Personal finances

How Does Unison's Financial Assistance Program Work?

Posted by Robyn McGrenere on October 20, 2019
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Unison's Financial Assistance program supports members of the Canadian Music Community in times of crisis. This short-term financial assistance is available for anything from medical costs to general living expenses. Assistance funds vary for each member’s situation and the amount granted is based on a formal application and evaluation process.


Anyone who has earned 55% of their income from music-related activity for a minimum of 2 consecutive years is considered a music industry professional and is therefore eligible for Unison’s Financial Assistance program. Additionally, those retired, or over the age of 65, who earned at least 55% of their income from work as a music industry professional are also eligible for the program. Roles and professions of a music industry professional include, but are not limited to, musician/artist, promoter, road technician, talent buyer, and distributor.


To apply for short-term financial assistance, applicants must provide detailed financial status and history, professional background, details of why the assistance is being requested, as well as two references. The completely confidential program is comprised of an anonymous committee who volunteer their time to help music-makers improve their lives.


When a member of our music community reaches out to Unison for help, their first point of contact is our Director of Allocations & Services, who guides them through each step of the process. The individual's situation is brought forward to the Allocations Committee as a case number. No personal information is divulged.


The Allocations Committee finds the best possible solution to the applicant's situation, and makes recommendations for what to do next. If an applicant is approved for the Financial Assistance program, they will, based on their individual case, be provided with emergency financial assistance and/or financial, career or personal counselling.


We would like to extend our gratitude to the Allocations Committee, whose discretion and kindness has allowed Unison to help hundreds of Canadian music-makers. Because of their tireless efforts, music-makers are able to receive assistance with rent payments, groceries, dental costs, and more in times of need.


If you, or someone you know, could benefit from emergency financial assistance, please reach out to Unison. Contact assistance@unisonfund.ca to begin the application process. To learn more, please click here.