Cultural Industry Advocacy
Our meetings with the Vice Chair of Broadcasting, and the Director of Radio at the CRTC, as well as senior civil servants at Heritage Canada have made the Federal Government and the Commission aware of the issues facing our members.
Representing Independent Music at the Federal LevelCIMA has appeared at numerous hearings over the last 18 months to expose the lack of radio airtime for new Canadian music – and to suggest some concrete solutions to the problem.
As a result, the CRTC has undertaken to develop scenarios for a regulatory regime that will oblige radio operators to include new acts in their prime time play lists.
We have also been assured by the CRTC staff that there will be no solutions without consulting the Canadian independent music industry.
Our appearances at the Radio Review Hearings, the CHUM/CTV Hearings and the most recent Diversity of Voices Hearings have helped the CRTC to move this file forward.
We have been told that the new Minister of Heritage would be prepared to meet with us to discuss such issues as program funding for Music Entrepreneur Component and other programs in the Canadian Music Fund. We will also represent our need for more financing and other support for marketing initiatives both outside of, and within, Canada.
Raising our Concerns at the CRTCThe CRTC commissioned two communications lawyers to examine the broadcasting policy and regulation and to make recommendations. The Dunbar Report could cause the Commission to take a second look at certain aspects of its radio and over-the-air television policies.
CIMA’s analysis found the report was “soft” on radio, focusing – no surprise – on TV. This obsession with television, with little attention to radio issues, is something we will continue to question – pressing for more attention to music’s needs, at all levels.
The Dunbar report suggests that in the licensing process, the CRTC no longer ask FM applicants to commit to a format.
As we suggested to Commissioner Arpin, no longer holding FM radio to a format commitment is, along with the lack of radio play in general, one of the key problems – not a solution. CIMA will be preparing written and oral briefs in response to the Dunbar report and these issues.
Provincial AdvocacyAfter many years of over-attending to the needs of the Film, Ontario, through the OMDC, has assembled an Industry Advisory Committee, and have named Al Mair as Vice Chair.
Some of our members, including Bumstead, Curve Music, Arts and Crafts and others have members serving on this committee. CIMA’s CEO is on both the research and tax committees.
With respect to the latter, we have recommended that the tax credit for music be increased from 20% to 30%, and be extended to included expanded marketing expenses. If this is accepted by Finance, it will mean at least an additional $750,000 per year for Ontario companies, based on 2005 returns.
CIMA representatives have met with the senior political staff of the Minister of Culture earlier this year to brief them on our concerns, and we are cautiously optimistic that we will see the change in OSRTC rates.
At the same time, the OMDC has committed to financing a “strategic plan” for the Ontario Music Industry. Our hope is that this study will be completed in November and we can begin to work on developing benefits for the industry.