Roxanne Tellier – Canadian Music Week 2017

My CMW is always a little bit different than most other people’s. Some go for the conferences, some are all about the music. Still others go for the trade show and the mentoring. But me – I go to people watch.

Like, on the first day I hit the Sheraton, to pick up my pass and get the lay of the land. Some people were looking for their friends, or checking out those who tend to get their names in newspaper bold face …  Me, I was in the lobby of the crowded Sheraton Hotel, watching a young male couple dress their teensy tiny pocket puppy in all new Hudson’s Bay swag.

The Sheraton’s plush lobby is a happy hunting ground for spotting ‘types.’  Perch on a banquette, or relax in a big, comfy, leather chair, and, sooner or later, everyone will pass by on their way to the conferences and trade shows on the floors below. Poke your head into BnB‘s bar and bistro, and check out who’s schmoozing who. Smokers, head out to Richmond Street to puff and swap stories on the good ol’ days.

This is the land of see and be seen.

The audience, of necessity, includes tourists, and those who are attending other hotel conferences, the ‘suits’ who gape incredulously at the parade streaming by, the march of the musicians, the wannabes, and the remora who profit from other people’s creativity.

Attendance skews largely male,  although it’s heartening to see more young women jockeying for position. Agewise, it’s all over the map, though the most avid and vocal in the audiences at the sessions tended to be twentysomethings, razor keen on ‘making it’ in the biz before next Tuesday.

Into this stream, I slip nearly unnoticed, possibly because I only come up to most people’s armpits. (When did everyone get so damn tall?!) I prowl the aisles of the trade show, hoping for good swag, but generally coming up with a handful of pens, most of which refuse to work when called upon to be useful, rather like myself. I like to chat with those charged with representing their companies; for too many years I stood behind exhibit tables, trying to tempt passers by with my company’s wares. I feel their pain, and have been known to give them a goodie left over from last Halloween.

I just love the conferences – there’s always a half dozen I really want to attend, and a dozen more I won’t be able to squeeze in due to time constraints.  Geez .. there were FIVE streams of conferences going on in one week! I am only one small French girl – so all I could do was nibble at the edges of the Digital Music, Radio Summit, Music Summit, Film and Comedy Fests, and CMW’s Sync Fest. I missed Tom Jackson’s seminar on “The Four Most Important Elements For a Killer Live Show,”  by minutes, but did manage to take in the roundtable discussion on “Clubbed to Death: What’s Killing Our Historic Venues?”

(spoiler alert –  it’s high rents, bureaucracy, and social media armchair quarterbacks who love to whine, but seldom do more than bitch to their friends. If you want change in how the music industry is regarded and treated, get thee to City Hall and show your elected officials that you and your entertainment dollars demand protection for your favorite venues.)

I tend to focus on the conferences, and leave the late night club life to Pat Blythe, who’s insatiable when it comes to new music. However, I did get out to Adelaide Hall, to catch up with the boys in the James Blonde band.  I’ve watched them grow and mature musically since they were Xprime, the BobCast’s house band. It’s inspiring to see and hear how they’ve evolved into a killer club and recording act.

Speaking of which – there’s only about a day left to sign up to receive first access to their latest CD … scurry on over to Pledge Music to get access to the new album and lots more goodies!

On Friday April 21, I had two fun things on the to do list, that were peripheral to, but tangential to CMW. First up, a rare performance at the Tranzac Club by the Alzeimers Appreciation Orchestra and Chorus (Bob Segarini, Drew Winters, Peter Kashur, Craig Riddock, Hap Roderman, Kid Carson, Annette Shaffer, and me!)  CMW’s Speaker Facilitator, Greg Simpson, had commented on video from a previous performance that he’d love to see the motley crew in action, if we’d be so kind as to perform during his Toronto visit.  And so , it came to pass …

The whole gang of us and most of the audience then headed over to Greg’s annual media dinner, held at Donny Blais’ Rancho Relaxo, on College Street. Burritos, tacos and quesadillas, washed down with buckets of beverages, were enjoyed by all.

Fellow guest, esteemed photographer John Rowlands, captured this group photo.

One of the most coveted invitations of CMW is hosted by Music Nova Scotia, and is held at the Rivoli, which becomes a seafood paradise and Tiki Lounge. Ten bands performed on the Saturday, while attendees dined on a delicious seafood buffet flown in especially for the occasion. I’m a sucker for the fish chowder, which never fails to please.

One of the featured acts, Hello Delaware, exploded onto the stage, capturing my full attention. Keep an eye out for this band, and their front-woman,  singer-songwriter Dana Beeler.   

“Dana comes from a background of bluegrass musicians. Since a very young age she has been singing with her award-winning family Bluegrass band, Grassworks, at festivals around the Maritimes.”

you can purchase access to their new release, My Mistake,  here (

Next Week: O’Cannabis – We Stand On Guard for Thee …


Roxanne’s column appears here every week

Contact us at

dbawis-button7Roxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’. 


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