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Canada’s 2021 budget includes $50m for live music

The Canadian government has reserved up to C$50 million (US$40m) in the newly announced budget to help the live music sector weather the pandemic during 2021 and 2022.

The budget was announced yesterday (19 April) by finance minister Chrystia Freeland, who vowed to “punch our way out of the Covid recession” with $101 billion (US$81bn) in spending over three years.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has welcomed the federal budget which it says “acknowledges our hardest hit sector” by delegating $70m to the Canada Music Fund, including the $50m earmarked specifically for live music and live music venues.

“Today, our collective voice which we all worked so hard to raise, has been heard. It is with great relief that we welcome budget 2021, which clearly recognises the integral role the Canadian live music industry plays in our quality of life – as well as its significant economic, social, and cultural benefits,” says Erin Benjamin, CLMA president and CEO.

“This support will help safeguard our nation’s critical cultural infrastructure – and the incredible artists and community”

“Our industry has been devastated as a result of Covid-19. This support will help safeguard our nation’s critical cultural infrastructure – and the incredible people, artists and community whose passion and livelihood is live music. We look forward to working with the government to ensure it reaches each and every company and organisation who needs it. With today’s historic budget, our government has helped us to believe in the future – and we can’t wait to get there, together.”

Other highlights from the budget include:

Last year, the government supported the sector by allowing organisations operating in the for-profit live music industry access to a CA$20m (€13m) Covid-19 support fund.


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Canada’s live sector offers to support vaccine rollout

Canada’s live music industry is offering its venues, staff and logistical expertise towards the country’s vaccine rollout, adding that they consider the sector “best-equipped” to partner with government and complete the programme.

In a letter to the minister of health and others, the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) says its venue owners and managers, and suppliers, would “eagerly want to support the efforts” of the vaccine distribution task forces across Canada.

“We’ve spent the last eleven months readying for reopening, for when the time comes,” reads the letter. “Now we have rigorous, tactical Covid-prevention plans in place, adapted by customising the very best practices shared through leadership, data and science from around the world – and here at home.

“We either own, or have access to, the infrastructure required to build-out and manage vaccination sites. And we have the people to staff, lead and support operations at every level.

“We have rigorous, tactical Covid-prevention plans in place, adapted by customising the very best practices”

“And our protocols evolve daily in order to accommodate all current or changing information. We consider ourselves not only ready, but best-equipped to partner with you to get the job done.”

Canada is the latest market to offer assistance towards its government’s vaccination programme, following pledges from Slovakia and the US in the last few weeks.

Live venues are already playing a key role in the immunisation process internationally, with concert halls, arena and stadia, and convention and conference centres offering their services as mass-vaccination sites.

While, German ticketing and promotion giant CTS Eventim is organising local Covid-19 vaccination appointments for the federal state Schleswig-Holstein, with plans to do the same in Austria, Brazil and potentially Finland and Italy.

 


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Canada’s Kinaxis to fund venues for livestream series

Ottawa-based supply chain software company, Kinaxis, and Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) are partnering on a livestream concert series to support performers and venues hit hard by Covid-19.

The 30-concert series, entitled Kinaxis InConcert, will be funded via a C$250,000 sponsorship from Kinaxis and facilitated through an application process wherein live music venues can apply for financial help to produce a livestreamed show.

Venues can apply for up to a maximum of $6000 to help to cover the costs associated with the production of a livestreamed concert and may also be awarded costs associated with artist fees and staff/production crew.

Promoters and festivals must apply in partnership with a live music venue, or indicate which venue they plan to rent for the stream. Concerts can be programmed from January to June 2021 and applications are open now until 28 February 2021.

“We are grateful to Kinaxis for setting an example of the kind of private-sector support that Canada’s live music community desperately needs,” says CLMA president and CEO, Erin Benjamin.

“Kinaxis are setting an example of the kind of private-sector support that our live music community desperately needs”

“Kinaxis InConcert is a reason to come together to celebrate our artists, support our venues and connect to music fans. It is much needed good news for an industry that has suffered unprecedented economic hardship.”

John Sicard, CEO of Kinaxis, says: “The Kinaxis culture is anchored on the simple words ‘people matter here’. This extends to the communities where we live, work and play.

“Sadly, the people supporting our music industry, and especially the artists themselves, have been tremendously affected by the restrictions resulting from Covid-19, and that means we miss out on the joy they create through their live performances.”

According to the organisers, Canadian venues are closing their doors at an alarming rate, leaving countless Canadians who benefit culturally and financially from this sector in a precarious situation.

