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OMIF – Music Creation

FUNDING DEADLINES

Music :

Music Industry Initiatives

Deadline

October 28, 2021
5:00 PM EST

Music :

Global Market Development for Music Managers

Deadline

July 29, 2021
5:00 PM EST

Music :

Music Creation

Deadline

July 15, 2021
5:00 PM EST

Ontario Creates understands that COVID-19 has created many challenges across the creative industries.

  • Projects may address necessary COVID-19 responses, in keeping with the program objectives. Companies will be permitted to budget funds for operations-related costs, including salaries. Project outcomes should account for these types of necessary expenses.
  • The cost of participating in virtual activities/events that facilitate international business and audience development will be eligible including costs associated with the preparation of marketing materials.
  • As the COVID-19 situation evolves, successful applicants will be permitted to make activity changes as necessary.
  • Please contact your program consultant in advance to discuss the specifics of your circumstances and projected deliverables.

The OMIF Music Creation (MC) stream supports the development of competitive, sustainable music companies in Ontario that take risks discovering and developing talent – particularly emerging artists – and bringing it to market.

MC will provide funding to eligible domestic record labels, multinational record labels and domestic music publishers to support business activities that are focused on: expanding artist rosters; investing in professional recording and production; facilitating job creation; undertaking export market development; enhancing business capacity; and increasing and strengthening diversity within Ontario's music industry.

Funding is provided in the form of direct grants towards the costs of eligible activities. The OMIF Music Creation stream requires applicants to provide a matching contribution to ensure that maximum ROI is achieved from provincial investment.  Applicants must demonstrate clear, measurable outcomes which align with the objectives of the Music Creation stream.

Deadline

Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

NEW - Eligible Activity Window: Activity spending may commence once an application has been submitted (at applicant’s own risk), provided a valid certificate of insurance is in place. Applicants may begin incurring expenses related to their activities no earlier than the date of application submission (pending funding approval) and no later than 90 days following the date of funding approval. Applicants that receive funding will have 12 months to execute their activities. The spending window will commence on the date that the first expenditure is incurred for any activity within the company’s application. Please see the FAQs for more details and examples that demonstrate the options available to applicants in terms of the starting and ending dates for their activities. Activities must be completed with all expenses incurred and all deliverables provided by the applicant’s final report date, and no later than February 15, 2023.

Eligible Applicants

Domestic Record Labels, Multinational Record Labels, and Domestic Music Publishers

Eligibility as a domestic record label may extend to high potential Black and Indigenous self-releasing artist-entrepreneurs. Potential applicants to which this situation applies must contact OMO at least three weeks ahead of application deadline to discuss.

Full eligibility requirements can be found in the Music Creation Guidelines.

Note: Music Managers are eligible to apply for export travel support through the Music Industry Initiatives Program.

Funding Available

Funding is available in the form of a direct grant.

  • Up to 50% towards the cost of eligible activities
  • The maximum funding is 40% of the company’s two-year* average of total revenue to a maximum cap of $350,000. The minimum funding request is $10,000.
  • Applicants must have minimum annual revenues of $25,000 from core business activities as a record label or music publisher.

* Due to the potential negative impact that COVID-19 may have had on a company’s 2020 revenue levels, Ontario Creates will consider calculating a company's maximum OMIF request based on 40% of their three-year average revenue figure rather than a two-year average. Applicants wishing to request this exception must contact the OMO at least three weeks ahead of the deadline to discuss. 

NOTE: Full eligibility requirements and details can be found in the Ontario Creates Music Creation Guidelines. Please read the guidelines completely before beginning your application. Ontario Creates reserves the right to revise Guidelines and Application Forms. Please ensure that you have the current versions before preparing your documentation.

Application Process

IMPORTANT: First-time applicants must contact the OMO at least three weeks ahead of the application deadline to discuss eligibility. Email inquiries to OMO@ontariocreates.ca.

  • Applicants must submit their applications electronically through the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal (OAP) at https://apply.ontariocreates.ca.
  • Applicants that do not have a user account on OAP should go to https://apply.ontariocreates.ca/ and click on “Register.” For assistance, please see Ontario Creates’ website for the “OAP Quick Start Guide”.
  • For technical assistance, please contact the OAP Helpdesk at applyhelp@ontariocreates.ca.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the application process early to allow ample time to compile and complete the necessary information. The application can be worked on over time and save information as it is entered. Once saved, you can go back to edit and/or add information up until the time when the application is actually submitted.

