7th Annual MMF Canada Honour Roll
Friday March 22, 2013
Bymark Restaurant, Toronto
Honour Roll Inductee: JAKE GOLD
Pioneer Award: NEILL DIXON & STEVE PROPAS
HONOUR ROLL INDUCTEE: JAKE GOLD
Inducted by Allan Gregg
Jake Gold grew up in Toronto where he sang in Top 40 bands in his teens. After spending a couple of years in LA doing lighting design, he returned to Toronto to become the tour manager for a band called Hot Tip. When Hot Tip became The Purple Hearts, they asked Gold to manage them, and he’s been a manager ever since.
In 1981, Gold began his career in Management. In 1986 he formed The Management Trust Ltd. with Allan Gregg, where he transformed The Tragically Hip into national superstars. He has since become known as one of Canada’s most well-known and respected artist managers.
Gold was recognized by the annual Canadian Music Industry Awards as Manager of the Year on three separate occasions (1991, 1993, 1994) and has been a member of the JUNO Awards Television and Talent committee since the 2003 awards broadcast in Ottawa-Gatineau. In 2009, Gold was elected to the board of CIMA (CIRPA) and was recently elected again to Vice-Chairman for CIMA. He is also a board member for the MMF (Music Managers Forum) and sits on the advisory board of the OMDC.
Additionally, Gold is in demand for his industry expertise and has been either moderator or panellist at Australia’s Pacific Music Conference, Pollstar’s Concert Industry Consortium, Vancouver’s NewMusicWest, CMJ, SXSW and both Canadian Music Week and North By Northeast in Toronto. He has also been a keynote speaker at the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities conference and was the co-chair of Canadian Music Week for 2008.
Gold’s devotion to music and art is matched by a strong focus on charity events and organizations. He was responsible for producing the War Child concert in Winnipeg, which drew crowds upwards of 100,000 people and raised over $400,000 for War Child Canada. He continues to donate his time to War Child and other various charities.
“I am honoured to be getting this prestigious award, ” commented Gold on his selection as this year’s Honour Roll Recipient.” To be mentioned in the same sentence as the ones who have come before is enough for me. ”
PIONEER AWARD: NEILL DIXON & STEVE PROPAS
Inducted by Monica Miller
Steve Propas began his career as an entertainment buyer for the Student Union while attending McGill University in Montreal in 1970. After graduating, he went into artist management and talent buying, joining forces with Neill Dixon to form Dixon Propas Management. Their initial clients were the legendary Toronto nightclubs The El Mocambo and The Colonial Tavern and Dixon Propas became the exclusive entertainment consultants for the Ontario Place Forum. They produced over 400 concerts, featuring major artists from 1975 to 1980, booking a wide variety of established acts in musical genres ranging from rock, pop, folk, blues, gospel to classical. The management team launched, guided and established the early careers of many of Canada’s successful artists including Triumph, Toronto and The Good Brothers, achieving a great deal of international success in the process. Steve and Neill then went on to form Solid Gold Records where their label’s roster earned the duo over a dozen Gold and Platinum records and numerous Juno Awards in the early 1980’s.
In 1985 Steve launched Propas Management Corporation (PMC) and scored great success with management clients, which included Dan Hill (for 10 years), Lee Aaron, Haywire and Svengali. All of these artists attained Gold and Platinum certification in Canada under Steve’s direction and enjoyed international success. In 1987 Dan Hill had the number one AC single of the year on the Billboard chart with “Can’t We Try”, his duet with Vonda Sheppard.
In 1995, Steve, through PMC was contracted by Walter Yetnikoff at Velvel Records in New York as the label’s exclusive international licensing and distribution consultant. Acting as Velvel’s Vice President of International, he established a team of international licensing partners worldwide. After KOCH acquired Velvel, Steve became the Senior Vice President of KOCH Entertainment. He was responsible for the development and successful international exploitation of the audio visual sides of music and a cross section of licensed brands. He set up all of their international distribution and/or licensing arrangements, overseeing them on a global basis. As a licensing and distribution authority, Steve was responsible for the Pokemon brand’s audio soundtrack distribution and television licensing and establishing KOCH’s children’s line by securing Bob The Builder and Madeline. In the field of sports and lifestyle entertainment products, Propas Management consulted and advised on strategic partnerships for the DVD home entertainment releases of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, formerly WWF) in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Steve still worked closely with Entertainment One (E1) as the company is now called.
