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'A Good Start': Canadian Government Announces $32 Million Boost to Canada Music Fund

Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, announced the increase at the Junos. It falls short of the $50 million the Liberal government had previously promised, but is encouraging for industry associations, who have been campaigning for the increase.

Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, with The Beaches at the Juno Awards Opening Night Awards, March 23, 2024 in Halifax.

Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, with The Beaches at the Juno Awards Opening Night Awards, March 23, 2024 in Halifax.

CARAS/Ryan Bolton

New funding is coming to the Canadian music industry.

Pascale St-Onge, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24 that the government will increase the Canada Music Fund by $32 million over the next two fiscal years.


She also made the announcement on Instagram, joined on both sides by president and CEO of FACTOR, Meg Symsyk, and general manager of Musicaction, Louise Chenail. The boosted funds will support over 5,000 projects across the country, St-Onge says.

The Canada Music Fund supports both FACTOR and Musicaction. Those granting bodies provide artists, labels and other organizations with funding for a wide range of activities, including recording, touring, marketing and music video production.

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The announcement — though welcomed by Canadian music associations like the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) — falls short of the $50 million that the Liberal government committed to in 2021, and the $60 million increase called for by the industry groups.

FACTOR has historically received significant funds from Canada's private radio broadcasters, but as those contributions decline, CIMA and CLMA have been sounding the alarm about the organization's ability to meet the needs of Canadian artists. FACTOR's funding challenges come at a time when many artists and organizations are struggling to stay afloat amidst a cost of living crisis.

"CIMA applauds the government's increased investment in the Canada Music Fund," said CIMA President Andrew Cash. "This is a recognition of music's significant contribution to our cultural fabric and national economy."

According to CIMA, 6,500 musicians have benefitted from FACTOR support in the last five years, including acts like Juno Award winners The Beaches, popular singer-songwriter Andy Shauf, and recent Sony Music-signees Snotty Nose Rez Kids. FACTOR reportedly invested $21 million into the Canadian music industry in 2022.

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L'ADISQ, Quebec's Association of the Record, Show and Video Industry, highlights that Musicaction — which primarily supports French-speaking projects — has already made cuts in recent months, and this increase will prevent a further reduction in capacity. The association calls the announcement a step in the right direction, thanking Minister St-Onge, and emphasizing the difficult economic context facing music organizations with fewer resources.

The Canadian Live Music Association echoes l'ADISQ's sentiment, calling the increase "a good start," and reiterating the tough circumstances industry members are facing. The Canada Music Fund increase was one of three recommendations CLMA put forward for the upcoming federal budget, which the organization hoped would take "urgent action" to protect the live music sector.

In response to St-Onge's announcement, CLMA is now calling for specific measures to address live music and further action in the upcoming federal budget.

"With live music venues and festivals on life support, the federal budget needs to deliver dedicated funding before we lose these institutions forever," CLMA says.

Independent broadcasters are also making their own appeal to the government for support from the federal budget for radio.

With the full budget still to come, more support measures could be in store for Canada's music sector.

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AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella
Instagram/Coachella

AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella

Music

AP Dhillon Drops Off Coachella's Second Weekend

The Punjabi-Canadian star has faced backlash in Indian media and on social media for his guitar smash on weekend one, but the festival says he's cancelling due to scheduling conflicts.

AP Dhillon is leaving the California desert behind. Coachella announced that the Punjabi-Canadian star will not appear at the festival's second weekend as planned, citing scheduling conflicts. The festival announced it in a follow up tweet to one announcing that rapper Kid Cudi has been added.

While Dhillon's first-weekend performance was well-received by the Coachella crowd and many of his supporters, he's also had some backlash due to how he closed his set, which has been widely covered by media in India.

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