Founded in Montréal in 1975 by Yvan Dufresne, André Perry, Gilles Talbot, Frank Furtado, Guy Latraverse, Daniel Lazare and Michel Constantino, the Association québécoise des producteurs de disques (AQPD) was first established in October 1977 as the Association du Disque, de l'Industrie du Spectacle Québecois (and video as of 1987) or ADISQ. A non-profit association, it counted 32 members at its inception, and in 2012 united more than 250 music professionals in recording and video production, music publishing, live entertainment and public relations.
At the outset, the organization received 80% of its funding from Québec's Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Gilles Talbot (production), Chris Reed (releases), André Guillemette (distribution), Suzanne Dumont (promotion), Frank Furtado (management) and Yvan Dufresne (honorary member) made up the interim executive.
The organization was initially concerned with coordinating its members' participation in MIDEM (Marché international de la musique), a major industry fair held annually in Cannes, to scout out new employment opportunities for music and entertainment from Québec.
To award the achievements of Québec's best music producers and artists who they felt were poorly served by the Canadian Juno Awards, ADISQ soon established its own gala, first held 23 Sep, 1979 at Montréal's Expo-Théâtre. This soon became the most important artistic gala in Québec, attracting more than two million television viewers and ensuring the winners and nominees very high visibility and outstanding promotion.
As a tribute to Félix Leclerc, Québec's most celebrated singer-songwriter, the Gala's prizes in each category are called Félix awards. Following a pre-selection process, they are conferred by panels of professionals who work in the various categories, or in some cases according to sales figures. Since 1989, the audience has been invited to choose the best male and female performers, and the best song.
The statuette awarded to winners is the work of Saguenay artist Marc-André Parisé.
In the 2000s, the awarding of some 60 prizes was divided into three events:
L'Autre gala has granted about twenty Félix prizes since 2003.
Le Gala de l'industrie has rewarded artists in the industry since 2009. Both galas generally take place on the same day.
Le Grand gala is a televised event awarding about twelve Félix prizes.
Since 1990, ADISQ has attributed Billets d'or and Billets d'argent, marking respectively 50,000 or 25,000 visitors to entertainment by Québec artists.
ADISQ makes presentations to the government on issues concerning general policies in the recording, entertainment and video industries, industry funding, the protection of producers' rights, and broadcasting regulations. It also carries out negotiations and manages collective agreements with recognized artists' associations and the collective promotion for recordings, live entertainment and videos.
ADISQ's efforts have led the Québec government (who help finance the industry) to create the Société générale des Industries culturelles (SOGIC). ADISQ has also worked actively to reform the copyright law and make submissions to the CRTC to ensure that quotas for francophone music are maintained and observed.
ADISQ ensures that its voice is heard in all the international forums relating to the future of independent musical production.
•It belongs to the Coalition for Cultural Diversity, which works to recognize the sovereignty of nations on political and cultural issues. The Coalition is one of the many organizations who argued to adopt a motion for this purpose by UNESCO in 2004 and 2005.
•ADISQ collaborated in setting up an international coalition of independent producers seeking to counterbalance the influence of major music producers on world markets.
Established in 2004 with support from the Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en culture, d'Emploi-Québec and Musicaction, ADISQ's training programme covers the main areas of expertise required in music production including:
•legal issues in the music industry
•management of tax credits
•crisis management and support for business spokespersons
By 2012, ADISQ had developed more than twenty training activities for its members.
Through the years, ADISQ has produced several promotional tools, including the directories Portfolio Québec 1988, and Griffé Québec 1989 that gathers information on record labels, producers, and artists.
The organization has also produced the discs:
Les Félix (Montréal, 1979; ADISQ 991)
Les Félix (Montréal, 1980; ADISQ 509)
Québec MIDEM 1989 (Montréal, 1989; MIDEM 1989 double CD)
Les chansons populaires des années 1980 (Montréal, 1990, ADISQ 1990 CD)
Griffé Québec (Montréal, 1990; ADISQ 1990-2 CD)
In 2003, the association published "Pour une musique au pluriel: 1978-2003, ADISQ, 25 ans à faire la différence" (42 p. illustrated)
Each year from 2004 to 2009, ADISQ has put out an album titled "Merci pour la chanson" that highlights the musical productions of its members.
Ever since 1995, the charts (Le Palmarès) have been an essential tool for keeping up with Quebec's evolving world of recording and entertainment. It has served as reference for the entire record, radio and retail sales industries, gradually becoming a must-have source of information. Published each week, it includes:
•the Nielsen BDS (a compilation of airplay rotation on radio stations in major Québec centres.
•corresponding charts (a compilation of the charts from regional stations, and some francophone stations in Ontario and the Maritimes)
•Nielsen SoundScan charts (to track album sales in Québec)
•a column of key facts in the music industry.
Summary data on the charts are published each week (in French) on adisq.com. Subscribers receive the full version of the magazine in pdf format.