Ontario government spending millions to boost music industry
The Ontario government is spending $45 million over the next three years to boost the province's music industry.
First announced in the 2013 provincial budget, the Ontario Music Fund was officially unveiled on Monday morning. Money from the grant program will go towards supporting Ontario-based music companies as well as attracting music-loving tourists to the province.
"This fund will increase music production, build strong, sustainable music companies, strengthen the industry by developing artists," Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports Michael Chan told reporters on Monday.
The announcement comes at a time when Canada's music industry is thriving, according to some Canadian artists.
"More than ever we have a huge spotlight that’s on Canada and people really realizing the amount of talent we have," Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall told CTV Toronto. "The announcement this morning is just going make it that much better for those people that need a little bit of extra help to get to that next level."
The grant program has four streams:
- Music company development: Helps Ontario-based music companies boost recording, production, and marketing activities. Successful companies are eligible to receive up to $1.5 million annually. Application deadline Dec. 9, 2013.
- Music industry development: Provides funding support for initiatives such as digital innovation and training. Successful applicants are eligible to receive up to $350,000 annually. Application deadline Jan. 31, 2014.
- Music futures: Supports small music companies and entrepreneurs. Successful applicants are eligible to receive up to $50,000 annually. Application deadline Jan. 6, 2014.
- Live music: Helps boost the number of live music events in Ontario. Successful applicants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 annually. Application deadline Jan. 6, 2014.
Candidates for the grant program will be judged based on how much they can contribute to Ontario's music industry.
"We’re going to be looking at: Does the company have the track record, will they be creating jobs in the province, will they be leaving a legacy in the province, will they be creating tourism opportunities," said Kristine Murphy, the director of Ontario Media Development.
The announcement of the grant program comes after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was in Austin, Texas earlier this month.
Ford was in the southwestern American city, known as the musical capital of the U.S., to gather ideas on how to promote Toronto as a music destination.
In 2011, the music industry in Ontario generated more than $429 million in revenues, according to the provincial government.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman