In the past, the only way independent artists such as musicians could succeed would be to sign with a label that handled marketing and promotion. In the current digital age, artists need to learn those promotional skills themselves.
“You need to have that broader reach. You need to be able to put something out there, but actually tell people why it’s important, why they should be interested in it. It’s not just all about raw talent anymore,” said Emma New, CCC’s social media co-ordinator and co-ordinator for SMMART.
The program is being announced at a time when traditional revenue streams for artists are less reliable. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to exhibitions and concert tours, many Saskatchewan artists have lost a valuable source of income.
“I actually know a few artists who essentially went back to a day job that they don’t normally have, because they’re usually busy with touring and doing performances and recording, and they’re able to make enough of a living off of that,” said Lenton-Young.
Even before the pandemic, more musicians were beginning to make a go of earning a living online. That’s only been accelerated now, with artists putting on performances through Facebook Live videos and using digital tip jars to allow their fans to support them.
The pandemic has changed some of the ways the course will be delivered. Initially, the plan was for artists to come together at a hotel. The programming will now be delivered over video calls through Zoom. New said in some ways the revised plan may be beneficial, since artists are now being split into groups and are receiving training that is tailored to their sector.
This content was originally published here.