Bernie Finkelstein


Bernie Finkelstein has been one of the leading figures in both the Canadian and worldwide music industry for over 45 years.

He began his career managing two of Canada's earliest internationally known groups, The Paupers and Kensington Market. Later he handled management for Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Dan Hill, Barney Bentall, Stephen Fearing and Blackie & The Rodeo Kings. Currently he continues to manage Bruce Cockburn.

In 1969 he founded True North Records Canada's oldest and one of it's largest independent record companies. Over the years the label has released recordings by Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Stephen Fearing, Carole Pope & Rough Trade, Randy Bachman, The Rheostatics, Lynn Miles, Lenny Breau, 54-40, Moxy Fruvous, Lighthouse and Lorraine Segato, to name only a few. With over 500 releases, 40 Juno Awards and 40 gold and platinum records to its credit, True North is an incredible Canadian success story.

In 2007 Bernie sold True North and began to wind down his management and publishing activities. Prior to selling, True North had licensing ventures with UK-based Cooking Vinyl, Denver based Sci-Fidelity, New York-based Plump Records, Los Angeles-based Fuel 2000, Boston-based Tone Cool, Vancouver's Guitarchives and distributed recordings by many artists including The Guess Who, Shawn Colvin, Richard Thompson, Oysterband, Susan Tedeschi, Kelly Joe Phelps and the North Mississippi Allstars.

In addition, Finkelstein started The True North Publishing Group which had extensive interests in music publishing and overseeing a rich catalogue of works by song-writers including Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Barney Bentall and Rough Trade. Other copyrights include various film and television soundtracks (Going Down The Road, Waterwalker, Franklin...) and covers by artists as diverse as Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies, Jerry Garcia, kd Lang, The Rankins, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Buffett, Judy Collins, Elbow, Dan Fogelberg and The Barra MacNeils, to name a few.

Finkelstein's industry involvement has been varied and extensive. It includes a one-year term as Chairman of the Ontario Film Development Corporation and a total of six years on their Executive Committee and Board. He has also been on the Board of Massey and Roy Thomson Halls as well as the board of the SOCAN Foundation. He is also a past Chairman of the Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA) now known as CIMA, of which he was also one of the original founding members. Bernie has served as a board member of the Canadian Association Of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the board of The Toronto Arts Awards. He was also the Chairman of MUCHFact for 26 years (which he also founded), and has served on the board of Starmaker.

In 2003 he was acknowledged by his peers, with his election to the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.

Further on April 2, 2006 Bernie was given the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Juno Awards held in Halifax NS. This is the highest honour given to a non-musician by the music industry.

In 2008 he was presented with the Estelle Klein Award awarded annually by the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals.

On February 9, 2007 Bernie was awarded the Order Of Canada in a ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

On April 17, 2012 his memoir True North (A Life In The Music Business) was released on the McClelland & Stewart imprint.

On October 10, 2012 Bernie received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from York University in Toronto and on June 18, 2012 he was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal.

Bernie Finkelstein was born in Toronto, Ontario, where he still lives and works when not at his country home in Prince Edward County.


Cape Breton’s Lucy MacNeil to Tour the Maritimes (May 26, 2024)

JMI Welcomes Acid Croft Legend Shooglenifty Back into the Fold (August 26, 2023)

Spanish Flamenco Legend Juan Martin Touring Canada in October (October 25, 2023)

England’s Moulettes to Tour Canada in October (August 19, 2023)

Groove Master Ray Bonneville to Tour Central & Atlantic Canada in September (August 19, 2023)

American Blues Legend Guy Davis to tour all Regions of Canada in 2023 and 2024

Twice Grammy-Nominated Blue Legend Guy Davis Touring in 2024 (November 10, 2022)

Black Umfolosi Canadian Tour (October 29, 2022)

JMI is Now Releasing Music to Radio World-Wide (March 30, 2021)

JMI Now Releasing Singles Internationally (November 19, 2020)

RIP Jerry Jeff Walker (November 2, 2020)

Coronavirus Update (March 14, 2020)

Full Tour – Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers’ Canadian Dates (January 17, 2020)

JMI Signs Chicago Blues Legend, Jerry Portnoy (November 22, 2019)

Jake Morley and Braden Gates touring Alberta in November (November 15, 2019)

Martin Simpson Touring Canada in October (September 30, 2019)

Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers Canadian Dates Announced (June 26, 2019)

Minor Empire - Sonic Colliders Concert Series in 2020 and 2021 (April 11, 2019)

New York City Blues Icon Coming to the Maritimes (March 31, 2019)

JMI Artists showcasing at Folk Alliance (February 11, 2019)

Bay City Rollers to Tour Canada in March, 2020! (January 29, 2019)

Christmas Day on Planet Earth (December 2, 2018)

New Signings From JMI (September 20, 2018)

Ray Bonneville Displays His Blues & Americana Roots on New CD (September 18, 2018)

Oysters3 Touring in October and November (September 11, 2018)

Claire Lynch Western Tour Starting in September (September 11, 2018)

Guy Davis touring Western Canada with Fabrizio Poggi in October (August 28, 2018)

Electric Strawbs Final Canadian Tour set for October (August 28, 2018)

Black Umfolosi Back to Canada this August (July 23, 2018)

James Keelaghan's Summer Festivals (July 9, 2018)

Guy Davis on the Road, Summer of 2018 (July 9, 2018)

Martin Simpson Returns to Canada (July 2, 2018)

Peterborough Show Rescheduled for Keelaghan-McManus Double Bill (May 1, 2018)

James Keelaghan and Jez Lowe to Tour North America in the Fall (April 12, 2018)

JMI Signs Folk Legend, Peggy Seeger (March 23, 2018)

Ray Bonneville to Perform Western and Ontario Dates in March (February 20, 2018)

Black Umfolosi to Embark on North American Tour in February (January 27, 2018)

Australia's Shane Howard to Perform Western and Northern Dates (January 11, 2018)

See News page for more JMI news.