Is a Globally-Praised Music Video Dynasty Coming to an End for Canada?
Is Canada’s praised music video industry in jeopardy? Well, here’s some context. Back in 1984 Canada launched its MuchMusic, its first national music television station which came built with MuchFACT, or A Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent, a mandatory grant to be given to the station to build its music video library by way of funding projects for Canadian artists.
Since 1984, MuchFACT has awarded over $100 million to 9,000 projects by everyone from Arcade Fire and Death From Above to Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan. In fact, just this last April alone, MuchFACT awarded almost half-a-million dollars in grants.
But now, MuchMusic is losing that mandatory funding from Bell Media, who purchased MuchMusic in 2006, after a request to delete the condition of license to contribute to them financially was approved by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC. The requests came through Bell Media’s application to renew is broadcasting licenses for “the various English-language television stations and services that will form the Bell Media Group in the next license term, from September 1st 2017 to August 31st, 2022.”
This request also included BravoFact, which does mostly the same thing as MuchFACT, but expands its grants to “entertaining and and engaging short-form content, both scripted and documentary.”
When called out about the request and asked directly about the future of MuchMusic at the Canadian Independent Music Association’s general meeting in Toronto last October, Bell Media exec Randy Lennox gave a vague and roundabout answer, essentially avoiding answering the question.