Toronto Blues Society is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to the
promotion and preservation of blues music in Canada. 

Where It’s At! (WIA) is a free weekly e-newsletter that brings blues fans recent news from the Toronto Blues Society and community.
Where It's At! | TBS News
24th Maple Blues Awards, Vancouver (Virtual)
Next Monday! February 22 | 8-8:30pm (EST)

Pioneer Profile Series: Cindy McLeod
Thursday, March 18 | 8pm (EST)

Diving Into Mako Funasaka Archives:
Mel Brown, Eddie Clearwater & Jeff Healey
Sunday, March 28 | 4pm (EST)

Looking Back: Jodie Drake Tribute (Archival footage from 1995)
Sunday, April 25 | 4pm (EST)
Our Final Destination Next Monday: Vancouver!
The final batch of awards will be announced along with the last 2 of our performances at Toronto Blues Society's annual national awards show Maple Blues Awards. Our last stop is Vancouver next Monday, February 22nd at 8pm (EST)! As usual this last segment will be streamed via TBS Facebook and TBS YouTube channel simultaneously as well. All sessions are available to replay on both of these channels for folks who have missed the shows.
Make sure to browse our digital awards show program guide for the full breakdown, and running order for each segment to see which awards will be announced on which date!

Spread the word using hashtags #MBA2020 #MAPLEBLUES2020 on social media and make sure to tag us.

Cheer on the nominees and connect with the community on our Blues Zooms (more info below).
Join Us on Blues Zooms!

Maple Blues Awards Pre-Toast and After Party gatherings are taking place on Zoom before & after each segment to celebrate the winners, to catch up with the community & to connect our bluesy souls in a positive way! No dress code but blues attire is recommended!

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You will need to register only once and can attend all four Blues Zooms after that with the same link.
Garrett Mason
Receives his
Maple Blues Award!

On February 9th, Pam Beatson has presented the Guitarist of the Year Award to Garrett Mason at the Bearly's House of Blues & Ribs in Halifax. Mason has been announced as the winner of the award during our first segment of Maple Blues Awards from Toronto.
Thank you Pam for delivering Garrett Mason's award on behalf of TBS and thank you Dale Schimpf for capturing this moment! Congrats to all winners so far!
Deadline This Friday!
FMC Announces International Recording Collaboration Project
Looking for ways to showcase and promote your music to international markets? Folk Music Canada (FMC) is going to select 10 Canadian export-ready folk artists/bands to financially support the creation & recording of original music in a new collaboration model. This is a digital export program for the Canadian Folk Music sector as your music will be promoted to both industry and audience in Australia and the Nordic region. Artists/bands will be partnered with international artists to write and record a song remotely.
Application is free but you must become a member of Folk Music Canada (also free) to apply. Deadline for applications is this Friday, February 19 by 2PM EST.
This Saturday! Rez Bluez Is At Talking Stick!
"Why the Blues?" virtual workshop presented by The Talking Stick Festival will take place this Saturday, February 20th between 8pm-9:30pm EST featuring Pura Fé, Crystal Shawanda, Art Napoleon, Slidin' Clyde Roulette, and Murray Porter. Elaine Bomberry joins the team as the moderator of the event.

The workshop explores the hidden history and musical relationship of Indigenous peoples and the evolution of the blues. Each Artist will discuss their "Blues Journey" and perform one song that honours the Indigenous experience, as told thru their bluez.
Hugh's Room Live is Back with an Online Panel
Hugh's Room Live is partnering with Empire Club Canada for a panel on Black Music and Its Influence on North American Music: Moderator Rudy Blair will chair a panel of leading Canadian musicians featuring Ron Westray, Molly Johnson, Dan Hill, and Jully Black. Register to the panel here.
A Virtual Exhibit: "Sounds Like Toronto"
The new digital experience, "Sounds Like Toronto" explores how Toronto's music has shaped and strengthened communities across the country, presenting 35 stories featuring artists and venues that have defined the city’s diverse music heritage over the past century including the BamBoo, Archie Alleyne, The Concert Hall, El Mocambo, The Horseshoe Tavern, Massey Hall, Jackie Shane, and many more. The online exhibit combines exclusive audio and video interviews, 3D objects as well as interactive tours. Sounds Like Toronto is the largest-ever digital program developed by Heritage Toronto with an investment by Digital Museums Canada. Explore the exhibition now by following this link.
Fundraiser for Fonfara's Family Continues...
Jeff Thrasher is organizing an online fundraiser to help internationally renowned Canadian keyboard player, Michael Fonfara's family deal with funeral and other expenses. Fonfara passed away on January 8th, 2021 after a long battle with cancer at age 74.
Receive an Automatic Tax Receipt Right Away!


[Updates Added to the Top of Each List]
Live Blues Listings Is Back on Our Website!
Musicians & Venues!
Make sure to fill out the form to submit your online events! Click here.

