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
July Blues Picks!

Listen to John Valenteyn's Blues Picks for our monthly MapleBlues Magazine on Toronto Blues Society's  Spotify account .

For July, we feature Justin Saladino Band, The Smoke Wagon Blues Band, Broke Fuse, Jully Black, and Dione Taylor.

A 45 minutes ear-movie to chill out on a hot summer day!
Call for International Blues Challenge
Toronto Contest & Updates Related to COVID-19
Toronto Blues Society is looking for its next representative at the International Blues Challenge. This year the International Blues Challenge will take place between  January 19 - February 23, 2021 and musicians can apply to compete for the " band " or " solo/duo " category.

As of today the IBC is still monitoring the COVID-19 situation as in continuing with the in person challenge in Memphis OR to carry the event to an online platform. In any case, the time being they will continue accepting submissions from the Blues Societies for their representatives. TBS will follow the guidelines of Ontario closely and will hold the Toronto contest via video submissions OR at an actual venue with competing musicians and judges only as per IBC's new guidelines .

Deadline   for submission of interest to Toronto Blues Society is  Friday, August 14 by midnight . If you are interested, please send an e-mail to with the subject line "IBC". Candidates will be contacted after the deadline for more details about the Toronto contest.
Maple Blues Awards Are Going Online in 2021

Toronto Blues Society's annual national awards show Maple Blues Awards is going virtual on its next edition which will take place in February 1, 2021 . The Board of TBS has been faced with the difficult decision considering the ongoing pandemic. The public voting will still take place during the month of November 2020 and the winners will be announced during the online awards show in February.
Musicians! Promote Your New Albums!
Please make sure to mail and promote your new albums to the MBA Nominating Panel until the end of September. While our Panel is consisted of 62 members who are required to be familiar with Canadian blues artist activity and CD releases, artists are encouraged to service new releases to increase their national profile. The list of the Panel members can be found on our website with a link to their organizations. Please note, albums should be released during the eligibility period:  September 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020 .
Pandemic Singles
Our two recent young Talent Search finalists Emily Gilbart (2019), Gavin McLeod (2018) have been working hard during the lockdown and are back with a new single. You can listen to "Dandelion Wine" by Emily on Youtube , Spotify or can read more on her website . Gavin's new single is due this Friday, July 17th and will be available to listen on multiple platforms via Distrokid . You can signup to his newsletters to keep up to date on his website .
Fundraiser for Rosie

Canadian Blues singer, guitarist and songwriter Morgan Davis , and his wife Vicky lost their daughter Rosie last week. Her friends have set up a GoFundMe page which will assist Rosie’s family in her hometown as well as her support system in Montreal, and for a memorial that will allow the family & friends to give her the tribute she deserves. Click here for more info and to donate.
Another Blues-Friendly Venue Is Gone...

The COVID-19 pandemic hit another local blues-friendly venue, Alleycatz . The venue located at the 2409 Yonge St. for the past 19 years was the home base for Blues In The Alley featuring the Big Groove with Gary Kendall and Mike Fitzpatrick, and special guests. It’s been a challenging period for live music venues in Toronto, despite the city continuing to attempt to provide creative solutions. Earlier this week, it was announced that iconic live music venue The Rivoli was up for sale as well. Read more here .
Music Memories
of Yonge

Live music may be in a pandemic lockdown, but Downtown Yonge BIA has found a way to showcase Toronto’s vibrant music history - launching the Music Memories of Yonge website . Take a virtual walking tour of 15 legendary music locations with unheard stories + rare photos including Massey Hall, Friar's Tavern, Town Tavern and many more!


[Updates Added to the Top of Each List]
Musicians! In lieu of the weekly Live Music Listings, TBS is eagerly compiling live streaming/online concerts which would be of interest to our home-bound readers. Send us your scheduled live stream, social media handle/any online fundraising campaign/past performances on your Youtube:

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

Upcoming Live Performances:

  • Paul Reddick is releasing a live performance video every Wednesday during the month of July, including tonight (July 8th), on Folk Roots & Blues Youtube Channel. Tune in at 8pm! Videos have been freshly recorded at Sauce on the Danforth where they will also be holding a Weekly Wednesday Back Patio Watch Party to celebrate the release of the online video series. Contact Mitzy at 416 666 3415 to reserve a spot.

