Canadian Musician magazine has launched an online petition and PR campaign to rally the Canadian music industry to oppose funding cuts to the CBC. The magazine says that drastic cuts to the public broadcaster could have tremendous consequences for musicians, as a diminished CBC would mean less exposure for Canadian music that will have a trickle-down effect on all facets of the industry. Using the Change.org platform, the “Save Canadian Music: Keep the CBC Alive” petition can be found at www.canadianmusician.com/cbc.
In particular, Canadian Musician takes issue with the $115 million funding cuts over three years, as outlined in the federal government’s 2012 budget. The cuts have already resulted in 657 job losses, including 12 regional music producers, hosts, and engineers. The CBC has also said it will cut an additional 1,500 jobs by 2020, which could have dramatic effects on its music coverage. This is in addition to cuts to recorded concerts and the loss of programs like In Tune, which covered classical music.
“Because the CBC plays a vital role in the Canadian music industry, we call on all Canadian musicians and music industry professionals to sign this petition and make it known that you oppose CBC funding cuts and want them reversed,” the petition statement reads. It goes on to note that “for decades, 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.”
In a little over one week, the petition has already had more than 3,600 signatures, and the vocal support of major artists and industry figures, including JUNO-winners Arkells, Tegan & Sara, Sam Roberts Band, and Matthew Good, as well as Frank Davies, the famed Canadian record producer, music publisher, and founder of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“CBC Radio and television… is a vital link for all things Canadian to Canadians. Musically it is the only, and perhaps last, bastion of hope for aspiring musicians and recording artists who work in that vast field of endeavour called popular indie, alternative, meaningful, quality and songwriter-inspired music that has spawned so much success over so long for Canadian creators,” Davies wrote shortly after the petition launched.
As the party leaders hit the campaign trail in the run up to the October 19 election and the issues that will decide this election become clearer, the music industry is speaking with a united voice in support of the public broadcaster that is so vital to their careers.