The Unison Fund, the Canadian Live Music Association, and
Music Canada Welcome Direct Funding From the Province of Ontario
Funding will support recovery and sustainability for musicians and local music economies
Toronto, ON (March 12, 2021) – Unison Fund’s Financial Assistance Program will receive a one-time grant of up to $2 million to immediately support individual musicians and industry workers, many of whom have lost their sources of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unison Benevolent Fund’s Financial Assistance Program provides direct emergency financial assistance to members of the industry to cover necessary costs so they can continue to enrich our communities through music. 

Additionally, The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) and Music Canada will receive a one-time grant of up to $500,000 to support local communities who wish to develop and implement music city strategies in a post-COVID-19 economy. A music city is a community of any size with a vibrant music economy, where municipal governments, music stakeholders and community members work together to help artists and music businesses reach their full potential. This co-operation offers a range of benefits, including economic growth, job creation, tax revenue and cultural development.

“Ontario’s music industry was among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – and will take the longest to recover,” said Minister MacLeod. “That’s why I am proud that our government is providing support to individual musicians and local communities, so they can continue to meet their financial obligations, obtain and create sustainable opportunities, and plan for their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We sincerely thank Minister MacLeod and the Government of Ontario for their support and acknowledgement of the Unison Fund and the crucial and very necessary role the organization plays in providing critical assistance to vulnerable members of our music community in times of crisis. In March 2020, Unison, began the largest relief effort in our history and while we are no stranger to helping people during difficult times, truly nothing has reached the scope of the last twelve months. The investment will go a long way toward directly supporting those in the Ontario music community with the greatest need, as the urgency for assistance remains high.” - Amanda Power, Executive Director, Unison Fund

“As a provider of both emergency support and 24/7 free mental health counselling for the entire music industry, Unison has had and will continue to have a crucial role in making sure no one in our community falls through the cracks,” said Miranda Mulholland, artist and chair of Music Canada’s Advisory Council.

“It has been a year, and it isn’t over, something our Minister recognizes. Minister MacLeod also understands that supporting the business of live music is essential so our industry can get back to doing what they do best: creating exponential economic, social and cultural impact for artists, communities and tourism. We were just beginning to harness the true power of live music when COVID struck,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the CLMA. “With this support we will be able to take all that we have learned and continue to entrench the value our members bring to cities, towns and neighbourhoods across the province through the Music Cities lens.”

For those who are eligible and looking to Unison for financial assistance, information on how to access the $2 million in new funds will be shared through the Unison Fund website and social channels in the coming weeks as more details become available. Thank you for your patience as we work through next steps. Information about Unison’s financial assistance program, and FAQs are available on the Unison Fund website here. For further questions regarding the application process or eligibility, please email:

Unison Fund, Canada’s music industry charity, provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community in times of hardship or difficulties. For over a decade, Unison has been committed to helping producers, engineers, singers/songwriters, musicians, production crews, and thousands more through our financial assistance and counselling and health solutions programs. For more information, please visit: If you can, PLEASE make a donation by visiting or text the word ‘UNISON’ to 45678 and follow the prompts to donate $10, $20, or $25. Every donation counts. Every donation helps. Let’s keep Canadian music and entertainment ALIVE.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of Canada’s live music industry. Established in response to an identified need in the live music industry, the CLMA represents venues, clubs, concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, arenas, performing arts centres, industry associations and networks, as well as suppliers to the sector. Its mission is to entrench the economic, social and cultural value of live music – creating the conditions for concerts to thrive, from coast to coast to coast.
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.
For more information on Unison Fund please visit:

For more information on the announcement from Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, please click here.
Charlotte Thompson, Red Umbrella P.R.
Erin Benjamin
Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA)
Erica Meekes
Music Canada