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Dave Charles, CEO of Media Results Inc. talks with Neill Dixon owner of Canadian Music Week.

For over 40 years, Neill has been able to create, produce and promote the best music and attract some of the best keynote speakers from both the music and radio industries.  CMW has helped to grow and develop the Canadian music and radio industries to become one of the best events in the world. The CMW sessions and events are always worth your time. I asked Neill Dixon the following questions about the 41st CMW show in Toronto from June  5 to 10th.

I’ve known Neill for most of his career. He has put together one of the world’s best music and radio conferences.  Many of us have benefited directly from past CMW showcases.  This year Neill takes CMW and Canada to a whole new level.

DC: Neill this will be your 41st CMW event slated for June 5th to 10th in Toronto.  Tell us your vision for this year’s showcase.

ND:  Based on the feedback from radio broadcasters both domestically and in the U.S., it is clear that Radiodays North America must become more forward-thinking. The industry is undergoing an immense transformation, so it is essential that we stay on top of the most pressing matters for the industry. Business, technology, digitalization, diversity, and innovation must be essential components of the conference. Radiodays Europe has been at the forefront of this for years, but now Radiodays North America must catch up, and we plan to begin this process with RDNA.

DC: With Radiodays Europe joining this year’s CMW, how many countries will be participating in this year’s showcase?  What are those countries participating from Europe?

ND: The two gentlemen who introduced CMW to the influential figures of the European radio industry, Peter Niegel from the Danish Broadcasting Company (DR) and Nik Goodman from the Audio Production Company Bounce in the U.K., will be joined by representatives from the U.K., Europe, the United States, Australia (where the radio business is thriving) and Canada’s top broadcasters at the inaugural Radio Days North America

DC: The post-Covid economy remains tough…with that in mind, what kind of value for money spent coming to CMW is worth noting?

ND: Our Conference is priced in Canadian dollars, making it a very competitive offering for attendees from Europe and the US due to the favourable exchange rates.

DC: Your website says that over 200 bands will be in the city to strut their stuff.  With only 20-plus venues in the downtown Toronto core, will there be enough stages to properly showcase these bands?

ND: I would guess that, as the public is back to embracing ‘live’ music again and more venues are opening up, there will be approximately 25 plus venues in Toronto’s Entertainment District within close proximity to the host hotel for delegates looking to experience the best new music.

DC: What about the hotel situation for your guests this year?  Will you publish a restaurant and ‘cheap eats’ guide?

ND: The hotel is conveniently located on the lakefront, giving guests access to Toronto’s diverse and acclaimed food scene, with its many waterfront restaurants and pubs. I like your idea for a cheap eats guide but we will be surrounded by unique food trucks all along the promenade.

DC: Can you give us a scoop on big-name talents coming to CMW this year?

ND:  Duncan Campbell, the head of ARN in Australia, will shed light on their success and evolution. James Cridland will introduce us to the new technologies we ought to know about. Aled-Heydn Jones from BBC 1 will tell us about their strategies for targeting the youth audience. Sarah Von Mosel from IHeart Media and Catherine Burns from The Moth, both prominent names in the podcast industry, will join us. Tom Webster from Sounds Profitable in the US will update us on podcasting trends in the US, and Larry Rosin from Edison Research will present us with a research project on the most recent audio trends in Canada and the US. This is only a fraction of the esteemed speakers that will be joining us – more to come!

And on the music side, Canadian Music Week will feature a keynote by Debra Rathwell, Exec VP of Global Touring and Talent at AEG Presents. She has worked with megastars like Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood and John Mellencamp and was part of Elton John’s highest-grossing tour of all time. A native of Canada, Rathwell is a respected exec in the industry and was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame and named Billboard’s Exec of the Week in 2023.

DC: Jim Beam sponsors your Indie Music Awards.  Is this a typical award show format or will you have a new approach?

ND: This is going to be a big step forward for the Indies, our friends at Jim Beam have really stepped up to the plate. This year the show will be held at Drake’s amazing new venue called History on Thursday, June 8th and will feature a concert performance by multiple Juno Award winner _______? Sorry, have to wait for the press release.

DC: From Podcasting to Broadcasting will be covered in various sessions according to your website. Will access be made available to those who register for these sessions?

ND: Yes registrations for the two-day audio conference can be purchased at http://radiodaysnorthamerica.com

DC:  Can you give our readers an estimate of how much it costs you and CMW to put on this annual event?

ND: Well not exactly but we are already north of a million and we are three months out!

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