Global creators’ rights organization CISAC, with more than 230 member societies in 120 countries, has released an open letter to governments around the world urging global action to help music creators. The text is as follows:

The coronavirus crisis is posing an unprecedented threat, on a global scale, to a generation of people who make a living and a profession as creators. We write today as the President and Vice Presidents of CISAC, and as artists from different regions of the world, to call for action by governments on a global scale to help creators survive the current crisis and eventually help lead it to recovery.

CISAC is the largest creative network in the world, with over 230 member authors societies representing 4 million working creators of all repertoires.

Creators of music, audio-visual works, visual arts, drama, and literature are the backbone of national cultures and of economies. Even now, it is their creative works which are everywhere helping and connecting millions of people who are having to endure a life of quarantine.

But creators are in a uniquely fragile position. The large majority of them are self-employed and dependent on royalties paid by authors societies. Today, and in the coming weeks and months, creators will be among the worst affected by the crisis.

Authors societies are doing their best, maintaining royalty distributions and using emergency social funds where possible. However, CISAC members from across the world, are reporting a collapse of cultural and entertainment activity, affecting concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and all the main platforms where creative works are used.

Creators are by nature self-motivated entrepreneurs and will be an enormously positive force in helping drive the economic recovery in the future. But they urgently need rescue measures now, and only the lever of government policy will have the impact required.

Several governments, such as that of France, have acted, for example with emergency funding for creative sectors; others such as those of Argentina, Chile, and Peru, have already identified protection for the creators (for example, via tax and social security concessions and emergency payments) as a priority.

It is imperative that governments in all countries act for creators now and ensure the highest level of support possible.

We thank you for your support and for understanding the vital importance of creators in the future of our culture and society.

CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre
CISAC Vice-Presidents Angélique Kidjo, Miquel Barceló, Marcelo Piñeyro, Jia Zhang-ke

Canadian musicians, music industry professionals, and music organizations are continuing to creatively adapt to the situation.

On Friday, March 20, Manitoba Music has launched an emergency financial relief fund to help Manitoban music entrepreneurs. Manitoba Music’s Board of Directors is seeding the fund with $20,000 to begin dispersals of micro-grants before the end of the month. An intake process with more detail will be available soon, and will explain how the fund will be administered and who will be eligible.

The Canadian Folk Music Awards are moving their gala celebration online this year, and will present all 20 Awards virtually, on Saturday, Apr 4, 2020. The Awards were originally scheduled for the weekend of Apr 3-4 in Charlottetown, PEI.

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) Canada is hosting online sessions to allow its managers to come together via video chat. These supportive, open-ended sessions will be hosted by one of their board members but will give everyone a chance to speak. The first one is slated for Tuesday, March 24, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

SOCAN member and country-roots singer-songwriter Corb Lund live-streamed a “taking your requests” show on Instagram on Saturday, and has two more sets planned for this Wednesday and Friday (March 25 and 27), both at 4:00 p.m. PT.

Randy and Tal Bachman teamed up for a joint 30-minute livestream, that aired via YouTube yesterday, March 23, streamed from Randy’s home studio on Vancouver Island.

Tonight’s (March 24) URGNT performance is with Mexican singer-songwriter, Quique Escamilla, at 7:00 pm ET, performing a solo house concert.

Stay safe!

Because musicians are unable to tour,  entertainment professionals are suddenly out of work, and venue owners have closed their doors and laid off staff, The Unison Benevolent Fund has launched the $500,000 Unison COVID-19 Relief Program.

Since the outbreak, Unison has received an overwhelming number of requests for assistance from the music community; registrations have increased by a whopping 1,900%, or nearly $200,000 per week.

Now more than ever, Unison’s emergency relief assistance is a critical safety-net for members of our Canadian music industry deeply affected by the COVID-19 virus itself, and the precautions and protocols surrounding it.  In response, the Slaight Family Foundation donated $250,000, which will be matched by the Unison office – initially to fund housing costs, medical expenses, and groceries.

“The creative community adds so much inspiration to our daily lives through their talents and now more than ever they need our support during this crisis,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Communications, in a statement. “I hope that our donation to The Unison Fund will inspire others to do the same, as our artists need our support”.

This initial $500,000 will help our community for the short term, but in order to meet the growing demand for support, Unison needs partners to ensure a future for our Canadian music community.

If you work in the Canadian music industry and require assistance, please register for Unison’s services.  For counselling inquiries and support to help deal with the financial or emotional impact of COVID-19, please contact 1-855-986-4766. For emergency financial assistance inquiries, please review the application process here.

To learn more about partnership opportunities, donations, or inquiries, please contact