Warner Canada Still Rockin After 50 Years

From its earliest signings Next and Karen Young to its latest find, Myles Castello, 2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of Warner Music Canada.  Over the next few months, the label plans to celebrate its history of developing Canadian talent with a number of activities.  The celebration begins today with the launch of the Warner Music Canada 50th Playlist acknowledging fifty of the biggest records the label has worked with in the past half century. Over the next few months more playlists covering various genres will also be launched.  Music fans will also be given the opportunity to put together and share their own Warner playlists.


Check out the Warner Music Canada 50th Playlist here:

“It’s an honour to be associated with the legacy of Warner Music in Canada and it is with pride that we continue our support of music in this country with our current roster of artists,” said Warner Music Canada President Steve Kane.  “Long before I joined the company, I was an avid fan of many of the artists on the label and spent a lot of hard earned dollars making sure that their records were a part of my collection.”

Blue Rodeo
Blue Rodeo

In mid-August, Warner Music Canada staffers will come together in Toronto and celebrate with Canada’s iconic Blue Rodeo at the band’s annual summer show on the Budweiser Stage at Ontario Place August 19.  Warner Music Canada has been the one and only home for Blue Rodeo who signed with the label in 1987.


Warner Music Canada’s current roster of artists are in the early stages of recording songs that honour the legacy of Canadian artists that have been signed, developed and distributed through the label over the last half century.  The liner notes for the album (to be made available on vinyl, CD and streaming) will include an extensive history of the label told by the people that worked behind the scenes.  More details and a track listing will be released at a later date.



A brief history:

Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette

Until 1967, Warner Bros. Records was distributed in Canada by Compo Co.  of Montreal. Warner-Reprise Canada Ltd. was formed in 1967 by Phil Rose as the first international branch operation of Warner-Reprise Records.  That same year, in the U.S., Warner-Reprise bought New York – based powerhouse Atlantic Records.  In 1969  Kinney National Company bought Warner – Reprise. In 1970 Elektra Records was purchased, joining Warner Bros. and Atlantic to form an incredibly powerful label triumvirate leading to the formation of WEA Distribution. Nesuhi Ertegun was then appointed to run international operations.  At that time the Canadian company became known as WEA Music Canada.  In 1972 Kinney changed its name to Warner Communications. In 1990, when Time bought Warner Communications, WEA Music of Canada changed its name to Warner Music Canada.  Access Industries bought Warner Music Group in 2011.  Warner Music Group now operates in over 50 countries around the world.


Over the years, Warner Music has been home to some of the biggest and most influential artists to emerge from Canada including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Blue Rodeo, Alanis Morissette, Billy Talent, Michael Bublé and Ron Sexsmith.


Watch for further updates in the coming months.

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