The FYI News Bulletin: Dec. 16, 2021

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled a fiscal and economic update Tuesday that commits $62M next year in new

The FYI News Bulletin: Dec. 16, 2021

By David Farrell

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled a fiscal and economic update Tuesday that commits $62M next year in new spending to establish a new Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund to support artists who make a living through live performances and $30M over three years to adapt public spaces to facilitate social distancing and outdoor gatherings.

There’s also a proposed Small Businesses Air Quality Improvement Tax Credit of 25 percent of the cost of upgrading ventilation systems and air filtration, up to $10,000 per location and $50,000 in total.

Support for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program would provide support through wage and rent subsidies to organizations in the tourism and hospitality sectors such as hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, restaurants and organizations that plan and host festivals or live performances, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 percent.


Support for Hard-hit Businesses in All Sectors

The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program would provide support through wage and rent subsidies to organizations that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 percent.

Support for Businesses Facing Pandemic Lockdowns

The Local Lockdown Program would provide organizations that face new local COVID-19-related lockdowns with up to the maximum amount available through the wage and rent subsidy programs.

These programs would be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available until March 12, 2022. From March 13 to May 7, 2022, the support would decrease by half, in anticipation that the virus will be even more fully under control and our recovery will be firmly taking hold in all areas of the economy.

Lockdown Support would continue to provide additional rent support of 25 percent and be pro-rated based on the number of days a particular location was affected by a lockdown until May 7, 2022.


– After announcing relaxed restrictions for sporting events and concerts in Oct., the Ontario government caught many off-guard earlier this week with new “emergency” restrictions that cap indoor facilities with a capacity of 1,000+ at 50 percent starting Saturday, Dec. 18 and, for now, remaining in place until the 29th. Event promoters including Live Nation, Massey/Roy Thomson halls, Mirvish Productions and sports presenters are now scrambling to spin on a dime as governments worldwide try to contain the spread of the new Omicron virus variant

– Economic development agent Ontario Creates has issued a call for applications for its Black- and Indigenous-Owned Music Businesses program that offers direct business and creative development investments ranging from $2,500 to $20K “to self-identifying Black- and Indigenous-owned businesses that generate the majority of their revenue from music-based activities.” The deadline is Jan. 26. Guidelines and the application process can be found here. All applications must be submitted via the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal (OAP).

– Triumph has launched an online memorabilia vault offering audio outtakes, bootlegs, and a mess of merch that includes a Live in Cleveland double LP for $104.

– West Coast singer-songwriter Roy Forbes, aka Bim, is celebrating 50 years as a professional musician this year. Life hasn’t always been easy. A half-decade ago he lost his eyesight, but resilient he is, earning a CFMA nom for last year’s Edge of Blue album, playing a mini-tour in BC, with shows in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island earlier this year, and hitting another milestone with 15 years of Roy's Record Room being broadcast on the CKUA FM network. Writing the column, Roy explains that “losing my sight has been a big adjustment, (but) I've had a lot of help and have been able to continue with all of my work. Now, I need to buckle down to write a new batch of tunes for another record.” From all of us, best of the season and a happy new year. And from the aforementioned album…


– After 40 years, Michael Waite has returned with a new album-Cosmic Top Secret, which he describes as “psychedelic blues” with the Mystic Eye backing band. Waite, for those with long memories, released one album on A&M in 1983 and is the proprietor of Mike’s Music, an east-end Toronto record shop on the Danforth that is a sort of mini Tower Records with a vast selection of ‘must have’ blues, folk, pop/rock albums, and a vinyl selection that is hard to pass up.

– Paul McCartney’s daughter Stella is cashing in on the Peter Jackson doc about the Beatles. Digital Music News has the story.

– Chris de Burgh lit up like a wildfire when he opened for Supertramp’s Crime of the Century tour an age ago. Montrealers in particular fell in love with the storyteller with the page boy haircut. He’s back with his 27th studio album, The Legend of Robin Hood (Justin Time Records) and a DKD-promoted 14-city Canadian tour that opens April 16 at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.

– Canadian independent distributor and record label Higher Reign Music is launching its own self-distribution platform. HR Music Distro puts a new spin on digital music distribution featuring evolutive contracts for indie artists around the world. The company says the incubator program offers artists a fair deal at any point during their career, paired with non-exclusive self-distribution to over 100 stores, payment splits with collaborators, pre-save links, and a wide variety of artists solutions to market themselves and their music.

In case you’ve missed Justin Bieber’s Timbiebs commercial for Tim Hortons…


– Last year CBC Radio London asked songwriter Steven Hardy to write a Covid-inspired Christmas song for Sounds of the Season. FYI: Among the many who have covered his songs over the years are Marc Jordan, Murray McLauchlan, John McDermott, Quartette, and Lunch at Allen's. This is what he came up with it. We hope you like it.

Midem, for decades the go-to sales fair for music publishers and indie music labels and reduced to a virtual event in the past 2 years, is being taken over by the city of Cannes from Reed Exhibitions which launched the annual in 1967. Plans for the 2022 annual is on hold for now.

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