The province launches the Quebec policy of music in buildings

Quebec Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy speaks at a press conference on June 10, 2021 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jacques Boissinot

MONTREAL – Don’t expect to hear Drake’s “Hotline Bling” the next time you’re on hold with the Quebec government.

From now on, only the music of Quebec artists will be broadcast in provincial government buildings and on telephone lines, with particular emphasis on French-speaking artists. The announcement came Sunday from Quebec Minister of Culture Nathalie Roy.

“The days of royalty-free elevator music are over,” Roy said at a press conference.

The policy change comes after Roy found herself “shocked” to hear an American singer chirp in English while on hold with the ministry she heads.

This decision, which takes effect immediately, aims to promote local artists and generate more income in their own way.

The new rules specify that 90 percent of music with lyrics must be in French, while 10 percent should be in English or indigenous languages, the minister’s office said.

The SAQ and Loto-Québec branches are among those affected by the measure, which excludes events and concerts.

Solange Drouin, general manager of the main music trade group in the province, the Association québécoise de l’Industrie du Record, du Spectacle et de Video, said she hoped that “this is just the beginning and that others in the private sector will follow suit. ”

The government is also investing $ 1.1 million in a program to boost local musicians and singers who produced music during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roy said.

The Listen to My Album campaign, produced in conjunction with the professional group, will consist of 80 television and Web episodes featuring Quebec artists.

Interviews and musical excerpts will accompany the clips as part of a measure put forward in the economic recovery plan for the cultural sector launched by the government in early spring.

“The objective of the project is to introduce the general public to dozens of Quebec albums released during the pandemic and which are about to come to life on stage,” said Drouin.

The largest Quebec television broadcasters, including Ici Radio-Canada Télé, TVA and Noovo, will participate in the campaign.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 20, 2021.

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