In an effort to provide a cash injection to Ontario musicians impacted by the effects of COVID-19, members of the Canadian music community with support from the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries have come together to create an emergency relief fund totalling $300,000. Launching today, MusicTogether.ca will facilitate live concert streams by at least 300 Ontario-based artists, each of whom will receive a one-time performance fee of $1,000.
The initial fund has been committed thanks to $150,000 from music community funders (full list below), with $150,000 in matching funds coming from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries as a component of the Ontario Live initiative. Arts & Crafts and Shopify Inc. collectively donated resources to together create and develop MusicTogether.ca – a web platform where artists can apply for the funding, and where audiences can find information on upcoming live-streamed performances from Ontario musicians. Musicians will also use the platform to sell merchandise and take donations, receiving the tools and specialized content to help them create their own online store supported by Shopify. Musicians will also receive $100 in Facebook Ad credits.
"This is happening to all of us," says Ontario musician and Arts & Crafts co-founder Kevin Drew. "MusicTogether is our effort to bring much-needed financial support to musicians throughout the province and keep a light shining on the glorious experience that is live music.”
MusicTogether was founded by Raja Khanna, Gary Slaight, Jeffrey Remedios, Oliver Johnson, Arts & Crafts, and Daniel Debow (partners in Toronto’s The Root Down Studio).
MusicTogether has been supported financially by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries as a component of the Ontario Live initiative. Ontario Live will serve as a customer-friendly marketplace that makes it easy for consumers to buy from, do business with, or otherwise support Ontario artists, attractions, festivals and other cultural industries.
“Ontario remains open for artists, and open for musicians, and open for online business during these unprecedented times,” says Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “We’re proud to match MusicTogether with a $150,000 investment to grow the new Ontario Live virtual marketplace to provide our creative industries a platform to engage audiences remotely to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Other title sponsors include Slaight Music and Arts & Crafts, as well as industry contributors listed below. Music fans are encouraged to support MusicTogether.ca with direct donations. MusicTogether is run by volunteers with 100% of funds going to working musicians affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to curated performers selected by the programmers listed below, Ontario artists can apply to be a part of the MusicTogether series. Applications will be assessed by a juried panel of established members of the music community. Applicants must be Canadian citizens over age 18 residing in Ontario in order to be eligible. Music lovers can find information on upcoming performances via the MusicTogether.ca hub. All performances will be hosted via the artist’s own social media channels and shared via MusicTogether.ca.
The goal of MusicTogether is to highlight diverse artists in this province, providing a platform inclusive of all walks of life regardless of genre or style. Please visit MusicTogether.ca for more information and full eligibility requirements. The site provides a hub to facilitate live music experiences to be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of our homes, while supporting the local music community that is so essential to who we are and that will provide the soundtrack for the bright future we dream of.
Financial support for MusicTogether.ca comes from:
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
Arts & Crafts
Bedtracks / Oliver Johnson
Signal Creative Community
Proscenium Services (Blanche Israël)
APCM (Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique)
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