By Owen Maxwell
Bryan Adams fights copyright in the Capital
While hearing that Bryan Adams was descending on Ottawa recently might have seemed like an opportunity to party, he was here for a more bureaucratic effort. Adams was in Ottawa to advocate overturning a section of the Copyright Act that prevents musicians from regaining rights to their own songs until decades after the current holder passes away. Copyright Act section 14 (1) states that rights can only be attained “25 years after death” which Adams would like to have changed to “25 years after assignment.”
The current act is about 100-years-old which is why the House Of Commons is currently reviewing it, and why it seems somewhat outdated. The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (or USMCA) has also opened up several loose-ends on intellectual-property, which has made the situation hairier. After a Liberal MP questioned what musicians could gain from the change, Adams joked in the House, “Well I haven’t died yet, so I don’t know what the advantage would be.”
Sobey Art Awards celebrate the best
The National Gallery of Canada is celebrating the best of our nation’s arts community for the 2018 Sobey Art Award. While the winner has yet to be decided, the five finalists for the prize are having their works exhibited at the gallery from October 2018 to February 10, 2019. Kapwani Kiwanga, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Joi T. Arcand, Jordan Bennett, and Jon Rafman represent every side of Canada. Ontario’s own Kapwani Kiwanga presents a mix of performance, sound, video, sculpture and more as a way of confusing reality and fiction, while exploring humanities futures and haunting past.
The Sobey Art Award provides artists 40 and under with strong financial support and recognition, with $100,000 for the winner. A long list of nominees are also awarded for their efforts as well, from the $240,000 prize pool.
“I am very proud of the shortlisted artists selected, and inspired by the criticality and potent interactivity of their work,” said Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Chair of the 2018 Sobey Art Award Jury.
A church for musicians
Take a short drive north of Ottawa, and you’ll see a little church that is trying to grow itself up around music. After Ottawa’s Erin Flynn bought St. John The Evangelist Anglican Church in Quyon, Quebec a year ago, she’s been renovating it into a studio. Flynn, who’s also the station manager at community radio station CHUO, has updated the building while maintaining heritage elements like its windows and floor.
The 100+ year-old-building had been decommissioned when Flynn bought it, but is already being used by Ottawa musicians. Along with a vegan kitchen, there are also plans for a market, projector, and other community-based additions. The venue also hosted its first official show on October 5, with John K. Samson formerly of the Weakerthans.