Mélissa Nepton Spring 2015 Runway Show, WMCFW

Mélissa Nepton is a Montreal designer who specializes in “modern, ready-to-wear couture that targets the urban career woman.” She studied and developed her craft at Marie-Victorin College, L’École supérieure de mode, Motreal, and L’École Nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris— where she presented her first runway show. In her World MasterCard Fashion Week Designer Bio, Mélissa recounts that:

“For me, fashion is a vigorous expression that impacts women’s lives in a positive way. And in return, women bring to fashion a sense of sensuality, fluidity and femininity. It’s a communication rooted in comfort, practicality and confidence.”

And indeed it is this sensuality, fluidity, and femininity that come to life in Mélissa’s work. Her Spring 2015 collection, shown this past Tuesday at 8pm, was full of life, vibrancy, and unique and exciting patterns. Her line featured a lot of squares and stripes, as well as off-quilter semi-rectangles that sort of link in a way which is really eye-catching. Most of her line is very casual, which speak to her notion of fashion being “rooted in comfort and practicality.” This level of comfort was emphasized with the extremely casual footwear, as most of the pieces made their debuts on the runway accompanied by low heeled or flat sandals and sneakers. The dresses were flirty, daytime wear, and the shirts, shorts, and pants were light and breezy; made for down-time and relaxation.

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Yet, that hint of feminity is in every piece, with flowing skirts, form flattering cuts and lines, staple low cut necklines and designs that flaunted exposed skin, serving to be both feminine and sensual. The colour palette was one of soft hues, not unexpected for spring, which were off-whites, pinks and blues, and beige. There were also some nice contrasting black and white pieces.

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My favourite pieces were two fun and flirty dresses. The one was a beige and black dress with contrasting stripes. It had an inner halter top and shorts that was mid-thigh length and an outer top and skirt cover that draped to below the knees. The material was quite sheer, allowing each layer to show through, along with some strategic hints of flesh. The dress offered an element of sexiness, but was ultimately classy and captivating.

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The second dress was a flirty off-white striped sun dress with a plunging neck line. Again, the material was striped with opaque and sheer fabric, so that skin became a focal point. The skirt was a flowing A line and fell to just above the knee. Beneath the dress is a visible body suit that accents the feminine contours of the body, playing again on exposed skin around the legs and arms. Despite the plunging neckline, this dress emits a feeling of pretty and flirty instead of being overtly sexy or over the top.

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Mélissa has a gift for merging contrasting notions and playing with lines, making her work very fresh and intriguing. Every piece in her collection is something that can be practically worn in day-to-day life but yet is something you know you would feel good wearing; that would help you beam with confidence and charisma. I can’t wait to include some of her amazing work into my own Spring 2015 wardrobe.

 

 

Photo and Designer Bio Source:

http://worldmastercardfashionweek.com/designer/melissa-nepton-2/#.VEelCvnF9yw

 

Published in Fusia magazine Oct 2014

Mixed Media is the Message

Stripes and sparkles, lines, lace, and leather; yes the 2013 GUESS Holiday Collection has been revealed to the press and will be arriving in stores between October and December.

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The casual pieces of the holiday collection are displaying a lot of military inspired designs as well as a lot of denim shirts, jackets, and the traditional array of the staple GUESS jeans. The not so staple aspect of these jeans showing up in this year’s collection, however, is mixing denim textures and colours within a single item.  Although the jeans may physically consist of a single denim medium, their mixed look follows closely to the overall mixed media theme dominating the dressy/trendy portion of the collection. The casual collection also boasts a lot of knits with asymmetrical cuts, holes portraying a worn look, and lots of metallic beading accents. Overall the hues are light and soft in the casual coats, bags, and accessories – vintage soft pinks and beige/greys.

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The accessories are prominent in the collection and inspiring. All of the leather accessories, footwear, and bags incorporate a lot of chains, buckles, and zippers – zippers are a very big part of the Guess holiday collection, specifically diagonal zipper placement – and we will be seeing a lot of black stone and gold accented jewelry. An impressive and elegant new set of watches is also being released with the Holiday Collection that will prove to be excellent Christmas gift items.

