An urgent message from CLMA

An urgent message from CLMA
Erin Benjamin

The CLMA has been advocating on behalf of live music to the federal government regarding the Canada Music Fund (CMF) for many years. We have repeatedly requested access for live music companies to the program – so that our members would be eligible to apply for support - just like many Canadian companies in other segments of the music industry do today, and have done since the fund’s creation. 

During the pandemic, federal government support for the commercial side of the business came through the CMF and was administered by FACTOR and Music Action. This was an historic turning point in our on-going advocacy work, as government acknowledged live music’s key role in the music ecosystem and your importance to the sustainable career development of Canadian artists, and the Canadian economy. 

Today we have a new challenge in this advocacy work – and it’s complex. 

As we hurtle towards the Spring 2024 Federal Budget, and as our window shrinks to champion priorities on your behalf, the CLMA, CIMA, MPC and others are working together to take decisive action. Because, not only is the CMF vulnerable, but FACTOR and Music Action are facing a potentially major contraction of resources. Here’s why…  

FACTOR’s budget can’t keep up with the growing demands for its programming. The other part of FACTOR’s annual budget (separate from federal government investments like the CMF) comes from contributions from private radio broadcasters… and those contributions are falling fast. For example, in 2020, FACTOR received $16 million in radio contributions. In 2025 those contributions could be as low as $2 million.

Without increased and permanent support to the CMF, three things are likely to happen: 

  1. Commercial live music businesses (like independent venues) could remain one of the only parts of the industry with no access to federal programs.
  2. FACTOR’s ability to grow capacity in the industry may recede, potentially significantly.
  3. Whether or not you are (or could be) a recipient of FACTOR and/or CMF funding, any major decrease of FACTOR support into the industry will, unquestionably, impact us all. 

The final piece of this might be the most confusing – but equally the most important. The Liberal government promised to increase the CMF to $50M, but industry is now  - with a strong and united voice - recommending $60M. Why? Because $60M is what is needed to create economic and artistic growth and prosperity across the entire ecosystem of the music industry, for artists and for all Canadians. 

And this is where you come in. Remember how loud we got during #ForTheLoveOfLIVE (>60 million  impressions loud!)? Your voice mattered. You made it happen. 

While this new campaign may evolve as the countdown to budget day gets closer, today #KeepYourPromise is aimed at Liberal MP’s. We want to inspire the government to keep their promise so that your hard work can continue to have impact and thrive. 

How to act:

  1. In under 15 seconds: HERE is where you can sign and send the prepared letter that CIMA has provided for industry to submit to government.  Enter your name and postal code, click and you’re done!
  2. HERE is a social media toolkit with powerful, story-telling graphics you can use on every social platform. Encourage your networks to take action with and for you. 
  3. Reach out to your own MP (no matter what party), ask for a meeting and tell them just how important this issue is to you. You can email, send a letter or make a phone call. Don’t know who your MP is? Click HERE to search by postal code, riding or name. 
  4. Use these talking points to learn more about, and to be able to discuss, the issues with elected officials. 

We have gotten this far together, and while the pandemic may be in the rear-view mirror, our work continues to be hard-fought, perhaps today more than ever.  This is also painfully apparent for our non-profit members, as we continue to advocate for long-overdue increases to other Heritage programs through this movement.

As a voter and taxpayer, and a valued member of the live music community, your voice has power and impact. Follow our lead, use that voice, and together we can forge the change necessary.

CLMA website: