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Ontario launches new fund to support the music industry

The provincial government recently launched a new fund geared specifically to the music industry.

First promised in the spring budget, the Ontario Music Fund will allocate $45 million over three years, with money divided among four streams: music company development (to support recording, production, and marketing); music industry development (to support digital projects and other initiatives to bolster exports); music futures (for smaller companies and artistic entrepreneurs); and live music (to increase the number of events held in the province). Applications for all four streams will be available online by November 7.

Though no money has yet been distributed, those in the industry are excited by what they know so far. Ian Stanger of Black Box Records told us that his colleagues "are very impressed with the flexibility and new opportunities that the OMF seems to provide."

An independent music booker, Dan Wolovick, said that this isn't just a repackaging of existing initiatives: "There's a lot of new money here…and that is exciting." Wolovick isn't entirely convinced yet that the details have been nailed down—he cited income requirements as a "red flag" that might make it harder for emerging artists to benefit from the funding—but he is convinced this is a big step forward for the industry in Ontario. He added that because the money is divided into streams, areas of the industry that don't right now receive much support, like music promotion, will be able to gain a great deal from this new initiative.

Those interested in applying for funds can learn more at the fund's online application portal.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Sources: Ian Stanger, Black Box Records, and Dan Wolovick, Two Way Monologues
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