Late applications will not be considered for funding.

Prior discussion with Ontario Creates regarding the eligibility of an activity does not guarantee funding.

Information Sessions

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an upcoming Ontario Creates Information Session. Please complete the online registration form by 5:00 pm ET on the day prior to the Information Session. Unregistered guests will only be accepted if space permits.

OMIF 2021-22 Music Creation Info Session Presentation

Webinar #1

REGISTRATION CLOSED

Date:

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Time:

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST

Webinar #2

REGISTRATION CLOSED

Date:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Time:

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST

Recording of Information Session held on June 15, 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review the guidelines and OMF Overview, and if necessary, register your company’s corporate information with the OAP.

Enquiries

Program Coordinator, Music Creation
416-572-0436
OMO@ontariocreates.ca

Enquiries regarding the Online Application Portal (OAP) should be directed to applyhelp@ontariocreates.ca

To receive notification of upcoming deadlines and program updates, please register with your complete contact information, including your full name, company name and telephone number, as well as the name of the program that you are interested in.

Frequently Asked Questions


OMIF - General

  • The OMIF (formerly the Ontario Music Fund) was launched in 2020 to provide targeted economic development investment to the province’s vibrant and diverse music industry.

    The Key Program Goals:

    • Focus resources on music companies/organizations with strong growth potential by:
      • Providing investment to drive long-term growth; and
      • Maximizing ROI and enhancing opportunities for emerging talent.
    • Strengthening support at critical stages in the career of artists.

    The OMIF has three program streams:

    • Music Creation
    • Music Industry Initiatives (includes Global Market Development for Music Managers)
    • Live Music
  • The Music Creation stream launched on April 29, 2021.

    The Music Industry Initiatives stream is scheduled to launch on May 12th followed by the Music Industry Initiatives: Global Market Development for Music Managers stream on May 13, 2021.

    The Live Music stream is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2021.

  • Music Creation: The deadline for eligible applicants to submit complete applications is Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET, through the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal (OAP). 

    Music Industry Initiatives: The MII stream has a continuous application intake for eligible applicants following the guidelines being released on May 12, 2021. Complete applications may be submitted from launch until October 28, 2021 by 5:00 PM ET.

    MII Global Market Development for Music Manager: The guidelines are scheduled to be released on May 13, 2021 and the deadline for eligible applicants to submit complete applications is Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET, through the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal OAP. 

    Live Music: The Live Music stream guidelines are scheduled to be released in the summer of 2021 with an application deadline targeted for fall 2021.

    Applications and documentation received after their respective deadlines will not be considered.

  • The program provides support through three program streams – applicants include:

    • Music Creation — eligible domestic and multinational record labels and domestic music publishers.
      • NOTE: Due to systemic barriers and lack of diversity and inclusion in the music industry, Ontario Creates will consider high potential self-releasing Black & Indigenous Artist-Entrepreneurs as a record label for the purpose of ensuring more equitable access to funding opportunities. Potential applicants to which this situation applies must contact OMO at least three weeks ahead of application deadline to discuss.
    • Music Industry Initiatives — eligible music industry organizations or music service associations.
      • Music Managers are eligible for global market development support.
    • Live Music — Domestic music promoters and presenters (including festivals) with revenues under $1M who meet the eligibility criteria for OMIF as well as the Reconnect Festival and Event Program may not receive funding from both programs for the same festival/activity in the same activity window. Domestic music promoters and presenters (including festivals) with revenues over $1M who meet the eligibility criteria of the Reconnect Festival and Event Program are NOT eligible to apply for OMIF.
    • Domestic music promoters and presenters with revenues over $1M who do not meet eligibility criteria for Reconnect Festival and Event Program may be considered eligible for OMIF support. Please contact the Ontario Music office a minimum of three weeks ahead of the application deadline to discuss eligibility.
    • First–time applicants must contact the Ontario Music Office (OMO) a minimum of three weeks ahead of the application deadline to discuss their eligibility.
  • Ontario Creates understands that COVID-19 has created many challenges across the creative industries.

    • Activities may address necessary COVID-19 responses, in keeping with program objectives. Companies will be permitted to budget funds for operations-related costs, including salaries. Activity outcomes should account for these types of necessary expenses.
    • As the COVID-19 situation evolves, successful applicants will be permitted to make activity changes as necessary, that align with program objectives.
    • Please contact a Program Consultant at the Ontario Music Office to discuss the specifics of your circumstances and deliverables.
  • Under OMIF, an emerging artist is defined as an artist or group that has not achieved Gold Album status in Canada in the past 6 years and has had no more than 3 gold albums in their career (Gold Album threshold is currently 40,000 Album Equivalent Units sold). The Gold Record threshold is a useful guide to identify artists at earlier stages in their careers. If you are unsure of an artist’s status, visit https://musiccanada.com/gold-platinum/.

    Recognizing that the meaning of “emerging” may vary for different artists/genres/communities, alternative approaches to defining an emerging artist may be considered if accompanied by a sound rationale. Applicants may apply for activities that support artists at all stages in their careers, but funding for emerging artists will be prioritized.

    Applicants may apply for activities that support Canadian artists at all stages in their careers, but funding for emerging artists will be prioritized.

  • A “Canadian Artist” must be a Canadian citizen or have landed immigrant status. A Canadian group is defined as having more than one member, at least half of whom are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

OMIF - Music Creation

  • The OMIF is designed to complement other existing provincial and federal funding programs. Record labels and music publishers may apply for activities that support artists i.e. recording, marketing & promotion, touring etc. Individual artists may be eligible for Ontario Arts Council funding www.arts.on.ca. In addition, and the federal government provides direct support to artist through FACTOR www.factor.ca. Eligibility as a domestic record label may extend to high potential Black and Indigenous self-releasing artist-entrepreneurs. Potential applicants to which this situation applies must contact OMO at least three weeks ahead of application deadline to discuss.

  • Music Managers are eligible to apply for the Music Industry Initiatives: Global Market Development for Music Managers which provides eligible music management companies with funding to participate in national and international activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. These activities must produce measurable business and market development results for the participating company (sales, financing, licensing and/or publishing deals, audience awareness, media coverage, partnership development, etc.). Primary activities supported are market event attendance and targeted business travel activities that support the market development strategy. However, if travel/export may not be possible due to COVID-19 restrictions, the cost of participating in virtual activities/events that facilitate international business and audience development will be eligible, including costs associated with the preparation of marketing materials.

  • Appendix 1 of the Music Creation Guidelines outlines the eligible applicant types. Core business revenue for record labels refers to revenue from physical products (CD/DVD/vinyl/merchandise); revenue from digital sales and streaming services; revenue from licensing and sale of rights and permissions (domestic and international); and revenue from commissions and fees from related activities. Core business revenue for music publishers refers to revenue from licensing and sale of rights and permissions; and revenue from commissions and fees from related activities.

  • Activities in the Music Creation template for music companies mirror those in the guidelines i.e. recording and production, marketing and promotion, touring and showcasing, and business development. Information can also be entered on a by-project basis, as long as each project documents the relevant activities.

  • In previous years, the eligible activity window ran from August 1 through July 31 of the following year. In an effort to provide applicants with additional flexibility to undertake activities at the time when it is most advantageous to their business cycles, applicants will have a more flexible 12 month spending period during which to execute their activities. Activity spending may commence once an application has been submitted (at applicant’s own risk), provided a valid certificate of insurance is in place. Applicants may begin incurring expenses related to their approved activities no earlier than the date of application submission (pending funding approval) and no later than 90 days following the date of funding approval. Upon receiving a funding notification, recipients will have the opportunity to discuss their specific activity time frame with a Program Consultant prior to the execution of their agreement with Ontario Creates.

    Outlined below are two examples to demonstrate the options available to applicants in terms of the starting and ending dates for their activities.

