Music Programs


Program Deadlines

  • May 16, 2024
  • September 19, 2024
  • January 16, 2025


Level 1 Demo/Commercial Release, Level 2, Level 3




To encourage culturally relevant and commercially viable music production activity in the Manitoba music recording industry by providing financial support for costs associated with music recordings. To encourage development of the Manitoba music recording industry's infrastructure by increasing production levels, marketability of projects and improving skill levels.


Applicants may apply under one of three different program levels, which are described below.


Program Requirements for Applicants


Eligible applicants: The applicant must be an artist who is a Manitoba resident. The contact person can be a representative of the artist (e.g., manager, label, grant writer).


Ineligible applicants: Government departments, public agencies or other public institutions, and public or private broadcasting companies are not eligible.   


Manitoba residency requirement: A Manitoba resident means an individual who is legally entitled to be and remain in Canada, is currently a resident of Manitoba and has been for not less than three hundred and sixty-five (365) days prior to the date of application to Manitoba Film & Music. In the case of partnerships, a minimum of 50% of the partnership must meet this residency requirement.


Minimum age: Please be advised that the minimum age for application to Manitoba Film & Music’s programs is 18. In situations where the artist does not meet the minimum age requirement, a parent or legal guardian may apply on their behalf, providing they agree to the terms and conditions provided in the program guidelines and contract.


First-time applicants: Manitoba Film & Music wants to help you create the best application possible. Please set up a one-on-one consultation with us to ensure you understand our programs and all the requirements by contacting the Music Programs Coordinator prior to applying.


Artist/applicant in ‘good standing’: No new applications will be approved if an applicant has overdue files and/or owes money back for a previous grant.


Business registration and bank information: The applicant must be registered as a business or incorporated in Manitoba. Contact the Companies Office to register your business name. In the case of applicants under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must be a signee on the business registration. This business/incorporation must have a valid Manitoba chequing account to be used for this project.


Other funding: Applicants to Manitoba Film & Music are encouraged to apply to FACTOR, Canada Council for the Arts and MUSICACTION if they meet these agencies’ eligibility requirements, and indicate the amount applied for on the application. Inquiries to FACTOR may be directed to the agency's regional evaluation coordinator at Manitoba Music, (204) 942-8650.


Currency: All monies indicated are in Canadian dollars.


Respectful workplace: Any applicant seeking funding from Manitoba Film & Music shall maintain the principles of an inclusive and respectful workplace, which includes taking every reasonable step to: (i) cultivate a respectful, inclusive and supportive work culture by promoting awareness and education regarding the prevention of harassment; (ii) provide a safe mechanism for the reporting of incidents or allegations of harassment or inappropriate behavior, while supporting and protecting complainants and victims; and (iii) take action to identify and eliminate workplace harassment in a timely manner. Any applicant found to be in breach of the terms noted above will have any funding awarded revoked and will not be allowed to participate in MFM-funded programs.


Recording Program Guidelines for All Levels


Eligible recording projects: All types and genres of commercially viable music recordings are eligible to apply. Compilations by artists, record labels, management companies and other such groups are not eligible. Live theatre or film projects not directly tied to a commercially released soundtrack recording are not eligible. Soundtracks must be commercially released and sold separately from the theatre or film project.


Note: As of April 1, 2022, Manitoba Film & Music will accept applications for projects that have completed recording and are at the mixing phase for the project.


Unreleased songs: The songs submitted with the application to the Level 1, 2, and 3 recording programs and intended for the finished project must be unreleased.


Ownership: Copyright in completed projects must be beneficial and equitably owned by eligible Manitoba residents or eligible Manitoba companies.


Manitoba Film & Music accredited recording service: For all applications the recording and/or mixing must occur using an accredited recording service (studio, mixer, or producer) for the project to be eligible. Mixing costs are only eligible if the mixing is done in Manitoba. Mastering can occur at any mastering studio and be considered an eligible expense. Note: additional points in the jury scoring are awarded for applications fully completed at Manitoba facilities. See program details below. Studios, mix engineers or producers seeking accreditation should visit for more information.


Three application rule: An application is only eligible to be submitted three times to the juried recording program. After being declined for the third time, the artist would only be eligible to apply to the music recording production fund with a different recording project.


One application per deadline: Applicants may only apply to one music recording production fund level per deadline and may only be approved to each recording level once per fiscal year (April 1–March 31).


Two-year release window: Artist must release completed recording within two years of receipt of the letter of commitment. If the artist fails in this, the funding awarded may be cancelled and all advanced funds must be returned. If the funds are not returned the artist will be placed in default. Extensions may be granted at the discretion of MFM, but regardless the full recording (all tracks) must be released within the two-year window to be eligible for additional MFM funding programs.


Deadlines for Applications


Application deadlines: Manitoba Film & Music shall endeavour to hold juries three times a year. Current recording program deadlines are posted on Fully completed applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. for each scheduled deadline. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will be declined. Recording and/or mixing can commence and related expenses be incurred up to 30 days prior to the application being received.


