Ontario musicians receive help from Ontario Music Fund Arts & Entertainment, Politics

The Ontario Music Fund was launched on October 28th, 2013, by the minister of tourism, culture and sport, Michael Chan, at Revolution Recording Studios. COURTESY ONTARIO MEDIA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

By Olivia Roger and Jessica Paiva

The Ontario Music Fund, a new $45 million funding program, was officially launched Monday evening by the provincial government.

Michael Chan, Ontario’s minister of tourism, culture and sport, first announced the fund in May. He said it will support Ontario-based music companies over a span of three years.

The fund aims to increase the production and distribution of music through four streams: music company development, music industry development, live music and music futures – supporting small music companies and artist entrepreneurs. Musicians and entrepreneurs can apply to one of those streams to receive funding through the Ontario Music Fund.

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Administered through the Ontario Music Office  within the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the fund aims to ensure that the province’s musicians will reach global audiences.

LISTEN: Musicians react to the Ontario Music Fund

George McNeillie, spokesperson for the OMDC, told Humber News it is an initiative that will strengthen and stimulate Ontario’s music industry.

“The Ontario Music Fund was a commitment made by the government of Ontario in its budget last April,” said McNeillie.

“This fund will capitalize on the success of our music industry to accelerate Ontario’s economic growth and global competitiveness. “

Denny Christianson, program director of Humber’s bachelor of music program, told Humber News the fund is an excellent step in the right direction.

“Any time the government has the wisdom to put solid money to encourage the music industry, it’s good not only for the musicians but for the province of Ontario as well. The music business generates a lot of employment. It will keep people working.”

Andrew Scott, an instructor and head academic advisor at the Humber School of Music, told Humber News it’s an investment in music, culture and entrepreneurship.

“It helps them along the way, it provides them with opportunities, financially helps them realize their goals and by association it creates a start system we can recognize those people who have achieved remarkable within the music industry.”

Prasanna Sivakumar, an acoustic guitar musician and University of Guelph student, said that he questions where and how the money will be allocated.

“I still believe that in an industry where subjectivity plays a significant role in determining success, it is important that musicians are educated and have the skills or intellectual capabilities to pursue employment outside of the recording and performing arts.”

The fund’s music company development and music industry development streams are now accepting applications. The music futures and live music applications will open Nov.7.

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