Canada Council for the Arts' Upcoming Culturally Diverse and First Peoples Music Showcases

Dateline: August 10, 1998

In mid July, The Canada Council for the Arts announced a series of showcases featuring the best musicians and creative talents from Canada's culturally diverse and First Peoples communities. These showcases will be one-day events taking place in Toronto on November 14 1998, Montreal on November 15 1998, and Vancouver on November 22 1998.

The Council is seeking applications from professional artists working in traditional, classical, folk, jazz, spoken word, and musique actuelle from members of all world cultures and First Peoples. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and who are performing Canadian compositions, or interpretations of classical and folk music. According to a press release from the Council, "First Peoples" includes First Nations (Status and Non Status), Métis and Inuit people. "Culturally Diverse" artists include those with Asian, African, Latin American, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Oceanic Aboriginal backgrounds, or some mix thereof. The cutoff date for applications is September 1 1998, and there is no fee.

This is the first time the Canada Council has ever organized a showcase. According to Sandra Bender, Market Development and Information Officer, "the focus is on world music artists --- both traditional and contemporary. There has been relatively little world music toured outside the home region or market. As a result, the Canada Council for the Arts organized a couple of workshops for artists and agents to help develop the skills and exchange of information around touring across Canada for world artists. However, there still seemed to be an enormous gap between the number of world artists creating and producing work and touring this work outside their home base. As a result, this project was proposed by the Music Section at the Canada Council as part of its' one-time special initiatives," she explains.

Applications can be obtained through calling the local coordinator or the Canada Council at 1(800) 263-5588, ext. 4118. There is also an application form online as well as more information about the showcase thatc an be accessed through the Canada Council's Web site.