What we do and how we do it

For the past forty years, CIMA has dedicated itself to strengthening the Canadian independent music industry.


As the trade association for the English-speaking, Canadian independent music sector, our mission is to ensure a fair and balanced marketplace, and to help our members develop new artists and grow their business.

Our efforts help to secure both public and privately-sourced financial support for the Canadian independent music industry.

We advocate on behalf of our members and the broader independent music industry (including recording companies and artists) to address emerging copyright, tax and regulatory issues.


  • CIMA conducts important market research on the Canadian music industry and the role of the independent sector.
  • We represent our members in public forums, at the Copyright Board and to the CRTC.
  • We meet with policymakers in government at both the provincial and federal levels.
  • We participate in various boards and committees, ensuring our members’ voices are heard and represented.

Business development

CIMA works to cultivate a fair and balanced marketplace, to help our members expand, and to help promote Canadian independent music as a viable creative commodity worldwide.

The best way to celebrate the legacy of Canadian independent music is to ensure that it has the tools that it needs to succeed and thrive, both here at home and around the world.


  • We stay on top of the issues, challenges and opportunities affecting our members.
  • We maintain an open dialogue between our members and music industry stakeholders.
  • We work with regional music industry associations and affiliated music-business organizations across Canada to ensure we’re all working towards common objectives.
  • At the policy level – our advocacy efforts help shape public programs that create opportunities for access to national and international markets.
  • We increase the impact of these programs by attracting additional sponsors to enable the participation of  Canadian independents at key global events.

Our most recent efforts have resulted in the development of an effective export strategy for Canadian independent music. These CIMA-led initiatives include:

  • CanadianBlast.com – An internationally-focused web presence for Canadian independent artists and their business representatives
  • Canada Stand – Organization and facilitation of International Trade show opportunities
  • Canada House – Sponsorship and facilitation of international Showcase opportunities
  • CIMA Music Missions – Facilitation of International trade missions to emerging markets

These initiatives enable the promotion of Canadian independent music in international markets, which leads directly to export agreements between our members and international distributors, agents and buyers.

CIMA’s business development activities have established a presence which competes favourably with the cultural promotion agencies of other countries.

Professional development

CIMA’s member relations activities help foster leadership within the independent music sector.

Helping our members engage with each other leads to the sharing of best practices in the successful creation, marketing, and distribution of Canadian independent music.

CIMA provides professional development programs for new members and independent companies.  We provide education, training and professional development opportunities for members, through workshops, seminars, bulletins and networking events.

A detailed description of CIMA’s initiatives can be found in the CIMA Strategic Plan.