A multi-million-dollar fund has been launched to help freelance live music professionals in Canada bounce back after the pandemic.
The Live Music Workers Fund (LMWF) was announced last week by The Unison Fund, the charity providing counselling and emergency relief services to Canada’s music community.
Backed by an allocation of more than CA$16 million from the government of Canada through the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund (CPAWRF), the LMWF will aim to help freelancers weather the continuing challenges and difficulties created by the pandemic.
Qualified independent and self-employed workers in the live music sector can apply for a one-time lump-sum payment of $2,500.
To be eligible, workers should work in one of the following music industry fields, including: artist, artist manager or management company, booking agent, composer, concert photographer, concert recording engineer, consultant, DJ, event production/festival, marketing/communications.
Merchandiser, musician, production company, promoter, publisher, publicist/public relations, retailer (instruments and supplies), songwriter, stagehand/roadie, talent Buyer, technician, tour management/operator, venue staff, and videographer are also eligible fields.
“This funding will help live music professionals jumpstart their careers during the third year of the pandemic”
Unison says eligible applicants must have earned a minimum of 55% of their income from music-related activity for at least two consecutive years (prior to the pandemic).
“We sincerely thank the government of Canada and the honorable Pablo Rodriguez, minister of Canadian heritage, for their support and recognition,” says Unison Fund executive director Amanda Power.
“Our organisation is grateful to be named as a recipient of this funding which will be used to help support Canadian live music professionals sustain their career amid the continuing challenges and difficulties created by the pandemic.
“Over the next year this investment will go towards the future of live music workers and the re-establishment and empowerment of the live music scene in Canada. We look forward to working in line with many other music industry organisations across the country, to disburse this crucial funding.”
Erin Benjamin, chair, board of directors, The Unison Fund, adds: “The Canadian live music industry has been decimated by Covid-19 and this funding will help live music professionals jumpstart their careers during the third year of the pandemic.
“It may take many years for the live music industry to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, but Unison will continue to be there to provide financial and mental health assistance with the challenges so many face.”
Applicants in need who do not qualify for funding under the CPAWRF guidelines of being a live music worker will continue to be supported through the existing Unison Industry Assistance Fund, aided by fundraising initiatives and direct donations to Unison.
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