RBC Royal Bank and Prism Prize Step Up to Fill Music Video Funding Void in Canada

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A year after the dissolution of the long-running MuchFACT fund, which helped Canadian artists fund music videos since 1984, RBC Royal Bank and annual juried video award Prism Prize have stepped in to create the Music Video Production Project, to be truncated to MVP Project, which includes money and mentorship.

Open to recording artists and/or directors who identify as "emerging artists," over two rounds of funding will be offered to musicians and directors through music video production grants, valued between $5,000 and $15,000 (CAD).

"Each round will also include a curated component, which aims to foster an existing director/recording artist relationship," the RBC press release reads. Grant recipients will also receive mentorship and networking opportunities.

The MVP Project is part of the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

"RBC has worked closely with the music and film communities to create a program that specifically focuses on emerging artists, so they too have access to critical funding," Matt McGlynn, vice president of brand marketing, RBC, said in a press statement. "We’re thrilled to found the MVP Project alongside The Canadian Academy, which will boost Canada’s music economy."

Criteria for "emerging artists" can be found on the web site, including the age bracket of 18 to 35, and in early stages of their career, "usually within the first few years."

MVP Project be administered by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (The Canadian Academy), the largest non-profit professional arts organization in Canada with more than 4,500 members "encompass industry icons and professionals, emerging artists and students."

The fund aims "to enable Canadian creatives to explore their craft, hone their filmmaking skills, and encourage growth within their respective industries," it said in the announcement.

Furthermore, The Canadian Academy has also acquired Prism Prize, which was created in 2012 by Louis Calabro, and judged by a jury pool of about 120 Canadian music and film industry professionals, which whittle down the year’s selections to a 10 best videos shortlist.

"Canadian music video directors are bringing into the world some of the most exciting, creative and genre-busting visual stories of our time," said Louis Calabro, vice president programming, The Canadian Academy. "We see an undisputed urgency and relevance to the work of music video and we could not be more excited to welcome these often-overlooked filmmakers into the Canadian Academy fold."

Applications will be assessed by a peer-based jury of music and media professionals with representation from all Canadian regions. Submissions for the first round of the MVP Project open Oct. 1, 2018 and close Nov. 1, 2018. The second round of applications will open in January 2019. Successful applicants will be announced eight to 12 weeks after the final application deadline for each round.