Canadian Music Week (CMW) is in full swing across Toronto, with about 20 different venues hosting performers from across the globe. Beyond the music aspect, there are also a slew of conferences and networking opportunities taking place at the host hotel, Sheraton Toronto, and movies about music playing at the Royal Cinema.

For anyone wanting to learn more about the music industry, get some insider tips on how to promote yourself, get radio airplay, build a website, getting social, grow your audience, develop digital media, going on tour, managing a band, and more, then the conferences and symposiums are where you should be this weekend. The full schedule can be found here and a list of speakers here.

Another area that sometimes gets overlooked with all the running around trying to catch the hottest bands in town, is the film side of the festival. There are plenty of great documentary type flicks that are making their premiere at CMW. Here are a few highly recommended. All screenings take place at the Royal Cinema on College Street.

May 8th, 7pm – I AM WHAT I PLAY (Canadian Premiere) – a candid discussion with four influential radio DJ’s that did their own thing during the 60’s and 70’s, and are continuing to buck the mainstream in what they are doing today. Watch for Toronto’s own David Marsden (CFNY, 94.9 The Rock, along with others from Seattle, Boston, and New York. Trailer

May 9th, 130pm – SEX AND BROADCASTING: A FILM ABOUT WFMU (Canadian Premiere) – a look at independent New Jersey radio station that continues with free-form broadcasting, much like community and college radio stations. Free of commercials and therefore dependent on listener support. Check out this interview clip with station manager Ken Freedman, and film director Tim K. Smith. Trailer

May 9th, 7pm – LOWDOWN TRACKS – Toronto musician and activist Lorraine Segato (Parachute Club) works with homeless and disenfranchised youth to help bring out their musical talents, by having them record songs. Director Shelley Saywell does a wonderful job of capturing the roots and radicals of how music can unite all. Trailer

May 9th, 915pm –SALAD DAYS: A DECADE OF PUNK IN WASHINGTON, DC(1980-90)(Canadian Premiere) – punk music has always been regarded as the anti-capitalistic voice of rock n roll, so it only makes sense that a thriving punk scene took hold in the nation’s capital during the Regan run. This documentary looks at known bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, as well as lesser known, but still as important on the local scene. Trailer.

Movies and Music tickets can be purchased individually in advance at the box office, at the door, or admission is granted to all with a wristband.

CMW continues until Sunday May 10th! Watch this video for a partial list of who’s in town.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.