The music industry is a global business. More so than ever before, music companies and artists have to develop their professional skills to navigate export markets in order to succeed. Canada’s music industry now has a new training initiative – PASSPORT: Music Export Summit – to assist export-ready Canadian artists and music entrepreneurs, develop export markets, and increase international trade.
Produced by Manitoba Music in partnership with Music Nova Scotia, Canada’s Music Incubator, and the National Music Centre, PASSPORT will deliver intensive training sessions to prepare export-ready Canadian artists and music entrepreneurs with business skills and product development to help bring Canadian music to the world. The project is funded by FACTOR with support from the Government of Canada.
The diverse group of over 25 PASSPORT participants are export-ready artists and artist managers from across the country working in just about every genre, all preparing for significant market development and export activities. The participants were selected from over 190 submissions based on their export marketing preparations, including participation in events like SXSW and Folk Alliance International in the U.S., The Great Escape in the UK, Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, and beyond. PASSPORT offers an opportunity not only to learn from experienced professionals with extensive knowledge and success in preparing artists for international export, and also from their peers.
PASSPORT will run parallel Music Export Summits in Winnipeg and Halifax in February and March providing participants with market information and skills development on topics including export strategies and marketing global releases. The Winnipeg Summit will also include streams for Indigenous artists and managers, and Francophone artists and managers. In April, selected participants will take part in a follow-up masterclass event in Calgary that will further develop their export plans, support the creation of media assets for use in international marketing, and provide a showcase opportunity for international delegates. Passeport, the parallel program for Francophone artists and managers, is funded by Musicaction.
“Creativity, talent, passion, and drive are all key factors in building a sustainable career in the music industry,” says Sean McManus, Manitoba Music’s executive director. “Alongside that is a need to pilot the increasingly complex waters of international music releases, touring, and marketing. PASSPORT aims to help some of Canada’s hardest working music entrepreneurs develop the export business skills and acquire the international market knowledge to help build a stronger Canadian industry.”