CRTC kills funding for MuchFACT & BravoFACT; Sign the Change.org petition
Ottawa, ON – Originally published May 22, 2017 – It goes without saying, MuchFACT has been a vital tool in the development of the Canadian hip-hop scene. Without it, some of your favourite music videos wouldn’t exist.
As FYIMusicNews reported, the MuchFACT program routinely pumps as much as $2 million a year into Canadian music content creation. But unless something changes, that won’t be happening much longer since forced funding of the foundation has been quietly dumped in the trash by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), along with BravoFACT and MTV Canada’s $50K a year commitment to independent production companies.
Earlier today, award-winning Toronto director and CitylifeFilm co-founder, RT!, brought a Change.org petition started by the Directors Guild to our attention, along with the message, “MuchFACT has supported 100s of artists From Drake to Celine. Take 1 min & Sign to protect Canadian arts & culture.” Various members of our team signed right away. [More]
Along with the 2800+ signatures it had collected at the time of this posting, the Change.org petition contains more information about the CRTC decision and how it will impact Canadian culture (read it below). If you support your local music scene (and short film scene), please considering signing.
The decision was made official on May 15 through Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-149, section 55. The section – Deletion of various requirements – stated that Bell Media had requested the deletion of various conditions of licence and expectations for certain services. And, given that the proposed changes were consistent with Commission policies, the Commission approved “for Much and Gusto (formerly M3), to delete the condition of licence requiring the licensee to contribute to MuchFACT.”
Meaning both sources of funding were essentially told they no longer needed to fund the foundation if they didn’t want to. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will, but various executives seem to think that will be the case.
A May 17 statement from Bell Media gave some hope to the future of the program, but it remains to be seen how much longer MuchFACT will stay open:
“Bell Media was granted flexibility by the CRTC in making contributions to MuchFACT and BravoFACT no longer conditions of license for its Much, Gusto, and Bravo specialty channels. We are currently reviewing both programs and no decisions have been made regarding their future at this time. Both programs continue to accept grant applications in anticipation of their next funding deadlines later this year.”
Scott Hutton, the CRTC’s executive director of broadcasting, justified the broadcast regulator’s decision, telling CBC News the station has evolved, and its programming no longer revolves totally around music videos.
“It ends up being difficult to ask someone who’s no longer in that business to continue in supporting a very minute or very precise funding towards certain funds,” he said.
CBC’s coverage goes on to share a perfect example of how crucial MuchFACT funding continues to be for the visual side of the music scene:
“Of the 10 videos shortlisted for this year’s prize, six had MuchFACT funding including the winner, Kaytranada’s Lite Spots.”
Can you imagine a world without an award-winning “Lite Spots” video? Well without MuchFACT, it might not have been possible.
Click here to sign the petition and encourage the Heritage Minister to act in favour of MuchFact, BravoFACT and Canadian culture.
Save Canadian Music Videos & Short Films Restore Bravo!FACT & MuchFACT
This week, buried in hundreds of pages of broadcast licensing regulations, CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais announced the decision to kill two of Canada’s most important sources of financing for music videos and short films – Bravo!FACT and MuchFACT.
These production funds help many of our country’s top creative talent cut their teeth in film & television, not to mention promote and celebrate hundreds of our nations top recording artists and performers. Music videos and shorts open the first door in the industry for so many young, dynamic and diverse filmmakers, actors, artists and creators.
We call on Minister of Heritage Mélanie Joly to reverse this shortsighted and destructive decision by the CRTC.
We call on Bell Media to recommit to Canadian talent and diversity of voices, continuing to provide grants for the independent short-form production. Please do the right thing, even though you’re now under no obligation to, and keep MuchFACT and Bravo!FACT alive when your new licenses kick in next year. Please keep a steady stewardship in cultivating and nurturing our country’s emerging, dynamic artists and vital storytellers. Because without them, we have no industry here.
The money put into developing them now, creates the next huge TV hit or ratings sensation later. It also grows our industry, economy and cultural diversity. Doing the right thing can be the right corporate thing as well. Be the cultural leader that you’ve been and let the new crop of filmmakers and storytellers have a chance and a mandate.
Now is the time to show your commitment to Canadian culture.
Click here to sign the petition.
Muchfact has supported 100s of artists From Drake to Celine. Take 1 min & Sign to protect Canadian arts & culture: https://t.co/lKvxJaVE8P
— RT Thorne (@directedbyRT) May 22, 2017
Twitter: @MuchFACT | @CRTCeng