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Within the dressy/trendy portion of the collection we are continuing to see a lot of peplum and lace inspired by last fall’s looks, as well as a lot of cocktail dresses incorporating sweetheart necklines with connecting sleeves and sheer overlay top portions; all of these sexy dress options display prominent open backs. In this part of the collection there are a lot of black, red, and white pieces, which is to be expected of a holiday collection, but all pieces reiterate the Holiday theme of sparkles, lines, and lace.

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Ultimately the truly inspiring pieces or the “show-pieces” of this year’s Holiday Collection are without a doubt the jackets. It is within the jacket pieces that mixed media really becomes the message. My favorite piece was a black dress coat that was a mixed media piece incorporating a wool base with woolen sleeves and a leather front featuring multi-directional zipper accents. Aside from physical mixed media in the jackets, we are also seeing a lot of quilting on leather items. Much like the intertwined denim in the jeans in the casual and trendy portions, the multiple textures being picked up in the leather jackets once again bring home this mixed media theme.

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Keep your interest piqued and your eyes open for some of these stunning new additions to the GUESS wardrobe; they are sure to inspire personal experimentation and will definitely turn heads.

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Published in Fashion Weekly magazine August 2013.

Savings on Your Hydro Bill and Saving the Environment: It’s a Beautiful View Through This Window

Maintaining a comfortable living environment in the throes of summer or in the midst of winter can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to be conscious of conserving energy and reducing emissions. We are told in the summer to use air conditioning sparingly and to draw the curtains, open the windows, and use fans whenever possible.  In the winter we are told to limit our use of heat and to bundle up. We’ve heard all of this before, but the constant effort of trying to stay cool or keep warm can end up being quite a lot of work for minimal results on your energy bill and a minimal reduction of emissions. In Canada in particular, our climate changes so drastically that this is a very real concern. It is encouraging to know, however, that there are inspirational Canadian companies working hard on finding solutions to these lifestyle concerns that also impact our environment.

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One company that has come up with a solution is eTime Energy Inc. eTime Energy is a Canadian based sustainable solutions provider “focused on providing North America with the right green technologies that make significant progress towards cutting down carbon emissions and conserving energy.” They spent the last 7 years focusing on the weakest link of energy conservation: the effect of windows on a heated or cooled environment. Their solution to this problem is a simple window treatment that creates an HPS Heat Shield incorporating Nano technology.

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So how does it work? The coating is a clear liquid window treatment for glass and polycarbonates that is sprayed onto the surface of the window at one one-thousandth of a hair (8 microns thick). The Nano technology – titanium dioxide spherical particles that cause Infrared (IR) and UV rays to be reflected back – creates a thermal barrier stopping the transfer of heat from entering or exiting the coated window. Coated windows show a reduction in IR and UV ray penetration by 80-90%, a reduction of glare by 70%, and a continuous 10-20 degree temperature difference to uncoated windows. So what does this mean? This coating lowers temperatures by up to 20°C reducing cooling and heating loads by 20-30% and energy bills by 10%.

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Their design goals were to deflect the maximum amount of IR and UV rays (to reduce energy loads and consequently emissions) while also maintaining the maximum amount of visible light to diminish the need for artificial lighting. It was also designed to be clear to avoid optical distortion or disrupting the visual field of the window.

 

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Scientific facts and figures aside, this is a practical product that you don’t even notice is there and benefits both our environment and our wallets. Instead of bundling up this winter and installing plastic-film storm windows, perhaps this window treatment is a better way to go. Indeed, I think this is a home-run for eTime Energy and is exactly the type of technology that we have been waiting for.

For more information visit http://www.etimeu.com/ and for testimonials visit www.youtube.com/user/etimeenergycanada.

 

 

Information Sources

 

 

Published in Fashion Weekly magazine October 2013.

