OMIF – Music Creation
Music Industry Initiatives
DeadlineOctober 26, 2023
5:00 PM EST
DeadlineOctober 19, 2023
5:00 PM EST
Deadline 1May 4, 2023
5:00 PM EST
Deadline 2September 14, 2023
5:00 PM EST
Global Market Development for Music Managers
DeadlineJune 15, 2023
5:00 PM EST
The OMIF Music Creation stream supports the development of competitive, sustainable music companies in Ontario that take risks discovering and developing talent – particularly emerging artists – and bringing it to market.
Music Creation provides funding to eligible domestic record labels, multinational record labels and domestic music publishers to support business activities that are focused on: expanding artist rosters; investing in professional recording and production; facilitating job creation; undertaking export market development; enhancing business capacity; and increasing and strengthening diversity within Ontario's music industry.
Funding is provided in the form of direct grants towards the costs of eligible activities. The OMIF Music Creation stream requires applicants to provide a matching contribution to ensure that maximum ROI is achieved from provincial investment. Applicants must demonstrate clear, measurable outcomes which align with the objectives of the Music Creation stream.
Intake 1 - Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 5:00 PM ET
For activities taking place between April 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024 (recipients will have a maximum
12-month eligible activity window within this period depending on the date of their first expenditure)
Intake 2 - Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 5:00 PM ET
For activities taking place between August 1, 2023 and January 15, 2025 (recipients will have a maximum 12-month eligible activity window within this period depending on the date of their first expenditure)
(Applications open the week of July 17th, 2023)
Domestic Record Labels, Multinational Record Labels, and Domestic Music Publishers
Eligibility as a domestic record label may extend to high potential self-releasing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and Francophone artist-entrepreneurs. Potential applicants to which this situation applies are strongly encouraged to contact the OMO at least two weeks ahead of application deadline to discuss.
Full eligibility requirements can be found in the Music Creation Guidelines.
Note: Music Managers are eligible to apply for export travel support through the Global Market Development For Music Managers program.
Funding is available in the form of a direct grant.
- Up to 50% towards the cost of eligible activities
- The maximum funding is 40% of the company’s two-year* average of total revenue to a maximum cap of $200,000. The minimum funding request is $10,000.
- Applicants must have minimum annual revenues of $25,000 from core business activities as a record label or music publisher.
NOTE: Full eligibility requirements and details can be found in the Ontario Creates Music Creation Guidelines. Please read the guidelines completely before beginning your application. Ontario Creates reserves the right to revise Guidelines and Application Forms. Please ensure that you have the current versions before preparing your documentation.
IMPORTANT: First-time applicants are strongly encouraged contact the OMO at least two weeks ahead of the application deadline to discuss eligibility. Email inquiries to OMO@ontariocreates.ca.
- Applicants must submit their applications electronically through the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal (OAP) at https://apply.ontariocreates.ca.
- Applicants that do not have a user account on OAP should go to https://apply.ontariocreates.ca/ and click on “Register.” For assistance, please see Ontario Creates’ website for the “OAP Quick Start Guide”.
- For technical assistance, please contact the OAP Helpdesk at email@example.com.
- Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the application process early to allow ample time to compile and complete the necessary information. The application may be worked on incrementally, saving information as it is entered. Once saved, it's possible to go back and edit/add information up until the application is completed and ready to be submitted.
Late applications will not be considered for funding.
Prior discussion with Ontario Creates regarding the eligibility of an activity does not guarantee funding.
Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an upcoming Ontario Creates Webinar Session.
Please complete the online registration form by 5:00 pm ET on the day prior to the Webinar Session.
Thursday, March 30, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Attending a Webinar Session is not a substitute for reading the guidelines. Please read the guidelines.
Guidelines, Documents and Application Forms
Application Form/Online Application Portal
Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review the guidelines and Program Policies, and if necessary, register your company’s corporate information with the Ontario Creates Online Application Portal (OAP).
Program Coordinator, Music Creation
Enquiries regarding the Online Application Portal (OAP) should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive notification of upcoming deadlines and program updates, please register with your complete contact information, including your full name, company name and telephone number, as well as the name of the program that you are interested in.
