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The Slaight Family Foundation has announced they will be donating $1,000,000 over a four-year period to The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada as part of their Children and Youth Initiative. This donation is the largest pledge in Children’s Wish history and will provide tremendous support for the newly launched More Wishes, More Wonders Campaign across Canada. This exciting announcement was made at 11:00a.m., today at Daniels Spectrum in the Regent Park neighbourhood.

The Slaight Family Foundation is working in partnership with 11 national organizations to provide new or expanded services to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of children in Canada. Children’s Wish is honoured to be included in this charitable initiative and is grateful for the support of The Slaight Family Foundation to expand our wish granting capabilities.

“We hope these gifts provide them with the resources to help children lead healthy, successful and positive lives. We would also encourage others to support these national initiatives for the betterment of Canadian children and youth,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Family Foundation.

As the largest and only all-Canadian wish granting charity, with over thirty years of granting 23,000 of the most heartfelt wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, Children’s Wish is now expanding its reach to include children with serious neurological and genetic diagnoses. These at-risk children have complex care and mobility challenges and are dependent on their families for their day-to-day activities. Thanks in part to the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation, granting wishes to this new group of deserving children is now becoming a reality.

Advances in medicine and technology are now making it possible for children with these diagnoses to survive into young adulthood. But while science may have extended their lives, these children and their families face incredible challenges as they struggle with the need for constant care and hospitalization, as well as severe special needs and developmental delays. Through field work and strong medical community partnerships, Children’s Wish has responded to this real and urgent request.

“It’s an opportunity for the entire family to be together, to spend a day where the entire focus is on their enjoyment, on making memories and doing things that are really exciting and wonderful without having the focus be on the child and the medical complexity,” says Dr. Jeremy Friedman, Associate Pediatrician-in-Chief at Sick Kids Hospital and Children’s Wish Medical Advisor.

The Boss has a book deal.

Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that Bruce Springsteen has spent the past several years working on a memoir, which will come out Sept. 27, four days after Springsteen turns 67.

The title, of course, is “Born to Run.” Financial terms were not disclosed, although his deal is almost certainly worth millions.

“Writing about yourself is a funny business,” Springsteen said in a statement that will appear in his book. “But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”

According to Simon & Schuster, Springsteen will tell his story with “disarming candor” as he remembers his childhood in New Jersey, his rise to superstardom and “the personal struggles” that inspired such classics as “Born to Run” and Thunder Road.”

Via MPR

Grace Brett is a member of a secret band of guerilla Crocheters, who have bedecked their town in artful crochets. Called the Souter Stormers, the group hit various landmarks in Selkirk, Borders, with their yarn work last week, following hours of preparation. Members of the yarn bombing team are mainly over 60, but Grace – the oldest – has lived over a century.

Republic Records Chairman and CEO Monte Lipman and Republic Records President and COO Avery Lipman announced today that veteran entrepreneur and music executive, Charlie Walk, has been promoted to President of The Republic Group, effective immediately. At the newly formed Republic Group, Walk will create business opportunities and strategic alliances, as well as provide marketing and promotional services to partner labels, including American, Brushfire,Casablanca, Cash Money, John Varvatos, Lava, Monkeywrench and XO Records.

Leveraging and contributing to Republic’s exceptional track record in signing and developing new artists, Walk will focus on creating entrepreneurial opportunities and commercial partnerships to benefit Republic’s artist roster and partner labels. He will continue to oversee marketing, media, promotion, and strategic marketing. His duties also still encompass spearheading promotion services for Island Records and pop initiatives for Big Machine Label Group. He will remain based in New York and report to Monte Lipman.

Monte Lipman said, “Charlie is one of the most determined, imaginative, and fearless executives that I’ve ever worked with. In addition to his extraordinary instincts and tenacity for identifying, developing, and breaking new artists, Charlie will now have even more latitude to help steer Republic into uncharted waters with this new position. The formation of the Republic Group reflects our bullish outlook for the future of this business and all the opportunities that exist.”

