“We all agree that there is lots of work to be done,
 and at least this will help us to become an informed voice, 
to learn and educate ourselves, to connect with our communities, 
create allies, engage with our peers and foster collaborations”
- Yasmina Proveyer (Executive Director, Axé WorldFest)

Global Toronto can be pure, pure medicine, for all of us, 
causing you to feel inspired, feel renewed 
and stand up to those principles as you remind yourself.
This is why we are coming together” 

- Elder Banakonda Kennedy-Kish Bell

Toronto, ON – June 28, 2021 – Earlier this month, music industry professionals from across the globe gathered for Small World Music’s annual Global Toronto conference and showcase. This year’s edition, GT21, focused on equitable systems, climate justice, and the barriers that continue to exclude equity-deserving communities. Participants from across the industry engaged in action-based conversation, programming and events aimed at improving full-sector participation.

Key findings, as presented by GT21 Rapporteur Yasmina Proveyer (Executive Director of Axé WorldFest), highlighted an abundance of important conversations exchanged in a safe space, from every corner of the world. With diversity, inclusion and shared goals to reimagine the music sector at the forefront, the conference included 22 showcases (18 national and four international), over 80 partners and over 1,100 participants representing 300 cities from over 70 countries.

Last Friday, June 25, Small World Music's Head Of Programs, Mercedes Caxaj, and showcasing artist, Waahli, spoke with CTV News' Angie Seth to reflect on the conference experience, its impact and what's next. Watch the interview here.

Small World Music hosted the Global Toronto conference on their own app, Minode'e (the Anishinaabe word for “good-hearted”). Powered by Swapcard, Minode'e is an innovative shared online conference space for events prioritizing equity, accessibility, sustainability, and the representation of equity-seeking voices. Minode'e will stay open until the end of July, so registrants can re-watch sessions, continue networking and engage in programming. You can download the Minode'e app for iOS here, and Android here.
The programs opened with a focus on equity through a keynote presentation by Naomi Gracechild, who spoke about art as medicine, abolishing white supremacy in the arts and non-profit sectors and making the shift from diversity and inclusion to healing and justice. Panels and presentations explored Indigenous-settler relations, underrepresentation, challenges accessing budgets, mobility, different models of business and methods of supporting creativity while nurturing diverse, equitable and inclusive frameworks by bringing forward the voices of marginalized communities. GT21 also opened access to international regions through partnerships with key organizations that gave participants insights into local situations on the ground across four continents.

Also of key importance was sustainability in the arts – how institutions, collectives and musicians can thrive – and what factors impact their wellbeing and ability to create, while focusing on how to create a more cohesive structure within which artists can work. To this end, professional development sessions helped artists and professionals find engagement and revenue-generation opportunities through apps; virtual music festivals and hybrid models; digital property rights; placement in film, TV and ads; and creating social media content.

An array of Spotlight Artists showcased a wide range of talent: AfrotroniX, Bantü Salsa, Briga, Bruno Capinan, The Commotions, Élage Diouf, Duo Perse-Inca, Fanfara Station, Lucio Feuillet, Golnar & Mahan Trio, Lily Kadima, Kurbasy, Labess, The Liquor Store, Moskitto Bar, Moneka Arabic Jazz, Pantayo, PIQSIQ, Malika Tirolien, Turkwaz, Le Vent Du Nord and Waahli. Learn more here.

For a recap of GT21 panels and speakers, visit the website

Global Toronto is just one of many upcoming exciting events and programming Small World Music is planning for this year. Stay tuned for what’s ahead as the summer months progress and engage with Small World Music online

DOWNLOAD – Global Toronto Image Assets