About The Canadian Musicians' Coalition
Keep Music Alive in Canada
The Canadian Musicians' Coalition has been created by music community leaders to strongly advocate for long overdue reform of how professional musicians are financially supported for their creative works and performances.
Most professional musicians can no longer earn a sustainable living wage from music creation and performances. This is because of diminished royalties caused by music streaming, and declining performance opportunities due to music venues’ economic struggles. Due to the COVID-19 crisis much sudden seemingly insurmountable hardships have been added to an already struggling music community. As a result, professional musicians are encountering increased financial challenges while touring and are struggling to earn a living wage from local gigs. Many live music venue owners are on the verge of bankruptcy. The most significant financial challenge for music artists stems from the extreme devaluation of recorded music due to the fact that digital music streaming has gutted recorded music revenue sources for recording artists. The future looks daunting for young musicians who have aspirations for a career in music. The music industry's road to recovery from the pandemic will be very long and perhaps will never fully recover. The current financial supports such as federal and provincial grants are inadequate in providing the necessary supports required for the majority of music artists to earn an annual living wage.
The Canadian Musicians' Coalition is committed to advocating that our government implement a Canadian Musician Support Fund Levy that will be used to stimulate and develop our music economy to create a sustainable living wage for Canadian professional musicians from the the essential music that they create and perform.
With a sustainable living wage, Canadian musicians will be able to create music with a high standard of excellence that will enhance our national arts culture and continue to provide Canadian citizens with the music recordings and performances that they enjoy and need in their daily lives for a balanced healthy lifestyle.
On April 12th, 2021, The Canadian Musicians' Coalition with the sponsorship of MP Ron McKinnon, tabled in the House of Commons Petition e-2995 to create an ongoing Canadian Musicians’ Support Fund.
Petition e-2995 did not include our Canadian Music Support Fund Levy (CMSFL) proposal because it was deemed that the Federal Government would not support a model that introduced a levy or tax for online streaming. Although our CMSFL is still described in detail on this website, we agreed to remove the levy proposal from our petition, and instead requested the Federal Government create a Canadian Musician Support Fund that would top up professional musicians' income to a living wage of $30,000 per year to compensate professional musicians for the exploitative manner in which they are remunerated for the essential service they provide to all Canadians through the creation and performance of music.
Although the official response from the Minister of Heritage did not commit to implementing the reforms requested in our petition, our advocacy did contribute to the creation of other professional musician support initiatives such as Bill C-11 which is currently being debated during its second reading in the House of Commons. The Government of Canada also launched a program to provide additional support for Cultural Workers in the Live Performing Arts Sector.
Unfortunately, all these reforms fall well short of providing the financial support needed to assist Canadian professional musicians to earn a living wage from their music during these challenging pandemic times. Despite the fact that recorded music is being consumed at historic record rates through digital streaming, music streaming platforms pay music artists exploitatively unfair low royalty rates. Streaming platforms have also almost entirely replaced the physical sales of recorded music, and as a result, music artists are compelled to accept the exploitative low royalty rates offered by streaming platforms, or risk not having their music effectively distributed to their audience. Without effective music distribution, a music artist's career cannot survive. Although most musicians enjoy easier access to an international audience through music streaming, most music artists can't sustain their recording careers while earning streaming royalties that only pay fractions of a penny per listen. "The number of artists that generated more than $1,000 was 184,500 — but since there are more than six million artist profiles on Spotify, that means that about 97 percent of them failed to reach that level."
As a result of the extreme devaluation of recorded music, significantly fewer good paying performance opportunities, and increased performance challenges due to the pandemic, approximately 96% of music artists struggle to earn a living wage from their music.
In contrast to the current inadequate government support funding being offered to musicians and live music venues through various limited grant applications, the CMSFL proposal put forward by the Canadian Musicians' Coalition would have generated approximately two billion dollars annually to provide financial support for professional musicians, recording artists, and live music venues. Please take the time to thoroughly read the CMSFL proposal and Petition e-2995.
If you support either or both of these funding initiatives, please email your MP and the Minister of Heritage and state that you support Petition e-2995 to financially support Canadian Musicians as was tabled in the House of Commons on behalf of the Canadian Musicians' Coalition.
Thank you for supporting the Canadian Musicians' Coalition!