Frequently Asked Questions
What is Unison?
The Unison Fund is a registered Canadian non-profit that provides counselling, emergency financial support and other resources for those in the Canadian music community who face personal or professional challenges due to hardship, illness, or economic difficulties.
How does Unison use my information?
Any use of Unison’s programs or services is confidential.
How do I register?
You can register to access Unison benefits here: https://unisonfund.ca/register
Who can register for Unison?
The Unison Fund is open to all Canadian music industry professionals.
Certain financial programs and services may have additional eligibility requirements.
How much does it cost?
It’s free. Registering for Unison couldn’t be easier. No fees. No dues. Just fill in your information, hit submit — you’re done
What does a registration include?
Registering for Unison provides access to counselling & health solutions, as well as resources to assist with the financial and emotional burden of unforeseen emergencies and illness, in three key areas:
Mental Health Services: Through confidential support services, eligible Canadian music workers can access qualified professionals, who are able to provide counselling and other resources to support individuals and their immediate family members.
Health Services: Financial support during medical emergencies and preventive services, such as dental and medical screenings, hearing clinics and assistance obtaining low-cost health insurance.
Human Services: Unison will provide emergency financial support to Canadian music workers recovering from an illness, injury or other circumstances that resulted in an inability to work, or severe economic or personal hardship. Support for basic living expenses, groceries, rent, and emergency medical situations, plus programs supporting senior services.
You can learn more about how we provide support at the links below:
COUNSELLING & HEALTH SOLUTIONS
What counselling & health solutions are available through Unison?
What is Telus Health (formerly LifeWorks)?
Telus Health (formerly LifeWorks) offers support with mental, financial, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
The Unison Fund offers a toll-free number 1-855-9UNISON (1-855-986-4766) to confidentially connect Canadian music professionals with resources and support for personal and practical issues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Individuals experiencing a crisis situation can speak to a counsellor immediately by calling 1-855-9UNISON (1-855-986-4766).
Telus Health’s (formerly LifeWorks) counselling is flexible, short-term, solution-focused, and geared towards the specific individual needs.
Topics including but not limited to:
o Stress & Life Management
o Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Loss, Anger, & Violence
o Relationships, Life Changes, Family Matters, Parenting
o Substance Abuse, Addictions, Smoking Cessation
o Career Support & Resiliency Coaching
o Pre-Retirement Planning (Lifestyle Planning)
o Personal Traumatic Events
3 easy ways to connect with Telus Health (Formerly Lifeworks):
Telus Health makes it easy. Call them, go online, or download their app to access information and resources.
- By toll-free number: 1-855-9UNISON (1-855-986-4766). This service is confidential, you can call any time, 24/7, 365 days a year, to speak with an advisor. A caring, professional member of the team will help you talk through your concerns and help you find solutions.
- Online at the-unison-fund.lifeworks.com: In addition to telephonic support, you have access to a personalized online network providing a variety of resources, tools and features for Canadian music workers and their immediate families.
General login credentials are below. Use the general login to take a look around, once logged in if you wish to use some of these tools you’ll be prompted to create a personal account:
User ID: unisonfund PW: eap
Eligible dependent family members can also access the platform. Each registered Unison user can invite their family members by clicking their Profile, select Family and Invite Family Members.
- By free mobile app for iOS or Android: Access support and resources on the go from your smartphone. Need to connect with a consultant? With the app, you can call us with just one tap.
For more info about Telus Health’s services, please visit the Counselling & Health Solutions page.
Before you access Telus Health (formerly LifeWorks), please make sure you are registered with Unison.
What is Togetherall?
Togetherall offers a 24/7 online community of like-minded individuals where people can share experiences and offer insight to their peers in a safe, anonymous space moderated by clinical professionals. And, if sharing isn’t your thing, Togetherall has tools and courses to help you look after yourself, along with plenty of resources to explore.
Resources are free for our registered users (aged 16+) to use while offering a safe, anonymous, judgment-free space.
Before you register with Togetherall, please make sure you are registered with Unison.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS
What funding opportunities does Unison offer?
The Unison Fund currently offers two (2) financial support programs, both requiring that you’ve earned a minimum of 55% of your income from music.
- Unison’s Emergency Financial Support Program was created to support Canadian music workers who have worked a minimum of 5 consecutive years in the Canadian music industry and who are facing an emergency situation.
The Emergency Financial Support Program exists to help music industry professionals in times of emergency. This program prioritizes medical support and basic living expenses. Extenuating circumstances will also be considered on a case by case basis based on available funds.
