It is with great pleasure that I present the Radio Starmaker Fund’s outstanding results for the fiscal year 2014/2015.
It is also with a great deal of sadness and pride that I recognize the excellent work of Rachel Oldfield, our Manager of Finance and Administration, upon her retirement. Rachel leaves us this year after working at Starmaker from day one to August 31, 2015 - 14 years in total. She has been the backbone of all the financial systems here and worked side by side with our Executive Director Chip Sutherland in building the fund into what it is today. She has never missed a day of work and wrote every cheque since 2001 which amounted to over $70 million in reconciled funding. I, along with the Board, wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation for all those years of dedicated and excellent service. We wish her well in her retirement.
Another important milestone for this past year was the launch of a new direct deposit system in anticipation of our move to a fully digital financial fulfillment system. Everyone in the summer of 2015 enjoyed the speed and ease of receiving their grant funding directly into their back account. Our staff has been working hard with our web development partners, Silverorange, to migrate our operation so that beginning October 2015 there will be a new web-site portal for uploading all of the proof of spending for review and approval. This means by next year our entire operation will be 100% digital including the tracking of our important statistics. This move came about as a direct response to recommendations from the KPMG review completed by the CRTC in 2013. We are very pleased to be able to respond and implement this important advance so quickly.
The highlights from this year’s statistics continue to be impressive. We have an approval rate for applicants of over 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 over 50% of our funding devoted to touring support both here and abroad. This means we are supporting the very central component of the music business that provides the most direct financial benefit to artists and their managers. This year we also implemented a new metric for establishing qualifying criteria for applicants by adding the streaming history of applicants, in addition to physical and digital sales. This past year we had a significant increase from 16% to 21% new artists to the fund. It is critical to our future success that we continue to bring in new artists each year for their development and growth.
I am very excited to see these excellent results. 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, along with our new addition, Michelle Farres, who continue to provide the highest level of dedication and support for our very important constituency of Canadian labels and emerging artists.
Radio Starmaker Fund