Home Read Reviews Indie Night In Canada Will Play To Win During CMW

Indie Night In Canada Will Play To Win During CMW

Annual artist showcase will feature a lineup of 18 independent acts on two stages.

Indie Night In Canada will host its annual artist showcase on June 6, 2023, featuring a lineup of 18 independent artists on two amazing stages during Canadian Music Week in Toronto.

The showcase will take place at the legendary El Mocambo, and each stage will be hosted so as to keep the music flowing and the energy high. Each of the 18 selected artists will perform a 30-minute set, with the schedules staggered between the two stages.

This format allows for everyone in attendance — whether they are music-loving fans, music media, or music industry attendees — to catch at least 15 minutes of all 18 performers. INIC is produced during, but is not part of Canadian Music Week, so keeping things on a tight schedule allows everyone to get between venues and see who they want to see.

For 2023, INIC received 184 submissions from performers. “This year’s INIC artist lineup might be the most diverse and talented offering we have ever presented,” says producer Paul Husband of The Next Level Entertainment Consulting Inc.INIC is open to all genres of music because good music is good music, period.”

The El Mocambo is located at 464 Spadina Ave. in Toronto. The event is 19+. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the bands start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Tickets are available HERE.

Indie Night In Canada Lineup (in alphabetical order):

5th Projekt

5th Projekt’s music is a warm, psychedelic embrace and a kiss to your third eye. Critically acclaimed for the seamless blending of genres into their atmospheric music, 5th Projekt are a female-fronted, cinematic art-rock band that paint with sound. Their new independently released EP The Wolf debuted in the !earshot albums chart. The band’s captivating live presence has led them to showcase at music festivals like NXNE, Canadian Music Week, Indie Week, Kaleidoscope and Spirits of Earth Festival.

5th Projekt.

Back Alley Gospel

Back Alley Gospel are a Canadian outfit hailing from Toronto, playing an anthemic, emotional, and rustic strain of punk rock. The group’s upcoming debut EP Hold Up Your Head is a poignant reflection on renewal, new beginnings, and the power of starting over. With plenty to say and a drive for playing live, they are eager to make their mark on the local music scene.

Circle The City

Formed in 2018, these Sarnia natives have managed to capture not only the essence but the technicality of multiple genres and with that they have managed to mold a sound that stands out among their peers. Circle The City blend hints of jazz fusion, prog rock, blues and funk to create an idiosyncratic sound that has allowed them to share the stage with such bands as Texas King, Big Wreck and Blue Rodeo. Currently in the studio working on an EP with new vocalist/bassist Karina Pakalnis, 2023 looks to be a promising year for Circle The City.


Cudbear are an alt-rock trio from Barrie that deliver melody with power. The minds behind the music are Bennett Jones (guitar/vocals), Adam Pox (bass) and Derek Stewart (drums). Their debut album, recorded in their hometown by local heroes Shane Heath and Daryl Sarnat, was released on Halloween of 2019. In 2023, the band will be releasing a few singles and videos in support of their new EP. They set no boundaries or limitations for themselves, and they are on a mission to leave their mark on music forever.


Derev are a progressive rock/metal band from Toronto, formed by guitarist Armando Bablanian and drummer Michel Karakach. Their music is a unique blend of metal intensity and atmospheric old-school progressive rock, with Arabic and Armenian influences incorporated into their sound. After reuniting in Canada, the duo added bassist Liam Horrigan to their lineup and released their debut EP Leap of Faith in May 2021. It received widespread attention and acclaim. Derev’s lyrics tackle deep and controversial issues, offering listeners a new perspective on the modern world.


Fall of Earth

Hybrid metal band Fall of Earth have created music that stretches boundaries, resulting in a unique sound all their own. Each song is crafted with meaningful lyrics to tell the complex stories of life, both tragic and inspiring. Talented and passionate with a flair for owning the stage, they have rapidly developed a reputation as can’t-miss live performers. 2023 is a big year for FOE, with the release of their sophomore album From The Ashes.


Hailing from Toronto, Fluffio has managed to develop a platform for himself just as diverse as the city itself. Fluffio has forged his own form of punk — loud guitars, catchy melodies, upbeat rhythms, and thought-provoking poetic lyricism — to ultimately deliver a mature sound with juvenile undertones. In fact, his music is perhaps best described as “nursery rhymes on drugs.” Paired with his endless energy and bold fashion sense, Fluffio routinely burns a lasting impression into his audience’s minds.

Frail Fragment

Frail Fragment formed in 2005 in Toronto as a brainchild of songwriter Len Lamanna. The band played more than 350 shows across southern Ontario and NYC between 2007 and 2011. Frail Fragment’s fifth album was released in 2022 and previewed on 94.9FM The Rock’s Generation Next. What’s more, Frail Fragment haunt many horror films — Lamanna scored a full-length horror/comedy movie called The Last Slay Ride released in 2022, and it’s available on Apple TV, Amazon and Tubi.