*Updates roll on top of each list and/or marked in red every week

Upcoming Live Performances:

  • Waterstreet Blues Band's special guest this Wednesday, February 17th will be Spencer MacKenzie. Stream starts at 9pm EST.

  • Shemekia Copeland will perform tonight, February 17th at 8pm EST presented by the Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts. Click here to register. 

  • Raha Javanfar& Fraser Melvin of Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes will perform online tomorrow, Thursday, February 18th as part of the new interactive weekly series, "The Harmony Lodge Sessions". You'll be emailed a link where you enter a virtual world as an avatar, and can explore the lodge, talk to all the other attendees, see the northern lights, and enjoy a few performances. Event starts at 7:30pm EST. 30 spots available in total and it's pay-what-you-wish.

  • Winterfolk XIX is taking place virtually this year starting this Friday, February 19th and Saturday, February 20th. Featured artists include Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, Donné Roberts, Jack de Keyzer, Julian Taylor, Ken Whiteley, Suzie Vinnick, and more. Registration is free but donations are accepted. Click here for more info.

  • Light of Day Canada 12's online festival will take place this Saturday, February 20th at 7pm EST with the second night featuring Steve Earle, Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers, Willie Nile, Miss Emily, Stephen Stanley, and more. Tickets are at $25 and more options can be found here

  • Angel Forrest will be streaming from the Blue Frog Studios in Vancouver as part of their "Maple Blues Month" this Saturday, February20th at 7pm PST (10pm EST). Tickets are at $9.50 and can be purchased here.

  • "Why the Blues?" virtual workshop presented by The Talking Stick Festival will take place this Saturday, February 20th between 8pm-9:30pm EST featuring Pura Fé, Crystal Shawanda, Art Napoleon, Slidin' Clyde Roulette, and Murray Porter. Elaine Bomberry joins the team as the moderator of the event. Each participant will perform one song as well.

  • Harpdog Brown is welcoming Aki Kumar at his "In The Dog House" series that will air on YouTube this Sunday, February 21st at 2pm EST.

  • Folk Alliance International's 2021 virtual conference edition "Folk Unlocked" kicks off on Monday, February 22nd and will continue until Friday, February 26th. Online showcases and live streams will take place as part of the event throughout the conference as usual. Pay-what-you-can fee is available when registering. Click here for the schedule. 

  • Selwyn Birchwood will be live streaming on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7pm EST as part of Bobby Rush Acoustic! - a blues series hosted by the Monroe County Library System for Black History Month. The event will remain online for 24 hours on Monroe County Library System’s Facebook page.

  • Jim Byrnes will be streaming from the Blue Frog Studios in Vancouver as part of their "Maple Blues Month" on Saturday, February27th at 7pm PST (10pm EST). Tickets are at $9.50 and can be purchased here.

  • Harpdog Brown is welcoming Kid Andersen at his "In The Dog House" series that will air on YouTube on Sunday, February 28th at 2pm EST.

  • Harpdog Brown is welcoming John Németh at his "In The Dog House" series that will air on YouTube on Sunday, March 7th at 2pm EST.

  • Jim Cuddy will be performing as part of Peter's Players new live stream series on March 20rth. Date is tentative and details to follow... Support the venue by buying a brick here.

  • Harpdog Brown is welcoming Tim Williams at his "In The Dog House" series that will air on YouTube on Sunday, March 21st at 2pm EST.

Ongoing Performances:

  • Selwyn Birchwood is live streaming every Wednesday at 10pm EST on his Facebook page.

  • Madison Galloway continues her live stream series "My Home To Yours" every Saturday at 7pm EST.

  • The Calgary Bluesfest has a new channel on Public Place Network and they are offering live streams of their events and a library of blues videos from their festivals. Subscription for one year is $60 ($5/mo.). Click here for more info.

  • Glenn Marais live streams every night at 8pm on his Facebook page.

  • Suzie Vinnick live streams on StreetJelly every Wednesday at 7pm.

  • Lil’ Ed Williams of “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials” live-streams on his Facebook page every Thursday at 8pm EST. 

  • Jenie Thai live streams on her Patreon page regularly.

  • US based Can't Stop the Blues Facebook group is featuring 1-2 blues shows each night, 9pm-11pm eastern, with fresh pre-recorded content direct from the artists’ homes.

  • Adam Ndaro Solomon is doing a live stream blending blues and world music from his apartment nearly every day. Check out his Facebook account to catch one of the videos and keep in touch.


  • Glenn Marais' online music education platform "Music In Mind" is up and running and waiting for its customers. They have just launched Black History/Anti-Racism, a two-part differentiated video series for Kindergarten, Grades 1-3 and 4-8. You can take a look at and book here.

  • Folk Music Ontario is holding weekly online learning sessions each Wednesday from February 10th to March 3rd with topics including "Seeking Inclusive Spaces", "Lightning Talks", "Festivals of the Future". RSVP at to secure your place. More info here.

