On Wednesday August 10, we joined the team at Mississauga Arts Council (@MissArtsCouncil) and Mississauga Music (@Mississauga_M) for an evening of talks focused on “Revenue Generation”. The event was emceed by company President Rohit Mehta, who brought together the partners to highlight the good work being done by artists to raise funds for their professional practice. 

Executive Director Mike Douglas (mississaugaartscouncil.com) opened the evening by facilitating a panel with 3 leading Mississauga artists – Colleen Snell @froginhand; Cathleen MacDonald (https://mpeproductions.ca/) and Sanna Wani @sannawani.

The panel spoke about artist grants and what it means to them. Cathleen noted, “Whenever I sit down to write the grant, it forces me to be creative. Its not just about defining this one project – its about your career, the impact on the audience, community, and the art world.”

As a past grant reviewer myself, I can attest that a jury member always has a unique perspective. Sana, who has jury experience, spoke about the competition among jury members and how the decisions cab be swayed by the experience of the grant jury, adding, “You could submit the exact same grant to a group of people and make the cut. The toughest [position to be in] is at the cut-off line.”

Later in the panel, Colleen encouraged artists in the room to consider the lengthy timelines of grant outcomes, by planning ahead. “Prepare yourself for how long it takes them to get back to you! Give yourself time to build in feedback, in case you fail, take the feedback and send it in again.”

After a networking break, the audience was treated to another panel hosted by Demetrius Nath of Mississauga Music (mississaugamusic.com/about).

Kendruh (@iamkendruh) shared her perspective on success, as a professional artist who just released her third single with over 100,000 views. “If you can pay your bills doing what you love them you’re successful”, she said.

Vivek Mehmi (@vivekmehmi) provided his insights on grants, having written and won a number of proposals as an artist, adding “Don’t expect to get your first grant. Have contingency plans, but be prepared. Write a business plan to understand what funding bodies want to hear. And see where your projects fit into your forecast of time.”

Mike Cannz (@mikecannz), who is planning his upcoming 10×10 Summer Jam Festival, reminded the audience about the importance of branding, “Don’t just create music, build a brand, build an audience and then build your business!”

Special thanks to Jeff Wessling and the team at West Edge Church for the venue and music, and to TD Culture Lab for their financial support of the evening.