Frequently Asked Questions
OMIF - General
What Is the Ontario Music Investment Fund (OMIF)?
The OMIF (formerly the Ontario Music Fund) was launched in 2020 to provide targeted economic development investment to the province’s vibrant and diverse music industry.
The Key Program Goals:
- Focus resources on music companies/organizations with strong growth potential by:
- Providing investment to drive long-term growth; and
- Maximizing ROI and enhancing opportunities for emerging talent.
- Strengthening support at critical stages in the career of artists.
The OMIF has four program streams:
- Music Creation
- Music Industry Initiatives
- Global Market Development for Music Managers
- Live Music
- Focus resources on music companies/organizations with strong growth potential by:
Who is eligible to apply to the OMIF?
The program provides support through four program streams – applicants include:
- Music Creation — eligible domestic and multinational record labels and domestic music publishers. Eligibility as a domestic record label may extend to high potential self-releasing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and Francophone artist-entrepreneurs.
- Music Industry Initiatives — eligible music industry trade associations and music service associations.
- Global Market Development for Music Managers — eligible music management companies support to participate in national and international activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth.
- Live Music — eligible domestic music promoters and presenters (including festivals)
- Domestic music promoters and presenters with revenues under $1M who meet the eligibility criteria for OMIF as well as Experience Ontario may not receive funding from both programs for the same event in the same activity window. Domestic music promoters and presenters (including festivals) with revenues over $1M who meet the eligibility criteria of Exprience Ontario are NOT eligible to apply for OMIF..
- Domestic music promoters and presenters with revenues over $1M who do not meet eligibility criteria for the Experience Ontario may be considered eligible for OMIF support. Please contact the Ontario Music Office (OMO) a minimum of two weeks ahead of the application deadline to discuss eligibility.
- First–time applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the OMO a minimum of two weeks ahead of the application deadline to discuss their eligibility.
How does OMIF define an emerging artist and can I only apply for emerging artists?
Under OMIF, an emerging artist is defined as an artist or group that has not achieved Gold Album status in Canada in the past 6 years and has had no more than 3 gold albums in their career (Gold Album threshold is currently 40,000 Album Equivalent Units sold). The Gold Record threshold is a useful guide to identify artists at earlier stages in their careers. If you are unsure of an artist’s status, visit https://musiccanada.com/gold-platinum/.
Recognizing that the meaning of “emerging” may vary for different artists/genres/communities, alternative approaches to defining an emerging artist may be considered if accompanied by a sound rationale. Applicants may apply for activities that support artists at all stages in their careers, but funding for emerging artists will be prioritized.
Applicants may apply for activities that support Canadian artists at all stages in their careers, but funding for emerging artists will be prioritized.
What is the definition of a "Canadian" artist?
A “Canadian Artist” must be a Canadian citizen or have landed immigrant status. A Canadian group is defined as having more than one member, at least half of whom are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
OMIF - Music Creation
I’m an artist, am I eligible to apply directly?
The OMIF is designed to complement other existing provincial and federal funding programs. Record labels and music publishers may apply for activities that support artists i.e. recording, marketing & promotion, touring etc. Individual artists may be eligible for Ontario Arts Council funding www.arts.on.ca. In addition, the federal government provides direct support to artist through FACTOR www.factor.ca. Eligibility as a domestic record label may extend to high potential self-releasing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and Francophone artist-entrepreneurs. Potential applicants to which this situation applies are strongly encouraged contact OMO at least two weeks ahead of application deadline to discuss.
Are Artist Managers eligible in the Music Creation stream?
Music Managers are eligible to apply for the Global Market Development for Music Managers which provides eligible music management companies with funding to participate in national and international activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. These activities must produce measurable business and market development results for the participating company (sales, financing, licensing and/or publishing deals, audience awareness, media coverage, partnership development, etc.). Primary activities supported are market event attendance and targeted business travel activities that support the market development strategy.
How does OMIF define “core business revenue” for the Music Creation stream?
