After 27 years, Toronto's Bernie Finkelstein has resigned as chair of MuchFACT (formerly known as VideoFACT), the Canadian music-video-funding organization he co-founded with Moses Znaimer and launched in tandem with Canada's first music video station, MuchMusic.
"I do this with some sadness, as MuchFACT, which I have chaired since its inception, is an organization that I care deeply about. But I feel that the time has come for me to move on," Finkelstein wrote in a letter to CTV Inc., the private broadcasting company that owns MuchMusic.
Finkelstein's resignation is effective immediately, but he offered to remain on during the transition period, if asked. The chair is appointed by CTV.
"As we discussed prior to Christmas, I will be happy to stay on to assist through any transition period you may wish me to be involved in," he wrote. "I do want to convey my great appreciation for the wonderful support and confidence that CTV and its predecessors have shown both MuchFACT and me these past 26 years and for that I am extremely grateful."
Since 1984, MuchFACT has given grants to independent Canadian artists to create music videos, and later websites and electronic press kits. More than $63 million (CDN) has assisted more than 5,200 projects. Recipients include Alexisonfire, Arcade Fire, Barenaked Ladies, Broken Social Scene, Dragonette, Great Big Sea, Jully Black, Kardinall Offishall, k-os, Metric, Nelly Furtado, Sam Roberts, Sarah McLachlan, Toyko Police Club, Wintersleep, and more.
"Without a doubt, Bernie has been instrumental in the advancement of Canadian music and Canadian musicians," Brad Schwartz, vice-president and general manager of Much MTV Group, said in a statement. "He is a legend. He is someone that I deeply admire and have learned a great deal from over the years. I would like to thank Bernie for his dedication to the Canadian music industry and for helping MuchMusic become the cultural icon that it is today."
Finkelstein has been the only the chair of the organization, which is entirely funded by Much and MuchMore Music and is operated by an independent six person board of directors.
Finkelstein has been a prominent figure in the Canadian music industry for 40 years. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has been inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.
In 1969, he founded True North Records and The Finkelstein Management Company. Since its inception, the music label has sold more than 40 gold and platinum records and received more than 40 Juno Awards. True North Records is Canada's oldest and longest running independent record label. He sold it in 2007 to Linus Entertainment but remains chairman. He is also still active as manager of singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn.