What can I do to financially support classical music in my community? How can I make a real difference?
Arts organizations in Canada are typically expected to raise half of their funding through ticket sales and/or fundraising campaigns. Ticket sales are a limited means of revenue generation, since in most North American cities, typically fewer than 1% of the population supports fine arts performances by attending concerts. Therefore, for Canadian classical music organizations to achieve a propitious financial position, they must be able to fundraise significant amounts. This year’s Mécénat Musica project provides a vehicle to encourage exactly that.
The Mécénat Musica Foundation has initiated a 2017 program that matches donations from private citizens with those from both wealthy individuals and public institutions, thereby enabling private citizens to foster the long-term financial health of their favourite group of classical musicians.
In this Mécénat Musica program, individuals donate $25,000 to a cultural group’s perpetuity fund (endowment). The net cost, after personal tax credits, of an individual contribution of $25,000 is about $6,750 for most Quebecers. Patron families and government funding bodies are then invited to match that individual donation in an amount ranging from $250,000 for families to $2,500,000 for public funding sources. These matching grants increase the revenue realized from each $25,000 contribution to between $75,000 and $252,000 — that is, from 11 to 37 times of the donor’s after-tax cost of $6,750! This unusual initiative is meant to strengthen Quebec’s classical music organizations, both for today’s audiences and for generations to come.
To participate, donors contribute to the Mécénat Musica institutions of their choice, which include the Académie de musique du Québec, Ensemble Caprice, Orchestre Métropolitain, Festival Musique de Chambre Montréal, Concours musical international de Montréal, L’Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, Jeunesses Musicales Canada, Ladies’ Morning Musical Club, Société Pro Musica, Vox Aeterna, Festival Montréal Baroque, Clavecin en concert, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Theatre of Early Music, Les Boréades de Montréal, Ensemble Masques, Autour de la flûte, Concerts noncerto, and L’Ensemble vocal Arts-Québec.
Here is an actual example of Mécénat Musica’s potential impact. The Orchestre Métropolitain recently received a donation of $250,000 from the foundation of a prominent Montreal family. Mécénat Musica has promised to contribute an additional $250,000 if the Orchestre Métropolitain can obtain ten donations of $25,000 by the end of this year. Furthermore, the Canadian Heritage Fund, in conjunction with the Mécénat Placements Culture organization, has promised to match the 10 donations of $25,000. This means that should the Orchestre Métropolitain succeed in obtaining 10 donations of $25,000, the total revenue generated will be nearly $2 million! Thus it is of great importance that the Orchestre Métropolitain receives additional donations of $25,000.
Another benefactor of Mécénat Musica funds has been the Noncerto project. This endeavour has already demonstrated success in expanding the appeal of Canadian art music and musicians, particularly to a youthful demographic. This effort moves Canada closer to the European model, in which performing arts organizations have been able to foster a broad appreciation for classical music.
European towns and cities frequently support local cultural institutions on a level commensurate with their sports clubs. This has led to a European way of life that commonly includes attending recitals, orchestral concerts, and operas. Consequently, the fine arts are well supported by individuals as well as by private and public funders. Therefore, through its support of Noncerto, the Mécénat Musica Foundation is investing in attaining sustained and heightened support for Canadian art music.
The Foundation of Greater Montreal is a partner in the Mécénat Musica initiative. This institution manages the assets of philanthropic funds. Commenting on its collaboration with Mécénat Musica, Yvan Gauthier of the Foundation of Greater Montreal’s philanthropic development department says, “This Musica sponsorship program provides an additional incentive for donors, as the program heightens the impact of their philanthropy and investments in arts and culture. Furthermore, in conjunction with the Patronage Musica program, professional arts organizations (music, theatre, dance, etc.) are able to boost their grants from the private sector, which subsequently enables them to benefit from paired governmental funding. Donations are thus multiplied, which has a major impact for cultural organizations. The FGM is a proud participant in this great initiative!”
Mécénat Musica donations must be received before November 20th. To participate, you need to make a gift of $25,000 to the Mécénat Musica organization of your choice. Such a donation — which results in the typical Quebecer being out of pocket $6750 — ultimately yields a huge benefit for the group you have chosen to support. The Mécénat Foundation’s records attest to the fact that almost all of their funding goes directly to arts programs. Administrative costs are kept to under 10%. www.MecenatMusica.com