Since its inception in 1981, Canadian Music Week has become one of Canada’s largest and most influential media and music conferences, bringing hundreds of artists and industry professionals to Toronto every year. The massive event consists of one of Canada’s biggest music festivals, with a week of performances taking place at over 40 live music venues throughout downtown Toronto, featuring hundreds of national and international musicians. Past performers include Fucked Up, The Dirty Nil, Bob Mould, Japanese Breakfast, Neko Case, Jazz Cartier, Joey Bada$$, Rich Aucoin, Leon Bridges, FIDLAR, Television and BADBADNOTGOOD. The festival possesses a strong sense of discovery, giving ample opportunity to many up-and-coming acts through the many showcases that take over Toronto’s many venues.
CMW also hosts a conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel featuring workshops, panels and awards shows to honour and showcase over 3,000 industry professionals each year. Notable keynote speakers, performers and celebrity interview artists include Slash, Gene Simmons, Chuck D and Alan Parsons. Staple events of the conference include the Canadian Indies Hall of Fame, which has honoured artists including the Pursuit of Happiness, Martha and the Muffins and D.O.A., and the Independent Music Awards, aka the Indies. Since 2017, the opening act of the Indies has been chosen via the annual Jim Beam National Talent Search, which features unsigned musicians performing at showcases throughout the country to compete for the slot.