President’s Report 2013 – Tim Brady

CNMN is set to move to a new lev­el of activ­i­ty, broad­en­ing its impact with­in the com­mu­ni­ty and with­in Cana­di­an soci­ety – due to the work we have been doing over the past 8 years, and espe­cial­ly due to the work we have done in the past 12 months.

There are sev­er­al key ele­ments to the growth and suc­cess of CNMN. They are:

  1. Board renew­al
  2. Infra­struc­ture improvements
  3. Region­al discussions
  4. Big­ger and bet­ter part­ner­ships – Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary, CAPACOA, CSMDCI
  5. FORUM 2014 planning
  6. Long-term vision

All of these ele­ments came togeth­er in 2012–2013, mak­ing for a very busy and event­ful year.

(1) Board Renewal

The new board began work in June 2012. The new board includes sev­er­al very expe­ri­enced artists and arts man­agers, who bring a wealth of knowl­edge and con­nec­tions to the CNMN board. This is help­ing with both the effi­cien­cy and effec­tive­ness of the board in get­ting work done.

The board is also slow­ly mov­ing from being a “work­ing board” to a mixed “working/governance” board. In the long term, CNMN will be stronger if we have a bet­ter infra­struc­ture (paid staff) and if the day-to-day work­ings of the organ­i­sa­tion of the com­pa­ny is not han­dled by the board. The cur­rent board pres­i­dent has func­tioned as a vol­un­teer CEO for the past 8 years and we are slow­ly try­ing to change that mod­el. It is unsus­tain­able, long-term.

(2) Infra­struc­ture improvements

At the very end of our 2011–2012 sea­son, we moved to a more stan­dard­ized Word Press site. This result­ed in adding the task of web site man­age­ment and pub­lish­ing to Emi­ly Hall, and for this past sea­son, she has been work­ing well with the new web site that is con­stant­ly under­go­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tions and improvements.

We were also able to con­tin­ue pro­duc­ing the thrice-year­ly Bul­letin, though it is now pro­duced in a more online-friend­ly format.

(3) Region­al Discussions/Members Meetings

With fund­ing from the last round of Cana­di­an Her­itage Creator’s Assis­tance Pro­gramme, CNMN held a round of 6 region­al meet­ings across Cana­da dur­ing the past sea­son. Per­haps some of you attend­ed these meet­ings. Events were held in Cal­gary, Mon­tréal, Toron­to, Win­nipeg, Regi­na and Hal­i­fax. The meet­ing styles, con­tent and struc­ture were quite var­ied, reflect­ing the diverse region­al nature of Cana­di­an cul­ture. Atten­dance at the meet­ings was very good, and the qual­i­ty of the dis­cus­sions was very informed. The meet­ings also helped raise CNMN pro­file in each com­mu­ni­ty, which helped some­what with mem­ber­ship renewals. There is a lot of infor­ma­tion on the region­al meet­ings on the Web site.

(4) Big­ger and bet­ter partnerships

CNMN has lots of ideas and plans, but we can’t do it all on our own. Build­ing effec­tive part­ner­ships is essen­tial to achiev­ing our goals. This year saw us cre­ate 3 great new partnerships.

  • The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary: a full, com­mit­ted part­ner to the FORUM 2014, they are invest­ing both facil­i­ties and mon­ey in the project
  • CAPACOA (Cana­di­an Arts Pre­sent­ing Asso­ci­a­tion): we part­nered for the CNMN Ontario Region­al Meet­ings (host­ing sev­er­al pan­el dis­cus­sions around the theme of new music), and we all agreed that CNMN and CAPACOA need to build more and clos­er con­nec­tions. It is a poten­tial gate­way into the main­stream music pre­sen­ters, which is a huge poten­tial mar­ket to devel­op. Talks are ongo­ing, with a poten­tial major project being dis­cussed for 2015.
  • CSMDDCI (Cana­di­an Spe­cialised Music Dis­sem­i­na­tion and Dig­i­tal Con­tent Ini­tia­tive): this very com­plex and ambi­tious project is slow­ly evolv­ing. It involves build­ing a coali­tion of 11 major arts/music com­pa­nies across Cana­da, and con­tin­u­ing dis­cus­sion with Cana­di­an Her­itage about the role of “spe­cial­ized music” in the Cana­di­an musi­cal ecol­o­gy, with spe­cif­ic goals towards the renew­al of the Cana­da Music Fund in 2015.
  • It also involves seri­ous arts rep­re­sen­ta­tion and work­ing with both bureau­crats and elect­ed offi­cials. CNMN has met Cana­di­an Her­itage twice, and con­tin­ues to work with the Cana­di­an Arts Coali­tion in its large scale arts rep­re­sen­ta­tion work in Ottawa, includ­ing the “Day on the Hill” project, in which we par­tic­i­pat­ed last fall 2012.

