The Canadian Music Week festival returns to Toronto for its 34th year. From May 2-8, more than 1,000 artists from 40+ countries will perform in 60 venues. Single night event tickets are available as well as wristbands. Participating artists will include both headlining and emerging acts. Many artists will have the chance to network with others and industry professionals to help build their future careers. Not limited to concerts, CMW has seminars, celebrity interviews, and mentoring sessions. There are also music-themed film screenings and comedic performances.
Halifax musician Alana Yorke is bringing her unique brand of synth-pop to the Burdock Music Hall on May 6 as part of Canadian Music Week. She’ll be playing music from her album “Dream Magic” as well as some new material. The album was released worldwide by Paper Bag Records. With few Toronto appearances, Yorke is planning a special show.
Ahead of her CMW showcase, Alana Yorke scheduled an online interview with byteclay.com.
Ryan Ayukawa: This is your 2nd CMW. And prior to that you’ve also played NXNE, and the Halifax Jazz Festival. Do you feel there’s a learning curve in the festival playing experience?
Alana Yorke: I think it gets more fun. You get to know what you’re in for and you can hone in on making your show better and it’s always fun to return to a place or festival where you have existing fans.
RA: As far as the Toronto fans go, are you expecting an east coast ex-pat attendance?
AY: I hope that some of our friends from the East Coast are there, but we’ve played in Toronto a few times now and we have team members there (our label, Paper Bag Records, for example) so we hope to have local fans and industry in the audience as well.
RA: How did you relationship with Paper Bag records begin?
AY: We began working with our publicist Darryl Weeks (StageFright Publicity) and he was the first to connect us with the label.
RA: Are you planning on attending any CMW industry events? And have you checked out some of the other showcases you might get to?
AY: Honestly, we’re just getting back from East Coast Music Week so we still have to plan our itinerary and choose what we’d like to see. I like to be fairly last-minute with that as I like to talk to people on the ground and ask other folks who they’re checking out. Music Nova Scotia puts on a showcase on Saturday night (which we played last year) so I would definitely want to get to that.
RA: Canada is starting to see some increased funding for music – Music BC also. Some cities are starting official “strategies” for promoting music. Where you are, what’s the current support level for live music?
AY: The East Coast Music Association just announced a new partnership with music industry associations from across our region as well as Music Canada and Music Canada Live to help strengthen the future of Atlantic Canada’s music sector so that’s exciting for us. Our creative industries are our strength here and I think we can do more in our region to value and develop them.
RA: For Toronto and CMW audiences who’ve never heard you before, what would you say is the best/main reason to come out and listen?
AY: To give a brief description I usually say Beach House meets Kate Bush meets Philip Glass. This is new music and a new sound that is just coming onto the radar for most folks, so it’s fun to be part of the sense of discovery. Because we’re from Halifax we don’t get to Toronto that often so that makes it special. We’ll be performing lots of songs from our debut album “Dream Magic” as well as our single “Anthem”, plus new material from our upcoming album and I’ll be wearing a metallic silver paisley costume, so what more could you want?
RA: Finally – what do you have happening after CMW?
AY: Coming up, we’re demoing new material for the next album, but in terms of performances, we’ve applied to NXNE so hopefully we’ll be coming back to Toronto soon, and we have some festival dates coming up that are not announced yet.
Alana Yorke website
Alana Yorke fan page
Canadian Music Week showcase
May 6 at 10pm
Burdock Music Hall (1184 Bloor St West)
For Canadian Music Week tickets visit here.
For Canadian Music Week full artist info visit here.
For Toronto music news visit here.