Ontario Investing in Music Industry During COVID-19

Funding will support recovery and sustainability for the province’s music industry
The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million through the Unison Benevolent Fund’s COVID-19 Relief Program and the Canadian Live Music Association. This funding will help ensure Ontario’s music industry is strong, vibrant and remains a source of pride for the province.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

“Ontario’s music industry provides thousands of jobs for musicians, stage and touring technicians, venue staff, agents and many others working behind the scenes,” said Minister MacLeod. “That’s why it’s important to support individual musicians and local communities, so they can continue to meet their financial obligations, obtain and create sustainable opportunities, and plan for their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Unison Benevolent Fund will receive a one-time grant of up to $2 million to immediately support individual musicians and industry workers, many of whom have lost their sources of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unison Benevolent Fund’s COVID-19 Relief Program provides direct emergency financial assistance to members of the industry to cover necessary costs so they can continue to enrich our communities through music.

The Canadian Live Music Association will receive a one-time grant of up to $500,000 to support local communities that wish to develop and implement music city strategies in a post-COVID-19 economy. A music city is a community of any size with a vibrant music economy, where municipal governments, music stakeholders and community members work together to help artists and music businesses reach their full potential. This co-operation offers a range of benefits, including economic growth, job creation, tax revenue and cultural development.

Quick Facts

  • In May 2020, the government invested $7 million to support Ontario’s music sector through the Ontario Music Investment Fund.
  • From April to June 2020, the Minister’s COVID-19 Music Advisory Council provided valuable information and innovative approaches to help Ontario’s music sector emerge and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.


“We sincerely thank Minister MacLeod and the Government of Ontario for their support and acknowledgement of the Unison Fund and the crucial and very necessary role the organization plays in providing critical assistance to vulnerable members of our music community in times of crisis. In March 2020, Unison began the largest relief effort in our history and while we are no stranger to helping people during difficult times, truly nothing has reached the scope of the last twelve months. The investment will go a long way toward directly supporting those in the Ontario music community with the greatest need, as the urgency for assistance remains high.”

– Amanda Power
Executive Director, Unison Fund

“This has been the hardest time in the history of our industry, yet opportunities are emerging alongside our unprecedented challenges – for change, for invention and in due course, long-term, sustainable growth. Leveraging globally-recognized Music Cities strategy will help Ontario communities to stimulate their own homegrown music economies, creating tangible impact for local artists, venues, tourism and the broader live music ecology. We thank Minister MacLeod and Premier Ford for their recognition of the vital role live music will play in our collective, post-COVID future – economically, socially and culturally.”

– Erin Benjamin
President and CEO, Canadian Live Music Association

“As a provider of both emergency support and 24/7 free mental health counselling for the entire music industry, UNISON has had and will continue to have a crucial role in making sure no one in our community falls through the cracks.”

– Miranda Mulholland
JUNO nominated artist, advocate, and Vice-Chair of Massey/Roy Thomson Halls

Source:  Newsroom Ontario [.] ca