LSM Newswire

Friday, July 15, 2011

Music Canada and Slaight Music Support Unison Benevolent Fund

TORONTO, July 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Music Canada and Slaight Music are pleased to announce support for the Unison Benevolent Fund, a safety net designed to provide discreet relief to music industry personnel in times of personal hardship and crisis, and in the process, have issued a challenge to the music community to match their pledges.

Together they have pledged to help raise a $1,000,000.00 capital endowment fund, kick starting donations with commitments of $250,000 each from Music Canada and Slaight Music. The $250,000 pledges will be fulfilled when the million dollar goal is reached. Music Canada has also provided an $80,000.00 cash infusion for the immediate operations of the fund.

"On behalf of Music Canada, I'm proud to be able to help Unison get off to a viable start in cooperation with the music publishers in Canada, as we work hand in hand and in conjunction with other industry stakeholders, for the benefit of the entire music community," said Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Recording Industry Association). "I have every confidence that we will reach the million dollar target."

Unison is an assistance and referral program designed for the music industry, by the music industry. Many in the industry are self-employed and do not have other forms of benefits or assistance.

"This is an important step forward for the music industry and I am extremely pleased to be part of it," said Gary Slaight, CEO of Slaight Communications. "Unison will be a welcome safety net for people in the music community who need a hand up during difficult circumstances. I challenge others to match our donations so that Unison can be there for our community for many years to come."

By helping to raise $1 million in total for the capital endowment fund, we can ensure that Unison provides emergency assistance for many years to come."

The pledge was made in a presentation by Gary Slaight and Derrick Ross representing Slaight Music and Graham Henderson representing Music Canada. Receiving the cheque on behalf of Unison were founding members, Catharine Saxberg and Jodie Ferneyhough. Joining Deane Cameron, President of EMI Music on the Unison Board of Directors is Derrick Ross, President of Slaight Music. (photo attached)

"The idea of Unison started shortly after a tragic accident to a well known musician. It occurred to me that although benefit concerts and fund raisers, for the short term, were a great thing and it brought the community together, there was no long term support in the music business for people who fall on hard times. Musicians, roadies, riggers, sound men, managers, indie publishers and labels and a myriad of others, didn't have anywhere to turn in times of crisis... we felt it was time for the industry to have a way of taking care of itself," says Jodie Ferneyhough. "Everyone I talk with is eager to help, eager to volunteer and generally very supportive of the fund. We are looking forward to getting more people involved, growing the number of people who can fundraise for us and generally spread the word about the benefits of Unison."

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record labels in Canada, namely EMI Music Canada, Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also provides certain membership benefits to some of the leading independent record labels and distributors. Its members are engaged in all aspects of the recording industry, including the manufacture, production, promotion and distribution of music.

Slaight Music is a music company with the mandate to support the Canadian music community through various initiatives, and to develop Canadian talent via strategic partnerships with industry peers.

Image with caption: "Derrick Ross, President of Slaight Music (2nd from the right) and Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada (far right) pledge $500,000 to the Unison Benevolent Fund represented by founding directors Catharine Saxberg (far left) and Jodie Ferneyhough (2nd from the left) at the Music Canada Annual General Meeting in Toronto. Music Canada has also donated $80,000 for immediate operating funds. (CNW Group/Music Canada)".

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