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It is my pleasure as Chair of the Radio Starmaker Fund to present our outstanding results from the fiscal year 2012–2013.
As I mentioned in my Message last year, I served as Executive Vice-President, Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, back in 2001 and I had the pleasure of incorporating the Radio Starmaker Fund and running the inaugural Board meeting in March of that year. It is a particular pleasure for me to see how well this fund operates now 12 years later and to see the substantial support it provides to Canadian artists. The same important principles of providing substantial support to emerging and rising stars continues to be relevant and critical to maintaining and refreshing a “star system” for both broadcasters and the music industry all of these years later.
There were two significant events that occurred for the Starmaker Fund this year. In June 2013, the CRTC approved the sale of Astral to Bell (BCE) and the tangible benefits arising from this transaction which will provide over $3.5 million per year to Starmaker over the next 7 years. Put in more practical terms, this means that we can afford to stretch the operational lifespan of the Starmaker Fund to beyond 2021. When we created the Fund in 2001 we were hoping to stretch the lifespan to 2008. This is quite an improvement.
The second significant event that occurred this year was a full operational review conducted by management consultants from KPMG retained by the CRTC. KPMG conducted a very thoughtful and thorough review of every aspect of Starmaker’s operation and provided a glowing report that was very supportive of all of our systems for delivering and monitoring funding and reporting on results. They also had some very helpful suggestions for improving data management and results based reporting given the many future years of operation for Starmaker and we will be considering making some of these improvements in the near future.
The highlights from this year’s statistics continue to be impressive. We have an approval rate for applicants of close to 90% which has been consistent year over year. This means people who meet our criteria can be assured of support in some form. In addition this year we saw 50% of our funding devoted to international initiatives for both touring and marketing. This is very impressive and shows that our artists are making waves and finding opportunities in world markets. This support amounts to almost $4 million making us the single largest funding support for international markets. The vast majority of this money is placed directly in the hands of artists to pursue their touring objectives and build fan bases.
I am very excited to see these excellent results. It is very satisfying for me to see such successful growth and development of the fund over the past ten years knowing that we have a bright future ahead for the next 10 years. I want to thank our Board members for their dedication and commitment over the past year and most importantly I would like to thank our excellent Starmaker staff, Chip Sutherland, Rachel Oldfield and Jerry Leibowitz, who continue to provide outstanding stewardship in all of the fund’s operations.
Radio Starmaker Fund