Hottest Interior Design Trends of 2013

All of the latest fashion and home design magazines are buzzing about the hottest interior design trends of 2013:

  1. Brass and gold furniture accents
  2. Elegant graceful design or classic/traditional fabrics
  3. Homey kitchens
  4. Computer generated fabrics
  5. High gloss paints on woodwork and mouldings but dark-stained wood tones
  6. James Mont Furniture
  7. Emphasis on art
  8. Bright paint colours or softer pastel hues
  9. Sophisticated man caves
  10. Antique furniture

The brass and gold furniture accents can be easily found in lamps, candlesticks, picture frames, etc., and stand out nicely against the dark-stained wood tones.

Home Beautiful Brass     Home Beautiful Floral Fabric

There are still some brighter paint colours showing up in 2013 designs, but for the most part last-years pops of colour have been replaced by softer pastel hues. These softer paint colours are also accentuated by soft coloured couches, chairs, blankets, throw pillows – any of the comfortable and soft furniture elements. Classic or traditional fabrics are seen on throw pillows and in drapery, simplifying the living space into one that is comfortable and elegant, while antique furniture is showing up in chests and dressers that become focal pieces tying entire rooms together.

 

House Beautiful AntiquesHouse Beautiful James Mont Room Divider

And finally, the ever more popular man cave is upping the ante to include more higher-scale media and gadgets.

House Beautiful Man Cave

So what do these new trends mean for everyday consumers? Well first, it doesn’t mean that everything in your house is outdated and that you have to start over. These new trends can be anywhere from inspirational cues to prompt a re-design, or they can merely be tantalizing suggestions to add to already admired décor. Ultimately, how one decorates one’s home is subject less to current trends and more to the personalization of living space; one picks colour palates and furniture that displays one’s personality. This is usually a slow, organic process to choose the optimal wall colour, finding that lamp that’s just right or that chair that pulls together the whole space. In the end, though, these pieces of furniture, artwork, and colour palates mean something – they are what turn a house into a home and express those living in it. It’s often the “stuff” accumulated through living life – those things that aren’t in any home décor catalogues – that truly make a great living space. That old armchair inherited from your grandfather, that painting you bought on vacation, mouldings of your children’s handprints; these are the decoration pieces that tell a story and that are completely unique and can’t be found anywhere else. It is in blending these older significant items with newer trends that really bring a space to life and keep it from getting too out of date.

Home Beautiful Kitchen

Indeed, there are many exciting new trends showing up this year that you may want to keep your eyes open for, but in the end, home décor is about self-expression that exists outside of time-frames. Your home, like your clothing, needs to fit you – it needs to express who you are inside and out.

 

Sources Stating 2013 Trends:

  1. Home Beautiful Magazine http://www.housebeautiful.com/shopping/decorating-trends/2013-interior-design-trends-1212#slide-1 (all photos taken from this site).
  2. Wilton Patch Blog http://wilton.patch.com/groups/ann-linebergers-blog/p/bp–2013-interior-design-trends

 

Published in Fashion Weekly magazine, September 2013

A Taste of Culture

The taste for fair-trade organic coffee coupled with a palate for culture gives rise to the coffee culture gallery. This is a return to the local; a sort of hipster, anti-bourgeoisies social commentary on formal art galleries and the hierarchical classifications of art. By reclaiming art in an intimate-public sphere, the coffee culture gallery changes the way that art is thought of and consumed.

After visiting many café galleries in Toronto, three really stuck out in my mind. Manic Coffee (426 College St.) is a lively place of simplistic design. Wooden tables and chairs blend in to the wood floor, drawing attention to the clean white walls and the art on display. During my visit this was a collection of photography by Eric H. Parker capturing real people in real moments (www.thestreetzine.blogspot.ca). There were never more than two photos to a wall, ensuring that the viewer wasn’t overwhelmed and that proper attention was given to each one. Ultimately the café is intimate, friendly, and warm and its simple décor allows the beauty of the artwork to resonate throughout the space.

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Art Square Café (334 Dundas St. W.) is clearly a gallery first and a café second; you have to first pass through the gallery to get to the café in the back. On display was Imaginasian: a collection of work from artists Lim Khim Katy and Vu Thu Hien (Vietnam) and Yim Maline (Cambodia) collectively questioning authenticity and idealistic projection. Artwork does bleed from the gallery into the café combining the spaces; however, the mood completely changes: masked faces stare down at you from the ceiling, colourful green and brown hues on the walls arrest your eyes and the focus is drawn away from the art and toward the yummy treats available. Despite the separation between the two spaces, the sweet aroma wafting from the café and the constant foot traffic make the cooler open space of the gallery feel warm, inviting, and full of life.

Lim Khim Katy, Marriage; Oil on canvas; 36 x 40 in. (triptych); 2013-M  Lim Khim Katy, Morning in Blue; Oil on canvas; 36 x 40 in.; 2013-M Lim Khim Katy, Mekong River View; Oil on canvas; 36 x 40 in.; 2013-MLim Khim Katy, Woman in Saigon; Oil on canvas; 36 x 40 in.; 2013-M

Unlike Manic which is primarily café or Art Square which is primarily gallery, Seven Grams (131 Avenue Rd.) is constantly drawing attention to both elements simultaneously. It’s impossible to miss a single painting, all prominently displayed and emphasized by accent lighting, and you don’t have to walk the length of a gallery first before indulging your appetite. On display were mixed media collages on canvas by Otilia Gruneantu Scriuba (www.otiliarts.info) – stunning work in a perfect space. Ultimately the café is bright and fun with a lot of textures and colour, appearing very warm and lively without looking over-the-top. The atmosphere is one of pure enjoyment, especially the downstairs with its many pillows and fireplace. This space radiates comfort and culture and makes you want to stay for hours.

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These café galleries offer a medium for all artistic expression to contribute to the art scene and be documented, they offer local artists the chance to display their work, prompting recognition and a following, and they offer local patrons a little taste of culture with their cappuccinos.

 

Photos of Seven Grams submitted by Manager Neil Goddard.

 

Published in Fashion Weekly, July 2013

The Faces of Change

Band From TV (BFTV) is in the house, turning mere men into heroes, and leaving us desperate for more; yes all puns intended. Some of the musically talented celebrities from House, Heroes and Desperate Housewives (as well as other past hit television shows), have come together in light of a good cause to form the ever growing in popularity Band From TV. The band is composed of drummer Greg Grunberg (Heroes), guitarist James Denton (Desperate Housewives), exceptional fiddle player Jesse Spencer (House), guitarist Adrian Pasdar (Heroes), keyboardist Scott Grimes (ER), keyboardist Hugh Laurie (House) and singer Bob Guiney (The Bachelor and TLC’s Date My House).

Greg has been the driving force behind this project, stating that “it’s just one of those things where I sort of put my energy in motion, and made it happen.” Having been asked to put a band together for a one night gig to raise money for the Guitar Centre Music Foundation (which offers a music education to underprivileged children), Greg eagerly accepted and a one night gig turned into a four year success. Originally, Greg was asked to play the drums at The House of Blues as part of a charity night, “I was thrilled,” said Greg, “when I got there I realised quite quickly that the press was paying so much attention to me, though there were some amazing musicians there.” Greg kept this in the back of his mind and after meeting his future band-mates when he guest starred on House and at various charity events, Greg, knowing that these guys played music, was struck by this brilliant idea and suggested that they all form a band. After all, “every actor wants to be a rock star, and every musician wants to be an actor,” Greg comically remarked, “so it’s really easy to kind of cross pollinate.” Serendipitously, it was just one of those things that slowly fell into place, “one event lead to another,” said Greg, and “it just kind of exploded from there.” Four years later they have raised over two million dollars that has been distributed to over twenty charities. “It’s been a really amazing and fun way to raise money for charity,” said James, “we started out playing two really horrible covers, and then two years later we were playing on American Idol and the Tonight Show, so it’s been quite a ride.”

