CBMIC newly-elected chair, Marc Botte, makes his funding pitch to council.
July 27, 2022
-by April MacDonald
“From humble beginnings to one of the five recognized music associations under the umbrella of the East Coast Music Association, CBMIC continues to evolve into an organization that delivers a punch way above our weight class.”
At council last Thursday, representatives from the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative, or CBMIC, made a presentation to councillors to invest in their NPO.
CBMIC exists to provide support services, resources, education, direction, and program funding.
All these initiatives are done in the interest of developing and sustaining a viable Cape Breton music industry. The incredible impact of the global pandemic on the music and arts scene was felt throughout Cape Breton Island and the world.
The sudden shutdown of live events caused severe impact on the industry overall. Fluctuations and extended restriction created frustration and fear in the local industry. Reps said that though they were one of the most open places in the country for at least small activity, only recently have there been signs of some semblance of real recovery.
CBMIC made quick pivots to stay engaged to keep current information available to members and local industry. They developed projects and activities in real time to provide support where possible.
They assisted artists in the shift to virtual performances to optimize opportunities and continues lobbying for sector support.
Artists and organizations experienced loss of traditional funding structures, which provided means for some operational support in the past.
Due to gathering restrictions artists experienced the loss of traditional fundraising opportunities which additionally contribute to annual operations and they experienced the loss of annual sponsorships which additionally contribute to annual operations.
Despite the availability of emergency funding programs, CBMIC said that to date they have only been eligible for temporary rent and wage subsidies, but has been declined on any further applications for operational support. Some program funding has been approved since 2020 but recent applications have been declined.
Their plan is to refocus their mission.
“We have undertaken an effort to refine and focus our mandate. We are refining our focus to preserving and growing the music industry as a whole through: 1. Education and Training 2. Product and Export Development 3. Strategic Partnership Development 4. Increased Outreach and Representation.”
An island-wide approach
“In addition to refocussing our mandate, we are increasing our efforts to be truly island wide and better engage our partners. 1. Governance Restructuring – create dedicated board seats representing important island stakeholders (details through consultation). 2. Decentralization – newly created positions may be based outside of CBRM. Branch offices in Inverness and Victoria counties. 3. Hall Of Fame Expansion – Phase 2 of the HoF involves activations and installations in communities across the island.
Future highlights are to help visitors link with live music performances all over Cape Breton, develop the first comprehensive database of all musical assets on Cape Breton, and embrace and highlight existing Island branding as it pertains to music and music tourism, such as “Canada’s Musical Coast.”
They also want to open a moveable Cape Breton Music Industry Hall of Fame to honour and celebrate the legacy of Cape Breton Music Industry icons, which they feel will also generate tourism interest and revenue. The creation of a gala awards show and conference is expected to generate direct revenue and spin off impact.
The group also wants to reinvest in music industry education through an Industry Mentorship Program, a partnership with NSCC, CBU, and private sector stakeholders.
Their goal is to provide paid internships to students and graduates of local music programs provide needed personnel to Cape Breton entrepreneurs and position Cape Breton as a centre for Music Education.
They asked council, “Why invest In CBMIC?”
1. ECMA hosting - as a recognized Music Industry Association (MIA) by the ECMAs, CBMIC hosts the ECMAs separately from the rest of NS. The Cape Breton ECMAs generate approximately $2.5M in non-resident economic impact.
2. Centre of Excellence for Music in Canada – we aim not only to protect and develop Cape Breton’s musical tradition, but attract music industry professionals from across Atlantic Canada and beyond.
3. Music as Tourism - DCBA is focussing on music tourism as part of their 10-year strategic plan. If we’re selling Cape Breton as the “Music Island” we need to deliver.
4. Music as Export - Music has become a borderless product that can be easily exported globally.
5. Program Development - CBMIC has a long history of developing and delivering federally supported programs across Cape Breton.
Some of CBMIC’s partners: Destination Cape Breton, Cape Breton University NS Dept of Education, Canadian Coast Guard College, Parks Canada, Fortress of Louisbourg Association, East Coast Music Awards, Music Nova Scotia, Celtic Colours International Festival, ACOA, Nova Scotia Community College, Ceilidh Café Festival, Mabou Develop Nova Scotia Open Doors, Women In music, Town of Port Hawkesbury New Dawn Enterprises Colaisde na Gàidhlig Protocase Centre 200.
Council thanked them for their presentation.
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