MusicNL Press On Program and Application Information


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on our economy. Its impact on the “gig economy,” of which the music industry is a leading player, is particularly devastating. The loss of employment opportunities and the insecurity around future work, crippling.

As creative people everywhere reimagine the connection to their audience and use this time to retool for a new paradigm, MusicNL is creating a program – titled “Press On” – to support innovative and sustainable projects for our industry professionals. As creators migrate to online platforms and virtual spaces, MusicNL is particularly interested in exploring complementary and enhanced approaches.

Our goal is to provide a much-needed financial incentive for artist and product development in this time of crisis.


In the business that brought you the term “gig”, even highly successful performers are left painfully exposed, working on contracts that include “force majeure” clauses allowing presenters to cancel without penalty in circumstances such as these. Spring and summer are busy seasons in the music and theatre businesses: Many freelance artists are predicting they will lose half their annual income.    
-Kate Taylor, The Globe & Mail



The total budget for this program is $100,000.

  • Deadline for Submission of Applications: 10 May 2020, 11:59pm NDT
  • Applications should be emailed to
  • Successful Applications Announcement: 31 May 2020
  • Eligible Project Time Frame: 1 June – 30 September 2020
  • Project Support: Normally will not exceed $5,000 depending on scope of project.
  • Successful Applicants will receive: 80% in advance and 20% upon receipt of a final report.



Please complete and submit the Press On fillable PDF application form along with all required documentation, to MusicNL ( by May 10, 2020. Required documentation includes:

  1. Complete contact info: Name, Address, Phone #, Email, Website (if applicable),etc.
  2. Project Title
  3. A three-line project synopsis (to be used for media information if project is approved).
  4. A one-page description of your project explaining objective, approach, and how it reflects program goals (see below) [Note: one page maximum ]
  5. Bios and/or CVs of applicant(s)
  6. A detailed budget reflecting expenses and any anticipated revenues. Budgets should be balanced (i.e. no surplus or loss). Additional revenues are not required.



  1. To grow the music sector during the Covid-19 timeframe and aftermath
  2. To enhance artist potential through professional development
  3. To increase or stabilize earned incomes within the Music Sector over the long term
  4. To improve/sustain competitiveness in export markets
  5. To increase the impact of cultural products, events, and attractions in the long term
  6. To enhance the stability of music sector professionals
  7. To contribute to the stabilization and growth of self-sustaining economic activity within the sector

NOTE: Projects are expected to expend any MusicNL funds within the province, unless a strong rationale can be provided for outsourcing expertise or product.



Email your inquiry to MusicNL at along with your email and a phone number. Include Program Inquiry in the subject line.

  • The earlier questions are received, the more likely they can be answered in a timely manner before the deadline
  • As the deadline date draws closer, responses cannot be guaranteed based on possible volume of inquiries.

Please Note: No applications will be accepted after 11:59pm NDT, May 10, 2020



Individuals, professional music industry enterprises, and not-for-profit organizations whose principal activity is in the Music Sector, as follows:

Individuals and professional industry enterprises include:

  • NL-based enterprises, including individual artists and workers in the music sector, partnerships, co- operatives, or incorporated companies.

Collaborations/Joint Ventures include:

  • Eligible applicants whose initiatives have common goals may wish to form an ad-hoc group to undertake a mutually beneficial project.

Individuals must demonstrate that they:

  • Participate as a principal activity in the music industry
  • Have a track record of regular public presentations, for at least the past two years
  • Have earned a significant portion of their incomes from their artistic activities
  • Are recognized as ‘professional’ by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • Have been resident in NL at least 12 consecutive months prior to application (Individuals who have worked outside the province during the year prior to application may be considered eligible applicants if they can demonstrate, upon request, that their permanent place of residence is Newfoundland and Labrador. See notes at the end of document for more information on proof of residency.)




Support would include research and prototype development leading to potential production. Support can be provided for the development of new products or for the improvement, expansion or diversification of an existing product that will give it new enhanced market potential.

Project support will not normally exceed: $5,000.



To strengthen the level of expertise within the cultural sector. Advanced professional development, advanced business skills development will be priorities. Virtual workshops, seminars, courses, and forums will be eligible for support. Training costs associated with mentoring, collaborations, apprenticeships, and internships will also be eligible.

Project support will not normally exceed: $5,000



  1. Support through this program is not intended to contribute to the creative process itself. Please refer to the MusicNL Artist Development ProgramArtsNL and/or Canada Council for the Arts for support in this area.
  2. Residency can be shown by:

ONE of the following items

  • A civic notice of assessment for the previous year, or
  • A long-term lease, or
  • A tax return for the previous year


TWO of the following FOUR items:

  • A provincial health card
  • A driver’s license or vehicle registration from Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Documents supporting membership in a Canadian professional music association or union showing Newfoundland & Labrador residency
  • Statements of accounts (e.g. bank accounts, retirement savings plan, credit cards, securities accounts) from a Canadian branch or financial institution showing Newfoundland & Labrador residency