Frequently Asked Questions
IS THERE SUCH THING AS A MANITOBA FILM AND MUSIC “GRANT SPECIALIST”?
No. There are professional grant writers within the music industry however none of them can guarantee you will receive funding from any of our programs. Be wary of any individual who claims they can either get you funding or increase the amount of funding you will receive by working with them. MFM is not affiliated with any one studio, producer, label, manager, artist or grant writer. Claims to the contrary are false. Please notify us if you receive information to this effect.
WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES FOR YOUR PROGRAMS?
Deadlines for the Music Recording Production Fund Programs (Preproduction, Level 1, 2, 3 & Out of Province Artists) are:
May 11, 2023
September 21, 2023
January 18, 2024
There are no deadlines for the remaining programs and applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year. These programs are: Record Product Marketing Support Program, Music Video Fund and Recording Artist Touring Support Program
HOW ARE APPLICATIONS ADJUDICATED?
A: All Music Recording Production Fund (Levels 1, 2, 3) and Out of Province Music Recording Production Fund applications are submitted to jury evaluation and must be approved by two (2) juries unanimously. Juries evaluate submissions based on the quality of the music and overall project/marketing plan, as well as lyrics, vocals, musicianship, originality, sales potential, radio airplay potential and production team.
All Record Product Marketing Support, Recording Artists Touring Support and Music Video Fund applications are adjudicated based on various criteria including project/marketing plans, band/artist track records, touring plans and distribution.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS REGISTRATION AND HOW DO I GET ONE?
A: As part of the Manitoba Film & Music Guidelines, we are required to fulfill any agreements with Manitoba businesses only. With that in mind, applicants must be registered as a business or incorporated in Manitoba. This business/incorporation MUST also have a valid chequing account operating under that business or incorporation name. Personal bank accounts are not permitted to be used.
Contact the Business Name Registration Department, 405 Broadway, 10th Floor, (204) 945-2500 to register your business name.
WHY DO I NEED A BUSINESS ACCOUNT FOR MY PROJECT?
A: As part of the Manitoba Film & Music Guidelines, we are required to fulfill any agreements with Manitoban businesses only. Because of this, Manitoba Film and Music is only able to operate using that business’ bank account. Personal bank accounts are not permitted to be used with any of our music programs.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ME TO GET AN ANSWER ABOUT MY SUBMISSION?
A: Please allow 4 – 6 weeks to receive notification as to the status of your application.
I'M ANXIOUS TO KNOW THE RESULTS OF MY SUBMISSION. IS IT OK TO CALL YOU?
All applicants are contacted with the results of their submission. Please only contact us if the processing time of 4 – 6 weeks has expired. You may check our website under Approvals as it is updated as applications are approved. A letter will also be sent to you once we know your results.
CAN SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE APPLICANT BE THE CONTACT PERSON?
Yes. Whoever is the best choice to handle all aspects of your application may be the contact person. Please note this person should be available during normal business hours and you should have the appropriate contact number on your application forms.
WHAT IS EXPECTED TO BE IN MY MARKETING PLAN?
Keep in mind that it is your marketing plan and it should be realistic and specific to your release, genre of music, the demographics of your target market, your financial means, and your geographical location. Your plan should include information on your release, distribution, promotional and touring plans. Indicate how you intend to sell your CD to the buying public and how you plan to reach your specific target market. Be detailed in your plan. For example, to say that you will achieve radio air play is not enough. Outline the steps you will be taking to accomplish this.
Here is an example of what you might include. Please note that these points are meant only to serve as guide and you should not feel the need to limit your plan only to the following:
1. Project Overview: detail the purpose of the project and goals/objectives (all levels)
2. Artist’s Previous Experience/Track Record (all levels)
- Artist Biographical Information
- Details of Notable Accomplishments (sync placements, awards)
- Previous Releases & Sales
- Tour History
- Promotional Activity
- Radio Tracking Information
- Social Media Followers’ numbers (all relevant platforms)
3a. Project Plan (Preproduction, Level I Demo)
- How will the funding of this project lead to the growth of your career?
- How will the songs be used for you career in the future?
- Which team members are you targeting with the demo (if applicable)?
3b. Marketing/Promotion (Level 1 Commercial Release, Level 2, Level 3)
- How will the release be distributed?
- What media (Radio/Television/Print/etc.) will be used, and how will they be contacted?