Appendix 1 of the Music Creation Guidelines outlines the eligible applicant types. Core business revenue for record labels refers to revenue from physical products (CD/DVD/vinyl/merchandise); revenue from digital sales and streaming services; revenue from licensing and sale of rights and permissions (domestic and international); and revenue from commissions and fees from related activities. Core business revenue for music publishers refers to revenue from licensing and sale of rights and permissions; and revenue from commissions and fees from related activities.
What’s the best way to structure my application activities? Should I submit all recording activities as one, and then all marketing, then all the business development, etc. or project by project?
Activities in the Music Creation template for music companies mirror those in the guidelines i.e. recording and production, marketing and promotion, touring and showcasing, and business development. Information can also be entered on a by-project basis, as long as each project documents the relevant activities.
How does the eligible activity window work?
In an effort to provide applicants with additional flexibility to undertake activities at the time when it is most advantageous to their business cycles, we’ve introduced two Music Creation deadlines (May 4, 2023 and September 14, 2023). Recipients now have a more flexible 12 month period to execute their activities.
Applicants may begin incurring expenses related to their activities no earlier than April 1, 2023 (for the May 4 deadline) or August 1, 2023 (for the September 14, 2023 deadline), and must commence their activity spending no later than 90 days following the date of funding approval. The 12-month activity window for recipients will commence on the date that the first expenditure is incurred for any activity within the application.
The eligible activity window for the May 4 deadline is a maximum 12-month period between April 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024. The eligible activity window for the September 14 deadline is a maximum 12-month period between August 1, 2023 and January 15, 2025.
Upon receiving a funding notification, recipients will have the opportunity to discuss their specific 12-month activity window with a Program Consultant prior to the execution of their agreement with Ontario Creates.
For repeat applicants that have an existing Music Creation funding approval, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that the activities and costs being submitted for the new application do not overlap with activities supported by the previous application (if they are choosing an earlier start date for their 2023-24 activities than the end date for their 2022-23 approved activities). Ontario Creates reserves the right to request invoices and proofs of payment to verify the eligibility of expenses.
Outlined below are examples to demonstrate the options available to applicants in terms of the starting and ending dates for their activities.
Company A wants to start its eligible activity window on April 1, 2023. Company A must apply to the May 4, 2023 deadline (for activities taking place between April 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024). Company A understands that this decision to commence their eligible activity window as of April 1 is at their own risk, as there is no guarantee that their application (or the specific proposed activity) will receive funding when decisions are announced 12-14 weeks after the May 5, 2023 deadline.
Company A may commence incurring costs for the proposed activity as of April 1*, and will have a maximum time window of 12 months starting from the date the company commences their eligible activity window (i.e. April 1, 2023). Company A’s 12-month spending window would expire on March 31, 2024.
Company B wants to start its eligible activity window on July 1, 2023. Company B must apply to the May 5, 2023 deadline (for activities taking place between April 1, 2023 and August 31, 2024).
Company B understands that they will not receive notification regarding their application until 12-14 weeks after the May 4 deadline (somewhere between late July and mid-August).
Company B will have a maximum time window of 12 months starting from the date the company commences their eligible activity window* (i.e. July 1, 2023). Company B’s 12-month spending window would expire on June 30, 2024.
Company C applies to the September 14, 2023 deadline. As Company C has flexibility with respect to the starting timeframe for their activities, they choose to wait until receiving notification of whether or not their application has been approved before they commence their activities. Company C is informed in mid-December, 2023 (12-14 weeks after the September 14, 2023 deadline) that their application has been approved.
Company C may choose a start date anytime up to 90 days following this funding notification to commence spending on their approved activities (which would take them to mid-March 2024), however, the latest date by which spending can be incurred is January 15, 2025. If Company C decided to not commence their spending until mid-March 2024, they would have a compressed eligible activity window that would end January 15, 2025.
Activities for the 2023-24 program cycle must be completed with all expenses incurred and all deliverables provided by the applicant’s recipient’s final report date, and no later than September 30, 2024 (for recipients from the May 4, 2023 deadline) or February 15, 2025 (for recipients from the September 14, 2023 deadline).
* Any activity spending incurred prior to funding approval is applicants’ risk, and a valid certificate of insurance must be in place as of the time of the expenditures.
Can a company reapply to the second deadline if their application to the first deadline was not approved for funding?
