Weird Canada launches cross-country music distribution service

Weird huh? What’s so weird about it?

Marie LeBlanc Flanagan executive director of Weird Canada says that in this country “we have a problem. We have artists making amazing music and we have music fans who want to buy the music and we have record stores that want to be part of this thing somehow. We have DIY and indie labels that are trying to get this stuff from these artists to these fans and it’s just difficult and messy for everyone involved.”

Enter Weird Canada.

Flannagan says that her organization’s mandate is to “encourage document and connect creative expression across Canada with a focus on do-it-yourself experimental emerging or marginalized communities.” You know: weird. And the newest part of her plan along with her colleagues is Wyrd Distro. “There is no single reliable centralized source for this kind of music. So Weird Canada is stepping up and saying we want to do this.”

As their propoganda explains Wyrd Distro “offers a one-stop shop where both music fans and record stores can purchase limited edition physical releases and ephemera from Canada’s most exciting new artists and labels.”

Ephemera! And cassettes too!

We discuss the varying nature of how music is available online from the special interest sites to the wide open free-for-alls and how Wyrd Distro will approach this differently starting on February 15 all across Canada.

“For the Weird Canada website we curate rather strictly but for the Distro we won’t. It’s going to be a little bit more open but we’re still going to prioritize things that take chances; things that are a little different musically.”

Flannagan points out that while it’s all about people taking chances with their art she prioritizes people from rural communities and people whose voices have traditionally been silenced or marginalized in one way or another including people of colour women and First Nations.

“So what we’re proposing is ‘Hey guys! Send it all to us. We’ll be a single-stop source for all this stuff.’ It’s not exclusive [to Wyrd Distro]: it doesn’t mean you can’t consign with your local record store or do whatever it is that makes you happiest. It’s just that if someone wants to buy a couple of different records from someone in Canada or a couple of different cassettes it becomes very simple.”

Simple as in the artist isn’t responsible for distribution and sales management: they ship it to Wyrd Distro (or bring it by to the launch party) and the Wyrd folks deal with it. The artist just watches the numbers fluctuate on their website account as things are sold.

You can see it all in action with local Weird Canada organizers and musicians at Sloth Records on Saturday February 15 at 4:00 p.m. when the free Wyrd Distro Launch Party happens here in conjunction with major centres across the country.

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