By any measure, $100M is an astonishing amount of money. That is the total Bell Media’s MuchFACT (formerly VideoFACT) has contributed to the Canadian music community through funding and promotion of music videos and related music content for all media platforms.
The announcement that MuchFACT (A Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) has reached this momentous milestone was made as MuchFACT confirmed the 20 fund recipients from the February music committee meeting.
Don’t expect the champagne corks to pop at Bell Media HQ, however. In an interview with FYI yesterday, Tyson Parker, Head of Music Services and Artist Relations, Bell Media, noted that “It’s a big milestone for us, but the biggest reward comes from being able to support the Canadian music and film communities. So we’re going to celebrate by continuing to do just that.”
Parker adds that “MuchFACT has been a part of our brand’s mission for 33 years, and we’re very proud of it. The program has allowed us to nurture up and coming directors, artists, and production companies, as well as generate and export Canadian music around the world. If you look back over the history of the program we’ve been involved in some of the most iconic Canadian music videos, and that’s something we’re very proud of.”
He singles out Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” video as “a perfect example of how investing in Canadian artists early in their career can have a huge benefit to their career, and their ability to grow internationally.
That video has nearly 1 billion views on YouTube, and it came out in an era where the music video is supposedly dead. The video gained Carly Rae Jepsen international recognition, and it’s blossomed into a hugely successful career here in Canada, but internationally as well.”
A Foundation To Assist Canadian Talent was created in 1984 concurrent with the launch of MuchMusic (now known as Much), which committed a percentage of its gross annual revenues to stimulate the production of new Canadian music videos. Then known as VideoFACT, it was co-founded by MuchMusic founder Moses Znaimer and music industry veteran Bernie Finkelstein, who served as its Chairman until 2011.
Two years later, when MusiquePlus went on the air, it also became a sponsor, as did MuchMoreMusic when it launched in 1998. The launch of MuchMoreMusic (now known as M3) also marked the creation of PromoFACT, an Electronic Press Kit and website production fund for Canadian artists, independent record labels and artist management companies.
MuchFACT is now funded entirely by Much and M3, divisions of Bell Media Inc. The company changed its name to MuchFACT from VideoFACT in September, 2009. Along with the name change, MuchFACT expanded its program to include viral videos which are defined as small-budget music videos and other innovative music-related content intended for online distribution.
The worlds of music video and music television have changed radically from that period in the ‘80s and ‘90s when Much Music (and MuchMoreMusic) exposure played such a crucial role in breaking so many Canadian artists nationally.
Parker notes that “music videos are as important, if not more important than ever with more platforms for them to be seen globally.
"Our goal is to not only support Canadian artists but to support the film production and music communities in Canada as well.
"The result of this investment is Canadian content that we are not only able to use on our own platforms, but that also stands up on the international stage. It’s all about Canadian music for us, and supporting it is a win for everyone involved.”
MuchFACT is sponsoring the 2017 Juno Award for Video of the Year, and one of the five nominees is MuchFACT recipient Kaytranada, nominated for his video “Lite Spots,” directed by Martin C. Pariseau.
That clip is one of ten of MuchFACT-funded videos featured on the announced longlist of 20 nominees for the upcoming Prism Prize. “When half of those longlisted are artists we support then we know we are doing something right,” says Parker.
In the February MuchFACT music committee meeting, more than 178 applications considered, and a total of $484,215 was awarded to Canadian musicians in the following categories: Music Content Package, Music Videos, Online Music Video/Project, and Digital Tools.
MuchFACT’s $100 million contribution to Canada’s music industry represents nearly 9,000 projects since the foundation’s launch in 1984.
MuchFACT fund recipients from the Feb. 09, music committee meeting:
Music Content Package
Whitehorse – “Boys Like You” and “Pink Kimono”
Jessie Reyez – “Gatekeeper”
Sam Patch – “St. Sebastian”
Dragonette – “Body 2 Body”
Dzeko – “Never Gonna Love”
Smalltown DJs – “Erased the Night” (f. Lisa Lobsinger)
Daniel Caesar – “We Found Love”
The New Pornographers – “Whiteout Conditions”
Saya – “Cold Fire”
Cadence Weapon – “My Crew (Woooo)”
Harrison Brome – “Body Heat”
Jacques Greene – “True” (f. How To Dress Well)
Online Music/Video Projects
Hoodies at Night – “4 Weeks” (f. KROY)
Chewii – “PuNoni”
TOPS – “Further”
Royal Canoe – “Living A Lie”
Yoko Gold – “Just a Fling”
Doldrums – “We Come In Pieces”
BadBadNotGood– “In Your Eyes” (f. Charlotte Day Wilson)
The next deadline for submitting MuchFACT applications is Thursday, March 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applications can be submitted at muchfact.ca