CNMN goes to Ottawa

Over the past few months CNMN has had several meetings with Canadian Heritage and other parties to talk about the recording and dissemination of Canadian New Music. The fact that CBC is no longer a partner in our community is a huge loss, so we need to find new strategies to get our music out there.

Of great importance is the renewal of the $25 million Canada Music Fund.  This funds FACTOR, Musicaction and other music-related initiatives at Canadian Heritage.  The fund will be renewed (we hope) in the 2015 budget, but discussions are already beginning as to how to change the fund to reflect the new realities.  The Internet has radically changed all sectors of music making – both art music and commercial music – and the new fund will have to reflect that reality.

In February 2013, I had a detailed phone meeting with Mme. Sophie Couture, the new director of Music Policy and Programs at Canadian Heritage.  We discussed the needs of our community and the scope of what can be done.  In May, I met with music policy analysts Christine Renaud and Marijo Larouche at their offices in Gatineau (national capital region), to present them with CNMN’s economic model for the specialized music community, and to learn more about the renewal process for the Canada Music Fund (CMF).

Specialized music is the term often used to describe non-commercial music – new music, classical music, choral music, contemporary jazz, electroacoustic, etc.

Using currently available statistics, we found that the overall economic impact of the specialized music community (ie: non-commercial music) is approximately $883 million dollars per year in Canada. This includes music educators, orchestras, jazz festivals, choirs, new music groups, music instrument sales and the specialized music programming portion of soft-seater presenters.  It is a fairly conservative estimate – there is probably more activity, but we used only hard numbers we could document in a credible fashion.

Canadian Heritage was quite intrigued by our new approach that presented the entire scope of our actions rather than just our modest ticket revenues and CDs.  We hope this will get them to take our sector more seriously. To any Minister, money talks, and even more so with the current government.

The two main aspects for the Canada Music Fund seem to be:

  1. Getting Canadian music on the stage (nationally and internationally)
  2. Helping with digital innovations.

Check out the Canada Music Fund page on Canadian Heritage’s web site –

Both these priorities fit with the needs of our community, so the only issue is how will they design the program so that our community can have fair access to funding.  Traditionally, almost all this funding goes to the commercial sector.  We need to change that.

In my capacity as a representative of the Canadian Arts Coalition, I also spoke with Robert Hunter, senior policy analyst at Canadian Heritage. The goal was to discuss a very broad approach to policies and strategies for the next 4 years, leading up to 2017: Canada’s 150th anniversary, and the Canada Council’s 60th anniversary.

We also began to talk about collaborations with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  Their national vision, their strong interest in education and technology, and their summer new music academy make them natural partners for CNMN.  I met with Stefani Truant to begin an open-ended conversation about ideas for making new music a more integral part of the national cultural dialogue.

– Tim Brady – President – CNMN


Want to catch up? Lots more information from past bulletins:


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Return to full Bulletin – may 2013