London, Ontario has a strong local music scene and local musicians are honoured at the Jack Richardson Music Awards every April for the past 15 years.
But this year…
This year, Londoners get to celebrate their music scene for a whole seven straight days with the first ever Jack Richardson London Music Week!
“It’s important that we support and recognize what we have,” Cory Crossman, London music industry development officer, said, “there are a ton of great artists within the community.”
Mario Circelli, the chair and founder of the JRLMA, said the organization envisioned a week long event from day one.
“The opportunity to showcase music made by Londoners for an entire week is a dream come true for us,” he said.
What to expect…
Jack Richardson London Music Week scheduled many events. However, Crossman said the biggest event is Jack’s “London Crawling” pub crawl. That night, 17 musicians will play across eight different venues.
Crossman added workshops, conferences, and mentorship programs are on the bill. He said the Spring for Sound Workshop at Western University features many guests like the Management Trust’s Jake Gold and Adam Kreeft from the United Talent Agency.
He hopes the Forest City’s music students will participate.
“I know it’s challenging for a lot of people, once they graduate school it’s kind of like ‘Okay, now what?’ but we’re showing people that there are opportunities out there and there are definitely a ton of careers in the music business.”
Circelli said part of the organization’s mandate is encouraging young Londoners to make and study music. He also said JRLMA additionally aims to preserve London’s music history and enjoy the current music scene.
“We’ve been around for 15 years and we’re recognized as an organization that does good work.”
A volunteer-driven event
Circelli said there are 35 JRLMA volunteers. Volunteers carry out tasks such as organizing events, hosting London Crawling, and working at the Jack Richardson Music Hall of Fame.
Cicerelli said volunteers serve as “lifeblood” for not-for-profit organizations.
“Without the volunteers, it wouldn’t be possible to put together an event like this,” he said.
Crossman also praised the volunteers’ work. “It’s a perfect example of community.”
Strength in numbers…
Crossman wants Londoners to discover the local music scene. “We’re seeing the music community grow and for it to grow further, we need support from its citizens.”
He also said bringing a whole week of celebrating local music for the first time to London is thrilling. “When I first took this role, it was something that I wanted to see happen,” he said.
Circelli said London’s music scene is rich with talent, energy, and excitement across a variety of genres. He said women such as Laura Gagnon, Kate Channer, Karen Emeny, and Sarah Smith are making a strong impact in the community.
He also noted London’s hip hop community is stronger than ever. Circelli praised artists like A-Fos and the Rude Youth, Casper, JR Fillion, Kehmak, and the TreeTop Boys. Their music videos impress him.
“I’ve worked in radio and TV for 20 years, and I produced music videos for bands in the past. I’ve also produced some documentaries, but some of this stuff that these guys are doing is unbelievable,” he said.
Circelli said the best way to support local music is to go to concerts. “Go and support local talent,” he said, “I firmly believe that Londoners make world-class music and we always have.”
The whole community is involved…
Downtown London, the Arts Project, London Economic Development Corporation, London Arts Council, and Tourism London are supporting the event.
London Music Week runs from April 2 to April 9. For more information, visit jrlma.ca/2017-london-music-week.
Be sure to read about James Stewart Reaney’s “10 reasons to love the JRLMAs.”