Grant management portal applications only: Manitoba Film & Music is only accepting applications through the grant management portal


Application templates: Applications must be completed on current Manitoba Film & Music-supplied application forms and templates as provided in the grant management portal. Self-generated budget documents or templates will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will be declined.




Level 1 overview


To encourage the production of a high-quality recording by individual Manitoba recording artists or groups, which may be used as a demo or released commercially. Applicants may apply to record a minimum of one (1) song. The program will only allow for tracking in a non-accredited facility (such as a home studio, jam space, etc.) if the project is done in partnership with a local Accredited Recording Service, where the accredited professional is serving as the producer or mixer. Manitoba Film & Music’s contribution will be in the form of a grant. Artists may only access this program once per fiscal year (April 1–March 31).


Demo: A demo is defined as a recording not intended for release or sale through any medium, including streaming. The project plan will highlight what the demo will be used for including: studio experience; soliciting an agent, manager, publicist, etc.; application to festivals, and so on. Production support is available up to 100% of the total approved budget, to a maximum of $2,000.


Commercial release: A commercial release is defined as a recording intended for sale through any and all media. The marketing plan will highlight where it will be released, how it will be promoted, tour plans, etc. Production support is available up to 100% of the total approved budget, to a maximum of $3,000.




Level 2 overview


To encourage the production of recordings of five (5) or more songs by individual Manitoba recording artists or groups to be released for sale through any and all media. Manitoba Film & Music’s contribution will be in the form of a grant and may be up to 75% of a project’s total budget, to a maximum of $10,000. Tracking or mixing must occur at an accredited studio or with an accredited mix engineer or producer. Mixing must occur in Manitoba to be an eligible expense. Mastering can occur at any facility. The recording must be commercially released following its completion.




Level 3 overview


To encourage the production of full-length recordings (minimum six [6] songs or twenty [20] minutes of music) by individual Manitoba recording artists or groups to be released for sale through any and all media. Manitoba Film & Music’s contribution will be in the form of a grant and may be up to 60% of a project’s total budget, to a maximum of $20,000.  Tracking or mixing must occur at an accredited studio or with an accredited mix engineer or producer. Mixing must occur in Manitoba to be an eligible expense. Mastering can occur at any facility. The recording must be commercially released following its completion. 


Level 3 additional eligibility criteria

For level 3 applications, the artist must have Manitoba Film & Music-recognized distribution AND have attained a minimum number of approved sales in order to apply for the program. Manitoba Film & Music- recognized distribution and minimum sales requirements may be achieved in the following ways:


Manitoba Film & Music-recognized distributor: The artist must be party to an executed agreement assuring national distribution of the proposed recording. Please see the list of approved distributors on Manitoba Film & Music’s website.

Minimum sales requirement: The artist must have sold a minimum of 750 units of their most recent release through any combination of physical sales, streams and/or monetized downloads*. These are quantified as follows:

Physical sales
i) Each CD sold is equivalent of one unit sold
Download sales and streaming
i) Full album sales – Each paid full-album download is the equivalent of one unit sold
ii) Individual track sales – Five paid individual track downloads are the equivalent of one unit sold

iii) Streams – 1,500 on-demand album streams are the equivalent of one unit sold

*Must be supported by a current sales report from distributor



Evaluation Process, All Levels


Jury procedures and assessment: All projects will be submitted to a jury of peers for evaluation and must be approved by two juries unanimously. All submissions are evaluated based on the quality of the music, lyrics, vocals, musicianship, originality, radio airplay and sales potential, production team, artist history, touring plan and, particularly, the project/marketing plan. 


Timeline for approvals/decline notices: Processing and evaluation of applications will commence as soon as possible after the deadline dates. Manitoba Film & Music will endeavour to notify all applicants of the results within eight weeks.


Eligible Expenses


Eligible expenses: All expenses directly related to the production of the recording may be eligible (for example, Manitoba recording studio and mixing costs, artist fees, producer fees, mastering, manufacturing, etc.). These expenses must be set out in advance in a budget submitted along with the application and approved by Manitoba Film & Music prior to the commencement of recording.


Any expenses incurred more than thirty (30) days before the application is submitted will not be accepted.


In-house and related party costs: In-house costs are not accepted as eligible expenses. Applicants must disclose all related party and non-arm’s-length transactions in the submitted budget. Related party costs are only accepted if the person has a professional track record in the field of the service being delivered and has a registered business or corporation. Further to this, the expenses are accepted at the discretion of MFM staff and only if MFM can establish fair market value for the service being delivered. Related parties must be declared in the application form.


Manufacturing costs: When a label pays for manufacturing and bills the artist at above manufacturing cost rates (e.g., wholesale), Manitoba Film & Music will only allow the artist to claim the actual per-unit manufacturing cost.


