In a year still greatly affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is my pleasure as Chair of the Radio Starmaker Fund to present our outstanding results for fiscal 2021.
Overall, there was a decrease in funding distributed for the year, but an increase in approved applications and approved artists. This increase reflects the introduction of the Orion program, a new program dedicated to supporting music creation by members of the Canadian music industry who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. Working quickly and effectively, the Board of Directors created the Orion program and launched it in September 2021. This funding stream is available to eligible musicians who have not yet met Starmaker sales criteria. This “stepping stone” program recognizes the systemic barriers that prevent otherwise eligible applicants from qualifying for the established Starmaker programs. The program will fund a broad range of activities to help sustain racialized artists as they continue developing and increasing the audience and industry reach needed to apply to our existing programs. This is a “living” program made to adapt to and reflect the Board’s collective learning, community feedback, and industry change.
In addition to the creation and implementation of the Orion program, we continued to fund virtual performances in our domestic and international touring programs, ensuring that the live performance support allows artists to remain relevant while continuing to help their development and growth.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to our Board members for their commitment and collaboration in creating the Orion program and their response to the continually changing circumstances of the past year. Furthermore, I would like to express the Board’s gratitude to our excellent Radio Starmaker staff, Chip Sutherland, Jerry Leibowitz, and Michelle Farres, who continue to provide the highest level of dedication and support for our very important constituency of Canadian emerging artists and labels.
Radio Starmaker Fund