Dear music industry colleagues and supporters,

Last week the B.C. government announced the 2020 budget (details can be found here: https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2020/default.htm). While we remain optimistic that the Amplify BC fund will one day be listed within the provincial budget, we find ourselves lobbying once again to be included in discretionary funding at $7.5m, to be determined by March 31st. We’d like to thank everyone who has already sent in their support and urge those who would like to see this program continue to e-mail their support letter by Friday March 6th!

Unsure if you should write a letter? Consider the following: 

  • You are a recipient of, or have benefited directly or indirectly from one or more of the following programs available through Creative BC: Live Music, Career Development – BC Artists, Music Industry Initiatives, Music Company Development, Career Development – Record in BC.
  • You are a recipient, participant or attendee of one or more of the following programs offered by Music BC, with support from Creative BC and the Province of BC: Music BC Travel GrantsLet’s Hear It Live Micro GrantsLet’s Hear It Live Concert SeriesHow-To SeriesMusic BC Live Music Trade Initiatives (Domestic & International Export showcases and Pacific Northwest Stage Partnerships).
  • You are a recipient, participant or attendee of one or more of the programs offered under the Indigenous Music Initiative available through First Peoples’ Cultural Council, supported by Creative BC and the Province of BC.
  • You have yet to be successful in receiving funding support, however are an advocate for the continuation of the Amplify BC fund.

Here’s how you can help:

Draft a personal letter of support for the renewal of the Amplify BC fund and include the following:
  • Name, job title, and (if applicable), company + number of people employed + company overview.
  • Personal stories or experiences with the Amplify BC fund and how it has helped further your business and/or musical career to date. Include metrics such as employment (jobs created), economic, social and/or cultural impact, private and public funding leveraged as a result of your Amplify BC support. For example:“We have been fortunate enough to receive $X in funding support through the Amplify fund to support X project/initiative, which allowed us to do X”. 
  • Metrics to consider: did support through Amplify BC (see programs listed above) allow you to do the following: Leverage private or public funds? Hire any new positions in BC? Expand your companies services and/or revenue? Expand your business internationally? Grow your audience? (Fans/Festival attendees/Venues), Grow your online streaming numbers/social media or physical sales?  Secure a label or publishing deal, management or a booking agent? Was there a label advance? What is your projected revenue, royalties, etc, because of these new developments?
  • Answer the question: “What would sustained funding mean to your business and the BC music industry at large?” in your letter.
  • And finally, please include your recommendation for ongoingpermanent support through the Amplify BC fund, helping to fuel a thriving and sustainable music industry in BC.
  • Still need suggestions on how to build your letter? See other talking points and rationale below.

How to address and e-mail your letter:

To your MLA,
(link to MLA finder here: https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members)CC:
– Hon. Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture TAC.Minister@gov.bc.ca
– Hon. Carole James, Minister of Finance
FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca
– Bob D’Eith, MLA
bob.deith.MLA@leg.bc.ca
– Lindsay MacPherson, Executive Director, Music BC
lindsay@musicbc.org

Other talking points & rationale for renewal:

  • British Columbia is the third largest centre for music production in Canada and one of the Province’s biggest contributors to the cultural economy. The fund has already allowed artists and businesses across BC to stay competitive on a national and international scale. A renewal would allow us to continue to build these success stories and support a variety of diverse projects and recipients throughout BC.
  • There is no other fund of this nature, making it one of the few opportunities open to the commercial music sector. Other provincial cultural funding entities are fixed within the budget and have also seen significant increases under this government, such as the BC Arts Council who saw an increase of $15m over three years. We need a standalone commitment to music through a dedicated fund.
  • The music industry is not only a cultural asset but a significant employer and economic contributor to the province, with an economic impact of $690m in Vancouver alone and 14,540 jobs. The live music sector contributed 6,950 FTEs, $619.3 million in labour income and $815.8 million in GDP to the BC economy in 2017.
  • Without sustained funding, the industry will struggle with “uncertainty” which will impact every facet of the industry including expanding jobs, talent retention, and obtaining multi-year program partners and sponsors. Knowing that the fund will continue is essential to the confidence and well-being of the industry.
  • There is a tremendous opportunity to attract large events to BC that show an economic impact for the Province, such as the JUNO Awards ($10.9m to the Province in 2018), however, it takes years of planning to secure the bid. Ongoing Amplify BC support would mean locking in events, partners and sponsorships on a multi-year basis.
  • Education, infrastructure, policy changes, outreach, inclusion and making the investment provincial wide takes time. A renewal of the fund would mean that the industry can continue the important work it has already started.
  • Many programs supported by Amplify BC—particularly training and development—don’t reveal an immediate return on investment, but are still integral components of how the current fund grooms the next generation of talent.
  • Through Amplify BC, the BC government investment has been multiplied through the leverage of private dollars and a greater share of federal funding. Ceased or decreased support means the entire BC industry will see a decline or lose its financial leverage—a huge step backwards after the Government of Canada injected $20m over two years into the Canada Music Fund last year.

Backgrounder:

Music BC has been leading the lobby efforts for the renewal of the Amplify BC fund since it began, and now we are seeking your letter of support for a third-year renewal of this vital fund.

As you may know, the Amplify BC fund was established after two years of the BC Music Fund (BCMF), which injected $15m into the BC Music economy between 2016 and 2018. The BCMF provided a significant return on investment across the Province economically and culturally. With the current government, the BCMF was extended and rebranded as Amplify BC (providing a $7.5m investment over one year) under the stewardship of Minister Lisa Beare, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture. Since their inception, these music funds have been earmarked under the Province’s discretionary budget as opposed to a fixed line-item in the annual budget.

We are now in our second year of Amplify BC, and until the fund becomes a fixed line-item in the provincial budget, we will continue to seek your annual support for a renewal so we can collectively express how imperative this fund is in ensuring a prosperous future for BC’s music economy.

Please reach out to our staff with any questions, or if you need further clarification or guidance at info@musicbc.org.

Thank you for your continued support,

  Lindsay MacPherson
Executive Director
Music BC Industry Association