A recent study conducted by Nordicity, found that each venue that closes costs an average of $575,000 in annual GDP contributions, and $148,000 in provincial and federal taxes.

 


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The Associates: BPI, CLMA, Dansk Live

Covid-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important.

As restrictions in many countries enter yet another month, for issue 91 IQ found out more about some of our association partners and discovered just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive.

Following the last instalment with the AFO, AIF and BDKV, this time we check in with the UK’s BPI, the Canadian Live Music Association and Denmark’s Dansk Live.


British Phonographic Association (UK)
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) champions the UK’s recorded music business, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. Membership consists of more than 400 independent labels and the UK’s three majors, which together account for 85% of legitimate domestic music consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world. Membership costs £120 (€135) per year plus 3.5% of UK domestic PPL revenues.

During lockdown, BPI has been working with other music industry partners to pressure government into introducing measures to support the music industry, including the artist community and retail sector. As part of this initiative, the BPI has written to the chancellor to ask that VAT on physical music goods be zero-rated for an initial 12-month period.

The BPI has co-ordinated a donation of £1.5m (€1.69m) by UK record companies, the Brit Awards, Amazon Music and PPL that will go towards Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and to other initiatives that are supporting artists. The majority of the donation (£1.25m) has gone directly to Help Musicians, enabling the organisation to reach a further 2,500 musicians in need of immediate financial help. In addition to this, £250,000 has also been set aside to support musicians through other channels, including other musicians’ wellbeing charities and support to the grassroots live sector. BPI hopes that further donations will be announced.

The CLMA secured historic changes … regarding access to loans for live music venues and other organisations

Canadian Live Music Association (Canada)
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of the country’s live industry, advancing and promoting its many economic, social and cultural benefits.

CLMA’s more than 260 members include concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, presenters, venues, ticketing companies, industry associations and suppliers. Membership fees range from C$250–500 (€165–330) for associate members (depending on annual budget) to $2,500 (€1,650) for full membership. Associations or presenters pay annual fees of $250–1,500 (€165–990), while suppliers are split into three categories, depending on annual revenues, accruing fees of $1,250 (€825), $2,500 (€1,650) or $5,000 (€3,300).

The CLMA was one of the first associations to quantify and share the impact of Covid-19 with government, recommending and helping to shape relief measures that would respond to the diversity of needs found within the live sector. The association advocated for, and secured, historic changes to the Business Development Bank of Canada practice regarding access to loans for live music venues and other arts organisations.

Among its other lockdown successes, CLMA encouraged (and is now seeing) funding agencies to flow emergency relief funding to members, with flexible terms; it has championed sector-specific relief efforts that will recognise the breadth, role and value of the live sector; and it has organised a quick and efficient convening and response system for members and the live music sector, providing ongoing resources and information and bringing the community together.

Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals

Dansk Live (Denmark)
Dansk Live is the business organisation for Danish venues and festivals. In Denmark, venues do the majority of domestic programming directly, so there aren’t a lot of independent promoters, and the typical venue member is a venue with a small staff that operates in the local area. Festival members include large festivals such as Northside, Roskilde, Copenhell and Smukfest, and also smaller festivals, often organised by people in their spare time.

Denmark’s live entertainment scene relies on volunteers, both at venues and at festivals. The association lobbies on behalf of its members; provides counselling; arranges industry conferences and meetings; and also compiles statistics about the live industry in Denmark.

The association currently has 120 members, including 37 festivals, while the majority are venues. Membership fees are based on the size of the venue or festival and are approximately 7,500–42,000 kr. (€1,000–5,630) per annum.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals; albeit some Danish venues are still not receiving sufficient assistance.

As elsewhere, Dansk Live staff members have been learning a lot about videoconferencing, as well as compiling pandemic-related information and helping members share knowledge on how to cope with the crisis.

 


View the full Associates list in the digital edition of IQ 91. To keep on top of the latest live music industry news, features and insights, subscribe to IQ now


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Industry orgs advise governments on live’s reopening

As many countries around the world begin to emerge slowly from lockdown, industry organisations are being counted on to instruct governments on how best to facilitate the reopening of the live events sector.

Live industry organisations played a key role in lobbying governments at the start of the coronavirus crisis, making clear what financial aid and support measures were needed to ensure the safeguarding of the business.

Now, many governments are turning to associations and asking for advice on how to get the industry back up and running.

In Canada, the government has asked the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) for advice on how to distribute the CA$20 million (€13.2m) it has earmarked for the sector.

