Canadian Music Week Hits the Pause Button For 2020

It is with great regret and overriding concern for the safety of all participants, that Canadian Music Week is abandoning efforts to present our annual festival and conference in 2020.

The 38th edition of CMW was originally to take place May 19-23, 2020 and was postponed due to the rapidly worsening situation with COVID-19. A make-up date was announced for September 9-11, 2020 still at the Sheraton Centre and participating venues across the city.

After extensive consultation with industry partners, it has become apparent that – at this point in the public health emergency – September represented too many unavoidable obstacles. Not least of these would be the participation of international artists and delegates, many of whom might not be free to travel at that point, and some of whom have already declined to attend.

Neill Dixon - President, Canadian Music Week
Neill Dixon – President, Canadian Music Week

Even in a best-case fall scenario, wherein the spread of COVID-19 has been mitigated and limited public gatherings allowed, high-attendance events such as concerts, sports and conferences will likely be the last public activities to resume. The fallout is huge, for events like ours and for the entire music industry.

We are hopeful of finding a date in 2021 to continue our nearly four-decade tradition of bringing the world’s music to Toronto and Canadian music to the world. However, we will not make any final decisions until such time that events surrounding COVID-19 and the subsequent government directives are known. We will continue to follow protocols and assess our best options going forward.

In the meantime, all ticketed concerts have been refunded or are in the process of being refunded. All CMW 2020 badges and wristbands will be honoured on the new dates.

This has been a heartbreaking turn of events for so many reasons, that has affected everyone. But beyond the dire and tragic statistics, what can’t be measured is the frustration of hard work, ambition and creativity going unseen and unheard. To that end, we are investigating some virtual options for mounting a digital extension of Canadian Music Week, including a series of webinars and conference livestreams.

More information on those initiatives will follow.

During this time of uncertainty, CMW encourages you to continue to support Canadian artists and to keep listening to music. We look forward to seeing you again!

Neill Dixon
Canadian Music Week

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