Application guidelines - Music Entrepreneur: Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms

Canada Music Fund

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Objectives and expected results for the Canada Music Fund

The Canada Music Fund (CMF) aims to increase the creation of and access to a diversity of Canadian music for audiences everywhere by enhancing the sector’s ability to compete in domestic and international markets.

Objectives and expected results for the Music Entrepreneur Component – Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms

The Music Entrepreneur Component aims to ensure that Canadian music entrepreneurs build a strong and competitive industry capable of contributing to the Canadian musical experience over the long term through a diverse range of compelling Canadian choices.

The sub-component Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms is intended to strengthen music publishing firms’ ability to develop Canadian songwriters and composers and to promote new Canadian musical works in Canada and abroad.

Application deadline

December 11, 2018

Who can apply

Only Canadian music publishing firms are eligible for the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component. At the time of the application, and through to the end of the term of any funding agreement with the CMF, your organization must:

  • be a Canadian-owned and -controlled firm;
  • have its headquarters based in Canada;
  • have a principal business that relates to the creation, publishing, production, distribution or marketing, including touring-related activities, of Canadian music;
  • have completed 3 years of continuous operation as a Canadian music publishing firm or one year if at least one of its key management personnel has five years of management experience in music publishing;
  • be able to demonstrate its financial viability;
  • have fulfilled all its contractual obligations with respect to songwriters’ and composers’ royalty payments;
  • be a registered member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN);
  • have total net revenues of less than $5 million in the reference year or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) inferior to 20 per cent for each of the three previous financial years;
    • have net revenues from all musical works it owns or controls of at least $25,000 in the reference year. For music publishing firms from Indigenous Peoples of Canada and for official-language minority music publishing firms the threshold is of at least $17,500;
      • of the net revenues from all musical works it owns or controls in the reference year, at least $12,500 must be attributed to eligible Canadian musical works. For music publishing firms from Indigenous Peoples of Canada and for official-language minority music publishing firms the minimum net revenues threshold attributed to eligible Canadian musical works is of at least $8,750;
    • Net revenues earned from eligible Canadian musical works by songwriters or composers who are shareholders or owners of the firm must not exceed 25 per cent of your net revenues in the reference year;
  • be (and its affiliates) in good standing with the Crown as a result of agreements entered into with Canadian Heritage or any other government department;
  • have published a minimum of ten (10) new eligible Canadian musical works in the reference year composed by a minimum of four (4) Canadian songwriters or composers who are not shareholders or principals in the firm. It must own or control each of these works on the last day of the reference year and must have registered them with SOCAN.

You must immediately inform us of any change of ownership of your firm. We will review the change of ownership to determine whether the eligibility requirements continue to be met.

Recipients to the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component are deemed ineligible for music publishing funding under the CMF’s New Musical Works Component, which is administered by the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) and la Fondation Musicaction (Musicaction).

Recipients to the Aid to Canadian Sound Recording Firms sub-component are deemed ineligible for the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component. However, an affiliated music publishing firm can submit an application.

Eligibility

We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding under the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component, the funded activities must be linked to one of the three categories set out below:

Promotion of Canadian Musical Works (Priority for 2019-2020)

  • activities related to the promotion of eligible Canadian musical works in Canada and abroad;
  • activities related to the “song plugging” of eligible Canadian musical works on a variety of platforms;
  • establishment and maintenance of agreements with international music sub-publishers.

Canadian Songwriter or Composer Development (Priority for 2019-2020)

  • organization of, or participation in songwriters’ or composers’ showcases and co‑writing ventures;
  • production of songwriter or composer demos (100 per cent Canadian).

Business development

  • activities related to the improvement of business processes such as copyright management, royalty tracking or payment systems and the development of digital technologies;
  • participation in domestic and international music industry conferences.

