$300K fund for Indigenous and underrepresented musicians launches second round

Mar 26 2021, 2:12 pm

The first municipal fund of its kind in North America that provides direct support to Indigenous and underrepresented musicians in Vancouver is now open for the second round of applications.

Vancouver Music Fund, an initiative funded by the City of Vancouver and distributed by Creative BC, supports new and emerging music artists, groups and industry professionals who experience systemic barriers to funding.

“The City of Vancouver is thrilled to amplify the voices of Indigenous and underrepresented musicians and to invest in opportunities that create equity for artists who continue to experience barriers to funding,” said Branislav Henselmann, Managing Director of Cultural Services for the City of Vancouver, in a release. “Vancouver’s remarkable music scene contributes to a diverse, vibrant, and healthy city, and plays an important role in the economy of Vancouver’s creative sector.”

There are three grant streams to apply for: Demo Recording to help recipients create demos and engage in mentorship and skill development with a BC producer; Music Video Program to create music videos that will help recipients build audiences; Industry Catalyst Program that will support projects that grow the city’s music ecosystem and the capacity of underrepresented groups.

“The Vancouver Music Fund was hope for my team and I as we dreamt of ways of honouring our song Yes Mama,” said Missy D, Vancouver Music Fund grant recipient, in a release. “It allowed us to dream, innovate, and most of all collaborate. The pandemic impacted our initial plans, but with this fund available, we were rooted in our purpose. It allowed us to give back to our community by including members as features and talents and hiring them as the production team. We were able to share our melanin, our love for art, the motherland and mama figures.”

Eligible individuals, collectives, companies and organizations that the City and Creative BC encourage to apply include:

  • xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and other Indigenous People
  • Black and people of colour
  • People with disabilities
  • Minority language speakers, cultural communities, and refugees
  • Cis and trans women, trans, non-binary, Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people

The initial round of grants provided by the Vancouver Music Fund awarded $300,000 to 67 projects and artists. Applicants in the second round can apply to Creative BC for a grant of up to 100% of project costs.

“Access and focused support are crucial to ensuring a healthy ecosystem of creators and voices that reflect B.C.’s true diversity,” said Prem Gill, Chief Executive Officer of Creative BC, in a release. “Creative BC is a proud partner of the City of Vancouver, continuing to deliver funds to underrepresented artists, especially at this time when the music industry has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.”

Another artist that received funding through the initiative is Hussein Alidina, aka DJ A-SLAM and producer on Lady Sinncere’s Can’t Kill Me.

“It’s great to see the City of Vancouver funding music that has been chronically underfunded across Canada, in this case, a Hip-Hop song performed by an Indigenous-female artist,” said Alidina, a previous Vancouver Music Fund Demo Recording grant recipient. “The Vancouver Music Fund played an essential role in bringing the Can’t Kill Me project together. The funding allowed us to create a powerful anthem about Indigenous resistance, cultural resilience, and survival.

The deadline to apply for the second round of the Vancouver Music Fund is April 28. For more information on how to apply, visit Creative BC.

Daily Hive is a proud media partner of The Vancouver Music Fund.

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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