CIMA Launches Campaign Calling On Government To Keep Its Canada Music Fund Promise
The public campaign aims to put pressure on the government to keep their campaign promise of increasing the Canada Music Fund, which supports FACTOR and Musicaction, by $50 million.
CIMA, the Canadian Independent Music Association, has launched a campaign calling on the public to contact Liberal representatives about the Canada Music Fund. Following a direct appeal to the government last fall, CIMA has turned towards the public in hopes of putting pressure on the Liberal government to make good on their campaign promise to increase the Canada Music Fund by $50 million.
The organization has set up a letter campaign that allows supporters to contact the government with a plea to increase the Canada Music Fund. Music publicist Eric Alper has lent his voice to the cause, publishing a statement of support on his website. "We need your help to raise the voice of the music community and get the federal government’s attention," writes Alper. Other organizations and stakeholders, like Manitoba Music, have also lent their voices the cause.
The Canada Music Fund (CMF) supports the operations of granting bodies FACTOR and Musicaction, organizations that provide essential funding for Canadian artists and music companies. According to CIMA, FACTOR invested $21 million in the Canadian music industry in 2022 alone, and has supported 6500 artists in the last five years, including internationally successful acts like Andy Shauf, The Beaches, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, LU KALA and many more.
FACTOR receives part of its funding from private radio broadcasters, but those contributions have been decreasing, with CIMA estimating they could be as low as $2 million in 2024. The Canada Music Fund is currently $25 million annually, and CIMA says that a $50 million increase is needed just to maintain current programming, while many music associations are calling for a $60 million increase. The Liberal government promised a $50 million increase in 2021 to help the CMF keep up with demand and the rising costs of releasing and touring music.
CIMA president and former Member of Parliament Andrew Cash spoke to the House Finance Committee on Nov. 14 about the increase. Cash said that if the government fails to follow through on its promise, “companies will close, those that don’t will shed staff and release fewer artists, this will result in fewer shows across the country, harming an already precarious live music sector, affecting local economies, and reducing revenues to government.” He also spoke at hearings for Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, stressing the importance of funding for the Canadian music industry to continue to flourish.
The Canadian music industry is already facing challenges when it comes to breaking artists internationally. While artists like Tate McRae are finding their way onto the charts, music journalist Michael Barclay reports a noticeable drop in the number of Canadian acts featured on international best-of lists in 2023. "The world does not want more Canada. That’s what this year’s lists tell us," Barclay writes. McRae is also arguably the first major Canadian chart breakthrough since the mid-2010s — Barclay notes that Canada had more blockbuster artists in the '90s compared to now.
FACTOR provides major financial support for artists looking to export their music internationally, with showcasing and touring grants that help artists travel to key industry events abroad, as well as support for marketing and sound recording.
"If the government does not make good even on their $50 million promise to our sector, FACTOR’s budget could be cut in half over the next couple of years," states CIMA's new public campaign. "We need your help to raise the voice of the music community and get this government’s attention." The campaign encourages music enthusiasts to send a letter to the government calling on it to keep its $50 million promise and to help spread the word.