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The Scene: An Exploration of Music in Toronto is a documentary film project that chronicles the lives of independent musicians as they build their careers in the Canadian music industry. With commentary from music legends, chart-toppers, band managers, talent agents, radio personalities, and industry experts, The Scene follows a trio of local rock bands as they refine their sound, promote their shows, and record their music in the city of Toronto.

THE SCENE features The Ruby Spirit, Committed to Rhyme and The Alter Kakers and includes interviews with Bif Naked, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner (Anvil), Dave Monks and Graham Wright (Tokyo Police Club), Rik Emmett (Triumph), Sal Costa (My Darkest Days), Joel Carriere, Liam Killeen, Barry Taylor, John Davies, Ian Bodzasi, Josh Colle, Ted Axe and Scott Lathwood.

Producers’ Statements

The Scene is about music, artists, creativity, management, distribution, and money. Most of all, it’s about Toronto.

Toronto is home to an immense and vibrant music scene; one that is unparalleled in terms of talent and variety. Despite this, the outlook for most musicians in the city is bleak. It’s a highly competitive market with limited opportunity for success.

The Scene is an exploration of what the reality is for musicians in Toronto. It’s a record of the lives that are led in pursuit of art. It’s an examination of the politics regarding who gets signed and what makes it to the air. It’s a celebration of music and the artists who produce it.

Josh Jensen, Director/Producer

In an irony of sorts, record sales continue to decline while music is consumed at a faster rate than ever before. The Scene was born out of a desire to understand the inner workings of a much admired and notoriously harsh industry.

Looking back at the production, I am struck by the overwhelming number of extremely talented and totally undiscovered musicians living in Toronto. Breaking out of the city seems to require a unique combination of talent, drive, financial backing, and luck that few truly possess. The Scene is about following your dreams, pursuing your passions, and eventually, confronting your realities.

Andrew Smyth, Editor/Producer