Canada’s beleaguered independent music sector failed to get the funding support it sought this week, as Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled a federal budget that charts a course for the ruling Liberal Party as it prepares for the 2019 election.
The Canadian Independent Music Industry (CIMA) had recommended that the government invest an additional $8 million (Canadian) towards the Canada Music Fund (CMF) in budget 2018.
In Budget 2016, the Federal budget had included an investment into “Showcasing Canadian Talent to the World”, where the music sector benefited from a $4.2 million dollar investment over two years. In September 2017, the federal government made a commitment to further expand market access and export opportunities for all cultural industries through an investment of $125 million (Canadian) in Canada’s first Creative Export Strategy including the creation of the Cultural Exports Fund.
The 2018 budget document, which details a $18.1-billion (Canadian) deficit, including a $3-billion (Canadian) adjustment for risk, shows the Liberal government is doubling down on bolstering gender equality, particularly with efforts to increase the participation of women in the workforce as part of a longer-term plan to grow the economy and prepare for the consequences of an aging population, but failed to address the intense lobbying of Canada’s independent music sector.
"over-subscribed and underfunded"
“Current funding programs such as the CMF are over-subscribed and underfunded,” claims CIMA president Stuart Johnston. “The federal government missed an important opportunity to support Canadian creators and the world-class entrepreneurs such as record label executives, managers, and publishers who leverage the Canada Music Fund investments for our artists.
“There are not enough dollars currently allocated to the commercial music system to properly invest in the music industry. For the past 10 years, there have been no permanent increases to the CMF. In fact, the fund experienced a permanent $1 million (Canadian) drop in 2012.”