Toronto, Canada – 2 Jun 2021: Fair Trade Music International (FTMI) has become the latest organization to sign the “Declaration to End Anti-Black Racism in the Canadian Music Industry” on the one-year anniversary of #BlackOutTuesday. This virtual signing event was hosted by the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and ADVANCE (Canada’s Black Music Business Collective) as part of the Breaking Down Racial Barriers initiative.
“We are proud to join Canadian music industry leaders in signing this declaration today,” said award-winning songwriter and FTMI board member, Greg Johnston. “As an organization backed by a fully diverse community of 500,000 music creators from around the world, we are committed to a non-discriminatory approach. The respect of diversity, inclusion, and equity are core values of the Fair Trade Music movement and we encourage all Canadian partners and supporters to place their full weight behind important initiatives such as this.”
The Fair Trade Music movement has its roots in Canada. The initiative began at the University of Ottawa in 2007 and in addition to being headquartered in Toronto, half of this independent not-for-profit’s executive board is Canadian born.
The signing of this declaration is an important step for all members of the Canadian music community. “By doing so we commit to the creation of a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse industry; one that not only includes, encourages, and fosters the success of Black entrepreneurs and professionals but does so intentionally,” said Andrew Cash, CIMA’s Executive Director.
Today’s event continues the pioneering work of last year’s “Breaking Down Racial Barriers” round table that pulled together more than 60 working Black music professionals from the Canadian music and entertainment industry. The declaration commits signatories to measurable actions and expects them to make an active, conscious and ongoing effort to work for diversity.
“It is a step in the right direction towards ending racism,” said Keziah Myers, Executive Director of ADVANCE. “Collectively, we as an industry need co-conspirators that stand in the gap and ensure that equity is achieved.”
Read the complete declaration at the CIMA website.