- What social media strategy will be used?
- Who is on your team, and how will they help you to promote the release? Include their resumes.
- Where will you tour?
- Who will you approach/have you approached to join your team (publicist, manager, etc.)? Include letters of support.
- What are your sales goals? Be realistic.
- Provide a timeline for release, including when you will send singles to radio, make music videos, tour, etc.
CAN I EMAIL MY APPLICATION TO MFM?
A: Yes. Emailed applications must be submitted as a downloadable Dropbox or Google Drive folder link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO I NEED TO WAIT FOR AN ANSWER TO MY APPLICATION BEFORE I START INCURRING COSTS ON MY PROJECT?
No. All applications are marked with the date we receive them in our office. Expenses incurred from that date forward are considered as eligible and expenses prior to that date are not. If you are counting on MFM support to fund the recording, we recommend you wait for a response to your submission to ensure you qualify and are receiving funding
I MISSED THE LAST DEADLINE BUT MY RECORDING STARTS BEFORE THE NEXT DEADLINE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Applicants may submit applications to MFM’s Music Recording Program prior to an upcoming deadline. All applications are marked with the date received and any expenses incurred after that date will be considered as eligible expenses. Your application is then held and processed at the next published deadline date.
I CAN'T DOWNLOAD YOUR APPLICATION. HOW CAN I GET ONE SENT TO ME?
A: Call the MFM office or email email@example.com and request an application for any program. We will mail the application to you right away.
I HAVE BEEN TURNED DOWN FOR FUNDING THROUGH ONE OF YOUR PROGRAMS. CAN I SUBMIT THE SAME MATERIALS, FOR THE SAME PROGRAM, AT THE NEXT DEADLINE DATE?
If you are turned down for the Music Recording Program, you may submit again at the next deadline with the same materials. For all other programs, you may not apply for the same initiative more than once. For example, if you apply for tour support funding and are declined, you may not apply for that specific tour again. You may however apply for future tours if you wish.
DOES MFM HAVE A 1- 800 NUMBER?
We do not have a toll free number but will be glad to call you back and answer any questions regarding our programs. You can also reach the Music Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOES MFM SUPPORT OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC OR IS THIS JUST FOR MAINSTREAM MUSIC?
MFM supports all styles and genres of music.
I PERFORM GOSPEL MUSIC BUT IT IS NOT LISTED AS A GENRE ON THE APPLICATION FORM. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
“Gospel” music refers to the lyrical content, not the style of music. Please choose the genre that best describes the musical portion of your compositions. For example you may perform Country Gospel (Country) or R&B Gospel (Dance/Urban).
CAN MFM HELP ME GET DISTRIBUTION FOR MY CD?
The MFM website provides a Recognized Distributors list, however it is up to you to contact them if you would like more information about the services they provide.
CAN I SEND YOU A COPY OF MY CD TO LISTEN TO SO YOU CAN TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK?
MFM does not accept unsolicited CDs without an accompanying application. All sound recording submissions are judged by genre specific jurors qualified to evaluate your submission and not by the MFM staff.
HOW MANY GRANTS CAN AN ARTIST RECEIVE FROM MFM?
Each program has its own limitations on funding. Some are capped at dollar maximums per fiscal year, while others have a maximum number of applications per fiscal year (our fiscal year is April 1 – March 31). Please check the guidelines of each program for details.
WHAT SHOULD I SUPPLY TO MFM AS PROOF OF MANITOBA CITIZENSHIP?
Proof of Manitoba citizenship may be provided by enclosing a clear photocopy of your birth certificate, your valid Manitoba driver’s license, your valid Canadian passport, or your Canadian citizenship card. For landed immigrants, we require a copy of the landing documentation as well as proof of residency during the six months prior to the application submission. Proof of residency may be supplied by enclosing photocopies of monthly bills/statements that indicate the date, your name and your Manitoba address. Failure to provide proof of Manitoban citizenship will result in MFM withholding payment on any approved project.
I HAVE APPLIED TO ANOTHER FUNDING ORGANIZATION FOR MY PROJECT. CAN I ALSO APPLY TO MFM FOR THE SAME PROJECT?
Yes. Providing that you meet all of the eligibility criteria, you may apply to both. MFM’s contribution to the project, combined with any other funding agency, cannot exceed 100% of the cash expenditure indicated on the submitted budget.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OTHER THAN MFM THAT PROVIDE FUNDING FOR ARTISTS?
