February 06, 2017
Where did you buy your first CD? It likely wasn’t at one of the many super cool, independent music retailers across the country (though we’ve all grown up and realized that’s where it’s at). It could’ve been at a spot like Sam The Record Man, the last of which stands now in a mall in Belleville, Ontario. But it’s a decent bet to wager your first CD (or cassette!) was purchased at HMV, which has been ubiquitous in Canadian malls in the years since its first store opened here in 1986. I know I waited in line before the HMV in Winnipeg had opened its metal shutters on the day Our Lady Peace’s Spiritual Machines came out.
Well, every one of those HMV stores in Canada (102 to be exact, employing around 1,340 people) must cease operations by April 30. The decision comes after HUK 10 Ltd., which had lent money to HMV, filed an application to place the company into receivership on Thursday, the CBC reports. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the application on Friday. In the application, HUK 10 Ltd. claims that HMV owes them almost $39 million and hasn’t received a cash payment since November 2014. Most of HMV Canada’s head office has already been laid off. When music streaming began taking off, HMV started selling all manner of things—memorabilia, books, shirts, toys—to make up for dwindling sales, after over 100 Canadian stores were sold to the private equity arm of Hilco International Holdings LLC in 2011.
While absolutely a blow to accessibility to music in the country (and a terrible thing for all employed), there are tons of independent retailers to support all throughout Canada. Zulu Records in Vancouver, Rotate This in Toronto, Music Trader in Winnipeg, Taz Records in Halifax, Sloth Records in Calgary, The Vinyl Exchange in Saskatoon.
For more, check out Record Store Day’s venue guide.
In Other News:
- Manitoba Music report finds that music is a worthwhile government investment!
- Canada’s newest vinyl pressing plant, Microforum, starts operating this month.
- Neil Young and Rush will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame presenters.
- Hugh’s Room in Toronto is hoping to reopen in March.
- Justin Bieber called the Weeknd’s tunes ‘whack.’
Festival Lineups: Northern Lights Festival Boréal