BandFromTV

As the guys are all really busy on their various shows, they don’t really tour a lot, but instead just go from gig to gig. “The hardest thing is getting together to rehearse,” said Greg, “so we end up having a number of little rehearsals and then we get together as frequently as we can leading up to a gig.” Ultimately they just “have to sit down and know that people will be late or will have to leave early,” said James, and they end up having to do it in bits and pieces. Aside from coming to Canada in March and possibly going to Mexico, they don’t have an extensive tour schedule lined up. “We have to really stay local” explained James, “it’s just not feasible for us to travel with all of our schedules.” Though they admit that it gets really hard to get the logistics together, they all firmly believe that “in the end, when we can send the kind of money that we send to charity, it’s all worth it.”

The heart and soul of BFTV is that every penny that they take in goes out to charity. They raise money not only by playing shows, but also through the sales of their CD/DVD that they were able to put together called “Hoggin all the Covers.” Band From TV supports the Guitar Center Music Foundation, while individually Jesse Spencer performs for the The Indiana University-Kenya Partnership, Adrian Pasdar plays for Rush Medical Center – Pediatric Epilepsy Unit, Scott Grimes plays for Lupus LA, Hugh Laurie performs for Save the Children, and Bob Guiney plays for Art of Elysium and Children’s Hospital La. “Mine is a very personal one,” explained Greg, “our oldest son has epilepsy, so we deal with seizures almost on a daily basis. It’s my big crusade to try to cure and also remove the stigma that’s attached to epilepsy. It’s been an amazing experience for me personally.” On a similar note, James has an autistic nephew on his wife’s side, which is how he got started with Cure Autism Now; “we did a few events for them,” said James, which he found to be very rewarding. Also an active environmentalist, his focus is now primarily centred on The Conservation Fund which purchases land to protect it from being developed, drilled on, or abused and declares it a conservation site. “I think it’s a very important project,” said James, “especially right now. So it has become my charity of choice, which sort of rounds out our portf

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Not just big names with big hearts, although that is certainly true, they are having a lot of fun in the process and are really loving what they do. James will be the first to admit that “we’re not kidding anybody; it’s not totally selfless. It’s a lot of fun, because we are a bunch of middle aged guys pretending to be rock stars, so we get just as much out of it as the charities do.” Greg also admits that   “it’s exciting” and offers a thrill that he just doesn’t get from acting: “I am the heartbeat of every song,” Greg explains, “I play the drums so if I mess up, you hear it. I don’t get to go back, I don’t get to stop; it’s an energy that I don’t get from anything else other than this. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I love the vulnerability.” James readily agreed, as he never suffered from stage-fright, being involved in a lot of theatre in the past; however, when they played for the Nascar race, which had about twenty five hundred people there, he admitted: “I just about wet my pants, I was so scared.” Regardless of the fear, James believes that it’s “really good for me; it is really good to get out of my comfort zone. It’s been cool, I love it.” And on the plus side, they have actually gotten to be really good. “At first we had CHARITY written over our heads in great big letters and nobody cared what we sounded like,” said James, “but now we really are pretty good and that’s really rewarding.”

The guys have also had the opportunity to collaborate with music producer David Foster to record a Reggae version of You Can’t Always Get What You Want, arranged by Hugh Laurie, for the House sound track. “He’s unbelievable, he’s such a genius,” said Greg about Foster, “he was so generous to give his time to the band. That was a dream for us.” A dream come true, as the guys recorded at capital records in Hollywood, where the Beatles recorded, “it was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Greg, “I’ll never forget it.” Likewise, for Bob, it was “one of the great musical moments of my life. He’s been a personal hero of mine for a long time. I got to stand in the same vocal room where Paul McCartney, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston had stood and recorded. It was just the most incredible experience for me.” James also recounted the experience as “a thrill,” and noted that Foster “really had the charity spirit…I’m pretty sure he didn’t get paid anything, and of course he’s as busy as anybody in the industry.”

