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UMC to open new venue in Toronto

Toronto’s beleaguered grassroots venue scene will be given a shot in the arm by major label Universal Music Canada (UMC) late next next year when it moves its headquarters to a new office in the city’s Liberty Village district.

The new, environmentally friendly HQ, at 80 Atlantic Avenue – Toronto’s first new timber-framed commercial building “in a generation” – will serve as a “community hub for artists, media partners and music audiences”, says UMC president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios, incorporating performance areas, recording facilities and promotional spaces for artists.

“Eighty Atlantic will mark a new phase in the growth and evolution of Toronto’s music community, enabling artists to fully refine their craft here at home rather than resorting to exporting it raw for others to finish before bringing to market,” said Remedios at a launch event last week.

“This is the kind of creativity and innovation that I want to see in every corner of Toronto”

Remedios also outlined his vision for transforming UMC, a division of Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, from a traditional into a “music-focused media company whose address could become as rooted in Toronto’s character as the Capitol Records tower in Los Angeles, Motown’s house in Detroit, Chess Records in Chicago or Factory Records in Manchester.”

Mayor John Tory, who has previously spoken of his commitment to “supporting [Toronto’s] live music venues”, many of which have closed in recent months, praised UMC as “a company that’s being innovative”, adding: “This is the kind of creativity and innovation that I want to see in every corner of Toronto.”

City councillors in April voted unanimously to make Toronto a ‘music city’, accepting the music strategy devised by the Toronto Music Advisory Council, a 36-member coalition of promoters, agents, labels and city officials.

UMC’s new offices are expected to open in late 2018.


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