  • Delta Blues Museum's new virtual tours, "The Land Where Blues Began", feature Clarksdale musicians Lee Williams, Terry "Big T" Williams, and James "Super Chikan" Johnson as your personal tour guides through the gallery, telling stories of the Blues artists that influenced these local musicians personally and shaped their professional careers. Tours are free and available here.

  • Contact Rick Washbrook at 289 926 1938 for Blues & Jazz Guitar Lessons on Zoom. Over 40 years of dedication study, teaching, live performance and studio work.

  • Interested in learning slide guitar? Bottleneck or Lap Style? Open Tunings? Finger picking? Sean Pinchin is now booking online lessons on his website.

  • Dubbed as Blues prodigy from Niagara, Spencer MacKenzie is offering lessons on his website with his band mates Miles Evans-Branagh, and Matt Burns. Click here to get started with your customized learning experience.

  • Take a virtual Muddy Waters tour at the Delta Blues Museum. You can also participate on an interactive journey about John Lee Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite or more on the website.

  • Rebecca Hennessy is currently taking new online students for all levels of trumpet, music theory and songwriting. Courses available over FaceTime, Facebook messenger video or Zoom. Email to:

  • Jesse Whiteley is currently offering video lessons from home via Skype/FaceTime/Zoom and you can reach him on his Lessons page.

  • Canadian Music Incubator is offering online mentorship sessions available to purchase at $150+HST for a bundle of three 60-minute meetings.

New Initiatives, Online Archives:

  • Bandcamp continues with its Bandcamp Fridays in 2021. Next dates are March 5th, April 2nd, and May 7th. Click here for the details.

  • Ontario Live is a portal by Destination Ontario, a virtual marketplace that brings Ontario together to help support local artists, operators, attractions and businesses throughout the province. Coming soon, you’ll be able to buy, donate to, or experience the best Ontario has to offer all in one place.

  • “An Air B&B for shows”, Vancouver-based Side Door is now featuring ticketed shows on Zoom during the pandemic. Click here for the upcoming shows and more info.

  • "Almost Live" live blues music series by Canal Bank Shuffle is on Youtube and donations to the music series are accepted through here.

  • MusicTogether upcoming live stream schedule is here. Thanks to music funders including Arts & Crafts, Slaight Music, and the Ministry of Heritage.

  • You can stream select past performances including the latest Maple Blues Awards on Koerner Hall's online archive.

  • Montreux Jazz Festival released over 50 full sets for free including Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, and more.
-> Click here for our FB, TW, or IG <-
External Emergency Funding Initiatives Announced To Date:

  • Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI). The program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Eligible applicants can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. Applicants may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. 

  • SOCAN's new program Encore! is paying musicians for live online concerts on Facebook and Instagram.

  • MusicTogether is open to Ontario musicians only. Apply here for a paid performance opportunity.

  • The AFC - Emergency financial aid for entertainment pros

Resources & News:

  • Bandcamp Fridays will continue happening on the first Friday of every month until the end of the year. Click here for a more detailed calendar.

  • Artists can submit their upcoming gigs to Ontario Live, a new portal by Destination Ontario.

  • The City of Toronto's ShopHERE helps Toronto businesses and artists build and promote their own Shopify online stores.

  • Spotify launched a feature that will enable artists to fundraise directly.

  • TuneCore is offering all of their subscribers a 50% discount that you can use for your next single or album release. A one-time discount offer available at checkout.

  • ACTRA has extended the date for paying dues.

  • City of Toronto's Music Office's thorough document to help musicians and venues/organizations survive.

  • Canada Council for the Arts: Information about CCA's cancellation policy can be found here.

  • Toronto Musicians Association's resources for financial assistance and bill payment relief here.

  • Music Managers Forum Canada's constantly updated resource page is here.

  • Nightly 60-second clip of tips by music publicist Eric Alper during pandemic will be available here.

World Health Organization
Latest updates on COVID-19
Canadian Resources
Province of Ontario COVID-19 updates
Health Canada COVID-19 updates
Public Health Ontario resources
City of Toronto COVID-19 updates
With a Toronto Blues Society membership, not only do you help support TBS and all the events we produce, you also receive these great benefits:

  • 1st Class home delivery of our monthly Maple Blues Newsletter
  • 25% discount on  Maple Blues Awards tickets & exclusive early bird ticket access
  • 20% discount on Women’s Blues Revue tickets & exclusive early bird ticket access
  • Savings on Advance Tickets to shows at Music by the Bay Live (Ajax and Whitby venues)
  • 10% off every purchase from the Dead Dog Records, Toronto (1209 Bloor St. West &  1696 Queen St. West)
  • 10% off every purchase from the Kops Records, Toronto (229 Queen St. West)
  • TBS voting rights
  • Discount tickets to all TBS events (including TBS Workshops)
  • Discounts on TBS merchandise purchases at TBS events
  • Exclusive access to industry discounts, ticket giveaways, and more!
Toronto Blues Society |
416-538-3885 | Toll Free: 1-866-871-9457 |