Eligible expenses

We only provide funding support to offset cash expenses for activities mentioned in the application form. The activities must be undertaken between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. The eligible expenses may include:

  • Costs related to the organization or participation in songwriters or composers showcases or co-writing ventures;
  • Non-recoverable advances paid to songwriters or composers (for example, expenses paid to promote songwriters or composers, expenses paid towards demos, showcases, co-writing, etc.);
  • Recoverable advances paid to songwriters or composers that are non-refundable for which the recovered portion was deducted. The recovered portion means:
    • the portion of advances paid in 2019-2020 that are recovered in 2019-2020 and;
    • the portion of advances paid over the previous years (which were submitted as eligible expenses in prior years) that are recovered in 2019-2020.
  • Costs related to national and international promotional activities (media kits, promotional material, pamphlets, posters, invitations, etc.);
  • Costs related to the improvement of copyright management, royalty tracking or payment system;
  • Costs related to the development of digital technologies and specialized software purchase;
  • Training costs related to approved activities;
  • Travel expenses (transportation and accommodations) that are directly linked with the proposed project activities. These expenses must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business. The maximum total amount of reimbursement for travel expenses for the overall project activities is $20,000;
  • Salaries and benefits of employees who directly participate in the proposed project activities. The maximum contribution amount to be allocated for the payment of salaries and benefits is:
    • $30,000 for contributions of $50,000 or less;
    • $40,000 for contributions over $50,000.
  • Overhead costs related to the implementation of the proposed project activities: a maximum of 10 per cent of the contribution of the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms may be allocated to overhead. These costs may include internet access charges, Web related costs, printing and photocopying, couriers, project management fees, etc.
  • Up to a maximum of 10% of the contribution could be allocated to capital expenses related to the eligible activities described above. The eligible capital expenditures have to be directly related to the development of Canadian artists, the promotion and of their music and expanding their audience.

Ineligible expenses:

  • Refundable advances paid to songwriters or composers;
  • ‘Songwriters or composers’ Catalogue acquisition costs;
  • Fixed overhead costs, including insurance, subscriptions, rent, mortgage, legal fees, etc;
  • Hospitality expenses for the participants;
  • Dividends, bonuses, or other forms of extraordinary compensation to shareholders or owners of the firm;
  • Per diem costs;
  • Salaries/benefits and overhead costs not directly related to project activities detailed in the application form;
  • Interest, bank charges, currency exchange fees;
  • Capital expenditures not directly related to the development of Canadian artists, promotion of their music and expand their audience (buildings, vehicles, etc.);
  • Taxes on goods and services for which the recipient is eligible to claim reimbursement; and
  • In-kind expenses.

Expenses incurred before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval are your responsibility. Only expenses incurred during the term of the agreement will be considered as eligible expenses.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, we encourage you to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your firm, the private sector or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 50 per cent of the total eligible expenditures of the project. This includes tax credits for the same eligible expenses.

We can fund up to 50 per cent of eligible expenses or up to a maximum of $75,000 per fiscal year.

The financial assistance awarded to a recipient cannot exceed, under any circumstances, the net revenues derived from eligible Canadian musical works in the firm’s reference year.

Members of an affiliated group will be subject separately to the maximum contribution. However, the total contribution amount that members of an affiliated group could receive from the New Musical Works and Music Entrepreneur components cannot exceed $800,000 annually.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application. 

Please contact us to receive the application form.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. Any incomplete application will be rejected.

NEW: The Applicant must complete a new section which will allow the collection of information related to your revenues (those for the most recently completed fiscal year) as well as your activities planned for the year to be funded, including a budget of investments. This information is due by January 15, 2019 and will contribute to the implementation of the funding model based on revenues and investments. Canadian sound recording firms applying to the MEC – Aid to Canadian Sound Recording Firms – who also have an «affiliate» applying to the MEC- Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms - will be required to include in their application form (MEC-Aid to Canadian Sound Recordings Firms) all of their related music publishing revenues and investments for activities related to Canadian artists – those from the sound recording firm and the music publishing firm. The «affiliate» will be required to apply to the MEC-Aid to Canadian music publishing firms using the application form that is similar to the one used in previous years. However, the «affiliate» will not have to complete the new application form collecting data on revenue and investments.

A complete application package includes the application form and the following supporting documents:

  • financial statements covering the most recently completed reference year, which must end on or after September 30, 2017. If you have not received funding in 2018-2019, you must submit, as a minimum, financial statements in the form of a review engagement report or a notice to reader. If not available, financial statements prepared according to Canadian generally accepted accounting principles will be accepted. However, once a funding agreement is signed between a recipient and the CMF, you are required to submit, at minimum, a review engagement report or a notice to reader, for any subsequent applications;
  • a plan of activities submitted in accordance with the instructions set out in these Application Guidelines;
  • proof of published Canadian musical works;
  • a letter from the chairperson or owner authorizing the submission of the application.
  • Résumés for key management personnel.

