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Ontario Music Fund Gives Major Labels $1.75 Million in Latest Round of Grants

Major labels Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. collectively received $1.75 million (CAD) of the $14 million in the latest grants from the…

Major labels Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. collectively received $1.75 million (CAD) of the $14 million in the latest grants from the Ontario Music Fund (OMF), the provincial government has announced. Universal received $800, 000, Sony $400,000 and Warner $550,000.

Indie labels, music festivals, publishers, managers, artists and more Ontario-based music applicants were also among the recipients of more than 200 grants.  The OMF is in its fifth year.

For 2017-2018, Arts & Crafts Productions was awarded $470,000; Black Box Recordings $225,000; eOne Music Canada $140,000; Linus Entertainment $270,000; Last Gang Records $240,000; Royal Mountain Records $140,000; Cadence Music Group $240,000, Six Shooter $380,000, Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival Society $130,000; Live Nation Ontario Concerts $150,000, Riverfest Elora $150,000, The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall $150,000; Paquin Artists Agency $100,000, The Guelph Jazz Festival $150,000; and dozens more. Some amounts were for as little as $10,000. Some received monies from more than one category, such as Canadian Music Week $150,000, $180,000 and $45,000.

Artists such as Good Lovelies, Cowboy Junkies, Danko Jones, Dragonette, Metric, A Tribe Called Red, Arkells, Born Ruffians, Royal Wood, Serena Ryder, Andy Shauf, Matt Dusk, Sarah Slean, Shaun Frank, DVSN, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Madison Violet, Alysha Brilla, Tanika Charles, and Jeremy Dutcher and others also received varying amounts. Click here for the full list.


The OMF is approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport and administered by Ontario Music Office (OMO), which operates out of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) in Toronto.

“Our government understands that the music industry is vital to the province’s economic prosperity and a huge part of our cultural landscape and identity,” wrote Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport in a prepared statement.

According to the site, the OMF “is aimed at strengthening and stimulating growth in Ontario’s music companies and supporting this growing sector. The Fund is designed to drive activity and investment and to support Ontario’s music companies and organizations in expanding their economic and cultural footprints within Canada and around the world.”

Minister Vernile’s statement includes stats to backup the success of the OMF:  “Within the first three years, artists supported by the fund sold over 5.6 million recordings domestically and a further 7 million recordings internationally. And almost 4 million people attended live music events supported by the fund, featuring performances by over 4,000 Ontario artists.” (No source is given for these numbers.)

The four grant programs are: Music Company Development (in two categories, domestic music companies and multinational record labels); Music Futures (in two categories, record labels, music managers, music publishers and artist entrepreneurs; and music promoters/presenters and booking agents); Live Music; Music Industry Development.

Below is the intention of each:

Music Company Development: Helps Ontario-based music companies increase recording, production and marketing, which boosts sales of music and supports job creation.

Music Industry Development: Provides support for initiatives such as digital innovation, music training and new approaches to increase homegrown music exports.

Music Futures: Helps leverage Ontario’s diverse and emerging music industry by supporting small music companies and artist entrepreneurs, for example those who create music and also handle the business and promotion of their music.

Live Music: Helps increase the number of live music events in the province and generates more opportunities for new and emerging local artists — boosting tourism and growing local economies.