Live Animals

Personifying sonic grit and raw performance, hard rock band Live Animals bring authenticity back to rock ’n’ roll with their anthemic new single, Into the Wild. Electrifying right out of the gates with the infectious hard-hitting guitar riffs of Spencer Bailey and the exceptionally developed vocal stylings of Andrew Healy, Into the Wild also introduces the anomalous musicianship of new members Ben Challet on bass and Dave Schattmann on drums. Their musical chemistry is on full display with the followup to their sophomore release, (ep)iphany.

Live Animals.

Living Dead Girl

Living Dead Girl are a female-fronted band that seamlessly meld heavy metal with pop-punk attitude. The band exploded onto the scene with their debut album Exorcism in 2021, and have since been touring North America, featured in world-renowned magazines, and landing spots on radio charts.


Moondoggy are a five-piece alternative rock band formed in Collingwood in 2019. Now based in Toronto, Moondoggy deliver an energetic live show that showcases their catchy songwriting. In 2023, the band are preparing to release their debut album Mad and Noisy, recorded at Toronto’s very own Dream House Studios.

Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold

Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold have quickly established a reputation for writing catchy songs and compelling audiences. They have rocked audiences of 200,000+ and shared bills with ’90s hitmakers Smash Mouth and Canadian legends Platinum Blonde. A “one-of-a-kind talent,” Perry’s vocals have been said to be the “perfect blend of Alanis Morissette and Norah Jones,”, while her songwriting is full of “raw visceral power, killer hooks and punch-in-the-gut riffs.”

Scarlet Sins

Formed in Toronto in 2004, Scarlet Sins are an all-female hard rock band that feature heavy riffs, catchy choruses, and lead vocalist Sylvia Niewinski‘s powerful vocals. Guitarist Cristina Canas and Niewinski founded the band, later adding bassist Tanya Nicklaus and drummer Elie Bertrand to the lineup. Scarlet Sins have received critical acclaim for their live shows, known for their high energy and intensity. They opened for national acts such as Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, Anvil and April Wine. Scarlet Sins appeared four times on the shortlist for the 51st Grammy Awards. They disbanded in 2009, but they reunited in 2019 for a series of shows. New music is set to be released in 2023, and two new members, Monica Julie (bass) and Jen Bryan (guitar), have been added for live shows.

Scarlet Sins.

Spades GT

Spades GT are a crossover punk/thrash band featuring J.D. Pearce (Jack Spades, Frightlight) on vocals, Dan Horton (Jack Spades) on guitar, James Roy Dayley (Stand Against Fear) on bass, Tyler Reiner (Caym) on drums, and Jay Sarrazin (Hellrager, Sierra Pilot, Decatur) on guitar. Playing with such acts as Anvil, Random Killing, Ripchords, Dayglo Abortions and many more notable Canadian bands, Spades GT first performed in March of 2022 to a great reception from fans and peers alike. With a full year of amazing shows, the band are back in 2023 with the release of their album Sewer City Radio.

Taylor Simpson & The Wishful Feeling

Taylor Simpson is an indie folk-rock artist from Toronto. He’s also a mental health and suicide awareness advocate. He writes from personal experiences and hopes that by sharing his stories with his listeners, they can form a safe and uplifting community.

The Sunset Drip

The Sunset Drip are a hard-hitting rock trio from Montreal. Their first official release BadDriver, a six-song EP made noise upon its arrival in 2021, attracting the attention media nationwide. That summer, the Drip made their way to Toronto and began their takeover of the underground. Fast forward to 2023, and they have a very booked summer across Ontario and Quebec and an arsenal of new material. The Drip are eager to rock your world.

Ted Axe

Ted Axe is part of Canadian punk history as the legendary frontman for The Action, Canada’s first punk band. Touring with The Stranglers and The Ramones, Ted Axe became known as a provocateur and a powerful vocalist. The Action released their hit EP TV’s on the Blink on Montreco Records. Ted later formed Sister Hyde in Seattle. Now, in 2023, he leads his own band and has released his album Sex, Horror, Violence and just released a new EP as well.

Us Or Aliens

Us Or Aliens, aka Shawn Kirkpatrick, has been in the music industry for more than two decades. During that time, Kirkpatrick has written, composed, recorded and produced hit songs for both himself and for other artists. He has performed live in more than 500 venues worldwide. An accomplished musician, vocal coach, jingle writer, and TV theme composer, Kirkpatrick’s varied experience in the industry led to the creation of pop/Top 40-genre Us Or Aliens, a project that showcases his musical prowess and undeniable talent.

Shawn Kirkpatrick.