Over the past few years, we have been working hard through industry consultations, external research, and liaising with our government partners to craft a strategy for providing support to the critical areas of need in our industry. The result is an exciting slate of programs that implements a multi-year strategy to grow the Manitoba music industry: the Manitoba Music Industry Development Project. Officially announced on April 6, this new project is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba through the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement.
The music industry plays a key role in the economic, cultural, and social life of our province. Musicians, artist managers, record producers, agents, record labels, publicists, promoters, and everyone working in our industry contribute tremendously to the quality of life in our communities; providing a vibrant social environment, a considerable employment base, economic returns, and an honest reflection of our regional and cultural identity. Our governments have shown great understanding of the importance of the knowledge-based industries with this investment and their ongoing commitment to our industry. We sincerely thank them for making these innovative programs possible.
The goals of the new Manitoba Music Industry Development Project are:
· To bring Manitoba music to new geographic areas, find new markets for products and services, and intensify consumer activity among existing customers.
· To enhance the long term viability of Manitoba music companies, provide them with the tools required to become more competitive and build their capacity.
To achieve these goals, we have developed four programs that are designed to work with each other, and resonate with the other programs and services offered by Manitoba Music: the Market Development Program, the Market Access Program, the Strategic Consulting Program, and the Internship Program.
The Market Development Program was created to increase the level of connectedness between the Manitoba music industry and the broader industry. This means increasing awareness of Manitoba music locally, nationally, and internationally. The program will involve pan-industry promotion through manitobamusic.com and public-focused events, as well as trade missions, industry showcases, targeted marketing events, and a new, intensive focus on international market development.
The Market Access Program, which has existed for the past nine years, has seen some recent changes under the Manitoba Music Industry Development Project. This program provides funding and support to artists and industry professionals travelling to markets outside of Manitoba to perform industry showcases and meet potential business associates face-to-face. Jointly funded with Manitoba Film & Music, this program plays a key role in the development strategy for the Manitoba music industry.
The Strategic Consulting Program was created to assist companies who are ready to progress beyond basic business skills and business planning towards more strategic development activities. This program’s purpose is to support Manitoba music industry companies in the engagement of business development consultants with the goal of increasing company capacity, accelerating company growth, and/or strengthening the company’s business model.
The Internship Program was created to support paid internships at established and recognized music companies in Manitoba. This program will support the creation of sustainable jobs in Manitoba’s music industry, will mentor new workers in the music industry, and will provide human resource assistance to Manitoba companies with a shortage of skilled labour.
Through all of our programs, special attention will be paid to two key market niches in Manitoba – our Aboriginal and Francophone music communities. While the development needs for these specific communities fit well within both our new and existing programs, there are nuances in each of these niches that will be considered and maximized though this Music Industry Development Project.
These new programs offered through the Manitoba Music Industry Development Project have been carefully designed to complement the existing programs and services offered by Manitoba Music. From the Aboriginal Music Program, to MusicWorks, MusicSkills, Songwriters in Residence, the Resource Centre and Youth Mentorship to all the resources available on manitobamusic.com, our monthly Open Mic Nights at The Folk Exchange, and everything else Manitoba Music offers, we strive to serve and support artists and industry at all levels of their development.
We would like to thank the project's steering committee for their vision, insight, hard work, and dedication not only to this project but to Manitoba's music industry: Rick Fenton, Heather Bishop, Carole Vivier, Barb Sedun, Sam Baardman, Kevin Walters, Ginette Lavack Walters, and Jack Shapira.