Creative BC News

First time $300,000 Vancouver Music Fund to elevate Indigenous and underrepresented voices

Jun 13, 2019 | Press Releases

The City of Vancouver and Creative BC are proud to partner on three new music grant programs to support Indigenous and underrepresented artists and organizations within the City of Vancouver and the unceded traditional homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. These programs will be funded by the City’s $300,000 Vancouver Music Fund, approved by Council in January, and administered by Creative BC. In addition to these programs, Creative BC will leverage their existing music support programs for overall investment in Vancouver artists, programs, and initiatives.

The City of Vancouver funding for the one-time Creative BC programs will support new and emerging artists and industry professionals who experience systemic barriers to funding. Eligible groups may include those who identify as: Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and other Indigenous Peoples; People of Colour; People who live with disabilities; minority language speakers, cultural communities, and refugees; and/or, Trans, gender diverse, Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people.

“Vancouver’s remarkable music scene contributes to the city’s vibrancy and livability, and plays an important role in the economy of Vancouver’s creative sector,” said Sandra Singh, General Manager of Arts, Culture and Community Services for the City of Vancouver and Chair of the Music Steering Committee. “Recognizing the extraordinary local talent, the City of Vancouver is thrilled to provide this unique opportunity to artists who continue to experience various barriers to access, and build on the successes of existing initiatives.”

The City’s Vancouver Music Fund includes three grant streams in partnership with Creative BC:

  • Demo Program: Supporting new and emerging artists from underrepresented groups to create demo recordings and engage in mentorship and skill development with a BC producer.
  • Music Video Program: Supporting the creation of music videos for new and emerging artists from underrepresented groups to build audiences.
  • Industry Catalyst Program: Supporting projects that develop Vancouver’s music ecosystem and build the capacity of underrepresented groups. Individuals and collectives can apply, in addition to companies and organizations. 

Applications for these programs open June 13.  Applicants may apply to Creative BC for a grant of up to 100% of budgeted eligible expenditures, removing the usual requirement for matching funding, a barrier for many underrepresented groups. The deadline for applications for all three programs is July 24, 2019. For more information on how to apply, visit

“This partnership with the City of Vancouver creates more pathways for uncovering amazing talent, launching careers and engaging with the broader music industry,” said Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC. “We are proud to be stewards of these programs creating space for new voices and innovative projects.”

Information sessions on these funding opportunities will be held on Monday, June 17, at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, and on Tuesday, June 25, at Creative BC. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council will promote the City of Vancouver funding opportunities alongside existing programs to support Indigenous artists and industry professionals. Visit the Creative BC website to RSVP for information sessions.

“We are tremendously excited to support this new music funding,” said Sarah Pocklington, Arts Manager at First Peoples’ Cultural Council. “We anticipate it will have a profound impact on the careers of Indigenous artists who have not previously been able to access funding to support their aspirations.”

As part of the ongoing development of Vancouver’s Music Strategy, the City will host its second, free Community Conversation Series event at The Pace (520 Alexander Street) on June 26, where the public can learn more about the main themes of the strategy and share their opinions to help shape the future of music in Vancouver. The final Vancouver Music Strategy will be delivered to Council in September 2019. For more information about how to participate, click here.



  • The Vancouver Music Fund is a one-time fund initiated to support the growth and development of Vancouver’s music industry, in conjunction with the ongoing development of the Vancouver Music Strategy and the recommendations in the Vancouver Music Ecosystem Study. 
  • The Vancouver Music Strategy is being developed in partnership with the Vancouver Music Steering and Advisory committees and will address current gaps in the music ecosystem to support musicians and music industry professionals working and living in the city, engaging audiences, promoting music tourism and education, and creating a sustainable, resilient, and vibrant music industry. The proposed recommendations for the Vancouver Music Strategy will go to Council on September 10, 2019.
  • In addition to the two free, public Conversation Series, the City is hosting focus groups with members of underrepresented communities (including Youth, Indigenous, Black,  LGBTQ2S+, and artists of colour, among others) to help inform the final Vancouver Music Strategy report.
  • The Creative City Strategy (CCS) – a new, comprehensive cultural plan for Vancouver currently in development – will integrate final directions of the Vancouver Music Strategy, and provide a framework for the City’s future investments in the creative sector. Emerging key directions of the plan are: visibility and investment, reconciliation and decolonization, equity and access, capacity and collaboration. Click here to learn more about the CCS.

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Civic Engagement and Communications