So you want to be in a rock band?: Paying out of your band's pockets to be part of the industry
Overview: The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is best known as the host of the annual Juno Awards. According to their website, “[Musician] involvement is key as CARAS relies on the active participation of industry professionals to uphold the fundamental Juno process; created specifically and solely to enhance our music industry through an annual, nationally televised awards show.”
The chief reason to become a CARAS member is to enable you to take part in the Juno nomination and voting process. Additionally, CARAS members receive a discounted ticket rate for the Juno gala.
Aside from its Juno-orientation, CARAS is also affiliated with MusiCAN, a government music grant funding program for young Canadians, as well as the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Fees: In order to be eligible for membership, you must currently be an active member in the music industry. Memberships run annually from August 1 until July 31 of the following year and cost is $50 + G.S.T. per person.
Critique: I think its important to take an active interest in ones industry and to assist in selecting the artists whom you feel deserve honourable mention for their artistic contributions. My issue however lies in nomination criteria (much like the unreasonable demands you will soon learn about in Canada's grant programs), which limits the entry of independently represented acts, who although may not have attained financial success, they've still contributed a great deal of artistic merit to the music scene.
Canadian Independent Record Production Association (CIRPA)
Overview: CIPRA is a trade organization that specifically caters to the independent sector of the Canadian recording industry. Labels, managers, producers, studios and distributors are eligible for membership so long as they fulfill the specific outlined criteria applicable to their field (please see website for more extensive details).
CIRPAs mandate is “to secure a strong and economically stable Canadian independent music and sound recording industry.” CIRPA hopes to achieve this goal by assisting with improving the “economic viability and well-being” of the independent music and sound recording sector in important areas such as: Canadian content, copyright law, international marketing, cultural industry policies, government and industry relations, music assistance programs, market research and development and finally tax laws and tariffs.
Fees: Depending on your annual income, various voting membership packages are offered ranging from $200 + G.S.T. per year to $2000 + G.S.T. per year. Certain specifications apply in order to qualify for voting. Those not interested in voting are only required to pay a standard rate of $200 + G.S.T. annually.
Critique: This association is more geared towards those on the business side of the music industry as opposed to actual artists as evident by their membership categories. However, being apprised of CIRPAs efforts, especially those relating to government lobbying, Canadian content and copyright law is essential as their decisions may impact your career in a serious way.