Doug Ford government cuts funding to Ontario Music Fund in half

'Our government for the people is working to strengthen Ontario's culture sector'

Artists, labels, and organizations based in Ontario will see funding to the province’s Ontario Music Fund reduced to $7 million this year, down from $15 million last year. The move comes as premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government continues to slash spending in an effort to reduce the province’s deficit.

The fund, which is managed through Ontario Creates, annually dishes out tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist record labels, industry organizations and professionals, promoters, publishers, and many others.

“After 15 years of a reckless, dishonest, and out of touch Liberal government, the people of Ontario voted for change,” Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport press secretary Brett Weltman told Billboard in an email. “For the past nine months, we have worked to restore accountability, sustainably and trust in Ontario’s finances. In our recent budget, we are keeping our promises to the people of Ontario, and putting the province back on a path to balance, so that we can protect what matters most to Ontarians.

“Our government for the people is working to strengthen Ontario’s culture sector, including the recording and live music industries. For 2019/2020, we will be investing almost $100 million into Ontario’s arts sector,” it continued. “This investment will see the continuation of various grant programs that will support artists, musicians, and organizations in communities across the province.

“We are taking real action to make it easier for artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs to generate positive returns on investment, and create new opportunities for them to achieve success. We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders in the culture sector, so we can continue to deliver on our promise to respect taxpayer dollars, and ensure that we are providing value for money in Ontario’s culture sector.”