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The Indie88 Guide to Canadian Music Week

Navigating Canadian Music Week can be a daunting task, so we’re here to help. With a wealth of concerts, parties, conferences, and much more on the docket, we’ve outlined several events and local landmarks below that any music enthusiast should put on their to-do list for CMW.

Here is Indie88’s guide to CMW.

The Indies with Indie88

In addition to the numerous awards that will be handed out at the 2017 Indies – the 17th Annual Independent Music Awards – presented by Jim Beam with Indie88, there will also be performances by Hollerado, The Wooden Sky, Repartee, Dan Mangan, 54-40 and Jim Beam Make History Talent Search winners The Nursery.

This year’s event takes place Wednesday, April 19 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre and will be hosted by Josie Dye and Matt Hart of The Josie Dye Show.

Other Can’t Miss Shows

CMW is all about discovery. There are some amazing shows taking place from April 18 to 23, including Charlotte Day Wilson, Whitehorse, Yukon Blonde, Explosions in the Sky, Allie XX and more. Get out and surprise yourself by checking out some of the lesser known artists in addition to these bands, and of course don’t miss our CMW Best Bets.

Staying Out Late

Drinkers, rejoice. One of the perks of CMW taking over downtown every year is the extended last call – until 4 A.M. offered at many of the city’s drinking establishments. Here is a rundown of the establishments that applied for an extended license with support from CMW and additional bars that will be serving late all week.

Adelaide Hall
Baby G
Cameron House
Cherry Cola’s
Dakota Tavern
Drake Underground
The Everleigh
The Garrison
Grace O’Malley’s
Horseshoe Tavern
Lees’s Palace
Mod Club
Monarch Tavern
The Paddock
Painted Lady
The Rivoli
Rock ‘N Horse
Silver Dollar
Smiling Buddha
Sneaky Dee’s
Velvet Underground

Where to Eat Cheap

You’re not going to last well into the night on an empty stomach. Many of the venues hosting CMW events have food options on-site, so keep those calorie counts up with Kings Crown Nachos piled high from Sneaky Dee’s and take advantage of that window to the A&W next door at the Horseshoe Tavern.

Luckily, if your venue of choice on any given night doesn’t serve up food, you won’t have a problem finding options nearby.

Kensington Market is located in the middle of the action and offers a range of options on the affordable side. Get some great Mexican fare via Torteria San Cosme or SEven Lives Tacos Y Mariscos. Don’t sleep on the fried chicken and waffles from The Dirty Bird (there’s a Bloor St. W location, too), and the Belgian-style frites available for takeout at Moo Frites are potato perfection.

Venues located a little further outside of the downtown core are also conveniently located winthin close proximity to some intriguing and affordable spots, too. The Opera House at Queen and Broadview is a stone’s throw from one of the city’s best new Korean fried chicken shops, Kaboom Chicken, and there’s a Mean Bao a little further east in Leslieville (not to mention Queen/Bathurst and Dundas West locations).

Head west for some top-shelf BBQ-style sandwiches at When The Pig Came Home on Dundas near the Junction, or hit Parts & Labour in Parkdale for some pricier fare.


Most of the venues designated for CMW performances are within relatively close proximity to one another. Lineups and venue capacity can sometimes dictate who you end up seeing and where, so a TTC weekly pass might be a good investment. A standard weekly pass runs $43.75. Riding a bike is also a solid choice, just don’t drink and ride!

If you’re driving in to see shows from outside the downtown core, you’ll want to know where to find easily accessible parking. Use apps like Honk Mobile, Green P, and bestparking.com to find a good spot to ditch your wheels while you bounce around the club scene.

Of course, there’s always taxis and Uber available to help you get around.

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