If an applicant is eligible, they will be required to provide documents such as a hospital or doctor’s note, Notice of Assessment for most recent tax return, incident report, utility service suspension notice, proof of overdue rent, rental agreement, eviction notice, etc. to show proof of an emergency situation.
NOTE: All approved support will be paid directly to a creditor/third party (e.g. landlord, medical supplier, etc.). Financial support will NOT be sent directly to applicants.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply, please email us to discuss your individual situation at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Slaight Family Foundation Legacy Program was created to support veterans of the Canadian music community, as well as those who are coping with unexpected or chronic illness.
The Legacy Program is targeted at those who are finding it difficult to maintain an adequate standard of living, are in need of constant or emergent medical intervention, and those who are struggling with mental health issues.
Applicants who have been contributing to Canada’s music community for a minimum of 10 years and are over the age of 60 and/or are coping with unexpected or chronic illness are eligible.
If you believe you are eligible for this program, please complete the Emergency Financial Support Program eligibility form on the Unison portal. We will review and contact you if your eligibility for the Legacy Program is confirmed. Alternatively, if you require assistance with the application process, please contact the Program Manager at 416-479-0675 ext. 106 or by email at email@example.com
What Unison’s financial support programs do not provide
Unison is not intended to address needs created by unemployment, ongoing debt, or long-term or recurring situations. Unison does not have funding available to help people working through the impacts of pandemic. Unison provides financial support for crisis situations only. It is expected that applicants will make all reasonable efforts to seek other resources, such as looking for work outside the entertainment industry, seeking financial counseling, and applying for government benefits.
When financial support is provided by Unison, it is charitable in nature and therefore, before seeking such support, applicants are required to investigate all other possible sources of aid. All approved support is paid directly to a creditor/third party. At its sole discretion, Unison reserves the right to deny or approve financial support.
Unison does not provide financial support for business related expenses. If you are looking for work related support, please reach out to your local music provincial association for guidance on what funding is available both provincially and nationally.
Is financial support available to music workers across all provinces in Canada?
Applicants to Unison’s Financial Support Programs must hold the following work statues to be eligible to apply:
- Canadian Citizen
- Permanent Resident
- Work Permit
Applicants must reside in Canada a minimum of 6 months out of the year and also:
- Have a Canadian bank account
- Pay Canadian taxes
Applicants must provide valid government-issued photo ID.
When applicable, must provide a copy of your work permit.
What’s the difference between registering and applying for financial support?
- Registering simply gives you access to our free counselling & health solution services and signs you up to our mailing list.
- Applying for financial support is a separate step that requires you to meet specific eligibility requirements and fill out additional information, by submitting an application.
How many times can I apply?
Multiple applications from the same applicant are allowed. Annual funding limits apply regardless of how many applications are submitted.
EMERGENCY FINANCIAL SUPPORT APPLICATION PROCESS
Where do I start? / What to expect
- You can start by registering on our online portal. Register here
- Once you’ve received an email confirming your registration, you can then login to the online portal.
- Click Funding Opportunities and then click Apply next to the Emergency Financial Support program to start your application.
- Complete the eligibility form and click Submit Eligibility
- The Unison Programs & Services team will review your eligibility form and contact you with the results.
- If eligible, you will be asked to log back in to provide further information within the same application.
- Once saved and submitted you will receive confirmation with a copy of your application.
- You will receive notice from the financial support team should any further information be required and/or when a decision has been made with regards to your application for financial support.
What is a CV?
A Curriculum Vitae, or CV, is a comprehensive document displaying key moments in your career. It includes your educational background and work history. CVs can include multiple pages and are organized by clear headings for easy skimming. For the purpose of demonstrating that you meet the eligibility criteria for any of Unison’s financial support programs, your CV will need to include information that clearly demonstrates that you have worked in the music industry for at least five years, and that during that period of time the majority of your income was earned from your activity in the music sector.
Your CV may include:
– A summary of your role in the music industry
– Your educational background (university, college, workshops, private study, work placements, internships, apprenticeships, etc)
– What work you did, when, and for how long broken down clearly by date
– Your writing and recording credits if applicable
– Your performance history, including venues and dates, if applicable
– Your professional website and social media accounts
– Links to articles about your work in the music industry that mention you by name
– Professional references (contact information of individuals or organizations that you have worked with that can verify your work history)
How do I prove my work history?
