Latest NewsCMW President Neill Dixon set to retire

CMW President Neill Dixon set to retire

Canadian Music Week (CMW) President Neill Dixon has announced he’s retiring after 42 years.

Dixon, 78, made the announcement at the opening of this year’s music and radio industry conference in Toronto, which runs through June 8.

Randy Lennox

He’ll be selling the business to Loft Entertainment – the artist management and content company co-founded by Randy Lennox, a former president of both Bell Media and Universal Music Canada, and music industry veteran Kevin Barton – and venue management and hospitality provider Oak View Group, which doubles as the owner of global concert industry trade publication Pollstar.

Dixon, a longtime Toronto music industry staple, made his foray into the music scene running Grumbles coffee house toward the end of the city’s folk music heyday in the late ’60s. He eventually moved into the role of Regional Promotion Manager at RCA Records before becoming VP of National Promotion. He then managed various acts including Martha Reeves, Jr. Walker, Triumph and Long John Baldry, and eventually started indie label Solid Gold Records.

Dixon launched Canadian Music Week in 1982 and told Monday’s gathering that very rarely did the last 42 years “feel like work.”

“It has been an incredible journey to see Canadian Music Week grow from a small gathering of music lovers to one of the most influential music festivals and conferences in the world,” said Dixon, in an announcement. “I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished and deeply grateful to everyone who has been part of this journey. As I step aside and retire, I am confident that CMW is in excellent hands with Loft Entertainment and Oak View Group. Their passion, vision, and resources will ensure that CMW continues to thrive and evolve. I look forward to seeing the festival reach new heights under their leadership.”

The companies said in a release that the event will continue to be headquartered in Toronto with the acquisition promising to bring “exciting changes and innovations to Canadian Music Week, including expanded programming, enhanced venues, and unique engagement opportunities for artists and fans.”

“We are incredibly proud to bring Canadian Music Week into the Loft Entertainment Media family in partnership with Oak View Group,” added Lennox. “CMW has a rich history of championing music and artists, and we are committed to building on that legacy. Our vision is to enhance the festival experience, creating new opportunities for artists and attendees alike, while maintaining the core values that have made CMW a beloved event. As Neill Dixon steps into a well-deserved retirement, we honour his remarkable dedication to making CMW the influential event it is today. His vision has set a high standard that we are eager to uphold and expand upon.”

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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