October 02, 2015
Music Association Name: ADISQ
Note: This is an excerpt from a longer interview. To read the full version in French, click here.
What are some of the accomplishments made by ADISQ this past year?
Founded to defend the rights of its members and to foster the development of Quebec’s music industry, the Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la video (ADISQ) produced its very first annual Gala in 1979, which includes the handing out of Félix awards, to honour Quebec artists, creators and industry professionals who made their mark over the year.
Today, the ADISQ mandate goes beyond collective promotion and its Gala. The association makes recommendations to the government about issues concerning the general policies of the recording, live music and video industry; the funding of that industry; the defense of the rights of producers; and radio broadcasting regulation. It also conducts negotiations and manages collective agreements with recognized artist associations.
ADISQ’s annual report documents all of the activities that the association piloted in the interest of its members during the year. It’s difficult to highlight a single activity, as every one of them is important and necessary to support Quebec music and entertainment. However, one new initiative this year that we are proud of is certainly the launch of PalmarèsADISQ.
Eman X Vlooper feat. Papa’s video for “Tout’Nou” is among the new videos featured on PalmarèsADISQ this week. Eman X Vlooper are also up for a 2015 Félix award for Hip-Hop Album of the Year.
This past April, ADISQ unveiled the content of that brand new online promotional tool. The PalmarèsADISQ platform contains, among other things, all of the new music and video releases, radio charts, sales charts, Twitter trends, custom artist profiles, a calendar of events and playlists by established and emerging artists. PalmarèsADISQ is also a source to preview and directly purchase music from Quebec artists via iTunes.
With an abundance of music available in the digital world, PalmarèsADISQ sets out to offer a new showcase at a time when the placement of music content on various platforms is more crucial than ever. This platform, which is updated several times a week, reflects the diversity of Quebec and French Canadian music—all languages combined. It’s also a radar for music trends, as much for established artists as for emerging artists.
Who are the Quebec artists that should be on Canada’s radar?
Louis-José Houde will return on November 8 to host the Gala de l’ADISQ for a tenth year, live on Radio-Canada. The combined audience for those 10 years adds up to more than 11 million viewers. The nominations for the 2015 Gala de l’ADISQ 2015 were just released and are an excellent reflection of Quebec’s musical landscape and current flock of artists.
This year, 276 nominations were given to 122 artists and 98 producers and professionals. You can discover all the nominations on PalmarèsADISQ.ca.
The nominations come from the consideration of 209 albums, 54 shows and 52 music videos, for a total of 337 products considered between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015.
“Debout” by Ariane Moffatt.
Jean Leloup’s “Les flamants roses” off À Paradis City.
“Dragon” by indie-rockers Galaxie, who are nominated for Group or Duo of the Year.
ADISQ invites fans to join voices with the Academy to choose the winners of the Félix award in those categories. All the details and the prizes to be won are on ICI.Radio-Canada.ca/adisq.
L’Autre Gala will be broadcast live on MusiquePlus and MusiMax on Tuesday, October 27 at 8:00pm. Olivier Robillard Laveaux will host the event, which will kick off the artistic portion of the Felix awards. L’Autre Gala is the awarding ceremony encompassing all genres—from rock to jazz, and alternative to comedy.
Were there any challenges for Quebec artists?
The talent is always there, but the way in which the industry needs to promote them requires the deployment of an ever-increasing amount of energy and resources for results that, for the most part, don’t grow at the same pace. Our industry is experiencing its own version of what economists call ‘the law of diminishing returns’ due to the reconfiguration of the “ecosystem” in which we evolve, and new players, such as technology and telecommunication companies and free music streaming services, imposing their rules.
Our industry is lively and dynamic. According to a study published by SODEC last April, about 68 percent of companies in our sector are profitable, with an average profit before tax of 7.1 percent. No less than 84 percent of their profits are generated autonomously, with public aids representing only about 16 percent.
However, public support is essential because it makes it possible for companies to take risks – and it allows for the other 84 percent of their revenues. Moreover, the same study shows that the proportion of profitable companies would fall to 27 percent in the absence of public aid.
There is also the context in which everyone is allowed to contribute to society. Our industry has been destabilized by players that, until recently, evolved in the periphery—mainly technology and telecommunications companies. Those companies have yet to demonstrate their willingness to act as partners with other members of the industry. Their almost predatory attitude threatens the balance of the entire ecosystem, and even the survival of those who make it exist: our artists. We’re lacking political, legislative and regulatory frameworks that will make those new players understand that if they are the only ones who benefit from the new environment, it’s the whole system that will suffer.
It is crucial for those frameworks to be a part of public discourse, which began last April with the CRTC, on the role of telecommunications companies in our society, our economy and our culture. Music was the first sector affected by the emergence of a global digital economy and, for the sake of all of the Canadian cultural industries, it is essential that its history be understood, that its challenges be known, and that technology and telecommunications companies be part of the solution.
Models of successful collaboration exist: for decades, thanks to a solid regulatory framework, the radio broadcasting industry contributed to the viability of local music, which provides most of its raw material. Admittedly, that model could be improved and is constantly challenged by some broadcasters. That’s why the broadcasting policy has been subject to successive revisions, the latest of which is under way. In the context of that revision, ADISQ proposes several innovative measures to ensure the best possible visibility and the sustainable development of Francophone music. We truly hope to be heard and understood.
In the same spirit, ADISQ intends to contribute to the new cultural policy of the Quebec government, the need for which can particularly be felt since the current policy is outdated, stemming from an era when the CD was still a new thing and the Internet was a private network. We are taking part in drafting copyright rules for the digital era. Even though copyright is under federal jurisdiction, it’s important for Quebec to develop an acute understanding of that issue, and for the voice of the cultural community to be projected by our government.
— Compiled by Solange Drouin, vice-president of public affairs and executive director at ADISQ