New applicants must also provide the firm’s incorporation documents (Letters Patent, Special Rules and Resolutions, Conflict of Interest Policy or Guidelines, shareholder agreement). Recurrent applicants must ensure that the documents already submitted are up-to-date.

Application process

  • Complete, sign and date the Application Form; and
  • Attach all the required supporting documents.

Email submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically, at the following email address: PCH.fmcmusique-cmfmusic.PCH@canada.ca.

The embedded “sent” date must be no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the date of the application deadline for your application to be considered eligible.

Mail or in person submissions

You can mail, courier or hand deliver your complete application package to the following address: 

Canada Music Fund
Music Entrepreneur Component – Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5

Your application must be postmarked or hand-delivered no later than the published deadline to be considered.

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Funding decisions are based on the number and quality of applications received on the application deadline of the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component. Your application will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on the criteria below. 

Your plan of activities and its contribution towards the objective of the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component will determine the funding level.

The plan of activities that is submitted with your application must include the following elements:

  • A detailed description of the project activities to undertake between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 and for which the financial assistance of the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component is required. The link between these activities and the objective of the sub-component must be clearly demonstrated, with measurable outcomes (approximately 5 pages);
  • A brief description of the music publishing firm, the range of publishing services it offers, nationally and internationally, and the importance of its Canadian music publishing activities (Canadian musical works, songwriters and composers) as part of its total music publishing activities (approximately 2 pages);
  • An account of the music publishing firm’s financial situation over the past year (increase or decrease in sales and profit margin) and short- and medium-term financial forecasts (1 to 3 years) (maximum 1 page);
  • A detailed budget that takes into account the revenues and expenditures related to the implementation of the proposed project activities (please use the Excel format template provided with the application form).

Your firm’s financial viability will be assessed based on the information in your application form and financial statements, as needed.

If you have failed to submit a final report for a previously funded project, this failure will be considered in the evaluation of your new application and could result in its rejection.

Evaluation criteria

We will evaluate all eligible applications using the following criteria:

  • The relevance of the activities and their contribution towards achieving the objectives of the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component;
  • The capacity of your firm to undertake the activities within the allotted timeframe, e.g. experience, human and financial resources;
  • The degree to which the expected outcomes are measurable.

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact us.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of submitting your application.

Funding decisions

We reserve the right to target our funding to specific projects.

Please note that decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final. 

How funding is provided

We provide funding in the form of a contribution.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued to your firm for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The funding agreement is signed by your firm and by us and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. At the end of your project, you must submit a final report.

Funding conditions

You may be required to submit interim reports during your project.

Additional conditions may apply and will be included in your funding agreement.

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures conducive to creating a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.

Official languages requirements

We are committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application or in your funding agreement. 

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publically acknowledge, in English and in French, the financial support received from the Government of Canada in all communications materials and promotional activities related to the funding agreement, such as advertisements, promotional materials, and programs, public announcements, speeches, websites, social media, etc. Additional requirements may be included in your funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Access to information requests

The Minister is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information submitted in your application may be disclosed in accordance with these Acts. It is understood that confidential information and / or any personal information related to the funding to which the recipient, its employees or agents will have access will be administered in accordance with these Acts.

Disclosure of information

By submitting your funding application, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

  • to reach a decision;
  • to evaluate the results of the funded activities; and
  • to support transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

We reserve the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. We also conduct periodic Program evaluations, during which you may be required to present documentation. 

You must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Demonstrated failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Music Fund
Music Entrepreneur Component – Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5

Email
PCH.fmcmusique-cmfmusic.PCH@canada.ca
Telephone
819-997-0055
1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
TTY
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Glossary

Affiliated group
A group of companies in which the same person, group of persons, or entity holds the majority of shares with full voting rights or has control in fact of these companies.
Canadian

A citizen within the meaning of the Citizenship Act; or

A permanent resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Canadian-owned and -controlled firm

A firm:

  1. that is a sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative or corporation established under the laws of Canada or a province;
  2. whose activities are based primarily in Canada;
  3. whose firm’s headquarters is based in Canada;
  4. whose chairperson or presiding officer and more than half of whose directors and other similar officers are Canadian;
  5. if a corporation with share capital, of which Canadians beneficially own or control, other than by way of shares held only as security, directly or indirectly, in the aggregate at least 50 per cent plus 1 of all the issued and outstanding votes;
  6. if a corporation without share capital, of which Canadians beneficially own or control, directly or indirectly, interests representing in monetary value at least 50 per cent plus 1 of the total value of the assets;
  7. if a partnership, trust or joint venture, of which a Canadian or Canadian corporation or any combination of the two, beneficially own or control, directly or indirectly, interests representing in value at least 50 per cent plus 1 of the total value of the assets of the partnership, trust or joint venture, as the case may be, and of which the Chairperson or other presiding officers and more than half of the directors or other similar officers are Canadian.

