Digital Content Initiative (DCI) Annual and Fall Report

Submitted by Tim Brady, chair (October 2016)

Annual Report – Season 2015-16

The DCI is an ambitious, long-term project that began in 2012 with funding through the Canada Council’s Leadership for Change program. The DCI seeks to provide high-quality, professional resources for the recording, dissemination, promotion and distribution of Canadian specialized music, in digital content (ie. audio, video). Recorded / live-streaming music dissemination is undergoing a big change, and the radical cutback and policy changes at the CBC/SRC mean Canadian artists no longer have a strong digital presence, which means a big loss in getting their music to the public both nationally and internationally.

In short, CNMN revved up its game in the 2015-16 season. More meetings with Canadian Heritage and high-level policy officials took place. Working with elected representatives to secure political support is essential for a $3.5 million proposal of public money. Building connections with private broadcasters – our CRTC approved program will give them the tax credits they want – and working towards funding diversification and a larger group of committed partners increases the prospects for success in the long-term.

DCI 2015-16 activities at-a-glance:

  • July / August 2016 – meetings with Stingray, CMC, Canadian Federation of Musicians, Le Vivier and empreintes digitales
  • June 2016 – fourth meeting (in 2 years) with the Department of Canadian Heritage to speak with high-level policy officials
  • May/June 2016 – more meetings with members of Parliament to get their support
  • 2016 – meetings with members of Parliament across Canada to get their support
  • 2015 – meetings with Dept. of Canadian Heritage
  • July 2015 – Tim Brady presents DCI at the bi-annual Banff Opera Colloquium with
  • July 2015 – meeting with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and obtained their approval for the project so that it is eligible for Canadian Content Tax credits (critical for private support)

Activity since April 2016 (up until October 2016)

In late August 2016, DCI Chair Tim Brady had meetings with DCI partners in both Montréal and Toronto, updating them on ideas, issues and timelines.  Our partners still feel this is an important issue.  We are also still talking to CBC. The CBC will not change their position – no more live music, especially no more specialized music (regardless of the new funding)!  But there may be ways to partner with them in the long run, if and when the project gets rolling.  It is worth keeping the lines of communication open.

The DCI submitted a grant application to the Canada Council for a follow-up “Leadership for Change” grant this fall, to help us begin to prepare for the next phase of the project: building contacts, building a Digital Content-ready database, and building a promotional structure and strategy.  This will feed into a Department of Canadian Heritage proposal we are planning on submitting in the Spring of 2017 for more complete infrastructure support.

We continue to talk to members of parliament and are hoping to discuss issues around the project with senior staff at the Department of Canadian Heritage in the late Fall 2016. We are also discussing this project with the Canada Council, in relationship to their new funding, and their upcoming digital content project (2017 – 2018). The Department of Canadian Heritage is also doing a very large-scale “digital content review” process, so our timing is good for connecting with these initiatives.

This is a complex process, but our current plan is for some sort of concrete results in place by 2018.  Wish us all luck!

Want to help? Connect with your local MPs to get their support for the DCI. Contact me for more information:

Read past bulletin entries from this committee:

Digital Content Initiative (DCI) Report – June 2016 (n° 22)

Digital Content Initiative (DCI) Report – October 2015 (n° 21)
Digital Content Initiative (DCI) Report – May 2015 (n° 20)
Digital Content Initiative (DCI) Study: The Benefits of Musical Creation (n° 20)
Digital Content Initiative (DCI) Report – Dec 2014 (n° 19)
Specialised Music Digital Content Creation Project (n° 18)


Direct link: DCI Annual and Fall Report – October 2016
Return to full Bulletin – October 2016