Graham Henderson, OCC Chair

Music Canada

Graham Henderson Headshot








Graham Henderson is President and CEO of Music Canada, a trade association that promotes and protects the value of music and advocates on behalf of its creators.

In addition to his role as Chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Graham serves on the Boards of International Federation of Phonographic Industries, The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall and the Keats-Shelley Association of America. He an officer of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Intellectual Property Commission and acts as Copyright Rapporteur. Graham was appointed by the City of Toronto to sit on the Toronto Music Advisory Council.

Graham is widely recognized as a thought leader for the creative sector. He is a prominent champion of creator’s rights to be fairly compensated, most notably through the 2012 passage of landmark copyright reform legislation by the Parliament of Canada. Graham is also an outspoken champion of music education in Canada and has written and spoken widely on the transformative power of music.

Graham has played a leading role in designing numerous initiatives that have improved the business and policy framework for Canada’s music sector. These include the creation of two ground-breaking provincial music funds in Ontario and British Columbia that have pumped tens of millions of dollars into the music community and stimulated significant incremental economic activity and employment. He led the 2011 rebranding and refocusing of Music Canada as “a passionate advocate for music and those who create it,” as well as a 2016 initiative to increase the efficiency and transparency of collective licensing in Canada, an initiative worth millions to the music community.

At the international level, Graham is a driving force and leading authority on the made-in-Canada “Music City” initiative, which seeks to unlock the economic and cultural dividends generated by strong local music scenes. In Canada, he has encouraged numerous municipalities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton and London, to develop and implement music strategies.

Graham is a strong advocate of the importance and influence of the Chamber network. Under his leadership, the music industry has actively participated in Chamber activities at the municipal, provincial and national levels, and has developed a Music Cities tool kit on behalf of Chambers across the country.

Prior to joining Music Canada in 2004, Graham was a Senior Vice-President at Universal Music Canada. There, he helped build Universal’s digital music strategy at the very time that the digital music revolution was unfolding. He also led Universal’s efforts to become a more attractive business partner for recording artists by, among other things, modernizing and simplifying Universal’s contracts to make them more artist-friendly.

Graham’s artist-oriented approach has its roots in his early career as an entertainment lawyer. He began his legal career in 1987 at McCarthy Tétrault, where he became a partner in 1992. In 1993, he founded his own practice, which rapidly became Canada’s leading entertainment law boutique.

Graham holds a double major in English Literature and Fine Art History from Guelph University, and an MA in English Literature and a law degree from the University of Toronto. For 10 years, he taught entertainment law at U of T, where he was an Adjunct Professor.

Graham actively pursues a wide range of interests outside music including romantic and classical literature and history, arboriculture, coaching and genealogy. He is an active blogger and writer and has become a recognized, independent scholar on the radical English poet, essayist and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. To learn more, visit or follow The Real Percy Bysshe Shelley on Facebook and Twitter.

In 2013, Graham was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and was presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

He lives near Toronto with his wife Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies, their son Ed, four dogs and a bemused cat.

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