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As luck would have it, BFTV will be playing at Fallsview Casino the first weekend in March. Greg relates that “we’re just really excited to get up and rock out with people. We are sold out already, or close to it, so we know that people want to see us, but we want it to be fun and we just want people to have a great night, maybe recognize some of the people in the band, and just rock out, that’s what it’s all about…and raising money for charity.” James simply describes BFTV as “faces you know singing songs you know” and that he’s found that “people seem to think that it’s kind of cool to see people like us, that they have seen from a completely different venue, out of our element.” Humbly, but sincerely, Bob explained that “the most important thing that I would like people to understand is that we are truly just a bunch of guys who are really great friends who happen to have really interesting jobs and because of those jobs people know us and recognize us. I would hope that they would think of us as a bunch of guys who don’t take ourselves too seriously, but who are trying to use every avenue that we can for good and who are trying to use this ‘celebrity’ thing to raise money for causes that really need it; that’s how I see us.” At the end of the day they do make a difference and as Bob notes, “If we can even make a little bit of a difference for one family or for one child by doing a show, then I would feel like we won. That’s how I would hope that people would see us when we come into town.”

BFTV is a great undertaking that sounds good for a good cause. In the end they are a bunch of big names with big hearts, despite the fun they may have doing it; they are selflessly using their public status for public good, and investing their own money and time into the effort. Being in the public eye, they do hold a position of influence and having acknowledged this edge, they use it to make a difference. This is a great group of guys who really are modern day heroes.

 

Published in Uncharted Sounds Magazine, February 2009

 

What You Need to Know: The 2009 Canadian Copyright Consultations

The Canadian Copyright Consultations were held this summer and ended in mid September. The government has been in discussion about amending the copyright laws that we currently function under and the consultations were meant to give a voice to the millions of Canadians that these laws will affect. With the intent of Canada becoming a leader in the global digital economy and the concern of the internet remaining both a tool for artistic creation and corruption, the amendments are meant to meet the changing demands of our current consumer culture. However, when it comes right down to it, behind all of the legalities the real question that arises is whether these changes in copyright law outlined in Bill C-61 help or hinder artists/musicians and fans.

The Consultations consisted of input from Canadians through an online discussion forum, a centre for posting detailed submissions, roundtables for experts and organizations to weigh in, and town hall meetings hosted by the ministers. So why does this copyright amendment matter? Because, as Geoff Glass explains, these laws “will shape the kind of society and culture you live in. It will effect fees of up to 25 cents a page to be paid by students to study their own culture (American law exempts educational use). It will determine whether we get to decide how we use our cellphones and our computers, or whether manufacturers can dictate exactly what we can and cannot do—regardless of whether it has anything to do with copyright. It will determine whether artists need permission before they make political and social comment on our society” (Straight.com).

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It has been argued that Canada needs to amend certain aspects of the Copyright Act, as it has not been adjusted since the rise of the internet in the public sphere and audio cassettes; however, “there must be adequate legal protection for digital content” (National Post) that will be good for business, but not compromise the rights and benefit of the Canadian people. The U.S. government is pushing Canada to adopt their 301 report reformed copyright laws, and even earlier this year “Canada was placed on the United States Trade Representative’s ‘priority watch list’ in its annual ‘Special 301 Report,’ which rates the protection and enforcement of IP rights across the globe” (Law Times). The U.S. has threatened Canada with non-cooperation on trade unless we follow its lead on copyright” (Geof Glass, straight.com). Yet, one might argue that the U.S. is the prime example for Canada of what not to do – they have implemented DMC’s and many other strict legalistic tools that have turned their citizens into criminals. In the last 10 years since their Digital Millennium Copyright Act came into effect, more than 20,000 individuals have been sued by the recording industry for copyright infringement and as Blaine Kyllo points out,  “precious little, if any” of the ‘recovered’ money is given back to the artists (straight.com). Who is really benefiting then? Merely the behemoth conglomerates representing these artists they claim to care so much about. Is this really the future of music production and consumption that we in Canada want to legislate?

