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B.C.’s new ARC program aims to give musicians the tools to build sustainable careers

Applications from B.C.-based musicians now welcomed, with 15 to be picked for program’s first round
Rock band Dear Rouge performs at Surrey’s Party for the Planet festival in 2014, in celebration of Earth Day. (Black Press Media file photo)

A new “artist intensive accelerator” program launched by Music BC aims to help new and emerging recording artists build a sustainable career in the music industry, both at home and away.

The ARC program was launched Monday (April 11) by the organization, which is described as “the voice of British Columbia’s music industry,” with a three-year funding commitment of $600,000 from the provincial government.

Applications from B.C.-based musicians are welcomed until May 15 on Fifteen participants will be picked for the first round of ARC from July to September, involving multi-day clinics and retreats along with a concert for fans and music-industry reps.

The program will expand opportunities for people who want to work in B.C.’s music industry, insisted Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

“As we emerge out of the pandemic, our government recognizes that increasing skill training programs opens doors to success and greatly benefits B.C. musicians,” Mark stated.

B.C. is “bubbling” with musical talent that exceeds the level of infrastructure and industry available, according to Music BC executive director Lindsay MacPherson.

“This investment in training will empower artists and provide them with the tools to write and own their destiny and ultimately, build revenue-sustainable, self-sufficient careers.”

A decade ago, pop-rock band Dear Rouge won the Peak Performance Project, which gave them $100,000 and an education in recording hit pop-rock songs worthy of Juno Awards. At the time, guitarist Drew McTaggart was a marketing and advertising consultant at Surrey Leader, and his wife, singer Danielle McTaggart, was a public relations manager at a Cactus Club restaurant in South Surrey.

“The music industry can be overwhelming and extremely intimidating for artists who want to launch their creative project,” the McTaggarts stated Monday in a news release from Music BC, a not-for-profit association.

“These programs are essential in offering a hub for education, collaboration and networking to develop and propel an artist’s music career forward.”

This month Dear Rouge released a new album called Spirit.

“The last few years have changed me and Drew as people forever,” the band posted on Twitter. “Spirit captured the sound of this change and rebirth into the people we are now. Excited for what this chapter holds for us and for you, our fan family. Spirit is out now and yours forever. xo”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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