More funding has been made available for various British Columbian artists who found their livelihoods all but shattered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
This second installment of funding is accessible through SoundON, a province-wide campaign to help B.C.’s music community by providing support to artists, presenters, production staff and venues. The project was initially launched by Music BC during the summer of 2020 in response to the financial hardships imposed by COVID-19.
So far, more than $186,000 of funding has been awarded to 44 recipients. According to a press release from Music BC, this equates to the funding of 579 industry jobs and 266 artists being supported through the grants. Of those recipients 154 were female, 165 were Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour, and 58 were from the LGBTQ+ community.
Alexis Young, lead vocalist for the Vancouver-based dream-pop band Blonde Diamond was one of those groups that benefited from the grant.
“Being a musician over this past year has been incredibly stressful and left a lot of our community with doubts about the future,” Young said. “With live shows being cancelled, our primary source of income and creative release disappeared overnight.”
Young went on to say that receiving SoundON funding provided the creative outlet she and the band needed as well as a space for the band to continue to engage with fans.
“The added investment into the fund is essential to sustaining this vibrant community, so that more artists and hungry music fans can benefit from this financial aid,” Young added.
The grants are worth $5,000 and are dedicated to funding live music events taking place in British Columbia between March 1 and August 15, this year.
The SoundON grants are primarily made possible through an investment of over $500,000 from Amplify BC, through the Province of British Columbia and Creative BC. According to the release SoundON aims to get money into the artist’s hands quickly, within a month and a half.
Lindsay MacPherson, executive director of Music BC, explained the importance of getting the funds into the hands of artists faster than government grants are typically capable of.
“The criteria for applications is broad because the urgent need for financial support is vast,” MacPherson said. “It allows us to continue to showcase the diversity in British Columbia’s music scene, while offering real tangible support.”
The deadline for the first intake is Feb. 26 with another intake opening on April 26. Applications can be made out right now at SoundON’s website.