By Keith Sharp
One aspect of the Canadian Music Week, now entering its 35th year of operation, that has broadened the scope of the conference has been it’s ability to engage with foreign countries and to host artists and music industry representatives from international territories each year.
This year it’s the turn of Italy and France to present key artists and industry personel and especially with the French delegation, there is a desire to promote key artists into Canada and not just the province of Quebec.
Audio-Visual Attache Julien Lamy agreed that it is a challenge to expand the scope of key French artists into English Canada but he is leading an army of 20 key French music industry representatives into Toronto this week to meet with their Canadian counterparts to promote their artists as well as check out the possibility of booking Canadian artists into France.
“Promoting French artists into Quebec hasn’t been a problem, many of them are well known in the province,” noted Lamy. “But the challenge of course is to also appeal to English Canada especially when most artists sing in English. Many French artists can sing in English but their preference is to sing in French.
Lamy is hopeful that his industry contingent will be able to meet with their Canadian counterparts and discuss how French artists can be promoted across the rest of Canada and broaden their appeal nationally.
“That is why it is important to come to Toronto, we need to go beyond just meeting with French-speaking people but also meet with the rest of the industry,” informed Lamy who has served in the same capacity in Warsaw Poland and Berliin Germany before moving to Ottawa to set up his operating base.
Lamy also noted that the French industry is open to promoting Canadian talent into Europe. “Over in France, most people don’t know who is American or who is Canadian. They just know good performers. It doesn’t matter where they come from.”
A tasty sample of French music cuisine will be on display Wednesday at The Rivoli when five select French performers showcase their talents. Tété hits the stage at 8 p.m., followed by Theo Lawrence & The Hearts at 9.pm, Imay at 10 p.m., Cleo T at 11 p.m. and Caspian Pool closes out the showcase at midnight.
Of the above, Imay is probably best know to Quebec audiences. This former fashion model hit the Canadian charts with “Donit Be So Shy” earlier this year, which was certifed gold and also earned two diamond certifications in France and Poland as well as numerous gold certifications around Europe.
Imay promoted her new album `The Wrong Kind Of Wari’ with a well-received European tour which cullminated with a high profile concert appearance at the Paris Olympia Music Hall
Tété is a BMG artist who’s troubadour folk style is very popular in Europe and is currently promoting his latest `Les Chroniques de Pierrot’ release.
Cleo T is a unique performer who combines multidisciplinary synesthetic of song, dance and painting. Described as `art for all senses’, her new album is titled `And Then I Saw A Million Skies Ahead.
Caspian Pool are two performers; Lowbird (vocals) and Jimmy Q (guitar/synthesizer) whose forthcoming album can be compared to the electronic sounds of Roxy Music and David Bowie while Theo Lawrence And The Hearts is a Franco/Canadian band featuring a high-powered brand of rock R&B.