CHPC Committee Report
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Dear Mr. Schellenberger:
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to respond to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s Report on the Canadian Musical Diversity Component of the Canada Music Fund. First, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Committee for its work on this study, and convey my appreciation to all of those who appeared before the Committee to share their views.
Our Government and indeed our Prime Minister strongly support Canadian artists and Canada’s music industry, and are committed to ensuring the presence and visibility of Canadian music from coast to coast. Music not only enriches our lives, but is an important component of our cultural fabric. The digital age creates countless opportunities for innovation and creativity, and this Government understands the importance of investing in the vitality of Canadian culture.
That is why our Government continues to stand up for our Canadian artists. In 2009, we announced over $875 million in spending in arts and culture over the next five years. This is in addition to the $540 million committed over two years under the Economic Action Plan in new and renewed support for the arts, culture, and heritage. In July 2009, I announced the renewal of the Canada Music Fund, which gives $138 million in funding over five years to our talented Canadian artists and entrepreneurs. We have delivered the stability the Canadian music sector needs and have reduced bureaucracy, while increasing the visibility of Canadian music both in Canada and abroad.
With regard to the changes made to the Canada Music Fund, this Government consulted widely with artists and creators from coast to coast. Our consultations with the music industry and our evaluation of the program illustrated that the Canada Music Fund needed to better respond to the challenges of the digital and international markets.
As many witnesses who appeared before your Committee indicated, these changes and the Fund’s five-year renewal were needed and welcome. As of April 1, 2010, the Canada Music Fund will continue to support a wide variety of Canadian music through a simplified structure to:
Indeed, these changes were lauded by the Canadian music sector. For example, Mario Labbé, President of Analekta, Canada’s largest independent classical music label, said: “As a producer of specialized music, I fully support the [re-allocation] of funding for sound recordings that was provided to the Canada Council.” [translation] Musician, Boom Desjardins stated that “this funding is essential in allowing artists to continue to create and to ensure continuity in Canadian arts and culture.” [translation] While Heather Ostertag, President and CEO of FACTOR said “we are fortunate to have strong leadership and vision from our current government which recognizes the importance of supporting sustainable business models and believes in the cultural component and how it weaves itself into the overall Canadian identity.”
Our Government understands the value of arts and culture to our communities, our identity and our economy. That is why we have invested more dollars in arts and culture than any other government in Canadian history, and are ensuring that every dollar delivers results for all Canadians. The renewal of the Canada Music Fund is just one example of our Government’s continued support for Canadian artists.
Our Government is proud to support Canadian artists of all genres in these challenging yet exciting times, and we will continue to work with those in the arts community to ensure Canadians benefit from the new and exciting opportunities of the digital era.
The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P