By Guest blogger Michael Raine
In late August, Canadian Musician magazine launched a petition and campaign that calls on all members of the Canadian music industry, and music fans in general, to speak up about funding cuts to the CBC. With over 6,000 petition supporters to date, the campaign has been gaining steam and drawn the attention of an impressive list of Canadian artists – including Tegan & Sara, Jann Arden, Sam Roberts Band, Arkells, and more – who have publicly declared their support for the public broadcaster. Using the Change.org platform, the petition can be found at www.savethecbc.com.
The petition states that $115 million funding cut as outlined in the 2012 federal budget greatly jeopardizes the traditional role of the CBC in promoting Canadian music and building the careers of Canadian artists.
For decades, the CBC’s TV, radio, and online programming, along with other initiatives such as the CBCMusic.ca Festival, have provided a platform for Canadian artists to reach a larger audience. It’s often the first, and sometimes only, outlet that will play their music and conduct interviews for a national audience. It’s a vital part of the music ecosystem in this country.
Broadly speaking, more national exposure creates more commercial success for Canadian music. That has a snowball effect, leading to increased album sales, streams, and downloads, which then carries over to concert ticket sales and larger tours. The economic impact goes from record labels to recording studios and concert venues to the retailer who sells a replacement microphone to the touring band.
You can put pressure on all four national federal parties ahead of the Oct. 19 election by signing and sharing the petition at www.savethecbc.com. The goal is to make funding for the CBC a central issue of the campaign and to educate both politicians and the public on the vital role the CBC plays in the Canadian music industry.
More details can also be found in a column that I wrote for the Huffington Post Canada, which can be found here: www.huffingtonpost.ca/michael-raine/cbc-funding-cuts_b_8048826.html
What artists are saying:
“The CBC was instrumental in launching my career nearly 28 years ago. Some of the very first demos I recorded were done in the Calgary building off of Memorial drive. The remarkable Peter Gzowski talked to me on his program long before I had a record deal. I owe much to the CBC; it is the voice of art and culture in Canada – a voice I am incredibly proud to be a part of.” – Jann Arden
“The CBC holds an important place in our hearts and in the homes of Canadians across the country. It brings us together, and by supporting and showcasing the incredible work of Canadian artists – musicians, actors, directors, producers, and more – it helps define our national identity.” – Tegan and Sara
“Canadian music is vibrant because there are real people across the country who care about championing local artists. Many of those people work at the CBC and help to provide the platform for musicians to be heard. The CBC has been supportive of Arkells since our first record and has provided a community for us to be a part of through on-air playlists and their online portal. The Canadian musical ecosystem is diverse, dynamic, and will continue to evolve, but it’d be a shame to lose CBC’s presence.” – Max Kerman of Arkells
“The CBC helps define who we are as Canadians. Without her as our cultural guardian, Canada as a society will be weakened at its core. I don’t remember a time when the CBC hasn’t provided our home with a healthy diet of music, storytelling, and wisdom. Through this shared story we are given a deep sense of connection with our fellow Canadians no matter how much distance separates us. As artists, the CBC has helped our band get to where we are today, bringing us together with music lovers from coast to coast, providing us all with a vital platform grounded in the true spirit of creative adventure. If the CBC suffers, we all suffer, so save the CBC and save ourselves!” – Sam Roberts Band
“The CBC might be the last true bastion of exposing Canadians to new Canadian talent across a spectrum of genres.” – Matthew Good
“The CBC is an institution in Canada. It’s a critical part of our country’s media and culture. I feel that cutting funding for the CBC will have a slow, and surely, negative impact on the presence of Canadians in the arts and entertainment.” – Mike Ayley of Marianas Trench
“The CBC is an important part of the culture of Canadian music. For Billy Talent and many other Canadian artists the CBC has been a spring board for getting music across our great nation. It would be a shame to lose a piece of Canadian artistic culture.”
– Jon Gallant, Billy Talent
Michael Raine is Assistant Editor of Canadian Musician magazine
Listen to Canadian Musician Radio at www.CanadianMusicianRadio.com