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:


Direct arti­cle link: CNMN goes to Ottawa
Return to full Bul­letin – may 2013