Budget 2021 Continues Strong Federal Support for Arts, Culture, & Live Music

Posted on
April 19, 2021

Including $70 million over three years toward live music and venues, and extension of CRB, CECRA, and CEWS

OTTAWA – MusicOntario commends the Federal Government for its comprehensive 2021 Budget, which acknowledges arts and culture as among the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic, and pledges $70 million over three years to support musicians, live music venues, and more. Budget 2021 envisions a strong economic recovery for music and the arts, which includes restoring and creating jobs as we emerge from the devastating effects of COVID-19.

A recent study conducted by the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), The Impact of COVID-19 on Canadian Independent Music, shows that Canada’s independent music sector lost 2,000 FTE jobs and saw a decline in revenue of $233 million CAD – in just the first six months of the pandemic. Estimates show that the industry will not recover to pre-COVID levels until at least 2023-2024. Budget 2021 demonstrates the Federal Government’s strong partnership with the music industry.

“Federal investments like this are crucial for the sector in order for it to bounce back and play an active and dynamic role in Canada’s post-COVID economic recovery,” says CIMA President and CEO, Andrew Cash. “The extension of COVID relief programs to at least September are also huge for arts and culture workers, including those in the indie music and live sectors.”

Supporting Musicians and Music Venues
To help Canadian musicians, concert venues, producers, and distributors:
Budget 2021 proposes to provide $70 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage for the Canada Music Fund. This includes up to $50 million in 2021-22 to help the live music sector, including music venues, weather the pandemic.
(Section 6.2: Restoring Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport)

“On behalf of CIMA & MusicOntario's Board of Directors and our membership, I’d like to thank the Federal Government for their strategic vision and bold investment in Canadian music, so that we may rebound from this pandemic as the robust economic and cultural drivers that we have proven to be time and time again,” says Tim Potocic, a member of both organizations, President of Sonic Unyon, and owner of venue spaces in Hamilton, ON.

As MusicOntario continues to advocate on behalf of the Ontario's music sector where the lion's share of business is conducted, we will keep members and stakeholders apprised of information about funding eligibility criteria, roll-out protocols, and important deadlines.

Some of the extended relief programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB): To continue to support workers through a transition away from emergency income supports and position Canadians for the recovery, the government proposes to provide up to 12 additional weeks of Canada Recovery Benefit to a maximum of 50 weeks. The first four of these additional 12 weeks will be paid at $500 per week. As the economy reopens over the coming months, the government intends that the remaining 8 weeks of this extension will be paid at a lower amount of $300 per week claimed. All new Canada Recovery Benefit claimants after July 17, 2021 would also receive the $300 per week benefit, available up until September 25, 2021.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): originally set to expire in June 2021, it has been extended until at least September 25, 2021, with subsidy rates gradually decreasing as of July 4, 2021 to ensure a smooth completion of the program as the economy reopens and business activities begin to normalize. The government will seek the legislative authority to have the ability to further extend the wage subsidy program through regulations until November 20, 2021, should the economic and public health situation require it beyond September 2021.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has provided interest-free, partially forgivable loans to more than 850,000 Canadian small businesses. In December 2020, the government increased the value of the loan from $40,000 to $60,000 to help small businesses bridge to recovery. If a business repays their loans by December 31, 2022, up to a third of the value of their loans (meaning up to $20,000) will be forgiven. In further recognition of the ongoing pandemic, the government recently extended the application deadline for CEBA to June 30, 2021.
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support: Budget 2021 proposes to extend the rent subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the rate of the rent subsidy, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of this program as vaccinations are completed and the economy re-opens.

You can read or download the full 2021 Federal Budget here: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/home-accueil-en.html

About MusicOntario

MusicOntario is the non-profit, membership-based provincial Music Industry Association (MIA) representing more than 500 membersthe independent music sector in Ontario. Our mission is to provide professional development, skills training, advocacy and support for artists and musicentrepreneurs, while building communityandaccess to resources. Our mandate is to nurture, elevate, and empower emerging companies and artists in Ontario's indie music sector. We help. www.music-ontario.ca

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