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SoundON 2021 aims to fund 60% more presenters

The pandemic grant for live music presenters in BC funded 44 applicants in 2020; now they’re aiming for 70+.

SoundON 2021: about the BC live music grant

Over 70 live music presenters in BC—up 60% from last year’s 44—could get a $5,000 grant from SoundON in 2021.

SoundON is a live music grant program that launched into the pandemic. Their financing came through the province from Creative BC, Music BC ran their program, and other partners and volunteers supported the initiative.

In 2020, SoundON funded 44 applicants. But they announced, via Twitter, their intent to fund over 70 shows in this 2021 iteration of their program.

Jimmy Leitch, the Program Manager of Music BC, clarified in a February 4, 2021 webinar that SoundON intends to fund around 70 applicants, not just shows—of which one applicant can present several.

That means SoundON will fund approximately 60% more applicant companies than last year’s 44.

The SoundON grant award is also fixed for 2021 at $5,000 per successful applicant, which is higher than the average award from 2020.

SoundON, according to their press release as reported by Cameron Thomson of the New West Record, awarded a total of $186,000 last year to the 44 successful applicants. That works out to an average award of just over $4,200.

Leitch stated that exact numbers remain unavailable. But, giving more applicants more money means that SoundON could double last year’s total funding amount.

Are you applying to SoundON?

To apply for SoundON this year, you must be:

  • a live music presenter, with livestreaming capability and 2+ years’ experience, in good standing with Music BC (no defaults)
  • a Canadian company / citizen / permanent resident who has resided in BC for the last 6+ months

And you must present:

  • a project with a total expense of at least $5,000, that pays artists no less than $250/person
  • an event(s) that happens between March 1 and August 15, 2021

If you apply for the Friday, February 26th deadline and succeed, you can expect to get a $4,000 cheque by the end of April; and the final $1,000 cheque after wrapping up your project in September.

You can also apply for the second intake starting on Monday, April 26th, but your event still needs to happen in the same window of dates.

If you’re applying for SoundON or you applied in 2020, feel free to contact Rhythm Changes—we’d love to hear your story.

By Will Chernoff

William Ross Chernoff—known as Will to friends and colleagues—is a jazz musician, podcaster, YouTuber, and writer. He records and performs under his own name, William Chernoff.