Avery Lipman said, “As Republic looks to the future and begins to widen its scope, I cannot think of a better executive to help lead this effort. His imagination and innovative view of the world is literally redefining what it means to be a music company.”

“Passionate and visionary executives like Charlie are making Universal Music the industry leader in breaking new artists and helping our superstars achieve new heights,” said Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President at Universal Music Group. “I’m proud to have worked with Charlie for many years and I’m pleased to congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”

“At Republic we have redefined our position in the music entertainment business and marketplace as a global leader,” said Walk. “The label’s culture is built on evolving as quickly as the landscape changes, and being in sync with our artists every step of the way. I want to thank Michele, Monte, and Avery for empowering me to explore uncharted territory and embracing progressive thinking when it comes to breaking artists and further establishing career superstars. I look forward to continuing to work with our incredible team of executives and partners, helping to redefine the role of a modern music company.”

Walk joined Republic Records in 2013 as Executive Vice President, overseeing the company’s marketing, media, and promotion departments and playing a key role in developing artists including Ariana Grande, Lorde and The Weeknd. Since that time, he has developed innovative promotional strategies and marketing services for partner labels, leading to numerous artist successes.

When it comes to music, Much is in the know. The youth brand is now curating playlists for Apple Music, the revolutionary streaming music service and pioneering worldwide live radio station. Available now on Apple Music, users can select Much from a list of other high profile curators including Shazam, Rolling Stone, and NME, to listen to a variety of playlists created exclusively by the Much hosts and celebrity curators who know and love music.

With 14 playlists already available on Apple Music, Much will create two new playlists by different curators each week. Much curators include hosts Tyrone Edwards and Liz Trinnear, celebrity guest curators Hedley, Sam Roberts Band, Vance Joy, MASTERCHEF CANADA judge Claudio Aprile, Much Digital Studios Creator 4YallEntertainment, and many more. The playlists include music from all genres, and some are themed including Edwards first playlist which is an ode to Toronto featuring tracks from local artists Drake, P. Reign, and Kardinall Offishall.

Much is also engaging with fans and other artists through Apple Music Connect. Through Connect, Much can share photos, videos, and playlists directly with fans, who can comment or share via Messages, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

“Being a playlist curator for Apple Music makes perfect sense for Much,” said Justin Stockman, Vice-President, Business and Channel Strategy, Bell Media. “It not only provides a new way to connect with music lovers across the country, but gives fans a glimpse into what Much tastemakers – our hosts and celebrity friends – are listening to.”

To check out Much exclusive playlists on Apple Music, visit applemusic.com/much.

Netflix, Grace: A Storytelling Company (Grace), Thunderbird and Beyond Screen Production announced today that the highly anticipated children’s series BEAT BUGS will come to Netflix this summer. BEAT BUGS features original characters and a world created by Josh Wakely, who will direct, write and produce the series, following a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing for worldwide rights to record covers of the Beatles song catalogue for this production. Australian Netflix members will be able to enjoy the series on Netflix soon after its premier on Seven Network.

BEAT BUGS incorporates songs from the Lennon/McCartney ‘Northern Songs’ catalogue, to tell uplifting and life-affirming stories filled with hope and melody. World-leading artists, animators and writers have come together to work on this extraordinary show. The Beat Bugs are charming, funny, adventurous, and have a knack for getting themselves into mischief and mayhem. Each of the five friends (Jay, Kumi, Crick, Buzz, and Walter) has a distinctive personality, and they display the charm and energy of five knockabout, lovable kids. They are best friends who band together to explore and learn in an overgrown suburban backyard, which to them is their entire universe.

The show will feature some of the most well-known Beatles songs woven into the narrative of each episode, with Eddie Vedder, P!nk, James Bay, Sia, The Shins, Of Monsters and Men, Chris Cornell, Regina Spektor, James Corden, and Birdy each recording their rendition of an iconic song. Further artists joining the project are expected to be announced in the coming months. Among the songs featured include Help!, All You Need Is Love, Come Together, Penny Lane, Yellow Submarine, Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Magical Mystery Tour.

