This week in RCS Music News Weekly: Live music is back at RCS on July 23rd with headliner Paige Rutledge! Lemon hits the RCS stage on July 22nd! The NCRA launches !earshot Distro to help local artists get radio play! Submissions are now open for Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Program—and their $100,000 prizing! And yes, there are way too many exclamation marks in this copy, but hey. There’s a lot happening now that basically says, “It’s time to dial those amps to 11 and get this musical party started again!”

RCS Music News Weekly

Step 3 Reopen Begins Today in Ontario!

Starting today, Ontario begins Step 3 of Roadmap to Reopen. (Cue the fireworks!) Here’s what this means for bands and solo performers:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 100 people are permitted. This means expanded audiences for bands or solo performers who’ve been busking at backyard parties and want to continue.
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 25 people are permitted.
  • Indoor performing arts venues open at a maximum capacity of 50% or 1,000 people (whichever is less).
  • Outdoor performing arts venues open. For unseated events, spectators permitted at a maximum capacity of 75% or 5,000 people (whichever is less). For events with fixed seating, spectators permitted at a maximum capacity of 75% or 15,000 people (whichever is less).
  • If you’re hitting the road for an out-of-town gig, hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, and other shared rental accommodations are open. This includes amenities like indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or whirlpools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities.

COVID safety protocols remain in effect. Due to the ongoing threat of the COVID Delta variant, face coverings and physical distancing requirements remain in place in all indoor settings throughout Step 3. Face coverings and physical distancing will also be required in some outdoor settings.

Ontario will remain in Step 3 for at least 21 days (or until August 6th, unless the situation changes). After that (according to blogTO), “the regulation to wear masks will likely end after Step 3 ends if COVID-19 can be kept under control.” However, in keeping with what RCS Music News Weekly reported on last March, some people will not feel comfortable ditching face masks and continue wearing them.

Said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, in an interview with blogTO, “I’ll certainly wear one on the subway, on a bus, on the train throughout this winter.” Similarly, CTV News reported on June 27th, 2021 that as Alberta prepares to drop provincial health restrictions, which includes wearing masks, some people are nervous about a future without face coverings.

Paige Rutledge - RCS Concert

Live Music Is Back at Royal City Studios!

Sixteen long months after COVID tossed live music into a lockbox, live music returns July 23rd at Royal City Studios!

Headline performance by country artist Paige Rutledge. Winner of the Emerging Artist Showcase at Burlington’s Ribfest (Canada’s largest Ribfest), Rutledge has performed at Toronto Ribfest, Muskoka Ribfest, the Magna Hoedown, showcases in collaboration with the Country Music Association of Ontario, and Hillside Inside. Influenced by country powerhouses Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and Carrie Underwood, Rutledge has also released numerous singles on Spotify, including “Broken Record” and “Take Me Back to Tiki.”

Opening performances by Sammy Duke (described by Cashbox as “Canada’s highest-profile one-man band”) and Caledon-based classic rock/country/pop band Half Decent.

Doors Open at 7 PM

Limited tickets available–$20 per person. First come, first served.

>> Tickets available at Eventbrite

Lemon - live at Royal City Studios

Lemon – The Rescheduled Tour  – Finally Touches Down at RCS!

Join Canada’s Drag Race season 1 star Lemon at Royal City Studios on July 22nd for an unforgettable night of entertainment presented by Dooley Noted Productions.

Also known as Christopher Baptista, Lemon got her name from her “sour as hell” attitude, reflected in such memorable quotes as, “Delusional self-confidence is the Lemon brand,” “I’m about to make these girls feel real bitter,” and “I love a bratty pageant princess.”

Two shows—one at 6 p.m. and one at 8 p.m.

>> Get your tickets at Dooley Noted Productions.


open online jam - RCS Music News Weekly

The Next RCS Open Jam Online Happens July 25th

Royal City Studios misses open jams. If you do too, RCS has set up an online Jamulus Server to bring musicians back together while waiting until it’s safe for in-person jams to resume.

The next RCS open jam online happens July 25th (only available in certain locations). Joining the jam is free. Testing connections starts at 7 p.m. Jam goes from 8 – 11 p.m. For more about the jam and how to join, read our recent Open Jams Online blog.

!earshot Distro

Put Your Music Within !earshot of Radio Programmers

In a recent edition of RCS Music News Weekly, we spoke about small indie radio stations as a viable channel for bands to get airplay. So, how do you present your music to campus and community radio stations across Canada without having to contact each individually?

Upload your music to !earshot Distro.

Launched by the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA), !earshot Distro is an online platform that allows artists to upload musical recordings to be searched, reviewed, and downloaded by campus and community radio stations to be broadcast across Canada.

There’s no cost to create an account. The only cost comes when you want to upload finished music into the !earshot Distro library. The costs are currently:

  • $7 CDN + tax per song
  • $50 CDN + tax per album (8-20 songs)

Once your upload is live, there are no additional costs to keep it in the library, where your music remains available and accessible indefinitely (unless an artist/label/distro company removes the music)

To set up your free account, click here.

SOCAN - RCS Music News Weekly

SOCAN Announces 2020 Financial Results

This week, SOCAN announced distribution of more than $348 million in royalties to the company’s 175,000 members as part of SOCAN’s 2020 financial results. The payouts represent a 20% increase in revenue from digital sources alone. Despite the piledriver delivered to the music industry by COVID, SOCAN only saw an overall revenue decline of 4%, primarily due to 10 months without in-person concert revenue and use of licensed recorded music in public.

The decline was offset by increased collections from digital and international sources, and the 4% decline (according to SOCAN) was “considerably less than many other major music rights collectives worldwide.”

In 2020, SOCAN also added more than 7,500 new members—one of the largest years of membership growth in SOCAN’s history.

And finally…

Submissions Now Open for Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Program

Last Monday, Canada’s Walk of Fame announced that submissions were open for the ninth annual Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Program. With prizing valued at more than $100,000, the program provides up-and-coming musicians with unprecedented access to the business side of the music industry, from introductions to established artists and industry influencers to mentorship, recording time, and artist development and funding.

Song submissions are being accepted now until Aug. 22nd, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Visit for eligibility details and submission requirements.

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