(5) FORUM 2014 Planning

This FORUM will be our most impres­sive to date. We are real­ly reach­ing out to the world, try­ing to bring Cana­di­an new music to the pub­lic around the world. Fund­ing for the event is going well, and I willl give more details on the FORUM and its finances in the update after this offi­cial report.

Two new fea­tures that have tak­en a lot of plan­ning are the increased pres­ence of high-lev­el inter­na­tion­al guests, and the open call for pro­pos­als. We have a stu­pen­dous list of “A list” pre­sen­ters con­firmed as our invit­ed guests: Sound­streams, The Berlin Phil­har­mon­ic, Le Fes­ti­val Why Note (Dijon), the Lon­don Sin­foni­et­ta (UK) and Miller The­atre (New York). This is a very impres­sive range of high-end pro­duc­ers to which Cana­di­an new music artists will have face-to-face access for the first time.

This sea­son also saw the inau­gur­al open call for FORUM pre­sen­ta­tions, which was huge­ly suc­cess­ful. We received 43 appli­cants, of which, regret­tably, only a few could be cho­sen for the event. But the qual­i­ty of the pro­pos­als was very high, and it shows a huge need and desire from the com­mu­ni­ty to get the music out there!

Oth­er tech­ni­cal details advanced for FORUM plan­ning last sea­son such as bud­gets, hotel group rates, tech­ni­cal details, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary coor­di­na­tion, and of course, writ­ing grant appli­ca­tions. I’d like to take a moment to thank the FORUM 2014 steer­ing com­mit­tee for their valu­able work: John Ried (chair), Lau­rie Rad­ford, David Eagle, and Bill Jor­dan and Rob Oxo­by, vice dean at the U of C has also been very helpful.

New in the 2012–2013 sea­son, CNMN took a chance and applied for FORUM fund­ing for the first time through FACTOR’s Indus­try Events. But don’t give results – leave that for post-AGM news!

(6) Long-term vision

In 2012, CNMN artic­u­lat­ed a bold vision for Cana­di­an new music: to make new music main­stream. This is, per­haps, over­stat­ing the case, and even slight­ly unre­al­is­tic. How­ev­er, after 8 years as the pres­i­dent, and hav­ing spo­ken to many artists, pre­sen­ters, pro­duc­ers and edu­ca­tors about what new music is and can be in Cana­da, it seems very clear to me that Cana­di­an new music has reached a crit­i­cal point. We have amaz­ing com­posers, fan­tas­tic per­form­ers, impres­sive­ly pro­fes­sion­al pro­duc­ers and ded­i­cat­ed and imag­i­na­tive educators.

What is need­ed is for all of us to work togeth­er to make sure that the Cana­di­an pub­lic has access to the extra­or­di­nary work that our com­mu­ni­ty is doing. What is need­ed is a way for us to work togeth­er to achieve that goal. I believe that CNMN is an impor­tant part­ner in mak­ing this hap­pen, and we all need to sup­port its mission.

Cre­ative music mak­ing is a tru­ly unique human expe­ri­ence, and every Cana­di­an should know that they too can take part in both the thrill of dis­cov­ery and the emo­tion­al expe­ri­ence that is new music at its best.

CNMN is there to help make it happen.

Tim Brady – Oct. 1, 2013


Direct link: President’s Report 2013 – Tim Brady
Return to full Bul­letin – Decem­ber 2013