By Jodie Ferneyhough (Initially published in FYI Music News)
In January 2015, the CMPA welcomed Robert Hutton as its Executive Director following tenures from interim Director Elisabeth Bihl and previous ED Catharine Saxberg.
That was the beginning of many firsts and many new initiatives that would define 2015 for the CMPA.
For the first time ever the CMPA was awarded funding and grants from a number of government agencies that allowed it to provide increased and expanded benefits to its members. Some of these included public media campaigns and surveys to get a better understanding of how the public sees the role of the publisher, the songwriter and future of music delivery and payment. It has allowed the CMPA to hire a communications director to help further its efforts in developing further member service benefits including new communication processes, bi-weekly updates and coming at the beginning of 2016 a revamped and updated website. The team is also laying the groundwork for a number of new initiatives over the coming months including a symposium on technology with developers and current music suppliers in the likes of Google, Spotify, YouTube and others.
Its involvement with the Canadian Music Café during TIFF with its partner CIMA was a great success. Although not a first for either organization, the event was a tremendous success, being held in a new venue, featuring more great Canadian talent and having all new music supervisors from LA, New York and the UK.
As always the CMPA has been a proud partner with the CMW, hosting the publisher day featuring various topics on publishing, technology and IP. It also co-hosts the annual CMW dinner featuring many of the key guests and music supervisors.
One of the associations major member focused benefits and mandates is lobbying, and with the CMPA on the forefront of many issues that affect the industry much of the ED thought topics have been embraced by many in the industry.
Although the lobbying season was curtailed in 2015, it did allow the CMPA to increase its relationships with a number of industry allies. The organization known as ACCORD, consisting of SOCAN, CIMA, ADISQ, MMF, SAC along with the CMPA and others collectively spent time in Ottawa lobbying the major parties in the run up to the election with their five key industry concerns. This was a first in the industry and was highly welcomed and encouraged by all parties. It is further working with others to find further opportunities to work collectively and help make effective change in Ottawa for all rights owners.
The CMPA also spent much time working with the (Ontario) provincial government as well as with the key players at the funding organizations in order to streamline future funding processes.
The CMPA, and in particular its ED, has seen increased media and speaking coverage. Robert has been invited to speak at various events with other key players on a variety of topics in particular term extension for song in the proposed TPP.
At the end of the year the CMPA can boast that it has been approved for further funding for the 2015/2016 year, has been able to able to decrease its administrative overhead, has had a substantial international presence, has been able to increase its membership over previous years, has ramped its social media presence from 150 to over 2220 followers on various platforms, has increased its communications with sister publishing organizations in the US and has set the stage for a productive and busy 2016.