#ImagineOct20th Has Been Realized. So Now What?

October 26, 2015

During the longest Canadian election campaign in 143 years, musicians came out in droves to make political statements, sing protest songs, and encourage citizens to vote regardless of their allegiances. Somewhere along the way, the #ImagineOct20th movement raised its voice in the interest of a Canada run by, well, anyone but Stephen Harper. October 20, 2015 came and delivered what the group of musicians was dreaming of in the form of a Liberal majority. But that doesn’t mean the work is finished. So now what?

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, like all political parties before them and all those that will come after, made a lot of promises during their campaign. Canada has long provided a wealth of government funding for musicians, with grants for everything from touring to marketing to production assisting the nation’s songwriters in getting business done. So what has Trudeau pledged that the system will look like now? What changes should songwriters expect?

Billboard has done a pretty great job of compiling all of the promises the Liberal party has made regarding arts funding, and they are not few. Among them are: reversing cuts and making new investments to the CBC, doubling investment to the Canada Council to the Arts (from $180 to $360 million per year), and increased funding for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board.

The promised increases to the nation’s arts communities could definitely be a beacon of light in the wake of Conservative cuts, but they’re also not small. Time will tell whether Trudeau can deliver some happy tunes to Canada’s musicians, but in the meantime, you can revisit the protest songs that helped usher him in.


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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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