    EXAMPLE 1:

    1. Company A made a decision to start its spending window on June 1, 2021 because one of its key artists is recording during the summer of 2021. Company A submits an application on June 1, 2021 (6-weeks prior to the July 15, 2021 deadline). Company A is then able to commence incurring costs for the proposed activity as of June 1. Company A then has a maximum time window of 12 months starting from the date the company commences their spending (i.e. if spending commenced on June 1, 2021, the 12-month window would expire on May 31, 2022). Company A recognizes that this decision to commence spending as of the June 1 date is at their own risk, as there is no guarantee that their application (or the specific proposed activity) will receive funding when decisions are announced in October 2021.

    EXAMPLE 2:

    1. Company B submits an application on the deadline date. As Company B has flexibility with respect to the starting timeframe for their activities, they choose to wait until receiving notification of whether or not their application has been approved before they commence their activities. Company B is informed in mid-October, 2021 that their application has been approved. Company B has up to 90 days following this funding notification to commence spending on their approved activities. Company B then has a maximum time window of 12 months starting from the date by which they commence their spending (i.e. if spending commenced on January 5, 2022, the 12-month window would then expire on January 4, 2023).

    For any applicants that have a current funding application still in cycle (with a July 31, 2021 ending to their eligible activity window), they must clearly demonstrate that their 2021-22 application does not contain any overlap with the activities funded as part of their 2020-21 application. Activities for the 2021-22 program cycle must be completed with all expenses incurred and all deliverables provided by the applicant’s final report date, and no later than February 15, 2023.

OMIF - Technical

  • Financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year and the previous fiscal year, for a total of two sets of financial statements are required.
    Financial statements must be supplied within six months of the applicant’s fiscal year-end (i.e. applicants with a December 31 year-end are expected to supply 2020 and 2019 financial statements by the application deadline).

  • Financial statements must be supplied within six months of the applicant’s fiscal year-end (i.e. applicants with a December 31 year-end are expected to supply 2020 and 2019 financial statements by the application deadline).

    • A minimum of Notice-to-Reader financial statements will be accepted for applications requesting $150,000 or less. Notice-to-Reader financial statements must be prepared and signed by a third party accountant who is a member in good standing of a provincial branch of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA).
    • Review engagement or audited financial statements are required for applications requesting more than $150,000, and must be conducted by an independent public accountant. .
    • NEW: Internally prepared statements will be accepted for requests of $15,000 or less.
  • “Permanent establishment” generally refers to a fixed place of business. However, whether a fixed place of business is a “permanent establishment” is a question of fact which must be determined on a case-by-case basis. In interpreting the term “permanent establishment”, the courts have considered factors such as: the degree of the corporation’s control over the place of business, the degree of continuity and permanence of the place of business and the presence of personnel and routine activities.

  • Canadian-controlled corporation” is generally a corporation that is more than 50% owned by Canadians, as determined under sections 26 to 28 of the Investment Canada Act (Canada).

  • To be considered Ontario-based, the company must be registered in Ontario and have a permanent office in Ontario.

  • Air travel should be budgeted at economy rates and should reflect the costs of booking at least 30 days in advance of travel. Accommodation expenses should be at moderate per night rates and should reflect the average for the travel destination/activity, and per diems are capped at C$75/day for domestic travel and C$100/day for international travel (including daily meals and incidentals).

  • As outlined in the OMIF Guidelines, costs related to capital expenditures (i.e. equipment, software) are restricted to specific circumstances. In the circumstances where costs related to capital expenditures are permitted to be included in the activities budget, an applicant can only include the “amortization expense” related to the cost of the capital expenditure. Where a capital asset has been rented, the actual rental cost is permitted for inclusion.

    The amortization expense for each capital expenditure must be calculated using the prescribed amortization method outlined in each program stream guideline (i.e. straightline method, % of cost). See the applicable guidelines to determine the maximum amount of amortization expense that is eligible to be included in the activities budget.

  • No. Taxes that are recoverable by the applicant may not be included in the Activities Budget or claimed as an Eligible Cost in the final cost report.

  • Related parties exist when one party has the ability to exercise, directly or indirectly, control, joint control or significant influence over the other. Two or more parties are related when they are subject to common control, joint or common significant influence. Related parties also include management and immediate family members.

