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Live sector lukewarm on arts funding boost

World News
April 1, 2019

CANADA                        

THE LIVE business has given a cautious welcome to a government announcement that C$60 million (US$45m) will be invested in the country’s music industry over the next two years.

In its annual federal budget statement, the government says the cash will help musicians and entrepreneurs to “ensure Canadian music reaches more audiences at home and abroad”. 

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF), which annually supports over 600 not-for-profit festivals and events across the country will receive C$16m (US$12m).

Outside the live sector, the Canada Music Fund (CMF), which is not open to the live sector but provides grants to help musicians and entrepreneurs, will be allocated C$20m (US$15m). CMF activities include recording sessions, business training, conferences and marketing.

“For the non-profit sector festivals and performing arts centres, the CAPF increase is great news,” says Erin Benjamin, president and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association.

However, she pointed out that while for-profit publishers and labels are able to access the CMF, their counterparts in the live sector were not permitted to apply for government funding.

“The broader live music industry here is also helping grow artistes’ careers domestically, ready for export,” she says. “It seems like an opportunity left on the table if support is available to for-profit independent companies from labels and publishing, but not the live side.”

Benjamin urges the government to continue to work with the Canadian Live Music Association to find ways to broaden its support of Canada’s live music stakeholders, pointing out that according to a report by accountants PwC figures, live music is predicted to represent 62 per cent of the total music market revenue in Canada by 2021.

The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, which funds communities to organise events that celebrate their heritage, will receive the remaining C$24m (US$18m).

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