Latest NewsInitial speakers unveiled as Canadian Music Week goes virtual

Initial speakers unveiled as Canadian Music Week goes virtual

Buffy Sainte-Marie, Nile Rodgers and Timbaland are among those set to take part in the upcoming 2021 Canadian Music Week (CMW) Virtual Conference & Festival.

After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, CMW will return May 18-21. The initial list of speakers for this year’s music industry conference includes:

  • Chris BlackwellIsland Records Founder
  • Desmond ChildGrammy-winning producer, songwriter
  • The Honourable Steven Guilbeault – Minister of Canadian Heritage
  • Shirley Halperin – Executive Editor, Variety
  • Sam Hollander – Songwriter, producer, hitmaker
  • Michael Huppe – President & CEO, Sound Exchange
  • Kevin Liles – Co-Founder & CEO, 300 Entertainment
  • Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk – Hit singer/songwriters
  • Carianne Marshall – Co-Chair & COO, Warner Chappell Music
  • Michael McCarty – CEO, Kilometre Music Group
  • Merck Mercuriadis Hipgnosis Music Fund
  • Lawrence Mestel – Founder & CEO, Primary Wave
  • Ethan Millman – Writer, Rolling Stone
  • Gail Mitchell – Executive Director, R&B/Hip Hop, Billboard Magazine
  • Natalia Nastaskin – CCO, Primary Wave
  • Wendy Ong – President, TaP Music
  • Ryan Press – President, A&R, U.S., Warner Chappell Music
  • Debra Rathwell – EVP of Global Touring at AEG
  • Brittney King Rock – President, 10k Projects
  • Nile Rodgers – Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer
  • Mauricio Ruiz8 Til Faint Management, Co-Manager, Jessie Reyez
  • Portia Sabin – President, Music Business Association
  • Suzy Shinn, Hit producer and engineer
  • Rob Stevenson – Partner, 300 Entertainment

The virtual event will feature networking sessions, breakout rooms, exhibitors, and an international marketplace, in addition to speakers and panelists. Registration is now open.

The 20th Anniversary Independent Music Awards will be streamed live from the El Mocambo on Friday, May 21, hosted by Matt, Carlin and Josie Dye of Toronto’s Indie88 (CIND-FM). The evening will feature performances by 2019 Indie Award-winners Monowhales, July Talk, Sam Roberts Band, Walk Off The Earth, and CZN, the winners of the 2020 Jim Beam National Talent Search.

The Canadian Music Week Festival will be free to the public this year, featuring both Canadian and international artists. It will stream on the CMW Festival website from May 18-21 and be available to view on-demand.

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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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