Other sources of funding usually depend on the genre of your music and your geographical location. Contact your Provincial Music Association for more details.
For more information on other areas of funding, please refer to the Music Resources section of our website.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC AND MANITOBA MUSIC?
Manitoba Film and Music is a government funded agency that offers a series of music funding programs. These programs are designed to financially assist Manitoba recording artists and professionals in developing and promoting their skills. Our programs provide funding for music recording, music/product marketing, touring and music video production.
Manitoba Music is a member-based, not-for-profit industry association representing over 700 members in all facets of the music industry, including artists and bands, studios, agents, managers, songwriters, venues, promoters, producers, and beyond. Manitoba Music provides information, education, communication, advocacy, industry development, and networking opportunities to nurture, develop and promote the growth and sustainability of the Manitoba music industry.
I HAVE LICENSED MY ALBUM TO A RECORD COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR MFM SUPPORT?
As long as the ownership of the master recordings remains Manitoban, you are eligible for MFM support.
I HAVE SIGNED TO A LABEL IN THE UNITED STATES. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR MFM SUPPORT?
If you are signed to a U.S. label, the ownership of the master recording is now held by a non-Manitoban. The only program you would be eligible for now is the Tour Support Program.
IF ONE MEMBER OF THE BAND IS NOT A MANITOBA RESIDENT, ARE WE STILL ELIGIBLE FOR YOUR PROGRAMS?
Yes, as long as 50% of the members of your group are Manitoba Residents, you are eligible for MFM funding.
WHAT DOES MFM CONSIDER A COMMERCIAL RELEASE?
A commercially released album is for sale through any and all mediums. It must be manufactured, and contain bar code information. If it is available for public purchase, it is considered released. Please contact MFM if you have any additional questions regarding this.
MY MUSIC IS MULTI-GENRE. WHAT CATEGORY OF MUSIC DO I CHOOSE?
The decision of music style is your choice. The genre you pick will decide what jury you are assessed in so it is important to give this some thought. Some things to keep in mind while choosing your category are: Where would my product be racked in a music store? Which musical professionals do I want adjudicating my submission?
If you feel it requires clarification, you may also write an open letter to the jury explaining why you have picked that specific genre. Please do not choose more than one genre for your application, as that leaves it in the hands of MFM to decide which jury hears your application, and in most cases, only the first genre checked on the list will be used. MFM does not screen your application before assigning it to a jury.
HOW GOOD DOES MY SUBMITTED DEMO HAVE TO BE?
The only acceptable format is a CD playable on a normal CD player. Your demo must be clear enough for the jury to listen to. You must include notes indicating changes to the songs you submitted if you receive funding (known as “song treatments”).
The jurors will be assessing based on vocals, music, arrangement, instrumentation, lyrics and performance.
WHO ADJUDICATES THE MUSIC RECORDING FUND APPLICATIONS?
Jurors are local industry professionals, selected for their expertise in their respective fields. These include managers, labels, radio programmers, artists and industry professionals. From time to time, based on availability, an out of town expert may be invited to fill a seat in the jury. Manitoba Film & Music employees have no influence on the decisions made during the Music Recording Production Fund adjudications.
HOW ARE THE MFM JURORS CHOSEN?
Potential jurors apply by submitting a Juror Application form as found on our website. Qualified applicants are then contacted and scheduled to take part in an upcoming deadline. If you wish to be considered for a jury position, please visit our Music Juries page for more information.
WHY DO I HAVE TO USE AN ACCREDITED STUDIO?
We are protecting your interests by requiring you to use an Accredited Studio. All accredited studios have been selected for their professionalism and quality of service. If you have a problem that arises with a studio that we have deemed accredited, we would appreciate you bringing it to our attention. Please note that MFM is not affiliated with any one studio, producer, label, manager, artist or grant writer. Claims to the contrary are false.
IS THERE A LIST OF RECOGNIZED RECORDING PROFESSIONALS THAT I MUST USE FOR MY PROJECTS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR MFM SUPPORT?
Yes, this is our up-to-date Accredited Recording Services list.
HOW DO I GET MY STUDIO ACCREDITED?
The Studio Accreditation form is listed on our website and indicates what paperwork and information needs to be submitted to our office to become an accredited studio.
