The Canadian Music Industry

Canada has produced many influential artists over the decades. A lot of these singers and songwriters have won countless awards, making the country a great source of talent. The eclectic mix of cultures and influences has led to Canada nurturing its own thriving music industry. Here are the various aspects of this burgeoning sector:

Mainstream vs. Indie Music

Music and artists alike are usually predominantly defined as either mainstream or indie. There are several things that separate these two characterizations. Mainstream music is typically backed by a record label where the artist or band signs a record deal. They usually target a large audience and have considerably larger funds to spend on their endeavours. In comparison, Indie artists usually are not signed to a label. If they are, they still tend to have more creative control than their mainstream counterparts. Indie artists also typically have a smaller audience as well. The mainstream music industry has lately been taking off due to an influx of Canadian artists. It appears that these artists are topping charts both locally as well as internationally. In particular, they have been performing quite well in America. Though there have been several influential artists from Canada before, it is a rare moment when so many of them are simultaneously taking the lead. It is estimated that the mainstream industry is responsible for over 400 million dollars in yearly revenue. The indie music industry is also quite strong in Canada. Thanks to technology, as well as more music festivals, this is a thriving scene. While it is not currently overtaking the mainstream industry, it is certainly holding its own. It is becoming a more common trend to see Canadian indie artists becoming popular in America as well. The indie industry contributes about 300 million each year.

Most Popular Artists and Bands

For decades now, Canada has been producing artists that are truly a cut above the rest. Some artists that will be etched in history are the likes of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. They contributed a great deal to the progression of music and are considered inspiration for many modern artists. Canada certainly was not short on bands either. The country was home to Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Rush, and the Guess Who. Canada also produced The Band, who was originally the backing for Bob Dylan.

Canada has also been host to a number of pop singers over the years. Of note are Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Paul Anka, Corey Hart, Alannah Myles, and Sarah McLachlan. All of these artists found varying degrees of success, with Celine Dion being one of the best-selling artists of all time. Crooner Bryan Adams comes in a close second.

Canada contributed largely to the pop/punk genre, even in America. This was largely attributed to bands such as Simple Plan and Sum 41. Though the fanfare has died down in the recent years, these bands still maintain a large following. Barenaked Ladies were also a powerful contribution to the Canadian music scene. Arcade Fire was also an indie band that reached international fame.

While many of these musicians have enjoyed intermittent turns of popularity, Canadian artists are certainly having their moment in the spotlight. Of course it has been building for years. It possibly started with Michael Buble, Justin Bieber, and Carly Rae Jepsen. With the addition of Drake and The Weeknd, however, there has been a phenomenal rise in popularity for Canadian artists. In 2016, Justin Bieber, Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, and Alessia Cara dominated the charts. They are cementing their position on the music charts locally as well as around the world.

It would seem that with all of these new introductions that the Canadian music industry is growing to incredible proportions. More and more people are becoming aware of all that Canada has to offer music-wise.


Musical Instrument Financing

Credit cards in recent years have come with various systems for rewarding users. Most Canadians are familiar with credit cards that offer travel perks like frequent flier miles. However, some credit cards offer rewards in the form of hard cash. Many frequent credit card users in Canada will find cash rewards much more useful than bonus points or a gift card to a store located far away. This guide will introduce interested consumers to how cashback credit cards work and the best options currently available for Canadian consumers.

Basically, cashback credit cards follow a reward system for cardholders, much like a frequent flier mile account. The credit card company offers customers a percentage of the total amount spent at the end of the year. The customers will receive this amount as cash deposited into the cardholder's account. The typical cashback offer lies somewhere between 0.5 and 2 percent.

This is seemingly a highly lucrative offer for customers to earn back some of the money spent on purchases made throughout the year. Some cashback credit cards also offer additional options like travel benefits, just like most credit cards in Canada. There are cons that Canadian consumers should be aware of, however. Cashback credit cards often come with higher interest rates compared to regular credit cards. The annual rebate, which may seem hefty at first, is usually a minute fraction of the total amount spent. For example, a customer might receive around $100 cash back as a reward for spending $10,000 that year. However, this reward will soon be absorbed by the hefty interest charges. Sometimes, the rewards are offered as gift cards or air miles, much like any other type of credit card.

Then again, consumers who are well versed in the art of using a credit card can greatly benefit from cashback rewards programs. Being informed is the best way to get the most out of cashback credit cards.

The number of cashback credit cards offered in Canada has skyrocketed in recent years. Most come with low reward offers compared to the high interest rate being charged. However, some are highly consumer-friendly, and offer rewards that are not overshadowed by the card charges. Here are several examples of such top-notch cashback credit cards in Canada:

Scotiabank Momentum VISA Infinite

This card offers the most cash back for purchases like groceries and gas. Customers who use a Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card can receive a whopping 4 percent as annual rebate for spending. For purchases made at pharmacies, the rebate is a solid 2 percent. There's another 2 percent cash back option offered for recurring bill payments made using the card. The annual fee is waived for the first year, and after that it is $99. The charge seems worth it for a cashback credit card that was ranked best three years in a row.

MBNA Canada Smart Cash Platinum Plus MasterCard

MBNA has the best cashback offers for the first 6 months of use, during which customers can qualify for as much as 5 percent cash back on everyday expenses like groceries (although purchases have to be made in participating stores). Following that, the annual rebate is 2 percent for purchases of the same nature. A number of other purchases, like buying prescription drugs, may qualify depending on the particular program. There is no annual fee charged, and customers have the option to upgrade the account after a certain period.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

SimplyCash only offers a 1.5 percent annual rebate, but it applies for all purchases made in the year. If the amount purchased exceeds $400 in the first 6 months, cardholders are automatically qualified for a 5 percent rebate. In addition to cash rewards, customers can enjoy travel insurance, rental car insurance, and a long warranty with SimplyCash. The above cards offer excellent rewards. It is highly recommended that Canadians carefully read the contract for a rewards program before making a purchase. Some purchases might be left out from the program, and it's best to know about these exclusions in advance.

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