Federal Budget Analysis: Little On Offer For Music Industry Per Se
The Liberal government unveiled its $491 billion budget on Tuesday afternoon promising to enhance Canada’s social safety net and reign in spending to slow the pace of national debt which now exceeds a trillion dollars.
Pointedly, the arts, culture and heritage sector does not figure prominently in the new fiscal document.
Politics and financial accountability aside, here are some of the takeaways you should know…
– $13B for dental care: That is the amount the government plans to spend over the next five years for public dental coverage that will be accessible to up to nine million uninsured Canadians, and that includes many musicians.
– An end to ‘junk fees’: The government plans to amend the Competition Act to protect Canadians from excessive fees tacked on by airlines, the ticketing industry et al.
- Uniform USB-C ports: We are all fed up with the plethora of cell phone cords that are forced on us by manufacturers such as Apple, Pixel and Samsung. Following Europe’s lead, the government plans to mandate uniformity and end this needless was of money purchasing wires that end up having finite shelf lives.
– Supporting the Canadian screen sector: A $40 million top-up over two years, starting in 2023-24, to the Department of Canadian Heritage for the Canada Media Fund to make funding more open to traditionally underrepresented voices, and to increase funding for French-language screen content.
– Tourism: $108 million over 3 years is promised, starting in 2023-24, to the Regional Development Agencies to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in developing local projects and events. Budget 2023 also proposes to provide $50 million over 3 years, on a cash basis, starting in 2023-24, to Destination Canada to attract major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada.
– $85M: Budgeted over four years to launch Canada’s new Anti-Racism Strategy.
- $400M: A five-year investment to launch the Federal 2SLGBTQ1 Action Plan.
- $200M: Funding to establish the Black Philanthropic Endowment Fund.
- $265M: To be spent over four years, the allocation is pegged for the Black Entrepreneurship Program.
- $18M: A two-year investment to support the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in delivering grants to community anti-racial groups.
– $21.5M: Budgeted to enhance legal support for racialized communities.
And here’s what the Canadian Live Music Association had to say about the federal “austerity” budget…
Regrettably, today’s Federal Budget held little good news for live music. One bright spot - budget 2023 proposes to provide $14.0 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, for the Department of Canadian Heritage to support the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage (BCAH) program. Additionally, the Tourism Growth Strategy spending proposes to provide $108 million over 3 years, starting in 2023-24, to the Regional Development Agencies to support communities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in developing local projects and events. The budget also includes lower credit card transactional fees for small businesses up to 27%, and cutting the planned increase of the federal excise tax on beverage alcohol from 6% to 2%.
CLMA CEO Erin Benjamin as per the announcement: “While the $14M proposed for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage (BCAH) program is much needed and most welcome, it’s disappointing that the Government chose not to better leverage the power and potential live music lends to the Canadian economy and Canadian culture by increasing the Canada Arts Presentation and Canada Music Funds specifically.
“We understand the myriad of complex pressures faced by the government today, however we maintain—and have demonstrated—that our industry is an important part of the solution, especially at this point in recovery. We await greater detail regarding the Tourism Growth Strategy and hope it holds promise for local festivals and events. Our artists, fans, ecosystem, and Canadian economy depend on our long-term sustainability, growth, and success. There is more work to be done. But today, I would like to personally thank the hundreds of CLMA members, broader music community and all voices who worked hard together, to champion key messages aimed at amplifying investments, shifting policy, and strengthening Canada’s incredible live music industry.”
- The full budget document can be perused here.