BreakOut West’s return to Kelowna this weekend will also be a special occassion for Kelowna native, Allan Reid.
Reid, president and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts and the Canadian Hall of Fame flew in from Toronto this week to accept the Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Industry Awards. The award honours people who have made a significant impact on the music industry through mentorship, training and leadership.
Reid’s roots run deep in Kelowna, son of Robert Dow Reid, who sculpted Kelowna’s The Dolphins and The Sails that reside on the lakefront.
His career in music began 30 years ago when he was 16 years old working as a gardener at a local radio station. He eventually moved his work inside, and began his ascent to become the music mogul that he is today.
“It feels weird in one way but great, too… I really didn’t think about it until this week when I was writing notes for my speech and realizing that I have been in the business since I was 16, and 30 plus years later, I am being recognized for it. It makes you go through your journey and contemplate life, and it’s great to be home.”
Reid has spent his career championing Canadian artists to a global stage, pushing their songs beyond borders and help them succeed.
“Driving artists beyond our borders and to success in Canada is is paramount. It was very exciting to help artists succeed. It’s really gratifying,”Reid said.
One highlight was when he signed a then 30 year old Jann Arden to Universal Music Group as their careers grew alongside each other and later he asked her to co-host the JUNO Awards in 2016 and again in 2018. She was able to reach international success and snag a top spot on Canadian, U.S., and European charts.
Over his career Reid has watched the “Canadian sound ” evolve from a singer-songwriter sound to a multifaceted mosaic.
“There used to be a time long ago when we were known as a singer-songwriter nation, from Joni Mitchell to Gordon Lightfoot to Blue Rodeo. Now we have artists like The Weeknd and Drake that turned that premise on its head,” he said. “We have so many different kinds of music that’s reflected in A Tribe Called Red that mixed hip-hop with EDM to Killy, a rapper. There are so many diverse sounds coming out of this country.”
Now, with the internet and global market, Reid says that all musicians can reach world wide audiences with greater ease. Reid says that this weekend, the BreakOut West festival will be an opportunity that local musicians should not miss.
“Right here in the Okanagan they will have a great opportunity to meet, grow and network. There will be 45 international delegates and a great opportunity to get recognized. These are the opportunities you dream about.”
Western Canada’s largest music industry event started Oct. 10 to 14. It will include a four day industry conference and a three day music festival. Over 60 bands will preform. For ticket information and a schedule visit www.breakoutwest.ca