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Canada must ‘close the gap’ on racial representation in live music, report says

TORONTO – An industry group is calling on Canada to “close the gap” in racial representation in live music.

The Live Music Association of Canada released a report Wednesday that outlines some of the systemic barriers faced by Indigenous, Black or people of color workers.

The CLMA and partners report presents findings from an 18-month study that included interviews with 40 live music staff and an online survey of 681 respondents. from September to October 2021.

The authors say the survey of artists, business owners and other workers cannot be biased in part because of the lack of available data on the demographics of Canada’s live music industry.

They say respondents identified several sources of inequality in the live music sector, including a lack of representation in “gatekeeper” positions such as venue owners, promoters, festival producer and programmer.

Black participants cited the lack of supportive leadership as a major obstacle, while many Indigenous respondents expressed concern about the loss of control or ownership over efforts. their creativity.

The report found that categorizing genres proved to be a double-edged affair, with respondents claiming that names like “Indigenous music” and “world music” promote both a sense of belonging. and feeling marginalized and coded.

“With this report in hand, we can all – all of us – accelerate and do our best to remove systemic inequality from our industry,” said president and CEO. CLMA, Erin Benjamin said in a statement Wednesday.

“This is our community, and it is our responsibility to make sure that those who do live music (Indigenous, Black, and Colored) have every opportunity to succeed.”

This Canadian Press report was first published on March 30, 2022.

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