Taken from the Georgia Straight onlineThree times a year, the B.C. government serves notice that it's willing to spray money at the province's touring musicians. And for the most part, the hundreds of struggling artists in British Columbia pay little attention.
Music BC recently announced that $100,000 in funding has been earmarked this year for its Music Industry Travel Assistance Program. Artists have until May 25 to apply for grants designed to offset the costs of hitting the road. While three such deadlines are announced over the course of a year, there's hardly a rush for what amounts to free money. “It's hilarious. Maybe people think it's too good to be true, but we only get around 30 applications for each deadline,” Music BC spokesman Nathan Stafford told the Straight . “We'd love to get more because the higher the quality of the applicants, the more money we can ask for next year.”
Under the program, artists planning European tours are eligible for grants up to $4,000, with $2,000 available for Canadian tours and $1,000 for showcase events like CMW or South By Southwest. When deciding where MITAP money is going to go, Music BC gives priority to applications that look professional and well thought out. “The music is half, but your marketing plan is just as important as your music,” Stafford said. “We need to know why you are going on tour—are you promoting a new album?—and where the tour falls into your overall scheme. Having a well-put-together press kit works as well—nothing handwritten.”
To help make your next cross-Canada jaunt—or working European vacation—a little more tolerable, visit www.musicbc.org .