It is my pleasure in my fourth year as Chair of the Radio Starmaker Fund to present our outstanding results from the fiscal year 2010-2011.
This is a special year for me because it marks my final year as Chair. I have been honoured to serve in this capacity and over the past four years I have been consistently impressed and proud of the work done by the staff here as well as my fellow Board members. Having been involved in broadcasting my entire working life I have seen various strategies for Canadian talent development funding come and go. It has been a real pleasure to be hands on with the Radio Starmaker Fund to see firsthand the tremendous success that can be accomplished with a carefully constructed and managed fund.
This year is also special for Starmaker because it marks the 10th Anniversary of the Fund’s beginning. In September 2001, Starmaker handed out its first round of funding, with an annual budget of $3.6 million and a capital commitment of $23 million projected over 7 years. In our 10th Anniversary we now have an annual budget of over $7.5 million and a total capital commitment estimated at over $100 million for the life of the fund. I can’t imagine a better place for broadcasters to entrust their important financial contribution to the Canadian music industry.
Specifically this year our stats continue to show strong and consistent results. I invite you to browse the several charts and tables presented in our report to see for yourself. One of the statistics we are most proud of is that 90% of all applications submitted this year were approved. This has been remarkably consistent over the past 10 years and illustrates that the Fund has been designed carefully to ensure that qualifying applicants can rely on support from us year over year. We were able to maintain this very high measure of consistency through almost 400 applications submitted this year approving nearly $7 million in total funding.
One of the most impressive aspects of the management of the Starmaker fund by the staff is their ability to maintain and track trends across all parameters of the fund. As a result of the very diligent work, this past year the Board made the decision to lower the sales thresholds for pop/rock artists by 20% to address the decline in sales in the music industry. By staying ahead of trends such as this we ensure that the funding remains relevant to the music industry and that we are able to see a constant influx of new emerging artists to the Fund.
We also continued the growth of our fantastic TIFF live music event: “Festival Music House”. This was a three day event held during the Toronto International Film Festival which showcased the talents of 15 Canadian artists to the international film industry. This initiative was 100% funded by Starmaker and produced on our behalf by an excellent team of people from Arts and Crafts. We have grown this event to such an extent that we had to double the size of the venue. We had several highlights this year including the attendance of Academy Award winning actor Geoffrey Rush dancing the night away, among many others.
I am very excited to see these excellent results. It is very satisfying for me as a broadcaster to see such a significant broadcaster contribution put to such good use supporting emerging Canadian artists every year. I have every confidence as I hand over my job to the incoming Chair that these very impressive results will continue for many years to come. I would like to thank my fellow Board members and in particular the staff of Starmaker, Chip Sutherland, Rachel Oldfield and Jerry Leibowitz for making this such a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Radio Starmaker Fund