Stuart Johnston Stepping Down as CIMA President

The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) has announced that Stuart Johnston, who has helmed the organization for almost 10 years, will be leaving the organization effective Dec. 31, 2020.

“It’s with a sad heart that we at CIMA say goodbye to Stuart as the organization’s president. For almost a decade, he has been the backbone of CIMA, a strong presence in the Canadian music industry, and always remained committed to the staff and organization. We wish him the best on his new path, and hope he leaves knowing his legacy work will remain for us to build on into the future,” says Tim Potocic, chair of the Board of Directors.

“Stuart has been instrumental in bringing millions of dollars’ worth of funding to the music industry and has tirelessly worked with the Board to build out new programs and evolve the ones that previously existed. He will be missed, ” adds Lisa Logutenkow, Past Chair.

CIMA’s Board will immediately begin its search to replace Johnston. CIMA has hired the employment firm Searchlight Partners Group ( to lead this process.

“CIMA is an incredible organization, and I cannot begin to capture 10 years of memories and friendship into one succinct quote,” says  Johnston. “I owe a deep thanks and gratitude to CIMA’s staff and its Board of Directors, both past and present, for all of their support to me and to their dedication to the membership and the industry at large. As I move on to my next gig, I know that CIMA is left in good hands, and will continue to be an influential voice for the music industry.”

During Stuart’s tenure, CIMA says it has seen the dramatic expansion of its Professional Development and Music Export Canada programs; the creation of MusicOntario and celebratory programs such as Road Gold and the annual Awards Gala; deeper investment in effective and influential research and studies; and a strengthened voice in the corridors of Government – nationally, provincially, and internationally. CIMA says it will continue to build on these strengths, as it continues to advocate for COVID-19 recovery strategies and support for the coming years.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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