Self-producing artists: In situations where the artist is self-producing a record in their own accredited studio, the studio costs are ineligible (these are considered in-house). Self-producing artists can claim either an artist or self-producer fee to a maximum of $300 per day, plus a per diem of $45. Both fees and per diems are capped at one day per song recorded (one song recorded = $300 plus a per diem of $45).  Please note: Self-producing artists can only claim either an artist fee or producer fee.


Out of province producer fees:  If an artist has engaged an out of province producer, the producer’s fees and travel expenses for working in an accredited Manitoba studio are eligible. Prior approval of such expenses by Manitoba Film & Music is required.


Per diems and artist fees: Per diems are capped at $45 per artist, per day in the studio. Artist fees are capped at $300 per day. Musicians can only claim artist fees and per diems for tracking the recording, not mixing or mastering. These expenses may be paid in cash and submitted for cost reporting purposes on a single signed receipt per person, for the full amounts paid out. Artist fees may be included as a donated service, paid expense or a combination of the two, not to exceed $300 per day*. In order to claim artist fees and per diems, a valid receipt signed by the recipient must be included in the final reporting.


*Manitoba Film & Music will permit an applicant to pay higher rates but will only allow the maximum of $300 per day to be claimed as an eligible artist services day rate expense.


Donated investment: Donated investment will be recognized as an eligible cost. Manitoba Film & Music will recognize up to a maximum of 25% of the final accepted total costs of the project in donated investment. Artist fees may be donated to a maximum of $300 per day, per person performing, and a valid signed receipt must be submitted for cost reporting. If the full artist fee is claimed as donated, then no paid portion will be eligible. Only those donated expenses which appear on invoices shall be accepted.


Administrative fee: An administrative fee is recognized as an eligible cost. Manitoba Film & Music will recognize up to a maximum of 15% of the final accepted total costs of the project or $1,500, whichever is less, as the administrative fee.


Financial Participation


Financing plan: Applicants must demonstrate the financial ability to manage and complete the project based on the budget submitted. A financing plan must be submitted along with the application. The financing plan can consist of a written statement saying how the applicant plans to finance the budget shortfall not covered by Manitoba Film & Music funding or other funds/revenues.


Payments and advances: Funds will be disbursed according to a pre-arranged schedule and subject to satisfactory reporting requirements. The disbursement schedule will be as follows: 60% of Manitoba Film & Music’s commitment amount upon the signing of Manitoba Film & Music’s funding agreement, and 40% upon the submission and review by staff of your final report, with acceptable proof of payment (cancelled cheques, eTransfer receipts, credit card statements and money orders), and including any deliverables such as written reports, promotional materials, videos, or recordings.


Funding contributions: Applicants must disclose all other sources of financial assistance for the project. Manitoba Film & Music’s contribution to the project combined with any other funding, including government or terrestrial radio programs, cannot exceed 100% of the total eligible budget.


Manitoba Film & Music credit and logo: Manitoba Film & Music’s logo must be placed on all materials produced for this project as credit for funding and include the phrase, “Produced with the financial participation of Manitoba Film & Music.” Please refer to the resources section of our website for print-ready graphics.


Approvals: Approval of all applications is at the discretion of Manitoba Film & Music. Manitoba Film & Music may impose modifications to the budget submitted.


Project changes: It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform Manitoba Film & Music of any changes to the original budget, the creative direction, or the financing structure of the project in order for the project to remain eligible for funding.


Final Reporting


Level 1, 2, and 3 completion report requirements: Manitoba Film & Music requires an employment report, 2 physical copies of the finished recording/songs as well as the corresponding digital audio files (delivered via our Disco music library) and a cost report that includes all invoices and receipts directly related to the project, as well as their corresponding proof of payment.


Completion report requirement: A completed cost report is required to be submitted on a Manitoba Film & Music-supplied template. Artist fees are only accepted on Manitoba Film & Music’s supplied artist services invoice template. Please use your original budget form to track expenses for the project. Applicants must keep invoices/receipts directly related to the project, as well as their corresponding proof of payment. Once Manitoba Film & Music has reviewed the cost report, the costs will be subject to a spot audit. For costs selected for the spot audit, Manitoba Film & Music will require copies of the receipts in question and corresponding proofs of payments.

Manitoba Film & Music accepts only the following as satisfactory forms of proof of payment:


Cost reports must be submitted via Manitoba Film & Music’s grant management portal. Links to any media funded by the application must be included in your completion report.


Verification of services: Manitoba Film & Music will perform a test of invoices and canceled cheques, and this shall include contacting suppliers and/or payees for verification of submitted invoices and costs.


Receipt copies: Applicants must keep original copies of receipts submitted with their final reporting. Only scans of original receipts should accompany the final reporting paperwork. 


Payment types: Cash payments will only be accepted for those expenses that are less than $150 and are substantiated by receipts from verified vendors. Cash payments to non-verified vendors or in amounts greater than $150 will not be accepted. Artist Fees of $300 or less that are paid in cash are exempt from the $150 payment limit.


Manitoba Film & Music reserves the right to review and amend the Produce program guidelines at any time.

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