In the wake of millions of dollars worth of arts cuts last year, the Canadian government is renewing the Canada Music Fund, with an annual investment of $27.6 million over five years.
Heritage Minister James Moore made the announcement late last week, revealing that the federal government's main fund to support the country's music industry will be increased by $9.85 million annually to $27.6 million a year until 2014. He also added that two of the five remaining programs will be cut and that the changes would "increase the visibility of Canadian music on digital platforms and in international markets," according to the press release.
"We are also ensuring that a wide variety of Canadian music is accessible on multiple platforms, increasing the reach of our artists both in Canada and abroad," Moore said in a statement.
The initiatives eliminated were the Canadian Musical Diversity program, which went to indie artists under sound recording and music distribution programs, and Support to Sector Associations, which gave up to $250,000 annually to industry associations.
Under the new plan, $900,000 will go towards digital market development and $500,000 for international market development, such as through international showcases to help promote Canadian artists abroad.
As the CBC points out, the plan seems to be expanding the eligibility for federal funding to professionals, such as managers and distributors who work in digital technologies. However, there were few firm details on how the money would be directed towards digital platforms.
The Canadian Music Fund will continue to be administered by FACTOR, SOCAN, the MusicAction Foundation, and Library and Archives Canada.
"We are fortunate to have strong leadership and vision from our current government, which recognizes the importance of supporting sustainable business models and believes in the cultural component and how it weaves itself into the overall Canadian identity," said Heather Ostersag, president and CEO of FACTOR, in a statement.
The changes will come into effect in April 2010.