Ontario Music Fund Success Stories

This year, 123 recipients will receive more than $14 million in grants from the Ontario Music Fund.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the grants today at Coalition Music in Toronto, one of the companies that received support through the Ontario Music Fund last year. The fund provides grants to music businesses — large and small — that produce, distribute and promote Ontario-based music and artists. This support is helping create a business environment where Ontario’s talented artists from diverse musical genres and backgrounds can grow and thrive, while helping the industry become even more competitive internationally.

Support from the first year of the Ontario Music Fund has already helped create or retain 2,000 jobs and produced $24 million in additional revenue for music-related businesses.

Investing in Ontario’s music industry supports the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

The Ontario Music Fund (OMF) is helping the music industry by promoting jobs and economic growth, increasing tax revenue, enhancing tourism throughout the province and strengthening Ontario’s position as a global music leader.

Year One Successes

Six Shooter Records increased capacity, resulting in the release of almost double the number of albums typically released in a year. The funding also allowed the label to bring on and retain new permanent positions and provide work and jobs for freelancers and contractors. Six Shooter’s successful year was capped off by a Polaris Music Prize win for Aboriginal artist Tanya Tagaq’s new album ‘Animism’, a JUNO Award for The Strumbellas, and critical acclaim and an increased international market presence for WhiteHorse.

Arts and Crafts received funding for a range of artist signing and business development activities. The 12 recording/artist projects range from retrospective collections that support international brand development to international licenses that support global relationships to domestic and provincially-based artist development initiatives that help to secure the future of the company. Moving from nine releases in 2013 to double that in 2014 was a direct result of OMF support and the infrastructure and investment it allowed for.

The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall introduced four new signature concerts, featuring Canadian and Ontario-based artists who might not otherwise perform at Massey Hall. The 2014 events were: Timber Timbre with special guest Cold Specks on May 23, Coeur de pirate with special guest Bry Webb on May 31, Rural Alberta Advantage and Great Lake Swimmers on July 8, and Basia Bulat and Destroyer on July 10 (2014). All eight of these artists are Canadian, six of them being full-time Ontario residents.

Eggplant Entertainment actively sought out new clients to add to its roster by direct signings, promoting from within its organization, and pursuing partnerships with developing junior artist managers. Direct signings included Evening Hymns. Additions to Eggplant’s human resources and roster resulted in improved office collaboration, allowing staff to provide stronger support to new and existing clients. The company is finalizing terms for its senior staff to take over worldwide management for the UK artist Duffy. Other signings include Toronto artist Jane’s Party and Vancouver artist The River and The Road.

Cameron House Records received funding to expand its roster and promote new releases by indie artists, including Devin Cuddy’s sophomore release, Whitney Rose’s sophomore album, and Sam Cash’s tour support/marketing. Revenues for Toronto artist and 2014 JUNO nominee Devin Cuddy have increased substantially as his sales continue to grow, and management fee earnings continue to increase. In addition, numerous festival appearances and opening slots have contributed to the growth of the company.