BreakOut West: Home Edition!



BreakOut West is moving online for 2020! This year, the annual festival and conference was set to take place in Winnipeg, MB from September 30 to October 4. In response to the ongoing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, BOW 2020 will be making the shift to a virtual event, bringing attendees a 15-day immersive online experience that provides artists and industry the opportunity to expand their careers through informative keynotes and panel discussions, mentorship meetings, networking mixers, wellness moments and new music discovery.

“The Western Canadian Music Association and our partner music industry associations are excited that this year’s BreakOut West will be coming safely into participants homes, studios, and offices, as we continue supporting artists and industry development through this difficult year,” says Sean McManus, President of the WCMA Board of Directors. “In keeping with the BreakOut West experience, our team is working to bring intimate engagements and broad industry connections to the online experience. We look forward to connecting virtually this fall.”

After extensive artist and industry consultation, BreakOut West has decided to emphasize networking and professional development for the 2020 Home Edition. From September 25 to October 9, attendees will be provided with a unique and intimate online atmosphere, where they can build their event schedule and further their career within Canada, and internationally, by participating in a number of event elements. Industry Sessions will bring professionals together to discuss the most relevant topics in today’s music industry – from self-management strategies, to international market deep dives, to the future of music. Sessions will include break out rooms where attendees can engage in the conversation, contributing their thoughts and questions to the discussions.

Meanwhile, Network Mixers and Mentorship Conversations will give artists the opportunity to connect with influential industry professionals, in both casual online group settings, and private one-on-one meetings. BreakOut West: Home Edition will also include regular community wellness sessions, including group yoga, the BreakOut West run club, and meditation.

Attendees will also gain the opportunity to travel virtually to key international markets to learn strategies and insights for breaking out internationally. Artists will learn what is unique about each market, what industry and platforms are relevant, and how and when to engage, as well as gain insider information on what these markets will look like over the coming 6-24 months, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected opportunities. Focus markets will include The United Kingdom, South Korea, Latin America, Russia, The United States of America, Scandinavia, and Francophone markets in the EU including France, Belgium and Switzerland.

A juried selection of artists will be highlighted for industry delegates coming from every possible time zone, showcasing their work, videos and music, leading up to and during the online event. The BOW team have taken lead from the feedback of online surveys, industry discussions and technology research, leading to the best impact for artists being to focus on preparing everyone for the coming year with development and relationship building. Highlight artists for 2020 can be found here.

BreakOut West: Home Edition will kick off on September 25 with the Western Canadian Music Awards, the winners of the artistic and industry categories will be revealed during a special livestreamed event.

Passes for BreakOut West: Home Edition are available for $50 each, with discounts for members of the Western Canadian Music Industry Associations, SOCAN, CIMA and CLMA members. Visit to purchase passes.    

BreakOut West 2021 will pick up where 2020 initially left off – in Winnipeg, MB – taking place from October 13 to October 17, 2021.

About Western Canadian Music Alliance
The Western Canadian Music Alliance is a pan western organization created by the Music Industry Associations (MIA’s) of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, to promote and celebrate western Canadian music.  WCMA, with the financial support of each provincial and territorial government partner, FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s private radio broadcasters, WCMA annually hosts their core artist and industry development event, BreakOut West. The event is held in a different western Canadian city on a rotational basis and is the prime music industry event in western Canada. Due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event will be held online, Sept 25 – Oct 9, 2021. Traditionally, BreakOut West is comprised of a four-day music conference, a three-night multi-genre music festival and the Western Canadian Music Awards and Industry Awards programs.

WCMA’s head office is in Winnipeg. We recognize the ancestral lands, from Treaty One Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
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