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Does CanCon Still Make Sense?

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

 

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By Michael Raine

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2016 issue of Canadian Musician

Canadian content regulations worked. It’s just an accepted fact, even by many of its critics. CanCon succeeded in creating a music industry and infrastructure where none existed on Jan. 18, 1971, the day Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s government made it law to play Canadian music on the radio. To the extent that Canada now regularly produces nationally and internationally successful artists who are signed to Canadian record labels, record in Canadian studios, and work with Canadian managers, agents, promotors, publicists, and others while selling out Canadian venues and festivals, there is common consensus that CanCon has succeeded well beyond most expectations. But 45 years later, we have a Trudeau as prime minister and, with the exception of a few tweaks, the same CanCon system. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the cliché goes.

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