“Personally I’m very grateful to be part of Josh’s vision,” said Eddie Vedder. “A tremendous show for kids that combines beautiful animation with great stories and obviously some of the best songs ever written.”

“It’s a rare occasion to be presented with a truly one-of-a-kind children’s show that is so perfectly suited to Netflix,” said Andy Yeatman, director of original kid’s content at Netflix. “Josh and his team have not only developed a compelling children’s show filled with life lessons, but they’ve built a show that will transcend generations and have parents and grandparents enjoying right alongside their little ones.”

Josh Wakely says: “Bringing BEAT BUGS to life on Netflix and having a platform to re-imagine this universally acclaimed music for families around the world is an exhilarating and rewarding experience. Our partners have been fantastic in making this concept a vivid reality, and this is a great example of the innovative and fresh storytelling at the heart of Grace’s ethos.”

This marks the first project from Wakely’s independent film and television production and development banner, Grace: A Storytelling Company (Grace) – which he co-owns with BEAT BUGS Executive Producer, Trevor Roy. In addition, award-winning film and TV production group Thunderbird has come on board as a co-production partner, alongside Beyond Screen Production. Atomic Cartoons, a Thunderbird-owned studio, is working on animation for the series. The series is represented worldwide by Beyond Distribution.

Fest300, the most comprehensive guide to the world’s best festivals, announced today its annual list of the 300 most highly regarded festivals from around the globe. Making this year’s list were returning favorites Glastonbury (Pilton, UK), Diwali (India), and Envision (Costa Rica), as well as list newcomers Electric Zoo (New York, USA) and Cape Town International Jazz Fest (South Africa).

Fest300’s complete list can be found here: https://www.fest300.com/festivals.

“Fest300 was created to inspire cultural curiosity and to encourage people to attend new festivals around the world,” says Fest300 Creative Director Eamon Armstrong. “We have since evolved into the online destination uniting the global community of attendees, artists and festival producers through thought-leading editorial and awe-inspiring video and photography. We believe that this year’s expertly curated list, including crowdsourced recommendations from our international audience, brings to life the vibrant experience unique to each festival for both the practical and aspirational festival-goer.”

“It’s clear that our mission of showcasing festivals to inspire the culturally curious adventurer in all of us is right for its time,” states Fest300 co-founder Chip Conley. “This is a movement, and an economically important one at that. According to Nielsen, a staggering 32 million people attend at least one music festival in the U.S. each year. Those attendees travel over 900 miles on average.  And over 10 million U.S. music festival attendees visit more than one festival each year.  Those are big numbers for the travel and entertainment sectors, and also the wider economy.”

As the ultimate authority on the world’s music and culture festivals, the Fest300 team reviewed over 1,000 revered festivals to curate the final list. This year, Fest300’s list is 53% music-focused with 25% growth in electronic music, which went from 18% of the list in 2015 to 22% in 2016. Per the site’s tradition, 30 festivals previously included on the annual list were removed, and the final 30 festivals were selected by festivalgoers via crowdsourcing campaign, Fest300’s Best Fest Quest, held in November.

Good news for Apple Music and Sonos lovers: Apple Music is now available on Sonos systems worldwide! Music fans will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes.

Apple Music on Sonos was tested by hundreds of thousands of listeners through a successful beta program that started in early December. To stream Apple Music on Sonos, customers simply select “Add Music Services” from any Sonos controller app, scroll down to the Apple Music icon, and login.

“The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Sonos plus Apple Music provides an amazing listening experience at home – and we’re excited to offer it to all Sonos customers starting tomorrow.”

“This partnership has been an excellent example of two companies that truly care about music coming together to deliver a great listening experience,” said John MacFarlane, Sonos chief executive officer. “Working with Apple gives us the opportunity to share Apple Music throughout people’s homes in a way that’s easy, intuitive, and sounds great.”

