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