CMW 2015 preview: Make the most of 10 days at Canadian Music Week in Toronto

April 27, 2015

Of Monsters and MenIceland’s Of Monsters and Men: one of the headline acts at Canadian Music Week 2015

CMW 2015 Festival Preview: Ten Reasons to attend Toronto’s season-opener for festival season

It’s that time of year again- Canadian Music Week! The event is in its 33rd year and is one of Canada’s leading music festivals that takes place right in Downtown Toronto from May 1-10. It’s immense because not only does it focus on music itself however, the business of music as well. So, why should you attend? Well here are ten reasons in celebration of the fact that CMW is ten days long this year!

That’s right, ten days of amazing variety. Last year, the festival ran from May 6-10, meaning it was only five days long. This year, the festival runs from May 1-10 which makes it twice as long and as result of this it has twice the variety, the sound, the celebration, and the enjoyment!


For an extremely convenient price of $100.00 (including HST) for a CMW wristband, the wristband provides full ten day access to the festival allowing you access every aspect of Canadian Music Week. In addition, being a CMW wristband holder gives you a guaranteed chance at a position in the Concert Lottery shows. It is also of great value due to the fact that with this wristband, it is $10.00 per day, with unlimited access, where will you find a better deal? You won’t. Some concerts alone you can end up paying as much as $100.00 just for a one day ticket. If you’re going to make the most of it and go to shows every day, then dropping the big note on a CMW pass makes good music sense.

Wristbands can be purchased here.


The festival brings together Sound Recording, New Media, and Broadcast. Furthermore, it unites informative, intensive conferences, a “cutting edge” trade conference, award shows, film festival, comedy festival and Canada’s biggest New Music Festival. It showcases 1000 bands and musicians at 60+ intimate and large venues in downtown Toronto from every genre in the book including jazz, Indie, Alternative, Rock, and more.

Monster TruckMonster Truck

The Best Artists

CMW features the best artists – the big and the small. Since there is a vast amount of spectacular artists, I decided to narrow it down to who is most worth seeing from some of my favourite genres.

Indie rock – The Antlers – indie rock band based in Brooklyn, New York – May 07 Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Rock – Monster Truck – Canadian rock band from Hamilton, Ontario – May 07 Horseshoe Tavern

Folk – Of Monsters and Men – originating in Reykjavík, Iceland – May 04- Massey Hall

Pop punk – Billy Talent – Alternative Rock Band from Mississauga, Ontario –May 09 The Grand Ballroom – Sheraton Centre Toronto

Pop – LIGHTS –  Canadian synthpop and electropop musician, singer, and songwriter – May 08 The Grand Ballroom – Sheraton Centre Toronto

The entire lineup can be viewed here.


1000 artists and bands = lots and lots of merchandise of all sorts.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying BirdsYep… Noel’s coming

What is Concert Lottery? But another reason to attend CMW!

The Concert Lottery gives wristband holders the probability of a chance to attend some of the bigger ticket shows at the festival. The idea of it is time management, allowing concert goers holders to have some weight lifted off of their shoulders in the sense that they will not have to wait in line for a show with the possibility of not being able to get in. The concert lottery so far comprises of:

METZ – May 1 & 2 – Lee’s Palace

John Mellencamp – May 1 & 2 – Sony Centre for Performing Arts

Ron Sexsmith – May 2 – Massey Hall

The Waterboys – May 2 – Winter Garden Theatre

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – May 3 & 4 – Sony Centre for Performing Arts

Of Monsters and Men – May 4 – Massey Hall

Walk off the Earth – May 6 – The Danforth Music Hall

Death Cab For Cutie w/ The Antlers – May 7 – Sony Centre for Performing Arts

Whitehorse – May 8 – Massey Hall

Faith No More – May 9 – Sony Centre for Performing Arts

Comedy Shows:

Sebastian Maniscalco – May 1 – Danforth Music Hall

How does it work? Like this:

You must be a CMW wristband holder to enter.

They will be announcing dates and times when each lottery will commence. Announcements will be made through CMW’s social platforms – Twitter and Facebook – as well as the CMW website.

Each lottery will consist of a link asking you to RSVP.  There will be a short window and limited spaces to RSVP – so be speedy with the draw!

Winners will be notified within 24-36 hours if they have won.

Each winner is given a spot for them self and a friend. The person attending with you must also be a wristband holder. Your name will be on list at the venue when doors open. You will have to show your wristband and valid i.d when you accumulate the ticket If you can’t make the show, let them know so another person may be let in.

Location, location, location

Can anyone think of a better place for a music festival than right in the heart of Downtown Toronto? I can’t! Toronto is one of the most exciting and beautiful places in Canada. With the environment of downtown Toronto and the excitement of CMW combined, makes a great time.

Penny Lane [Almost Famous]

“It’s all happening” –  Penny Lane

Whether it be a Comedy show, a concert, or a film premiere, something for you is always happening! An event will always be occurring from early afternoon, to late hours of the dawn which means that you won’t have a difficult time keeping busy.

Fantastic Venues

We all have different preferences of show venues- some prefer a more intimate and smaller setting such as the Horseshoe Tavern, while others prefer large and big scale venues such as the Sony Centre for Performing Arts. Whatever you prefer, they have! If you’re into smaller venues. You also have the chance to see perhaps some of your favourite artists up close and personal.

Venue’s can be found listed here.

A Get Away

Canadian Music Week gives people the chance to escape reality and enjoy the things that they are passionate about- 10 days of them! There are many places to stay in Downtown Toronto during the festival if you are not from the area; more information here.

© Gemma Mastroianni, Music Vice


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