    A related party transaction is a transfer of economic resources or obligations between related parties, or the provision of services by one party to a related party, regardless of whether any consideration is exchanged. The parties to the transaction are related prior to the transaction. When the relationship arises as a result of the transaction, the transaction is not one between related parties.

    Control of an enterprise is the continuing power to determine its strategic operating, investing and financing policies without the cooperation of others.

    Joint control of an economic activity is the contractually agreed sharing of the continuing power to determine its strategic operating, investing and financing policies.

    Significant influence over an enterprise is the ability to affect the strategic operating, investing and financing policies of the enterprise.

    [This definition is quoted directly from the CICA Standards & Guidance Collection paragraph 3840.03.]

  • One corporation is associated with another in a taxation year if, at any time in the year:

    • One of the corporations controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, the other;
    • Both of the corporations were controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by the same person or group of persons;
    • Each of the corporations was controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by a person and the person who so controlled one of the corporations was related to the person who so controlled the other, and either of those persons owned, in respect of each corporation, not less than 25% of the issued shares of any class, other than a specified class, of the capital stock thereof;
    • One of the corporations was controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by a person and that person was related to each member of a group of persons that so controlled the other corporation, and that person owned, in respect of the other corporation, not less than 25% of the issued shares of any class, other than a specified class, of the capital stock thereof; or
    • Each of the corporations was controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by a related group and each of the members of one of the related groups was related to all of the members of the other related group, and one or more persons were members of both related groups, either alone or together, owned, in respect of each corporation, not less than 25% of the issued shares of any class, other than a specified class of the capital stock thereof.

    [This definition is quoted directly from Subsection 256(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada)].

  • A recoupable expense is an amount of money, and/or the cost of goods or services that is offered to an artist in a recording, license, publishing, performance or any service agreement; the recoupable amount is then paid back to the record label or publisher, usually at the rate of the artist’s share of royalties and/or other form of earnings. Recoupable amounts are generally paid back to the offer in first position, meaning that the artist receives no royalties until recoupment.

    Applicants will be required to clearly state recoupable expenditures where applicable. OMIF funding provided to eligible Applicants for artist expenditures and investment may be nonrecoupable in certain cases.

  • For consistency, OMIF will recognize all FACTOR funding as 50% public and 50% private. Radio Starmaker Fund is 100% private. Applicants should list the applicable funding from these entities in the appropriate lines in the Financing Sources section of the Activity Budget Financing Plan.

  • Business Plans must contain, at minimum, the following components:

    • Applicant profile (company history, the team, and description of the unique space you fill in the marketplace)
    • Overview of business activities, including and short/long-term goals. Outline competitive strengths, artist development strategies, human resources, corporate financing and other key details
    • A S.W.O.T. analysis (strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats) that demonstrates your knowledge of the market conditions in which you are operating
    • Case for Eligible Activities to be Funded: How can these activities take you to the next level? We want to help you grow beyond what you’re already doing…. Present a clear picture of how, with our assistance, you can make this happen. (Essentially we are looking for an analysis of how OMIF support will contribute to company growth and long-term potential; how your company demonstrates the capacity to undertake the proposed activities, and what the anticipated outcomes are for activities. Please refer to Appendix 2 of the guidelines for a list of potential Measurable Outcomes that you could speak to in your business plan.
  • At the time of the application, eligible applicants are only required to acknowledge they have or can obtain general liability insurance.

    Successful funding recipients must provide a Certificate of Insurance before the transfer payment agreement can be executed and it must contain all of the following criteria:

    • Commercial general liability insurance on an occurrence basis for third-party bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage, to an inclusive limit of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) per occurrence
    • Ontario Media Development Corporation* and Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario as additional insureds with respect to liability arising in the course of performance of the Recipient’s obligations under, or otherwise in connection with, the Agreement (Address: 175 Bloor Street East, South Tower , Suite 501, Toronto, ON M4W 3R8)
    • Cross-liability clause
    • Contractual liability coverage
    • 30-day written notice of cancellation, termination, or material change

    * Ontario Creates’ legal name is Ontario Media Development Corporation. When naming additional insureds on the certificate, please use “Ontario Media Development Corporation and Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario” (not Ontario Creates)

    Please note the eligibility activity window will reflect the first day that you are insured until the last date of the activity window.