Yes, an eligible applicant that was not approved at the first application intake may submit an application to the second application intake. Unsuccessful applicants that wish to reapply are strongly encouraged to request a feedback call well ahead of submitting another application.
OMIF - Technical
How many years’ worth of financial statements am I required to submit?
Financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year and the previous fiscal year, for a total of two sets of financial statements are required. Financial statements must be current and dated within six months of the applicant’s fiscal year-end.
For example, for the September 14, 2023 deadline, if the applicant’s fiscal year-end is prior to and including February 28, 2023, then financial statements for 2023 or 2022 (most recently completed fiscal year) and 2022 or 2021 (previously completed fiscal year) are required upon application submission. For the October 20 & October 27, 2023 deadlines, if the applicant’s fiscal year-end is prior to and including March 31, 2023, then financial statements for 2023 or 2022 (most recently completed fiscal year) and 2022 or 2021 (previously completed fiscal year) are required upon application submission.
At the time of application my company will have just reached its Fiscal Year End and audited financials will not be ready for a couple of months. Are we ineligible?
Financial statements must be current and dated within six months of the applicant’s fiscal year-end.
- Internally prepared statements will be accepted for applications requesting $15,000 or less (note: minimum request is $10,000).
- A minimum of Compilation Engagement Report or Notice-to-Reader financial statements will be accepted for applications requesting more than $15,000 and up to $150,000. Financial statements must be prepared and signed by a third party accountant who is a member in good standing of a provincial branch of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA).
- Review engagement or audited financial statements are required for applications requesting more than $150,000, and must be conducted by an independent public accountant.
What is the definition of a “Canadian-controlled corporation”?
Canadian-controlled corporation” is generally a corporation that is more than 50% owned by Canadians, as determined under sections 26 to 28 of the Investment Canada Act (Canada).
What are the criteria that a company needs to meet in order to be an Ontario-based music company?
To be considered Ontario-based, the company must be registered in Ontario and have a permanent office in Ontario.
Are there specific dollar amounts that I should submit in the budget for travel, accommodations and meals?
Air travel should be budgeted at economy rates and should reflect the costs of booking at least 30 days in advance of travel. Accommodation expenses should be at moderate per night rates and should reflect the average for the travel destination/activity, and per diems are capped at C$75/day for domestic travel and C$100/day for international travel (including daily meals and incidentals).
Can I include the cost of capital expenditures (purchase of equipment, software, etc.) in my activity budget?
As outlined in the OMIF Guidelines, costs related to capital expenditures (i.e. equipment, software) are restricted to specific circumstances. In the circumstances where costs related to capital expenditures are permitted to be included in the activities budget, an applicant can only include the “amortization expense” related to the cost of the capital expenditure. Where a capital asset has been rented, the actual rental cost is permitted for inclusion.
The amortization expense for each capital expenditure must be calculated using the prescribed amortization method outlined in each program stream guideline (i.e. straight line method, % of cost). See the applicable guidelines to determine the maximum amount of amortization expense that is eligible to be included in the activities budget.
Do the expenses listed in the activities budget and cost report include sales taxes (GST/HST, PST, VAT)?
No. Taxes that are recoverable by the applicant may not be included in the Activities Budget or claimed as an eligible cost in the Final Cost Report.
What is a Related Party Transaction?
Related parties exist when one party has the ability to exercise, directly or indirectly, control, joint control or significant influence over the other. Two or more parties are related when they are subject to common control, joint or common significant influence. Related parties also include management and immediate family members.
A related party transaction is a transfer of economic resources or obligations between related parties, or the provision of services by one party to a related party, regardless of whether any consideration is exchanged. The parties to the transaction are related prior to the transaction. When the relationship arises as a result of the transaction, the transaction is not one between related parties.
Control of an enterprise is the continuing power to determine its strategic operating, investing and financing policies without the cooperation of others.
Joint control of an economic activity is the contractually agreed sharing of the continuing power to determine its strategic operating, investing and financing policies.
Significant influence over an enterprise is the ability to affect the strategic operating, investing and financing policies of the enterprise.