CLMA’s Saving Canadian Live Music document suggests what should form the focus of support measures in the immediate, short, medium and long term.

The association identifies “retaining staff” and “preventing the loss of venues” as the most pressing issues currently facing the industry, with more general financial aid needed in the short term to mitigate the “devastating impact” of complete revenue losses.

CMLA indicates that support will be essential in the medium and long term to cover diminished revenues caused by increased costs upon reopening, a lack of consumer confidence and widespread economic fallout.

Many governments around the world are turning to associations and asking for advice on how to get the industry back up and running

To implement this support, the CMLA suggests the government identify funds that could be redirected to protect the live sector for a sustained period of time, as well as developing a dedicated Canadian live music fund to ensure protection for the future.

In France, music industry trade union, the Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA), has developed proposals for a recovery plan in favour of the French music sector.

The SMA’s proposals include financial support for independent festivals and promoters, regulation on refunds – allowing organisers to offer the option of making a donation or keeping tickets for next year, as well as cash refunds –, clear information on when borders will reopen and the continuation of tax deferrals and other aid measures.

The association also stresses the need for a “major financial stimulus package” for the contemporary music sector.

“As the President has pointed out, cultural sectors such as tourism and events will undoubtedly be the most affected by this crisis,” reads the SMA document. “So we expect massive financial support to be dedicated there.”

The SMA is currently working on a further report detailing the economic impact of Covid-19 on its members, in order to quantify the losses and find the appropriate support measures.

“Cultural sectors such as tourism and events will undoubtedly be the most affected by this crisis, so we expect massive financial support to be dedicated there”

Another industry association to put forward reopening recommendations to the government is the UK’s Events Industry Forum (EIF), which comprises 26 trade and representative organisations from across the outdoor events sector.

In its Making Outdoor Event Gatherings Happen Again guide, EIF identifies events that could go ahead with the suitable risk assessment, hygiene facilities, personal protective equipment (PPE) and access and egress systems, such as public spectacles and displays, including “music in the park-type events”, exhibition-style outdoor events.

Festivals and major outdoor concerts, however, are “unlikely” to restart while social distancing continues, says the EIF, noting that capacity reductions are not feasible for the majority of events.

For these events, in particular, a clear timeline for relaxing lockdown restrictions and guidance on any ongoing measures are essential.

“For organisers to begin investing in events for 2021, they need to have assurances now that it will be feasible to operate by then,” warns the EIF.

The EIF is currently working on an additional protocol document detailing what measures must be implemented by those hoping to restart events.

A UK events and entertainment working group is meeting today (28 May) to develop guidance for the reopening of the sector and advise government on how best the industry can get back to business.

Please let us know what your association is doing to aid live’s reopening, by emailing info@iq-mag.net

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times. 

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Canadian Live Music Association appoints new board

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) announced a new board of directors at its fifth annual general meeting on Thursday 10 October.

The association, headed up by CEO Erin Benjamin, shared the year’s achievements, including its retirement of the former Music Canada Live brand and relaunch as the CLMA.

“Our new name and brand clearly reflect who we are and will strengthen our ability to advocate on behalf of our sector, our amazing members and deepen relationships with our many valued partners,” commented board chair Jesse Kumagai at the meeting.

The newly elected 2019-2020 board members are Sam Baijal, artistic director of Ontario’s Hillside Festival; Kerry Clarke, artistic director of Calgary Folk Music Festival; Tao-Ming Lau, founder of Blue Crane agency; entertainment lawyer Miro Oballa; and Katy Venneri, director of the Juno Awards.

“Our new name and brand clearly reflect who we are”

The CLMA thanked outgoing founding board members Jean Wilkinson (APA), Neill Dixon (Canadian Music Week), Tom Kemp (Feldman Agency) and Michael Hollett (NXNE) for their contributions.

Over the year, the CLMA engaged in issues including secondary ticketing, safety and security at live events, harassment and bullying in the workplace, artists’ career development and the future of grassroots music venues.

In March, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund received a CAN$16 million boost in funding from the federal government, in a move lauded by the CLMA.

 


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More funding for Canadian live music industry

The federal government of Canada has announced significant budget increases for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF), the Canada Music Fund and community arts and culture programmes over two years.

CAPF is to receive a budget increase of CAN$16 million and the Canada Music fund of $20 million. $24 million will go to the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage and the Celebration and Commemoration programmes.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) says the changes to the CAPF program may positively impact many of its not-for-profit members, expanding opportunities for artists and audiences.

The national industry body says “we applaud the Honourable Pablo Rodríquez, minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism for his commitment to live music in Canada.”