It is necessary that Unison has a clear understanding of each applicant’s work history in the music industry to demonstrate their eligibility for funding. Material that will prove your eligibility for financial support will depend on your role in the music sector. Some examples of documents that will help to prove your eligibility are, based on various roles:
- List of past/future tour dates (for example: PDF of tour posters or tour section of website)
- Contracts, agreements or other materials from booking agent or venues
- Letter of employment from venue (this is ideal for those who have contracts or residencies performing at venues such as pubs, clubs, hotels, etc. on a long term/regular basis)
- Client list
- Letter of employment
- Client List
(in roles such as agent, publicist, label employee/owner, venue employee/owner, etc.)
- Work history (list of employers and relevant years)
- Letter of employment
- Client list
- Description of courses you teach and the relevant years
- Professional website and social media accounts
What are accepted professional music-related links?
In order to better illustrate your career we do request that applicants send us professional social media accounts, websites, articles, tours/shows, etc. that help to illustrate your career in the Canadian music industry.
Here are some examples of what to send,
- Professional official websites
- Electronic Press Kits (EPK’s)
- Business Instagram
- Facebook Page
- Bandsintown/Songkick link with past/upcoming dates
- Spotify (or other streaming service) verified artist profiles
- Discography pages i.e. discogs.com, allmusic.com, etc.
How do I contact Unison about my application?
Please use the Notes section within the application portal to send messages to the Unison team.
- Open your application at https://unison.smartsimple.ca
- Look for “Notes” located in the left sidebar
- Look for the note type, and select “Note To Unison Fund”
- Click the + sign, type message and save.
Please also use this section to check for responses from the Unison team.
I can’t use the online application portal, what should I do?
If you’re unable to use a computer, are having difficulty signing in or any other technical difficulties, or if you require accommodations related to a disability, please contact the Program Manager at 416-479-0675 ext. 106 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are applications reviewed?
Applications are reviewed by our Programs & Services team based on the stated priorities of the program and subject to available funds. If revisions are necessary, you will be notified in the portal and by email.
If revisions have been requested to your application
Please login to your account here to modify the application in the “IN PROGRESS” section.
We have created this step-by-step video on how to make your revisions.
Press “Save Draft” to save your progress. Once all required updates have been made, press “Submit Revisions”. This will lock your application and notify Unison staff that your application is ready to be reviewed again.
When will I find out if I have been approved?
Unison strives to review and process applications as quickly as possible, however review time depends on the volume of applications at the time of submission and the complexity of your application. Your prompt response to a revision request will ensure that we can complete processing your application in a timely manner.
When approved – what to expect
Once approved you will be issued a funding agreement via email. Please read and follow the instructions to agree to the terms provided. Payment to third parties will not occur until the applicant has completed this step.
Login to https://unison.smartsimple.ca and follow these steps to review and accept your funding agreement:
- Click Pending Acceptance, in the Funding Agreements section.
- Click Open to open your funding agreement.
- Follow the prompts to the page to review and accept your funding agreement.
Payments will be paid directly to the confirmed applicable vendors associated with your application and situation.
Will financial support from Unison affect my eligibility for other government programs?
Your receipt of any government funding at any level does not affect your eligibility for Unison’s financial support, and acceptance of Unison financial support does not affect your eligibility to access government funding at any level. Unison funding is considered to be a “gift” and it’s not required for you to report it as income on your tax return.
SUPPORT FOR UNISON
How can I donate for Unison?
You can find more information on how to make a charitable tax-deductible donation here.
How else can I support Unison?
You can support Unison for free by:
- Sharing information about the organization on your socials. Check out our Toolkit where you can find logos, social assets, and more.
- Creating a Facebook birthday fundraiser campaign to raise money for Unison.
- Highlighting Unison as your Artist Fundraising Pick on your Spotify page.
- Talking about Unison amongst your peers & at events
How do I sign up to the newsletter?
The Unison Fund sends monthly emails about new program offerings, fundraising events and health and wellness news specifically tailored for music industry professionals. Please sign up here: https://unisonfund.ca/subscription
Your commitment to Unison
We require applicants to be honest with us and our agencies, in all regards, at all times. We also ask that you be patient with us as we move your application through the process. Please wait to hear from us directly about any updates.
Unison has a zero-tolerance policy against any form of abuse or harassment, and any applicant who utters threats or is disrespectful towards our staff will be deemed ineligible for Unison programs and services. We ask you to remain respectful towards our staff.