonebwoy), Juno Award winners and nominees (Jazz Cartier, Kardinal Offishall, Classified / Allan Rayman, Emmanuel Jal); Soul Train Music Award winners (Snoh Aalegra), winners of the UK’s Mercury Prize (Benjamin Clementine), France’s Victoires de la Musique / French Grammy’s (Orelsan), and for the world renowned King of Soca, Trinidad’s Machel Montano.

 

David “Click” Cox started his career as a member of the MMVA (MuchMusic Video
Awards)
winning and JUNO nominated group, The Maximum Definitive. Cox later developed a reputation for his promotional and marketing efforts working closely with concert promotions company REMG. Soon after, he started his career working with BMG Music Canada and then worked as an A&R at Universal Music Canada. During his time with Universal, he founded the Stylus Awards to celebrate Canadian Hip-Hop and R&B music talents and to formally recognize the contribution of DJs. After eight years with Universal, he created his own entertainment company, CLK Creative Works.  Today, CLK is responsible for managing an eclectic roster of highly skilled and experienced artists. Outside of his artist management duties, David teaches music business at Metalworks and The Remix Project.

 

Exmiranda is a D-I-Y West African Canadian rapper, singer-songwriter and Rexdale native whose been marking her territory in Toronto and beyond for her unique androgynous presence and dynamic flow. Her modern 90’s aesthetic fused with west African rhythms and funk set her apart from the traditional Northern sound. With nods from international sensation Lizzo, Adidas placements, a Northern Bars Spotify Billboard Campaign, a viral TikTok presence and over 800,000 streams on Spotify, Exmiranda is swiftly gaining momentum. Her Song “Fresh Fro” was described as a summer must listen by the Globe and Mail with her music featured on several Spotify editorial playlists including the coveted Fresh Finds cover, US and Canada Radar, Outliers, Spotify’s Best of 2020 hip hop, Fresh Finds playlist and many more. Exmiranda was selected as a 2019 Finalist for the Emerging Artist Award by the Toronto Arts Foundation with her music being featured on platforms like Worldstar Hip Hop. She is also a community advocate and the Founder of the Arts Collective Ear Appeal creating opportunities for women in hip hop and artists on the margins.

Gary ‘GMAQ’ McAuley is a music producer, singer/songwriter, entertainment consultant, and budding entrepreneur.  His production, recording and performance experience spans decades in the music industry, as a member of the Canadian Pop Vocal recording group (and ‘family’ act) The McAuley Boys. McAuley’s YEL Entertainment Inc., is a consulting and production company, created with a view to facilitating his strength in bringing like-minded people with vision together to fully explore, broaden and expand both business and artistic opportunities.  Many have benefited from his personal experience and wealth of knowledge in the entertainment sector. Gary has a vast network throughout the world available to him when needed, including ‘A list’ artists, music industry executives, sports icons, financiers and visionaries.  Of his notable strengths is an ability to highlight and glean relevance in many areas, as they relate to pop culture. As a multi-sport athlete in football, basketball, tennis and golf, McAuley has had the honour of coaching competitive youth football and basketball, and has mentored many young athletes over the years.  In that capacity, he has enjoyed winning league championships…in both sports!  Along with his experience in the entertainment industry, and in amateur sports, as well as his belief in ‘flow’ and the importance of listening to the Universe, McAuley aims to bring an awareness of the virtues of Honesty, Integrity, Gratefulness and Humility to all of his encounters.  Tapping into the topic of racial equity, biases, and perceived barriers for opportunity in the Black entertainment & artist community is no exception!