Summary of Notes: Music Sector Roundtable
The purpose of the summary of notes is to document key takeaways from the roundtable on COVID-19’s impact on the music sector held on September 10, 2020. The sector-specific roundtable comprised approximately 15 representatives of major associations and groups with representation from across different disciplines, regions and intersectional identity communities. The goals of the roundtable were to:
- Ensure various stakeholders representing different sectors and industries are heard, having an opportunity to express their thoughts/ideas.
- Understand on-the-ground impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for sectors and organizations.
- Have constructive discussions to help identify potential avenues that could help accelerate recovery.
- Build a common understanding of the kinds of support needed, and the role of government(s) therein.
At the start of the roundtable, the representatives shared their general experience on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their sectors and organizations. The introduction was then followed by three segments around the recovery framework:
- Resilience and Sustainability;
- Diversity and Inclusion; and
- Environmental Sustainability.
Resilience and Sustainability
To stimulate the discussion in the first segment, the following question was asked: What would organizations need to move towards a more sustainable/adaptable business model to prevail through similar situations in the future? Some of the key ideas and takeaways included:
- Make permanent the $10M increase to the Canadian Music Fund (CMF) added in Budget 2019 that expires at the end of this fiscal year.
- Review and change of decision-making structure for grants and funding in the CMF on a holistic level.
- Other forms of funding support (e.g. universal basic income, tax credits).
- Review of the Broadcasting Act in order to give to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the powers to enforce the laws and maintain the current limits, and require that the major platforms showcase Canadian music and contribute to the development of Canadian content.
- Reduce the number of exceptions in the Copyright Act, as this has a direct financial cost on the Canadian music ecosystem. Also, reintroduce and revive the private copying ecosystem.
- Transparency from organizations within the music sectors to the public (e.g., communicating answers to the public when questioned).
- Support with digital transition for artists and other workers within the music sectors (e.g. venues, managers, marketing team, technicians, agents, etc.).
- Initiatives and opportunities for artists to sell their work at a higher price, including training to help them better navigate the rapid movement of the industry and complicated rights management framework.
- Initiatives to support the vulnerable within the music sectors (e.g. artists, creators, audiovisual workers, etc.).
- Buy-Canadian strategy or marketing strategy that will encourage Canadians to buy and stream Canadian art.
- Plans to increase accessibility and visibility of Canadian content on streaming services.
- Additional/subsequent large discussion opportunities such as roundtables and other alternatives (not only written submissions).
- Incentives for filmmakers to hire Canadian composers and to use Canadian songs.
- Funding initiatives to grow the administration talent that will assist Indigenous artists.
- Flexibility to access funding programs so more artists (e.g. singers, dancers, etc.) can benefit from those programs.
Diversity and Inclusion
To stimulate the discussion in the second segment, the following question was asked: What diversity and inclusion opportunities can be leveraged from the present circumstances for positive change? Some of the key ideas and takeaways included:
- Supporting equity-seeking groups by providing skillsets and improved Internet access in remote and northern communities to facilitate online performances.
- Initiatives and opportunities to broadcast music and content created by equity-seeking groups; for example, through increased funding.
- Financial assistance and national collaboration to address equity and inclusion challenges.
- Review and revamp of projects and programs to be more inclusive of diversity groups, including easier application processes.
- Creation of an advisory council that will understand and address equity and inclusion challenges.
- Financial support for the training and professional development of equity-seeking groups within organizations.
- Support and protection of venues (usually small) so equity-seeking groups can continue to perform there in the future.
- Sessions to gather ideas on how to break down racial barriers (e.g. language, processes, etc.).
- Funding initiatives or programs specifically for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities within the music sector.
- Opportunities for representatives from across different equity-seeking groups to be part of the Boards of Directors of industry associations and organizations.
- Funding initiatives to grow administration talent, such as professional and business development, that will assist Indigenous artists (e.g. assisting artists to familiarize themselves with digital platforms).
- Opportunities to increase the discoverability of artists from across different equity-seeking groups.
- Initiatives, systems, or mechanisms that will address major problems such as racism, bullying and harassment.
- Ensuring that codes of conduct are signed and understood to help protect workers within the music sector.
- Discussion opportunities to effectively address diversity, including challenges during the recovery phase of the pandemic.
- Review all terms and conditions of funding programs and remove systemic barriers to Indigenous groups, and consider whether other mechanisms should be added to safeguard against further unintentional hurdles to access financing.
To stimulate the discussion in the third segment, the following question was asked: What environmental sustainability opportunities can be leveraged from the present circumstances for positive change? Some of the key ideas and takeaways included:
- Training for artists and managers on the use of digital technology and equipment.
- Encouraging local performances and online training opportunities in order to limit travel.
- Considerations to reach out to existing and emerging local and national artists once venues begin to reopen.
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