Gov't Announces $2.4 Million to Local Music and Film Industries

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Two levels of government have come together to announce an increase in funding to both the music and film industries of Manitoba. Representatives from both the federal and provincial government announced that the local industries will receive a combined $2.4 million in order to continue the second phase of the Manitoba Music and Motion Pictures Development Project (M3P) under the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement. The Honourable Greg Selinger, Manitoba Minister of Finance and the Honourable Maria Chaput made the announcement in the lobby of the Pantages Playhouse to a roomful of artists, filmmakers, industry professionals and media on November 9.

M3P, which is jointly administered by the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA) and the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association (MMPIA), is a unique combination of marketing support and business development for the music and film industries of Manitoba. Entering its second phase, it will help both industries increase visibility both locally and internationally by assisting artists and industry professionals get to important conferences, showcases, festivals and more. The project also supports increased business skills and professional development to ensure long-term sustainability while fostering increased cooperation between the music and film industries. M3P is the project behind MARIA’s Market Access program, Manitobamusic.com, the Manitoba Music Industry Resource Centre, the Mentors In Music workshop series, and the new Aboriginal Music Program.

“The M3P initiative is an investment in the future of the artists and industry professionals who make up the diverse and vibrant music and film scenes in Manitoba, “ said Rick Fenton, president of the MARIA Board of Directors, in a press release. “Its success pays direct dividends not only to the artistic community it services, but also to the community as a whole. This commitment ensures the health and growth of the music and film businesses both artistically and economically. The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba are to be congratulated in having the forsight to invest in the future of these industries.”

Fenton spoke as part of the announcement, along with Louis Paquin from the MMPIA Board of Directors, MARIA executive director Sam Baardman, and MMPIA executive director Caryl Brandt. Juno Award-winning Eagle & Hawk kicked off the announcement, playing an acoustic version of the rock act’s song “Soul Dancer.” MMPIA provided some excitement for the crowd with the viewing of a three-minute reel of some locally-filmed movies and television shows.

Phase one of M3P, which began two years ago, was a successful undertaking that resulted in numerous economic and professional benefits. Among these, film production values in Manitoba more than doubled from $51 million to an estimated value of $106 million in 2004. The total number of jobs also increased by 71%. MARIA’s Market Access Program sent 636 artists to markets around the globe. Over 3000 musicians accessed the Manitoba Music Industry Resource Centre, and there were over 1000 participants in the Mentors In Music workshops making the music side of M3P highly successful.

For more information, please visit Western Economic Diversification online.

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