Canadian Heritage Ministry Issues Report on Canadian Music Business

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage just released their recommendations after conducting the Review of the Canadian Music Industry (yes, it’s all very official, so we’re supposed to capitalize all those words.) It’s not exactly light reading, but if you want to go through it, be my guest.

Meanwhile, here are some highlights.

1. Someone needs to do something about the time it takes for the Copyright Board to render decisions and fees and tariffs.  (These kinds of delays will not do in a digital world.  About bloody time.)

2.  Governments should do more to “improve the musical knowledge and skills of Canadians.”  ()ree violin lessons for all!

3.  More schooling is needed on the effects and consequences of music piracy. (Okay, but anyone still stealing music is too dumb to avail themselves of streaming music services.)

4.  Do something to create music tourism in this country. (Again, about bloody time.)

5.  A tax credit to support the music industry.  (The industry loves this.)

6. Get the Feds to study the impact of digital technology on the music industry and the various funding programs.  (Well, someone should. Yesterday.)

7.  Tweak the Canadian Music Fund.  Bring it up to date with new digital realities. (Duh.)

8.  The Music Entrepreneur Component of the Canadian Music Fund (again, all capitalized) should move from Heritage to a new third-party organization(s) based on something like FACTOR.  (An inspired idea or just another layer of bureaucracy?)

9.  Tell Canadians that FACTOR and Musicaction funding is made on behalf of the Fed. (“Your tax dollar at work!”)

10.  Allow the CRTC to enforce broadcasters to pay up their annual CanCon funds “in a timely manner.” (I didn’t know this was a problem.)

And let’s be honest:  when compared to other nations, Canada does a fantastic job of supporting musicians.  We’re certainly the envy of any American musician.  We’ve also done a helluva job creating, maintaining a domestic music industry right next door to the biggest exporter of popular culture on the planet.  And we export more music to the world that a nation with our population of our size has a right to.  We must be doing something right.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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