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Despite this concern that unpaid file-sharing in Canada hurts “legitimate creators, producers, distributors, publishers, performers, artists and consumers” (National Post); our own artists of Appropriation Art described the bill as “censorship.” Documentary filmmakers said that the law would “block them from commenting on aspects of our politics and culture” and hundreds of Canadian musicians, “who had already broken with the American-led Canadian Recording Industry Association over this issue,” responded that they “saw nothing in this bill for them” (Geoff Glass, straight.com). If copyright laws are meant to protect artists, then why does it seem that officials are not listening to artists’ concerns? Steven Page, member of the Barenaked Ladies and representative of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition (other members include Feist, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene, and Sloan), quipped that it is “short-sighted to say ‘See you in court’ one day and ‘See you at Massey Hall’ the next. If record labels want to try and sue fans, we hope that they’ll have the courtesy to stop trying to do it in our names.” The CMCC is one of several groups that have called upon the government to come up with a “made-in-Canada response to copyright reform” (Blaine Kyllo, Straight.com). When it comes right down to it, as Bill Henderson points out, “Canadian songwriters don’t want to sue file-sharers […] we just want to get paid for the use of our work. We think that most music fans agree with that and that millions of Canadians would welcome a legal way to share any and all music files” (straight.com).

Indeed this is the original intent of copyright – to ensure that artists are protected and paid fairly. However, in order to maintain a “balanced copyright law [that] will make sure artists’ rights are not just protected, but strengthened,” copyright law must “build on existing royalty systems so that income flows to artists regardless of how digital media develop. This is essential to the livelihood and work of creators, and to ensure we have a thriving and vibrant cultural scene” (Toronto Star). As it stands, the detriments seem to outweigh the benefits in the suggestions for copyright reform, as Bill C-61 seems to resonate too closely to the rigid American copyright laws, allowing “digital locks on your devices (iPod, laptop, Windows Vista PC), anti-piracy software that would automatically take away your ability to record a TV show for later, share a song or use copyrighted material of any kind – a built-in, no-nonsense, no-exceptions robocop reaching into your life whenever it wants” (Now Magazine). Ultimately these legalistic copyright laws do not stop freeloaders and piracy, but instead they are “devastatingly effective at restricting artists and innovators—because they operate in the public eye. People see this. When they see copyright blocking the creativity it is supposed to promote, they lose respect for the law. For copyright law to be effective, it must be respected. To be respected, it must be fair” (Geoff Glass, straight.com). In other words, creating tough laws is not the same as creating effective laws.

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As students, consumers, artists, whatever our role in the digital economy, copyright law should be something that matters to us. When it comes down to it, we need laws that are made-in-Canada, rather than based on external political pressure, and they need to reflect the best interest of our artists as well as our individual interests as Canadian consumers.

 

If you wish to learn more on your own, these are excellent resources to further your knowledge on the subject of Bill C-61 and what should be implemented in reformed Canadian copyright laws and what should be veered away from: ACTRA actually has a very good list of ideas for copyright reform http://www.actra.ca/actra/control/feature34?menu_id=24  as well as Michael Geist, who has been the forerunner in informing the Canadian public of the copyright consultations and has very inspiring things to say about why copyright matters to him http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4176/125/, also offering a list of what not to do, while Russell McOrmond provides a very good summary of what the numerous articles of the treaties actually imply and how they affect us as creators and consumers http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/4386.

 

 

 

Published in Uncharted Sounds Magazine Aug 2009

 

 

Sources:

http://speakoutoncopyright.ca/2009-copyright-consultation, http://copyright.econsultation.ca/

National Post http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?

id=1863819&p=1

Law Times http://www.lawtimesnews.com/200908045183/Headline-News/C61-a-political-hot-potato

Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/676872

Now Magazine http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/webjam.cfm?content=171036

Bill Henderson, Straight.com http://www.straight.com/article-248110/bill-henderson-voluntary-music-filesharing-fee-would-benefit-songwriters-and-fans

Geof Glass, Straight.com http://www.straight.com/article-247860/geof-glass-how-canadas-new-copyright-law-will-affect-you

Blaine Kyllo, Straint.com http://www.straight.com/article-130290/yes-our-copyright-law-can-get-your-ass-sued