Breaking Down Racial Barriers

Breaking Down Racial Barriers

The Breaking Down Racial Barriers (BDRB) initiative is a 4-part roundtable panel discussion on anti-Black racism in Canada’s East Coast music and entertainment industry. The series is presented by The East Coast Music Association (ECMA), in partnership with Cape Breton Music Industry Co-Operative (CBMIC), Music/Musique NB, MusicNL, Music Nova Scotia, Music PEI, alongside founding sponsor, The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) with support from ANSMA (African Nova Scotian Music Association), TD, and FACTOR.

Initiated, curated and coordinated by Canadian music and entertainment community mainstays Ian Andre Espinet and David “Click” Cox, BDRB discussions are centered in the voices and lived experiences of working Black music professionals. To build an inclusive, economically viable Canadian music and entertainment industry, it is critical to address the anti-Black racism that exists in the systems and working environments within which Black music professionals and creatives operate.

In an effort to advance equity in the region's music industry, ECMA with the Atlantic music industry associations has supported the BDRB facilitated series to have difficult, yet critical, conversations in an effort to identify the structures and behaviours that perpetuate anti-Black racism.

Roundtables 1, 2 and 3 address key areas of the entertainment industry and barriers faced by Black music professionals - with highlighted themes and key take-aways captured. The 4th and final roundtable will aggregate the findings to create actionable suggestions for change which will be shared with peer & partner organizations and the wider community with the understanding that if embraced, can inform policies and practices that should be reformed.



CBMIC | Music/Musique NB | MusicNL | Music Nova Scotia | Music PEI



BDRB (Breaking Down Racial Barriers) with partners CIMA (The Canadian Independent Music Association) and ADVANCE, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective, called upon the individuals, organizations, small businesses, corporations and government institutions of the music industry to play a role in eradicating anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry.

ECMA signed the BDRB declaration, along with many other industry partners, on June 2, 2021 and is committed to working with these commitments.


View previous panels or register for upcoming panel 4.

BRDB is a four part series on anti-Black racism in Canada’s East Coast music and entertainment industry.

To view previous panels or to register for the 4th and final session of the series, please click below.