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Virtual Voices Series (Vol.11): Breaking Down Racial Barriers: A Conversation on Anti-Black Racism in the Canadian Music Industry
Breaking Down Racial Barriers was a 10 week panel discussion on anti-Black racism in the Canadian Music & Entertainment. Facilitated by CIMA (Canadian Industry Music Association), these discussions were CENTRED in the voices and lived experiences of over 60 working Black music professionals from the vast segments of music entertainment.

The findings of the BDRB panels will be compiled in a final report which will be then shared with all peer & partner organizations and the wider community with the understanding that it can, if embraced, inform how policies and practices can and should be reformed.

In this CMW Virtual Voices panel discussion, BDRB creators/curators, Ian Andre Espinet and David Click Cox speak with Karen Bliss, Canadian correspondent for Billboard, on their interim findings, lessons learned and next steps on route to the final report, and a more inclusive Canadian music & entertainment industry.

Dec 8, 2020 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Karen Bliss
Music Journalist @Canadian Correspondent, Billboard
Toronto’s Karen Bliss has been the Canadian correspondent for Billboard for a decade and a freelance music journalist since her teens. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Pollstar, Melody Maker, NME, Time, and dozens more. She has interviewed thousands of artists, including Kurt Cobain, Eminem, Eddie Vedder, Lauryn Hill, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Shania Twain, Shawn Mendes, Michael Bublé, Britney Spears, Metallica, and Gwen Stefani. In 2013, she won Music Journalist of the Year at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards. Among her other ventures, she is also the founder of music-heavy charity-focused online magazine samaritanmag.com and co-authored the book Music From Far and Wide: Celebrating 40 Years of the JUNO Awards. She also created and wrote an anti-racism animated PSA, The Girl With Pinhead Parents, in 2010 that was voiced by Chris Bosh, Nelly Furtado, Jully Black, and others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScL6QNVDnTY
David "Click" Cox
@CLK Creative Works
David “Click” Cox started his career as a member of the MMVA-winning and JUNO-nominated group, The Maximum Definitive, and created reputation for his promotional and marketing efforts working closely with concert promotions company REMG. Soon after, he started his career working with BMG Music Canada and then worked at Universal Music Canada as A&R. During his time with Universal, David founded the Stylus Awards to celebrate the Canadian urban music talents and recognition of DJs. After 8 years with Universal, he created his own entertainment company, CLK Creative Works. Which specializes in artist development, management and consultation services. David is passionate about mentoring and education, he teaches music business at Metalworks and The Remix Project.
Ian Andre Espinet
Entrepreneur, Creative, Community Advocate @Iconic Arts & Entertainment Inc.
Ian Andre Espinet is a Toronto born, serial entrepreneur, creative and lifelong community advocate. A business professional with over 2 1/2 decades of combined expertise in various areas of business, he is a proficient marketer, graphic designer & creative director, social media specialist, entertainment impresario, public speaker and community servant. More than the sum of his parts, he is a trusted and respected member of the Canadian entertainment industry. He frequently volunteers, and speaks to children/youth on entrepreneurship; has served on the board of CHRY/VIBE 105.5fm (4 years); Caras' JUNO hip hop jury; and FACTOR's Juror for Hip Hop & R&B for the last 5 sessions. He is recipient of the Government of Canada's "150 Neighbours" CityBuilder Award (for service in Scarborough) and a City of Toronto Volunteer & Community Service Award.