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BC announces new music Innovation Program

Last week, the province of British Columbia and Creative BC announced the new $300,000 Innovation Program as part of the BC Music Fund. The new program will support cross-sector collaboration between technology and music, the launch of businesses to fill gaps in the industry, and foster diversity and cultural engagement within the music industry.

“British Columbia is home to an abundant wealth of musical talent. This funding from the BC Music Fund will provide assistance to companies that think outside the box, allowing them to further develop innovative ideas. I look forward to seeing the unique projects that come from this new program,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.

“The Innovation Program encourages new collaborations, creative courage and fresh thinking. Through the BC Music Fund, innovators across the province can intersect with the music industry,” added Prem Gill, chief executive officer of Creative BC.

British Columbia is the third largest centre for sound recording in Canada and the music industry contributes over $400 million in revenue to the provincial economy every year. According to Creative BC, the province’s music industry includes 80 independent record labels, 123 sound recording studios, and hundreds of music industry professionals such as publishers, managers, talent agencies, and other businesses that support the development and delivery of music.

Premier Christy Clark announced the creation of the $15-million BC Music Fund in February 2016, following the recommendations of Music Canada’s report BC’s Music Sector: From Adversity to Opportunity. The fund is administered by Creative BC and is designed to support the growth of BC’s music industry through direct investment, job creation, music tourism, increased regional activity, and the export of BC music.

The new Innovation Program will support music related projects, including “cross-sector and multimedia projects related to music, experimental or experiential projects that increase visibility, access, or awareness for British Columbian music, projects that develop new technology, software, or programs, and projects or initiatives related to British Columbia’s music industry that are innovative or experimental in nature.”

Applications for the Innovation Program will be accepted beginning May 1, 2017.

You can read more about the new program and the announcement on Creative BC’s website.

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Creative BC launches Sound Recording Pilot Program

The first program of the $15 million, provincially supported, BC Music Fund, has officially launched. The Sound Recording Pilot Program is designed to support long term sustainability of British Columbia’s sound recording industry, and to help support BC studios in attracting Canadian and international business.

Administration of the BC Music Fund is being carried out by Creative BC, who will announce additional programs on October 18, 2016, to compliment the four streams the Fund aims to support and promote. Those streams are music company development, live music performance, distant location tour/export market development, and industry development. To date, no grants have been distributed.

“British Columbia has become a hub for creation and innovation, and we are proud of the musical talent and technical expertise we have in our province,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training in a release. “Creative BC’s Sound Recording Pilot Program, funded as part of the BC Music Fund, will help increase sound recording activity in our province, and encourage more artists to produce their work here in British Columbia.”

The sound recording program will aid record labels, or other eligible applicants, by allowing them to recuperate 50% of expenditures associated with recording activities up to a maximum of $75,000. Eligible sound recording projects must have a budget of $3,000 or higher.

The Sound Recording Pilot Program has a total budget of $500,000, and applications will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis until the budget is fully committed, or until November 30, 2016. At that point, Creative BC will reassess the structure of the program.

Creative BC is holding information sessions on the program on August 10 and August 11. Interested applicants are invited to attend the sessions in Vancouver to learn more about the application process and the BC Music Fund. Transcripts of the sessions will be made available on Creative BC’s website for those unable to attend.

Interested parties are also invited to provide feedback though the BC Music Fund Pilot Program Survey. The survey will help Creative BC assess the program’s overall benefit to the community, and provide insights for the development of additional future programs to support the BC music sector.

Creative BC has also set up a BC Music Fund mailing list to keep the industry informed with news about the fund’s progress and additional programs.

The BC Music Fund was announced by Premier Christy Clark last February, during a release event for Music Canada’s report BC’s Music Sector – From Adversity to Opportunity. The report encouraged decisive action from the provincial government, municipalities and stakeholders to put BC’s music sector firmly back on the map and secure the benefits it can generate, and it is very encouraging to see that action take shape with the launch of the Sound Recording Pilot Program.

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