Steve’s experience and expertise was put to good use by the Canadian music industry. He acted as a mentor for the Ontario Media Development Corporation, assisting Ontario-based labels in planning the international exploitation of their artists. Steve was a long time member of the Canadian Independent Record Producers Association (CIRPA) and served on the board of directors for 4 terms.
His latest business success was Propas International Rights Management Corporation which encompassed CD/DVD distribution, acting as a consultant, digital/mobile streaming and licensing arrangements in the international marketplace on behalf of clients ranging from established artists and brands to labels representing all genres and video game publishers such as Microsoft. He also revitalized Solid Gold Records’ catalogue with the late Ed Glinert who also passed away in 2011.
After graduating from College in London, England, Neill Dixon came to Toronto in 1967, and spent three years at the tail-end of the folk music “boom” running Grumbles, a coffee house that featured major names including a young Bruce Cockburn, Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, B. B. King, and a memorable week-long double bill with the late Jim Croce and Randy Newman.
In 1971 Dixon moved briefly into the record business taking on the role of Regional Promotion Manager at RCA Records before becoming VP of National Promotion and A&R at GRT Records. His path soon changed to management, which led to the formation of Dixon Propas Management – a partnership with local Toronto promoter and manager Steve Propas.
During the same time, Dixon spent a five-year period as one of Canada’s most influential talent bookers, buying talent first for the El Mocambo in its glory days as the most important live music venue in the country, and then at the Ontario Place Forum, when he introduced the first major pop concert acts to the venue.
In 1985, Neill Dixon opened an “umbrella company” he named Charttoppers, to allow him to handle a wide variety of different functions in the music industry, including record promotion, event production, television production, sponsorship organization, and numerous consulting assignments.
Working with the Juno Awards, Molson Breweries, Pepsi-Cola, Ontario Lottery Corporation- among dozens of others – he devised and executed countless music marketing promotions.
Neill Dixon’s involvement with Canadian Music Week began in 1983 as program director of an annual music business conference organized by The Record. In 1993 he took over the event and added a new music showcase festival called Canadian Music Fest now running it under the auspices of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Music & The Arts (CAAMA).
In the last decade, Canadian Music Week has become the most important single event in this country’s music industry. It has attracted an “A list” of speakers – from Sir George Martin and Clive Davis to Slash, Alice Cooper, Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar, Paul Rodgers, Burton Cummings, Moby, Lionel Richie, David Crosby and Gene Simmons.
The event offers a number of complementary components. In addition to the Executive Conference (currently known as the International Music Summit) and festival, Canadian Music Week now features three additional conferences – Digital Media Summit; Radio Interactive: International Radio Summit; and Songwriters’ & Publishers’ Summit. In recent years Neill has introduced a number of Canadian Awards shows, a film festival, the Canadian International Comedy Fest and new talent searches as well as a Music, Education and Careers Fair called TuneUp. He was instrumental in bringing the model of the “International Festival Network” as well as the “Global Synch & Consumer Brands Summit” to Canada for the benefit of Canada’s live music industry as well as emerging Canadian talent. Neill has also put his extensive worldwide database to good use by passionately promoting Canada’s best export ready artists and built CMW’s importance as an export development engine. From China to Australia and India to Latin America, his efforts on the frontlines have opened doors for Canadian companies to explore new channels for trade and export with markets all over the world.
Speaking of the Pioneer Award, Dixon commented: “I am very honoured to be sharing the Pioneer Duo Award with my longtime friend and former partner Steve Propas,” said Neill Dixon, President of Canadian Music Week. “Together we developed one of the preeminent indie record labels of the 80s and triggered the success of some of Canada’s great artists. Through the years, we may have walked different paths, but we always knew that music was our way.”