“CAPF plays a vital role in promoting Canadian talent, and in turn, Canada’s ability to shine internationally,” comments CMLA president and chief executive Erin Benjamin.

“The Canada Arts Presentation Fund plays a vital role in promoting Canadian talent, and in turn, Canada’s ability to shine internationally”

“Thanks to the programme, our members ensure “homegrown talent” can be discovered, in our own backyards. Export strategies rely on that career growth that comes from domestic touring and local audience development. The touring landscape in Canada is an important breeding ground for the creation and dissemination of Canadian content, ” says Benjamin.

The association states that the government is signalling its growing understanding of Canada’s touring ecology and the importance of the people behind live music. CMLA urges the government to continue to collaborate and seek ways to broaden its support of Canada’s live music stakeholders.

The Canada Music Fund is not accessible to CLMA members.

Canada’s national industry association, previously known as Music Canada Live, has had a busy few months. The association rebranded for 2019 and appointed Benjamin – formerly executive director – president and chief executive.

Earlier this week, CMLA joined a coalition of Canadian music organisations in signing the country’s Creative Industries Code of Conduct, signalling its commitment to prevent harassment, discrimination and bullying within the industry.

 


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Canadian music orgs sign creative sector conduct code

A coalition of Canadian music organisations has signed the country’s Creative Industries Code of Conduct, an industry-wide initiative dedicated to preventing and reducing harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence.

Canada’s creative industries launched the code of conduct in 2018, following the widespread bullying, harassment and discrimination allegations made in the wake of the #metoo movement.

On Saturday 16 March, it was announced that 42 music community groups are now signatories of the code at the Allies in Action event, hosted by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) in London, Ontario.

The newly rebranded Canadian Live Music Association says it is “proud to join our allies in the music community” in signing the behaviour code, which commits signatories to improving and implementing policies to enhance safety and wellbeing within the music community.

It was also announced that Unison Benevolent Fund has committed to hosting education and training resources on its website free of charge. The resources are intended to enable community members to identify, confront and prevent harassment, bullying and violence in any workplace.

“Signing the Code is a way for Canadian music community groups to affirm our dedication to our shared values, and to reinforce those values with action”

“Signing the Code is a way for Canadian music community groups to affirm our dedication to our shared values, and to reinforce those values with action,” says Jackie Dean, chief operating officer of CARAS. “Through the work of the Education, Training and Safe Support Committee, I’m very pleased that we will be able to offer all members of the Canadian music community the resources to help make all of our workplaces safer.”

“Canada’s live music industry is doing its part to ensure that every live music space is a safe place through our recently launched Raising the Bar program,” comments Erin Benjamin, president and chief executive of the Canadian Live Music Association.

“Raising the Bar addresses safer spaces, harm reduction and event safety at live music events, and will work to complement both the ethos and practical implications of the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct. We are all in this together, and we are vigorously working to supplant systemic issues with positive change.”

Terms of the code of conduct in both French and English, as well as additional resources, can be found on the readthecode.ca website, launched in June 2018. More information regarding names of signatories and how to sign up to the code is available here.

 


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Canadian Live Music Association launches

Canada’s national industry association, formerly known as Music Canada Live, has rebranded as the Canadian Live Music Association for 2019.

“This is an important milestone for our organisation,” explains Jesse Kumagai, chairman of the association’s board. “As Music Canada Live we were able to hit the ground running back in 2014, with great thanks to Music Canada for providing the support we needed to launch and grow as quickly as we did.

“Now, with over 200 members across the country and a clear mandate ahead of us, the time is right to establish our own distinct identity. Our new name and brand clearly reflect who we are and will strengthen our ability to advocate on behalf of our sector, our amazing members and deepen relationships with our many valued partners.”

In addition to the name change, Erin Benjamin, formerly Music Canada Live executive director, becomes president and CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association.

“We are helping to tell the story of live music in this country by championing the work of our members”

“We have achieved a remarkable amount of success in a very short time,” says Benjamin (pictured), “because live music is more important than ever, especially to artists. Our sector, in terms of Canadian music market revenues, is anticipating tremendous growth by 2021 and beyond.

“A robust association means a healthy industry. We are helping to tell the story of live music in this country by championing the work of our members, because when live music prospers, everybody benefits.”

The Canadian Live Music Association, formed as Music Canada Live in 2014, represents concert promoters, festivals, booking agencies, venues, clubs, arenas, performing arts centres, ticket agencies and other organisations and suppliers in Canada.

 


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