True North Records announces strategic investment by Canadian group led by Linus Entertainment.



    TORONTO, Dec. 18 /CNW/ - Bernie Finkelstein, founder and President of
True North Records, a division of High Romance Music Ltd, Canada's oldest
independent record label that owns many of Canada's most historic recordings
including the catalog of Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Blackie & The
Rodeo Kings, Rough Trade as well as emerging artists Golden Dogs, Hunter
Valentine and Catherine MacLellan, today announced the completion of a
strategic investment by Linus Entertainment, entrepreneurs Harvey Glatt, and
Mike Pilon.
    Linus Entertainment is home to prominent Canadian recordings by Gordon
Lightfoot, Sophie Milman, Ron Sexsmith, Alannah Myles, Quartetto Gelato,
Downchild, and Ashley MacIsaac. Both companies are distributed in Canada by
Universal Music.
    Finkelstein, a recipient of the Order of Canada and inductee into the
Canadian Music Hall of Fame, will remain with True North as Chairman and as a
long term consultant, while Linus Entertainment CEO Geoff Kulawick becomes CEO
of both companies, and will be responsible for day-to-day management.
    Finkelstein Management and the publishing interests of Bruce Cockburn are
not a part of the deal and both will continue to be operated by Mr
Finkelstein.
    Said Mr. Finkelstein of the deal, "It's been a long, interesting and
fulfilling road starting and building True North these past 38 years but all
things must change. It's been a thrill to work with all the wonderful
musicians and on all of the great records we've done together over the years
but it's time for True North to have new direction and energy. I think Geoff
Kulawick and his partners will bring those qualities to True North and I'm
looking forward to continuing my commitment to True North as Chairman."
    Said Mr. Kulawick, "the True North label, and Bernie in particular have
been an inspiration to me. It is my goal to see True North continue to grow,
and its great roster of artists reach even more people. The most powerful form
of communication is music, and through the incredible talent of artists like
Bruce Cockburn, music can influence, and change people."

    
                      THE HISTORY OF TRUE NORTH RECORDS
    

    True North Records began in 1969. Founded by Bernie Finkelstein as a
response to the lack of record companies willing to sign Canadian artists in
Canada as well as the lack of understanding of things Canadian in America,
True North's first signing was Bruce Cockburn. Some 29 albums later Bruce
Cockburn is still signed to True North and has become one of Canada's most
recognizable and respected musical acts of all time.
    By 1972 True North had also signed Murray Mclauchlan who along with Bruce
now has the Order Of Canada and is known as one of Canada's leading
troubadours.
    As True North grew the company opened two new divisions, one for music-
publishing and one for management.
    In 1979 True North signed the seminal alternative band Rough Trade who in
many ways revolutionized Canada's music scene with their sexually charged
political songs and inventive music and arrangements. Indeed during their
active career they received a double platinum CD, a platinum CD and two gold
CD's. Their song "All Touch" became an international hit reaching the charts
around the world including the US and Australia.
    The period between 1979 and 1985 were to become a golden period for True
North with major hits from Bruce Cockburn, Dan Hill, Murray McLauchlan and
Rough Trade happening during a short time. Dan Hill hit the top of the world's
charts with "Sometimes When We Touch", Cockburn with "Wondering Where The
Lions Are", the aforementioned Rough Trade with "High School Confidential" and
"All Touch" and Murray put out his best selling CD "Whispering Rain". In 1985
True North continued to put out international hits with the release of Bruce
Cockburn's "If I Had A Rocket Launcher". During this same period the company
signed Graham Shaw to a management contract. Graham went on to win a Juno
award in 1985 which was a particularly fruitful Juno's for True North with the
company and its artists winning 5 Junos.
    True North and its artists have won over 40 Junos and has 39 gold and
platinum CD's as well as several International awards from countries like the
US, Italy and Holland.
    In 1988 True North Management signed Vancouverite Barney Bentall who went
on to have 1 Platinum and 3 Gold records. Barney is now back with True North
after a ten year absence with the release of his new CD "Gift Horse".
    In 1995 True North moved its distribution to Universal Canada after 25
years with Sony Music Canada. At the same True North went from being an
independent "licensed" label to a full line independent label with its own
press and promotion people. It was also the year that True North went from
exclusively releasing only Canadian artists to also releasing artists in
Canada from all over the world. Its first international artist was Kelly Joe
Phelps who has gone on to build a very successful career around the world
including Canada. True North now distributes several foreign labels in Canada
including the UK's Cooking Vinyl and Americas Fuel 2000 and Signature Sounds
and has released records by such luminaries as Jethro Tull, Shawn Colvin and
Richard Thompson.
    However Canadian music has remained True North's first and greatest love.
Since 1995 the label has released such Canadian luminaries as The Cowboy
Junkies, Stephen Fearing, Randy Bachman, The Rheostatics, 54-40 and Lenny
Breau. The label has also recently won Juno awards for Lynn Miles, Stephen
Fearing, Zubot & Dawson, Bruce Cockburn, and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings.
    Recently True North has signed two new young rock acts, The Golden Dogs
and Hunter Valentine. The Golden Dogs through True North's efforts have
recently signed a new recording agreement in the US with the highly thought of
independent label Yep Roc. Their sophomore album "Big Eye Little Eye" was
released in the US in August 2007 and has been greeted with encouraging
amounts of airplay and media attention and just returned from their maiden
American tour in November. Hunter Valentine who are an all female rock trio
have just released their debut CD "The Impatient Romantic" and are also
receiving lots of positive attention from the media.
    True North most recently signed Catherine MacLennan and released her
debut True North recording "Church Bell Blues". Catherine is highly original
young singer-songwriter from Halifax. She is currently touring across Canada
and the US.
    Now Canada's oldest as well as one of its largest independent record
companies True North has remained at the forefront of Canadian music and the
Canadian music business for some 38 years - a remarkable achievement in an
industry characterized by short term, quick meteoric rises and falls.
    Bernie Finkelstein was recently honoured by Juno's where he was inducted
into the Hall Of Fame and further was honoured by being inducted into the
Order of Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Bernie Finkelstein at (416) 596-8696 ex 222 or
Geoff Kulawick at (905) 278-8883 ex 230 or, visit www.truenorthrecords.com or
www.linusentertainment.com

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