BreakOut West: Home Edition Wraps Up 5 Days of Education & Opportunities; Looks Ahead to Calgary

Michael Raine
July 12, 2022

Last week, BreakOut West: Home Edition 2 wrapped its 19th annual event with a five-day virtual conference and celebration of the talent coming out of the western Canadian music industry. While originally slated to take place in-person in Winnipeg, BreakOut West made the important decision to move the February events online due to the ongoing circumstances around COVID-19. Home Edition 2 once again brought attendees from across the globe in to an immersive online experience, where artists and industry professionals were given the opportunity to expand their careers through panel discussions, networking events, and meetings with mentors.

In total, over 460 people attended the events, with delegates joining in from 12 different countries, all sharing their valuable insight. 85 speakers were engaged across 28 panels and over 300 one-on-one meetings, while attendees were able to take part in 13 meet-up events to establish business opportunities. Music discovery was celebrated, with 51 Highlight Artists being featured throughout the event, coming from all across western Canada, eastern Canadian neighbours, and overseas.

BreakOut West: Home Edition 2 kicked off on Feb. 2nd with a special welcome program with knowledge keepers from Treaty One Territory. The program then rolled through five intense and informative days of conversations exploring the future of live-streaming, adjusting back to live, decolonizing our music practice, developing Indigenous-owned industry companies, microvideo, the importance of public radio in breaking artists, and more. Highlighted with a keynote by manager, Mauricio Ruiz (Jessie Reyez), the event delivered tangible takeaways to support artists and industry, navigating the current and future state of the Canadian music industry.

Along with the conference programming, the recipients of the 2021 Heritage Award, Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award, and Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame were celebrated with special broadcasts on CBC Radio One’s Up To Speed with Faith Fundal. Interviews with the honourees – Ray St. Germain, Carole Vivier, and The Watchmen – can be heard on-demand here. See the complete list of 2021 Western Canadian Music Award winners, in both the Artistic and Industry categories here.

BreakOut West: Home Edition 2 organizers say it would not have been possible without the financial support of the Government of Canada, through FACTOR and Musicaction, and all of their provincial and territorial member partners.

Looking ahead now to the fall, BreakOut West will be heading to Calgary to celebrate its 20th year, in-person once again. In partnership with Tourism Calgary, the Province of Alberta and the National Music Centre, BOW is returning to the city after having previously celebrated there in 2004 and 2013. Venues throughout Calgary’s downtown core and in the Music Mile will welcome musicians from across western Canada and internationally, with the Marriott Downtown transforming into home-base as the host hotel. Registration is now open, with passes available here.

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Michael Raine

Michael Raine is the Editor-In-Chief at NWC, publisher of Canadian Musician, Professional Sound, Professional Lighting & Production, and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Podcast. Michael has extensively covered nearly all aspects of the Canadian music business, as well as the pro audio, musical products, and the lighting and production industries.