(CelebrityAccess) — The Government of Canada proposed a new federal budget that includes substantial financial support for the nation’s hard hit live entertainment sector as it begins the slow process of recovering from the pandemic year.
The proposed budget includes an apportionment of $300 million over two years to establish a Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors, as well as $70 million over three years for Canadian Heritage for the Canada Music Fund, including $50 million in the next two years dedicated to the live music sector, including concert venues that were shut down amid the pandemic.
The proposed budget also includes $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals along with an additional $200 million dedicated to supporting smaller, local festivals and events.
Canada’s government also proposed additional broad subsidies for Canadian arts, including Canadian Heritage for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, which received $49.6 million and the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, which has been proposed to receive $16 million over two years, starting in 2022-23.
Canada’s government also provided more than half a billion for the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which, between June and November, will make it easier for businesses to expand their staff.
“Today, our collective voice which we all worked so hard to raise, has been heard. It is with great relief that we welcome Budget 2021, which clearly recognizes the integral role the Canadian live music industry plays in our quality of life – as well as its significant economic, social, and cultural benefits,” said Erin Benjamin, CLMA President & CEO. “Our industry has been devastated as a result of COVID-19. This support will help safeguard our nation’s critical cultural infrastructure – and the incredible people, artists and community whose passion and livelihood is live music. We look forward to working with the government to ensure it reaches each and every company and organization who needs it. With today’s historic budget, our government has helped us to believe in the future – and we can’t wait to get there, together.”
Other Canadian live music event organizers heralded the news as well.
“This is a crucial step towards enhancing the sustainability of festivals and events across Canada,” said RBC Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan. “Immediate relief is definitely needed, and we are encouraged to see that the plan includes longer-term relief as well. This funding boost will go a long way to bringing about a brighter future for the industry and help us to come back bigger and better.
“I’d also like to recognize the support of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Economic Development, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, along with the lobbying efforts of FAME (Festivals and Major Events Canada) and The Canadian Live Music Association,” adds Monahan.