CIMA Celebrates Canada's 150th Anniversary at SXSW 2017

Posted on
March 29, 2017
Tagged as
canada house, canadian blast, Canadian Blast events, CIMA, sxsw


CIMA returned to the highly influential South By South (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas in March with a delegation of Canadian music companies to undertake a multi-faceted business and marketing strategy. This year CIMA used the opportunity presented by Canada’s 150th Anniversary to shine a light on Canadian talent and attract a wider audience to Canadian events that included: the much-anticipated Canadian Blast BBQ, the live performance venue Canada House (which took residence at a new location), and networking and business development activities.

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CIMA hosted the Canada Stand at the SXSW Trade Show for four days of Interactive and Music, Sunday through Wednesday where we represented 23 Canadian music and interactive companies. CIMA partnered onsite with Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and Ontario Ministry of International Trade to host a business reception where we welcomed 300+ SXSW delegates.  

We kicked off our music mission on the sunny Wednesday afternoon with the world famous Canadian Blast BBQ at Brush Square featuring Canadian artists Busty and the Bass, Belle Game, Les Deuxluxes, Royal Tusk, Digging Roots and headliner Tokyo Police Club, all hosted by NewCap’s Mike Campbell.

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In advance of the BBQ, CIMA hosted an invitation-only B2B networking reception for 320 Canadian and international delegates Canadian delegates. In total the BBQ was at capacity for most of the afternoon with over 2,300 attendees in total, including international delegates from 15 countries, enjoying live music, delicious BBQ and games and prizes to celebrate Canada’s 150th.

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Thursday’s daytime events were all about the West coast, as Canada House moved to a brand new venue this year. Canadian artists performing at Swan Dive were alternated between indoor and outdoor stages throughout the day with the showcases hosted by BreakOut West (Manitoba Music, Music BC, SaskMusic and Alberta Music). The Canadian artists showcasing included Living Hour, Slow Leaves, Supermoon, Close Talker, Port Juvee, Duotang, Royal Tusk, Yes We Mystic and Belle Game.

The next day we jumped over to the East Coast with the Bring It Ontario showcase presented by the OMDC and MusicOntario that featured Cat Clyde, Digging Roots, The Shanks and Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs. Attendees got to wake up with Matt & Steve’s The Extreme BeanTM and Dine Alone Hot Sauce loaded Casears, Canada’s famous morning drink.

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Friday also featured Canada House’s first ever all female showcase presented by Women in Music Canada and FACTOR, a line-up that was easy to put together thanks to so many great acts selected by SXSW this year. The showcase included performances from Forever, Twist, Casper Skulls, Belle Game and Kroy. The City of Toronto hosted the final showcase at Canada House this year with Noyz, Wild Rivers and Shaqisdope.

Canada House, at almost full capacity, became a hub for businesses with the alternating stages allowing for an effective meeting spot for delegates.

The music continued into the evening at Canada House which became home to four Canadian music festivals: Halifax Pop Explosion and BreakOut West on Thursday night, and Pop Montreal and M for Montreal on Friday night. With two stages going well into the night a total of 23 great Canadian acts performed over the two evenings.

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Amidst the showcasing, we also delivered our highly-targeted business initiative with Canadian companies participating in four successful B2B and networking events. These included two morning sessions of Country Connections, a joint B2B event with partners UKTI and Sounds Australia with delegates from guest countries Brazil, China and the US: on Thursday, a 2-hour roundtable meeting session with 48 people participating in 3 rounds of meetings; on Friday, a speed-dating session with 48 delegates participating in approximately 800 meetings in total.

CIMA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our Canadian partners and sponsors: Canadian Music Week (CMW), Corus Entertainment, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), the Government of Canada (through the Canada Music Fund), Harvard Broadcasting, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Stingray Music, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), Newcap Radio and the Radio Starmaker Fund.

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