Waye VS the Feds

The Canada Council said no to the Pop Explosion as of last week. This is unsurprising. We have applied to CC, FACTOR for the conference, and Traderoutes for the Boston mission. I think CC was least likely, Traderoutes 50/50, and FACTOR a probable, though FACTOR did deny us last year.

CC funds art. Artists have the reputation and appearance of being a bunch of space cadets about things like business plans and money, but what is shocking is CC wants to see contracted exhibitors when you apply. So, HPX applies to CC in January, we should have contracts for all the exhibitors in October. This is 180 degrees different from the music world, where bands as big as Wilco are contracted 75 days prior to the show, and that was a 100K gross show! Artists, or at least arts administrators, have to be planning 18 months to 2 years out. Amazing. We will apply again next year with a much better app.

In fact, we will apply to everything every year. We can run a great festival without fed money. Fed money is the difference between going to Boston and staying in a hostel, or staying in the host hotel for 139.99 US a night. Fed money is flights and not driving 10.5 hours in a van. Fed money is major marketing leading into the event. This year we are proceeding on NEMO without Fed money, and NEMO, our event organizer in the US, and everyone down there is basically comping us everything. Why? Because they believe that we will eventually commit with decent funding, hopefully in 2007. Watch this space for a NEMO update.

But we apply for everything every year because we are going to be the best damn new music event in Canada, and when Ministers and Deputy Ministers ask “why are we not more involved?” in a few years, I am going to say “because you turn us down every year” and send them a copy of my files…