[This definition is quoted directly from the CICA Standards & Guidance Collection paragraph 3840.03.]
What is an Associated Corporation?
One corporation is associated with another in a taxation year if, at any time in the year:
- One of the corporations controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, the other;
- Both of the corporations were controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by the same person or group of persons;
- Each of the corporations was controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by a person and the person who so controlled one of the corporations was related to the person who so controlled the other, and either of those persons owned, in respect of each corporation, not less than 25% of the issued shares of any class, other than a specified class, of the capital stock thereof;
- One of the corporations was controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by a person and that person was related to each member of a group of persons that so controlled the other corporation, and that person owned, in respect of the other corporation, not less than 25% of the issued shares of any class, other than a specified class, of the capital stock thereof; or
- Each of the corporations was controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever, by a related group and each of the members of one of the related groups was related to all of the members of the other related group, and one or more persons were members of both related groups, either alone or together, owned, in respect of each corporation, not less than 25% of the issued shares of any class, other than a specified class of the capital stock thereof.
[This definition is quoted directly from Subsection 256(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada)].
What is considered a recoupable expense?
A recoupable expense is an amount of money, and/or the cost of goods or services that is offered to an artist in a recording, license, publishing, performance or any service agreement; the recoupable amount is then paid back to the record label or publisher, usually at the rate of the artist’s share of royalties and/or other form of earnings. Recoupable amounts are generally paid back to the offer in first position, meaning that the artist receives no royalties until recoupment.
Applicants will be required to clearly state recoupable expenditures where applicable. OMIF funding provided to eligible Applicants for artist expenditures and investment may be nonrecoupable in certain cases.
For funding that comes from private sources, how do I list that in my Financing Plan (i.e. Radio Starmaker Fund and private broadcaster-portions of FACTOR)?
For consistency, OMIF will recognize all FACTOR funding as 50% public and 50% private. Radio Starmaker Fund is 100% private. Applicants should list the applicable funding from these entities in the appropriate lines in the Financing Sources section of the Activity Budget Financing Plan.
What are you looking for in my company business plan?
Business Plans must contain, at minimum, the following components:
- Applicant profile (company history, the team, and description of the unique space you fill in the marketplace)
- Overview of business activities, including and short/long-term goals. Outline competitive strengths, artist development strategies, human resources, corporate financing and other key details
- A S.W.O.T. analysis (strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats) that demonstrates your knowledge of the market conditions in which you are operating
- An outline of risk management and mitigation plans for any risk factors (including financial, logistical, HR, operational, environmental, health & safety, and legal) that could potentially impact your operations and proposed activities.
- Case for Eligible Activities to be Funded: How can these activities take you to the next level? We want to help you grow beyond what you’re already doing…. Present a clear picture of how, with our assistance, you can make this happen. (Essentially we are looking for an analysis of how OMIF support will contribute to company growth and long-term potential; how your company demonstrates the capacity to undertake the proposed activities, and what the anticipated outcomes are for activities. Please refer to Appendix 2 of the guidelines for a list of potential Measurable Outcomes that you could speak to in your business plan.
When do I need to provide a certificate of insurance and what are the requirements?
At the time of the application, eligible applicants are only required to acknowledge they have or can obtain general liability insurance.
Successful funding recipients must provide a Certificate of Insurance before the transfer payment agreement can be executed and it must contain all of the following criteria:
- Commercial general liability insurance on an occurrence basis for third-party bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage, to an inclusive limit of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) per occurrence
- Ontario Media Development Corporation* and His Majesty the King in right of Ontario as additional insureds with respect to liability arising in the course of performance of the Recipient’s obligations under, or otherwise in connection with, the Agreement (Address: 175 Bloor Street East, South Tower , Suite 501, Toronto, ON M4W 3R8)
- Cross-liability clause
- Contractual liability coverage
- 30-day written notice of cancellation, termination, or material change
* Ontario Creates’ legal name is Ontario Media Development Corporation. When naming additional insureds on the certificate, please use “Ontario Media Development Corporation and His Majesty the King in right of Ontario” (not Ontario Creates).
Please note the eligibility activity window will reflect the first day that you are insured until the last date of the activity window.