Across the Canadian music industry, efforts are underway to identify gaps in representation and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by diverse artists and music professionals on their journey to success.
Challenges include financial hurdles in the form of award submission fees, that make it difficult for Indie and underrepresented artists to even be heard by jurors. If you’re an independent artist funding your music career out of pocket you could forego submitting your work, despite the recognition a potential award nomination could bring, due to fees.
Addressing these challenges is vital, as artists and musicians play a key role in shaping arts, culture and the communities we live in, and in sharing perspectives we don't often hear. When diverse voices are amplified, audiences feel connected, included and like they're part of something bigger.
As the music industry takes stock of how to help break down systemic barriers that exist behind the scenes, new efforts are being made to help level the playing field for independent artists from marginalized and underserved communities.
In a laudable move that both recognizes and attempts to address this particular disparity, the JUNOS are working together with TD to launch the JUNOS Submissions Access Program.
Created by CARAS (the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) and sponsored by TD, the initiative aims to support underrepresented, independent Canadian artists by reimbursing the cost of one submission fee for the 2022 JUNO Awards.
Although artists will still need to pay the submission fee upfront, approved applicants will be retroactively reimbursed the submission fee associated with submitting their music in up to five JUNO categories.
Who can apply?
Artists who belong to an underrepresented community include but are not limited to:
- Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis)
- LGBTQ2S+ community
- Persons living with a disability (visible or invisible)
- Other underrepresented and racialized communities not mentioned
Through this program, TD is providing funds to help diverse Canadian voices to put their music in front of the JUNOS. Of course, this isn’t out of character for TD when considering its long-concerted efforts to support and amplify the voices of diverse communities in Canada. In a statement to ByBlacks, TD offered the following:
“TD is proud to be the founding sponsor of the JUNOS Submissions Access Program created by CARAS to support independent Canadian artists, from underrepresented communities, to help cover the cost of their submission fees for the 2022 JUNO Awards. The program has been created to assist these artists with the submission fees involved in submitting their work in up to five JUNOS categories.”
Hopefully, with the changes being made by the JUNOS to recognize past disparities for underrepresented artists and TD’s continued commitment to level the playing field for diverse communities, the Canadian music industry will keep changing for the better.
To apply for the JUNOS Submissions Access Program:
- Step 1: Complete your JUNOS submission package at https://junosubmissions.ca.
- Step 2: Complete your JUNO Submissions Access Program application here.
- APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 8, 2021
- Successful applicants will be contacted by December 31, 2021
NOTE: Applicants may apply to cover the submission fees in up to five categories.
Sponsored by TD