Canadian Indie Music Scene

sheet-musicFor decades, Canada has produced many musicians who have hit it big in the charts around the world. The indie music scene in Canada is no exception to this success. For over a decade, there have been numerous indie artists breaking ground and getting noticed. To this end, the Indie music scene is alive and doing incredibly well.

The Festivals

The magnitude of the indie scene is in part due to the many music festivals hosted by the country. One of the more prominent events is North by North East (NXNE), the Canadian counterpart to SXSW festival in America. It is held each year in June in Toronto, attracting thousands of music lovers. It allows burgeoning artists to showcase their talent and for crowds of people to enjoy new, fresh faced music.

NXNE might be one of the more popular events but it is certainly not the only one. Between the months of June and September, Canada is home to eight music festivals. These are held in Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. This include Levitation Vancouver, Sled Island, Pemberton Music Festival, WayHome Music Festival, Osheaga, Salmon Arms Roots & Blues, and TURF.

Indie Musicians in Canada

There is an incredible variant in the indie that is produced in Canada. One of the reasons for this is the multicultural effect present in the country. Musicians are often heavily influenced by the culture of the specific region that they hail from. This means that there is a large amount of inspiration to draw from. This means that you will find music that spans from folksy to more electronic with a little bit of everything in between.

Another discerning factor about indie music in Canada is the discrepancy in the influences, not just among bands but within individual members as well. Band members widely differing in their artistic output often come together in the Canadian music scene to create something that is new and exciting. The most popular bands with this style are Sloan, the New Ponographers, and Broken Social Scene.

The Industry

Canadian indie musician hopefuls typically have two options: join with an indie label or continue making their own music. There is a certain level of comfort and opportunity that can be obtained by those who choose to align themselves with record labels. More often than not, however, indie artists prefer to continue on their own.

The main reason for this trend is that rejecting a label largely encompasses the true meaning of being an indie entertainer. By being ‘independent’ these artists can make music as they see fit. Canadian indie artists also prefer to do it alone so that they can communicate with their fans on a more personal level. These singers and bands are wholly responsible for the message that they choose to exhibit. They are spared the impact of spreading a message that they do not necessarily believe in.

Furthermore, these indie artists have complete control over their music and the direction in which they choose to take it. They have the freedom to create their music without having to worry about catering to a bottom line or pleasing record label executives.

Changes in the Scene

Canadian indie musicians are becoming popular around the world and several have won international awards. These Canadian artists have even taken to performing at festivals such as Coachella. The reach of the Canadian indie scene is slowly spreading.

Technology has played a large role in this movement. Artists can now put up their own music on the internet so a much larger audience has access to it. These musicians can even earn money from these endeavors.

The Canadian indie music scene has gone through many changes over the years. They have faced both challenges and opportunities along the way. While this industry has still some distance to go, it is well on its way.