$2500 Available to Self-Employed Music Workers

$2500 Available to Self-Employed Music Workers

by SaskMusic

November 1, 2022 in Industry News

UPDATE January 31/2023

Unison’s Live Music Workers Fund and Industry Assistance Fund programs have now closed. Unison offers other types of supports to the music industry year-round including emergency financial and mental health assistance, and we encourage you to check out their website.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Unison has granted over $19M in financial assistance payments via both private donations and government funding to music workers across Canada, including support many of our local industry members here in Saskatchewan. Thank you Unison! 


Earlier this year, the Government of Canada put out a call seeking associations to administer a new support fund, the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund. SaskMusic and music association colleagues across Canada held a series of meetings where it was determined that we could most efficiently administer this funding stream by partnering and signing in support of the music industry funding stream delivery to be managed through Unison, a registered Canadian non-profit that provides counselling, emergency relief, and assistance programs for those in the Canadian music community who face personal or professional challenges due to hardship, illness, or economic difficulties. Unison’s application was approved on May 2/22 and applications to the fund opened on July 6/22, with The Government of Canada committing $16.8M to Unison in support of the live music industry.

The portal temporarily closed over August to allow staff to catch up on applications received and re-opened September 1/22. The portal has temporarily closed once again as of November 1/22  and is expected to re-open sometime after December 1/22. 

Building off the existing Unison Financial Assistance Program, The Live Music Workers Fund will provide financial relief to qualified independent and self-employed workers in the live music sector. Successful applicants will receive a one-time payment of $2500.

What makes me eligible to apply for financial assistance?

  • Music industry professionals who earned a minimum of 55% of their income from music-related activity for at least two consecutive years (prior to the pandemic), acknowledging that little to no work in the music community has taken place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.


You should apply for the Live Music Workers Fund if you are an independent, self-employed live music worker who lives outside Quebec and identifies their primary occupation in the music community as one or more of the following:

  • Artist
  • Booking Agent
  • Composer
  • Concert Photographer
  • Concert Recording Engineer
  • Consultant
  • DJ
  • Event Production/Festival
  • Artist Manager/Management Company
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Merchandiser
  • Musician
  • Production Company
  • Promoter
  • Publisher
  • Publicist/Public Relations
  • Retailer (Instruments and Supplies)
  • Songwriter
  • Stagehand/Roadie
  • Technician
  • Tour Management/Operator
  • Talent Buyer
  • Venue Staff
  • Videographer


You should apply for the Industry Assistance Fund if you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Live Music Workers Fund, but still identify as a Music Industry professional, including (but not limited to):  

  • Association
  • Consultant
  • Distributor
  • Graphic Artist
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Publisher
  • Producer
  • Trade Publication
  • Publicist/Public Relations
  • Music Educator
  • Music Photographer
  • Record Company
  • Recording Studio
  • Recording Engineer
  • Retailer (Instruments and Supplies)
  • Video
  • Other

The first step to apply to the fund is to register with Unison: https://unison.smartsimple.ca/

A step-by-step tutorial is available here (PDF)

Applicants who do not qualify for financial support under the Live Music Workers Fund program will be verified and processed through the already existing Unison Financial Assistance Program. All eligible applicants, no matter their occupation in the Canadian music industry, will be supported by Unison. 

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage for the commitment of support to the Canadian live music industry. Unison will be distributing this funding to qualifying live music workers across the country as part of The Live Music Workers Fund program.  

Applicants who reside in Quebec will apply for the same funding from the Foundation Des Artistes. Their application is now live here: https://frtsssc.ca/en/

Additional associations identified to provide direct financial assistance to independent and self-employed workers in the live performance sector are:

Applications will close (at latest) March 31, 2023.