TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) – Canadian Music Week (CMW) has officially hit the pause button on its 2020 conference and festival in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter sent to conference speakers Monday (May 4), CMW CEO Danya Dixon said: “It is with great regret and overriding concern for the safety of all participants, that Canadian Music Week is abandoning efforts to present our annual festival and conference in 2020. We are hopeful of finding a date in 2021 to continue our nearly four-decade tradition of bringing the world’s music and music-makers to Toronto,” she added.
The 38th edition of CMW was originally slated to take place May 19-23, however, was postponed in mid-March due to the rapidly worsening situation surrounding COVID-19. Make-up dates were announced for September 9-11 at the Sheraton Centre and participating venues across the city.
“After extensive consultation with industry partners, it has become apparent that – at this point in the public health emergency – September represented too many unavoidable obstacles,” Dixon explained. “Not least of these would be the participation of international artists and delegates, many of whom might not be free to travel at that point, and some of whom have already declined to attend.”
Even in a best-case fall scenario, wherein the spread of COVID-19 has been mitigated and limited public gatherings allowed, high-attendance events such as CMW will likely be the last public activities to resume.
“The fallout is huge, for events like ours and for the entire music industry,” continued Dixon. “This has been a heartbreaking turn of events for so many reasons, affecting everyone. During this time of uncertainty, CMW encourages you to continue to support independent artists and to keep listening to music. We look forward to seeing you again!”
CMW says it is currently investigating some virtual options for mounting a digital extension of the annual event, including a series of webinars and conference livestreams. More information on those initiatives is expected to follow.