Emergency Support Fund for Canada’s Live Music Sector

Of the $50 million announced for fiscal 2021-2022 from Budget 2021, this program constitutes Stream One: $25 million for Canada’s live music sector.

The purpose of this program is to help Canadian live music companies and organizations operating in Canada who are facing financial pressures due to public health directives in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of companies and organizations targeted by this program are not regular beneficiaries of the Canada Music Fund (CMF); emergency funding for these types of companies and organizations is a recognition of the essential nature of the live music sector in achieving the objectives of the program. Thus, the temporary financial support will allow companies and organizations in Canada’s live music sector to continue to exist during and beyond the pandemic and ultimately to continue i) to produce and promote a diversity of Canadian music in a world of choice ii) to be competitive at home and abroad and iii) to contribute to Canada’s creative economy.

Funding will be allocated based on eligible revenues from each applicant’s last completed fiscal year prior to the pandemic.

Funding is subject to availability of funds and submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

The deadline to apply is September 9, 2021, at 5:00pm ET. [note: deadline was extended by one week as of August 31]

Note: It is important applicants ensure the financial aid from this Emergency Support Fund for the Live Music Sector program will not be applied against expenses already financed by other COVID-19 relief measures from the federal government or any other provincial or municipal program.

Program Guidelines

Who Can Apply?

This program targets Canadian-owned companies and organizations specializing in live music. This includes live music venues, booking agents, concert promoters, festivals, artist managers, artist-entrepreneurs, and service companies. To be eligible, companies must play an essential role in the Canadian live music sector and in the development of Canadian artists.

Eligible to Apply

Required Criteria

  • The Canadian artist must be active and have released an eligible Canadian sound recording (individual title or collection of titles) after April 1, 2018.
  • Performed on stage in 2019 or in 2020 and have had expenses of a commercial nature in 2019 or 2020 (e.g. hiring musicians, service contracts to support music activities, etc.).
  • Must control and administer their own touring rights, directly incur tour expenses and receive revenues that are accounted through an entity (which must have an GST/HST number) that is fully and owned and controlled by the artist(s).
Artist Managers & Booking Agents
  • At least 50% of revenues from the last fiscal year completed before the pandemic (or March 2020) came from music-related activities related to Canadian artists OR
  • At least 50% of the artists on their roster must be Canadian.
Concert Promoters
  •  At least 50% of revenues from the last fiscal year completed before the pandemic (or March 2020) came from music-related activities related to Canadian artists.
Live Music Venues
  • Must be permanent spaces, with infrastructure for musical performances, such as a stage, sound and lighting system, etc.
  • A minimum of 25% of the 2019 programming was live musical performances featuring original commercial material (musicals, tribute bands, dinner-theatre, charity or corporate shows are not eligible activities for the CMF).
  • At least 50% of the 2019 musical programming was performances by Canadian artists.
Music Festivals
  • At least 50% of the programming in its last pre-pandemic edition was musical performances by Canadian artists.
Service Companies
  • At least 25% of activities for the last fiscal year before the pandemic (or March 2020) must come from activities related to musical performances in Canada and of these activities, at least 50% were for Canadian artists. i.e. their services allow Canadian artists to perform on an indoor or outdoor stage.
  • Employ technicians with technical expertise within the company (e.g. technicians who work on lighting, sound, stage management, machinery, staging, etc.) which facilitate the production of live music events.
  • For freelancers specifically:
  • Be incorporated
  • Have had commercial expenses in 2019 (e.g. fixed operating costs, salary, etc.)
  • Not eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB).


The following applicants are ineligible for this Emergency Support Funding:

  • Foreign-owned music companies (firms not owned and controlled by Canadians) operating in Canada and their related associations.
  • Service companies that specialize only in the sale and / or rental of staging equipment such as lighting, sound, etc.
  • Companies operating on the periphery of the live music sector in Canada such as companies in the fields of transportation, catering, security, ticketing, etc.
  • Radio and television broadcasters and music streaming services, including online streaming platforms.
  • Venues whose primary live music programming does not feature individual artists or help develop the careers of Canadian artists, such as, musicals, retrospective/tribute shows, dinner theatre, charity, or corporate shows, etc.
  • Venues whose capacity is greater than 3,500 (when not reduced for public health measures).
  • Venues associated with a city/municipality or an educational institution.
  • Not-for-profit artistic festivals, professional performing arts series (arts presenters) and other applicants that are supported by other PCH programs such as Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program (BCAH) and the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) as well as the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), unless the applicant demonstrates an urgent financial constraint and/or a financial difficulty, caused by the pandemic, which has a negative impact on its ability to continue its activities. ADDENDA 30 08 2021


How To Apply

Have you reviewed the eligibility criteria? Click here to apply.
Still have questions? Email live@factor.ca.
Wish to review the now-closed Support for Live Music Events program guidelines prior to a completion report? Click here. For the SLME FAQ, click here.