The National Campus and Community Radio Association have recently announced the launch of the Ontario Independent Music Archive, a digital archive of independently produced music from Ontario. With the help of grant money from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the project has spent the past year digitzing local music from around the province. Musicians can post and share their music, and it is also a digital archive of music made by Ontarian musicians that were made in small batches on vinyl, cassette, and CD.
The idea was originally the brainchild of Jonathan Martel while he was studying pop culture history in university. He found there was lots of archived music available from Britain and the United States, but almost nothing from Canada. He then teamed up with Mario Circelli, who spent several years as the station manager of London-based campus radio station CHRW, and had already started an archive of independent music from that city. They then created the Music Association of Canada and went to the National Campus and Community Radio Association to partner on the project. Because local and campus radio stations are where so many Canadian musicians got their starts, many already had fairly large catalogues of music that could be archived.The eventual goal is to archive everything they can get their hands on from across Canada.
“There is something special about hearing music you love that comes from your own community,” Circelli says. “We want to showcase local country music from Temiskaming, punk from Milton, and the local high school band album from 1967.”
The archive is now live, and features music from bands like Simply Saucer, Hooded Fang and the Shuffe Demons.
Megan Patterson is the Science and Technology Editor at Paper Droids and currently a Toronto Standard intern. She has also written for WORN Fashion Journal, Elevate, and Salon Magazines. She also tweets more than is healthy or wise.