I AM STARTING UP MY OWN STUDIO. DOES MFM PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR PURCHASING EQUIPMENT?
No, MFM does not have any programs to assist with such costs.
I AM A PRODUCER. ARE THERE ANY PROGRAMS FOR PRODUCERS OR PRODUCTION STUDIOS?
No. There are no programs currently available for producers, however producer fees are an eligible expense. Production costs including studio hourly costs, rentals, engineering and producer fees are included in our applications.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM RATE MFM WOULD RECOGNIZE FOR A PERFORMING ARTIST, HIRED MUSICIAN OR ROAD CREW?
Per diems and artist fees may be paid in cash and submitted for cost reporting purposes on a single receipt per person, for the full amounts paid out. Receipts must be signed by each individual person claiming the per diem or artist fee. There is no cap on allowable artist fees, however donated artist fees are only allowable up to $150 per day and to a maximum of 25% of your total expenses.
Allowable per diem rates are as follows*:
Canada = $45 per person, per day
USA = $60 per person, per day
International = $100 per person, per day
*all amounts in Canadian dollars
DOES EACH SHOW DATE ON A TOUR HAVE TO GENERATE INCOME?
No. Up to 2 of the tour dates may be for promotional performances.
MY LYRICS ARE IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH. AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR YOUR PROGRAMS?
MFM applications are supplied in English as well as French however MFM will support recordings in any language. If you are applying to the sound recording program, please include a copy of English translated lyrics with your application.
WHAT IS THE ADMINISTRATIVE FEE FOR?
The administrative fee is to cover any administrative expenses incurred by the borrower, such as long distance calls, photocopying, faxing, postage, etc. The administration fee should cover these expenses for the duration of an approved project. MFM will recognize up to a maximum of 15% of the final accepted total costs of the project or $1500, whichever is lower, as the Administration Fee. It is not necessary for you to provide a receipt for the administrative fee for it to be eligible.
WHAT IS A DONATED SERVICE?
Where applicable, MFM recognizes fair market value of services an artist may receive for free or as a bartered exchange. This market value may be added as a Donated Service within the budget of select programs and can represent the applicants' contribution to the project.
Manitoba Film & Music will recognize up to a maximum of 25% of the final accepted total costs of the project as donated investment. Artist fees may be donated to a maximum of $150 per day, per person performing, and a valid signed receipt must be submitted for cost reporting purposes.
CAN I CLAIM MERCHANDISE COSTS?
No, MFM does not recognize merchandise as an eligible expense. Please do not include merchandise costs in your budget.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED “SUFFICIENT” PROOF OF PAYMENT?
A: MFM accepts only the following as satisfactory proof of payment for eligible program expenses:
• Copy of cleared cheque (from business chequing account)
• Copy of Credit Card Statement
• Copy of Bank Transfer/eTransfer
• Copy of Money Order
• Cash payments will only be accepted for expenses that are less than $150 and are proven with a valid cash/debit receipt.
Without acceptable proof of payment, expenses will be deemed ineligible and not acknowledged as part of the project.
WHY IS GST/HST DEDUCTED FROM THE FINAL COST REPORTING?
As a Registered Manitoba Business, the applicant/business applying can claim any GST spent on the project to Revenue Canada and have that GST refunded by Revenue Canada as part of the business’ tax refund for that year. Because of this, Manitoba Film and Music does not acknowledge GST as an eligible expense to eliminate the GST being claimed twice.
WHAT IF MY PROJECT IS OVERFUNDED?
If the total funding for a project (ex. MFM + FACTOR + MONEY FROM ANY OTHER FUNDERS) exceeds 100% of the project’s total final approved costs, then it is considered “Overfunded.” All of our programs have funding maximums listed in the guidelines and those funding maximums have to be strictly adhered to. If our funding, plus any additional funding exceeds 100% of the project’s total final budget, Manitoba Film and Music commitment amount will be adjusted to satisfy our guideline requirements.
HOW DO I LICENSE A COVER SONG?
You must acquire a mechanical license in order to reproduce and distribute copyrighted music before you can manufacture or import it. The two major companies that distribute licenses on behalf of the music publishers are the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, and the Harry fox Agency in the U.S. Most independent artists will find that the "Pay-As-you-Press/Import" license is the most appropriate for their needs. Please contact the above-mentioned agencies for more detailed information.