CHANGES Agency Shakeup as UTA Leaves Canada While APA & Paradigm Move In There was a sudden and significant shakeup of the Canadian artist agent industry on Aug. 1, 2017 as the United Talent Agency (UTA) an- nounced the closing of its Toronto office. UTA’s Canadian operations were run by COO Jack Ross and CEO Ralph James and the decision came less than two years after UTA acquired The Agency Group. The Toronto office included nine agents who represented top Canadian acts like Nickelback, City and Colour, Billy Talent, Sam Roberts Band, Barenaked Ladies, ARTIST AGENT RALPH JAMES and more. “After considering where we see the strongest prospects for continued growth, we have made the decision to take additional steps to focus our global music practice in the U.S. and U.K.,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer in a company-wide email obtained by Billboard. Many of UTA’s Canadian agents and staff were quick to find new homes. Ross and James will now head a new Toronto office for APA and will be bring- ing their clients with them to the new agency. Former UTA employees Stefanie Purificati and Mike Graham will also be joining Ross and James at APA. As well, Rob Zifarelli, Adam Countryman, and André Guérette will open Paradigm’s first Canadian office in Toronto. They will also be bringing their artists to the new agency. Canada-based Paquin Artists Agency has hired former UTA agents Adam Kreeft and Rob Thornton. With them, they bring such clients as Dear Rouge, Current Swell, Protest the Hero, and others. Nielsen Mid-Year Report: Drake Sets Record, Radio Still Strong & Streaming Continues Rapid Growth Nielsen has released its Canada Music Mid-Year Report for the six-month period ending June 29, 2017. The report confirms that streaming is still on the rise, with weekly on-demand audio streams surpassing 700 million for the first time during the first week of April. On-demand audio streams peaked at 755 million during the week ending June 22 nd and reached 17.5 billion in the first half of this year, up from 9.4 billion a year ago. This 86.6 per cent year-over-year increase in on-demand music streaming has helped alleviate a 17 per cent decrease in album sales and 20 per cent decrease in digital track sales. Drake’s More Life set a one-week streaming record with 42.8 million streams, surpassing the previous record of 26.7 million held by The Week- nd for his album Starboy. Radio is still the top form of music discovery in Canada with 68 per cent of Canadians using it to discover new music. Social media is also a major source of new music discovery in Canada, with 24 per cent of the general population and 34 per cent of millennials using social platforms to engage with music. For more information, contact Nielsen Canada: 416-961-2840, www.nielsen.com. Boutique Vinyl Pressing Facility Opening in PEI Kaneshii Vinyl is gearing up for the official opening and September production launch of its vinyl record pressing facility. The Prince Edward Island-based company will serve as the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. Founded by local entrepreneurs Gideon Banahene and Ghislaine Cormier, Kaneshii offers a one-stop-shop for record pressing and customized packaging. In March 2017, Cormier was awarded $10,000 after winning the RDÉE IPÉ’s 2017 Dragon’s Contest in Summerside, PE. Additionally, the government contributed $39,220 to help cover the startup’s equipment and marketing- related expenses while the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) provided a $175,000 repayable contribution. “It’s a great feeling to have the community you work with support your business,” said Cormier in an interview with Summerside’s Journal Pioneer. “We’ve been working on this project for over two years, so it’s really great to see everything come together.” For more information, contact the owners at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.kaneshiivinyl.com. 12 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N Music Heals Launches Covers for the Cause Fundraising Project Canadian music therapy charity Music Heals has launched its Covers for the Cause initiative. It provides a platform for artists to offer their fans personalized videos of songs that they request by making a tax-deductible donation to Music Heals. To start, artists can go to CoversForTheCause.com and create a fundraising page. They then select a minimum donation amount for cover song requests and decide how many requests they will fulfill. Artists record simple videos of the cover songs requested and include a dedication to the donor. They then post the videos to their own YouTube page, or send them directly to the fan to post on theirs. For more information, go to www.coversforthecause.com.