Apple Music is all the ways you love music, all in one place, with the expertise of world-class music experts who have programmed playlists for any moment. Curation is at the core of every element of Apple Music, from the handcrafted radio stations and Beats 1, to the suggestions in For You and top albums and songs in New. A Sonos station on Apple Music, curated by artists in collaboration with Sonos, is also launching tomorrow. New users can sign up for a free, three-month trail membership of Apple Music.

Following the tremendous success of the band’s 2015 tour, Dead & Company is launching its highly-anticipated 2016 tour on Friday, June 10 in Charlotte, North Carolina, before headlining Bonnaroo 2016 that weekend.  The celebrated group’s cross-country run features two nights at Citi Field in New York, a two show independence dayweekend celebration at Folsom Field in Boulder and two nights at the famous Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsinwith the tour scheduled to conclude with two shows at Boston’s iconic Fenway Park on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16.  Grateful Dead members Mickey HartBill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir; singer/guitarist John Mayer; Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge; and “Fare Thee Well” and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti will perform two sets of music drawing from the Dead’s historic catalog of songs.  A full listing of tour dates can be found below.

Tickets go on sale starting on Friday, February 12 at 10:00 a.m. at www.livenation.com** with presale tickets available beginningTuesday, February 9 at 10:00 a.m. Check http://www.deadandcompany.com/ for complete ticketing information.  Fans with the Live Nation mobile app will have access to a password-free presale starting Thursday, Feb. 11 at 10:00 a.m. at Ticketmaster-ticketed venues.  The app is available via the App Store and Google Play.

Dead & Company will make their late night debut on Thursday, February 18 when the band performs on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. / 10:35 p.m. Central time on NBC.

In October of 2015 the band took to the stage for their inaugural nationwide tour, kicking off with three sold-out concerts at the legendary Madison Square Garden and ending the year with two sold-out performances at the “Fabulous” Forum, and according to Billboard, the concerts are “magical.”

Dead & Company 2016 Tour Dates

Friday, June 10, 2016

Charlotte, NC

PNC Music Pavilion

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cincinnati, OH

Riverbend Music Center

Friday, June 17, 2016

Noblesville, IN

Klipsch Music Center

Monday, June 20, 2016

Camden, NJ

BB&T Pavilion

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bristow, VA

Jiffy Lube Live

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Flushing, NY

Citi Field**

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flushing, NY

Citi Field**

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hartford, CT

Xfinity Theatre

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Boulder, CO

Folsom Field**

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Boulder, CO

Folsom Field**

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Detroit, MI

DTE Energy Music Theatre

Saturday, July 09, 2016

East Troy, WI

Alpine Valley Music Theatre

Sunday, July 10, 2016

East Troy, WI

Alpine Valley Music Theatre

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pittsburgh, PA

First Niagara Pavilion

Friday, July 15, 2016

Boston, MA

Fenway Park**

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Boston, MA

Fenway Park**

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, unless otherwise noted.

**Tickets are not available through Ticketmaster for these concerts:
Citi Field concert tickets available HERE.
Folsom Field tickets available HERE.
Fenway Park tickets available HERE.

The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams had some words of wisdom for people who thought Beyoncé’s performance during the Super Bowl halftime show was too much because of its themes of black empowerment. Toronto City Counsellor Jim Karygiannis, in an interview with The Toronto Sun, the former Member of Parliament thinks the Canadian government should investigate Beyoncé and her backup dancers for any ties to the Black Panther Party. “Perhaps Immigration Minister John McCallum should have her investigated first? If someone wore bullets and supported (a radical group) here, they would not be welcomed in the United States—that’s for sure,” Karygiannis told Sun columnist Joe Warmington. “She or some of them could be found not eligible to enter the country as others in the past have faced.”

The Canadian Border Services Agency can deny entry based on issues of security, human or international rights violations, criminality, organized criminality, health grounds, financial reasons, misrepresentation, non-compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and having an inadmissible family member.

This is going to get interesting.

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H/T to Complex. Gifs via Buzzfeed