If at any time one or more persons that are not Canadian have any direct or indirect influence through a trust, an agreement, an arrangement or otherwise that, if exercised, would result in control in fact of the firm, the firm is deemed not to be Canadian-owned and-controlled.

Demo
A demonstration recording of music recorded by either a songwriter or composer, or a music publishing firm, to promote their material and display their works to potential performing artists, agents, labels, film, etc. For the purposes of this Guide, a demo is not a master recording and is not intended for commercial release, i.e. to be sold as a final product or played on radio.
Eligible Canadian musical work

It consists of any work of music or musical composition, with or without words, and includes any compilation thereof (ref. Copyright Act) that has been authored by a Canadian and registered to a Collective Rights Management Society.

To be considered Canadian, at least 50% of a musical work (i.e. music and lyrics or music only in case of an instrumental work) must have been written by Canadians.

A Canadian musical work will be ineligible if, in our opinion, it contains or promotes any of the following:

  • material that is hate propaganda, obscene or child pornography, or any other illegal material, as defined in the Criminal Code;
  • pornography or other material having significant sexual content unless it can be demonstrated that there is an overriding educational or other similar purpose;
  • material that contains excessive or gratuitous violence;
  • material that is denigrating to an identifiable group; or
  • any other similarly offensive material.
Final report
A final report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final report needs to provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for the duration of your project and include a final report of actual revenues and expenses.
Financial statements
A complete set of financial statements, including a balance sheet, a statement of operations, and a cashflow statement. Financial statements may be audited or unaudited.
Funding agreement
A signed agreement between a recipient and the Department of Canadian Heritage. The agreement sets out the purpose of the contribution, the expected outcomes, the duration of the agreement, the reporting requirements, the public acknowledgement of the funding, the financial and/or non-financial conditions attached to the contribution, as well as the consequences of failing to adhere to these conditions.
Indigenous Peoples of Canada
Indigenous Peoples of Canada include First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
Key management personnel
Key management personnel includes the chairperson, directors and senior employees who exercise financial control over the firm.
Music publisher from Indigenous Peoples of Canada
A music publishing firm owned and controlled by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and which publishes a significant proportion of musical works created by members from Indigenous Peoples of Canada, which includes Status and Non-Status Indians, Métis and Inuit people.
Net revenue

Music publishing income generated in Canada and abroad by musical works administered or owned, in whole or in part, by the applicant after all payments to composers, lyricists, arrangers, adapters and co-publishers.

As long as there is no legal relationship between the applicant and the commissioner of a given musical work, the applicant may also include in its net music publishing revenues, the publishing revenues earned from the exploitation of musical works specifically produced for a stage musical, a film, a video game, an advertisement, a television series or program.

Official-language minority communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Official-language minority music publisher
A music publisher based outside Quebec who publishes a significant proportion of musical works created by Francophone songwriters or composers from a minority community or a music publisher based in Quebec who publishes a significant proportion of musical works created by Quebec Anglophone songwriters or composers.
Own or control
The music publishing firm has acquired, notably by way of assignment, license or mandate, all or part of the copyright that subsides in a musical work in its repertoire and it therefore has the right to authorize or forbid the exploitation of such work for purposes specified in The Copyright Act, as well as to establish the conditions thereof.
Reference year
This is the timeframe that is used to assess the eligibility of an applicant to the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component. The reference year is the applicant’s most recently completed fiscal year. It cannot be longer than twelve (12) months.
Song plugging
The placement of musical works in a variety of audio or audiovisual productions, such as sound recording, movies, TV show, advertising, etc.
Songwriter or composer
To be considered under the Aid to Canadian Music Publishing Firms sub-component, a songwriter or composer must be a registered member of a Canadian performing rights society. For the purposes of these Guidelines, the term “songwriter or composer” refers equally to the creator of the music, lyrics, or both.
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