Decision by the CRTC Ends Bell Media’s Requirement to Fund MuchFact

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On Monday May 15th, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) renewed the television broadcast license for Bell Media. One of the results of the process was the removal of the provision that required Bell Media to fund MuchFACT. The announcement was made within a bundle of regulatory decisions announced Monday (Decision 149, section 55).

MuchFACT has been instrumental in helping the Canadian independent music industry create videos for use in broadcast, electronic press kits and for marketing and promotion.

Initially founded as VideoFACT in 1984 by Moses Znaimer and Bernie Finkelstein, the organization provided grants and loans generated by MuchMusic (and later Musiqueplus and MuchMoreMusic) revenues to finance the production of Canadian music videos. Bernie Finkelstein is well known in the indie community as the creator of True North Records, one of the original founders of CIMA (then CIRPA) and as the long standing chair of both CIMA and MuchFACT.

Since it’s inception,  the organization has awarded more than $100 million, funding nearly 9,000 projects. Just last month, MuchFact awarded $445,251 to 25 recipients including indie bands Broken Social Scene and Wintersleep.

Here’s a recent tweet from Canadian indie band Wintersleep promoting a music video that benefited from MuchFact funding:

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The CRTC’s decision could mean the end of the $2-3 million annual fund which would certainly prove to be a tremendous loss for those independent artists and companies that most rely on these additional dollars to invest in digital media strategies.

CIMA is monitoring this situation closely and engaging in conversations with partners in hopes to solidify a commitment towards continued funding.