  • THE COVE INN in Westport will be hosting Steve Marriner, this Thursday July 16th between 5-8pm on its outdoor Patio. $45 for dinner & show. RSVP in advance via calling 613-273-3636.

  • This summer, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival brings live music with a weekly concert series, broadcasting live from the JAZZ.FM91 studio from July 3 to August 28 (every Friday between 5pm-6pm). Jenie Thai will take over the studio this Friday, July 17th as part of the series.

  • Hot Docs is now streaming 2019 documentary "Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things" online for $9.99. Click here for more info.

  • Steve Strongman will be live streaming from 51 Sounds studio in Hamilton on Monday, July 20th at 8pm. Click here to RSVP.

  • Music By The Bay presents live blues from its patio featuring Marriner O'Brien Caddell on Thursday, July 23rd at 8pm at Uxbridge. Advance sales only.

  • Hillside Summer Festival's 2020 edition has been postponed to next year due to pandemic however they will be having an online "Hillside Homeside" edition this month featuring videos submitted by artists like Julian Taylor, and Terra Lightfoot. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook page to access the videos between July 24-26. Videos will be up for the Hillside weekend and will be taken off the internet after.

  • Jack de Keyzer will be playing on Thursday, July 30 as part of Whitby Live series at 7pm. Tune into Town of Whitby Facebook page to watch.

  • Sean Pinchin will be playing the Patio of THE COVE INN in Westport , on Thursday, July 30th between 5-8pm. $45 for dinner & show. RSVP in advance via calling 613-273-3636.

  • Play The Parks is back virtually this summer and Julian Taylor will be playing from the lobby of Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Thursday, July 30th at 12:30pm. Performance will be live streamed at Downtown Yonge BIA's Facebook page. Click here for RSVP.

  • Cruise in Concerts: Presented by Target Event Marketing is a health unit approved drive-in concert that will happen on Purple Hill Road (5 miles east of London-ON). They are hosting a "Blues Night" on Friday, July 31st (please note the recent date change) at 7pm with Bill Durst, Tim Woodcock Band & Cheryl Lescom, and special guest Chris Trowell Band. FM Frequency will be available for the event and it's online advance sales only. Click here for prices and more info.

  • Beaches Jazz Festival is taking place virtually starting this weekend between July 17-26 featuring Jerome Tucker Band on Friday, July 24, and Julian Taylor on Saturday, July 25th at 7pm. Event will be streamed on Beaches Jazz Fest's website, Facebook, and Youtube pages. Click here to see the full schedule.

  • Paul Reddick, Steve Marriner & Kyle Ferguson are back at Peter's Players on Saturday, August 8th at 8pm. This is a 28 seat, socially distanced, outdoor theatre show with one set (no intermission). Cash bar is available.

  • The 22nd Annual Port Credit Blues & Jazz Festival, Southside Shuffle will take place virtually this year on September 10,11, 12 & 13. Stay tuned on their website for more info.

Ongoing Performances:

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

  • Colin James is giving the backstory of one of his guitars every Tuesday on his Youtube channel as part of the new "On the Couch with Colin James" #guitartuesday series.

  • Victor Wainwright is live streaming on Tuesdays (once a month for now) from his Facebook page including performances, guest interviews, news and more. Please check artist's Facebook page for upcoming live streams.

  • Jesse Whiteley goes live with Clayton Yates on Tuesdays and for his requests weekend here (dates may change/vary).

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

  • Tedeschi Trucks Band is free streaming their full concerts as part of their Swamp TV event every Thursday at 8pm.

  • Steve Hill live streams every Friday at 8pm (dates may change/vary).

  • Whitehorse is live-streaming every Friday at 5pm on Bands in Town.

  • Brian Blain streams his weekly Backyard Blaincast every Sunday at 2pm on Facebook.

  • 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.


  • Carlos del Junco continues to offer lessons on his educational site which focuses on “How to practice the 10 hole diatonic blues harp”. His latest and third webinar is available to purchase and download on his website emphasizing “Rhythm in your soloing.” 

  • 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 Ar chives :

  • Ontario Live is a new 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.
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External Emergency Funding Initiatives Announced To Date:

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

  • CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit).

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

  • The AFC - Emergency financial aid for entertainment pros

Resources & News:

  • 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.

We Are Closed: Live Blues Listings
We are hoping to get back on to our Live Blues Listings when further info is available. See you outside post-pandemic! Until then stay safe & healthy!

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 |