The Canada Council for the Arts created its Musical Instrument Bank in 1985 to acquire exceptional stringed instruments to lend to gifted established professional musicians or young professional musicians about to embark on or at the beginning of an international solo or chamber music career. The musicians who receive these instruments play them throughout the loan period in concerts around the world and in recordings.
Eligible professional Canadian musicians are:
- Talented young musicians of great potential, who have begun or are about to embark on an international solo or chamber music career
- Mid-career or established musicians who already have an international solo or chamber music career, and who are in a key period with regard to career development
- All applicants must demonstrate that having a fine stringed instrument or bow at this point in their development will provide a major boost to their career and (or) enable them to move to the next level in their career.
- Be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Agree to maintain permanent resident status in Canada for the term of the loan, unless the Canada Council agrees otherwise
- Have completed their basic training in music (university graduation or the equivalent in specialized training)
- Have a history of public presentation of their work
- Be recognized as professional musicians by other artists in their field
- Have submitted any outstanding final or annual report related to a previous Canada Council for the Arts grant or Musical Instrument Bank loan.
The holder of a Canada Council instrument may compete in one subsequent competition for renewal of the loan of the same instrument, if the instrument is available for renewal. After two terms with one instrument, a musician may compete for the loan of another instrument. (Note: The maximum a musician may hold an instrument is 12 years, for four loans of three years.)
Applicants to Musical Instrument Bank competitions and holders of instruments may also apply to one other Canada Council for the Arts Grants to Professional Artists program as well as a travel grant in the same fiscal year.
This Canada Council program is accessible to Aboriginal artists and artists of diverse cultural and regional communities of Canada.
Assessment of Applications
Applications are assessed by a peer assessment committee composed of experienced professional musicians or other peers who are selected for their expertise in classical and contemporary string repertoire, technique and understanding of career development dynamics. Members are also chosen to ensure fair representation of gender, the two official languages, and the various regions and cultures of Canada. The committee may include an international expert.
The committee evaluates all applications in a national competitive context and selects the finalists, who will be invited to a live audition and interview (held from 21 to 24 September 2009 in Toronto). A number of finalists will be selected, based on the artistic quality of their recorded performance and on the rest of their support material (see Part B of the application form). Finalists must be prepared to discuss their career plans during the audition, describing how having an exceptional instrument or bow from the Musical Instrument Bank at this point in their career would help them achieve their goals and (or) bring their career to the next level.
The repertoire categories for the live auditions will be the same as those for the pre-selection, but finalists may choose new pieces. Finalists will play solo works or solo works with piano accompaniment at the auditions.
Selection criteria include artistic excellence of the applicants’ playing, their professional career potential, and their ability to take full advantage of Canadian and international professional engagements during the loan period. The latter two points will be assessed from the written support material, as well as at the
in-person interview during the live audition process.
The live auditions will be held in Toronto from 21 to 24 September 2009. Finalists will receive a Canada Council travel grant of up to $1,000, depending on where they live, to help them travel to the auditions. Finalists will be responsible for covering any additional travel and accommodation costs and for making their own arrangements. The Canada Council will send finalists information on travel and funding available.
Application Guidelines and Form
2009 Competition Musical Instrument Bank can be downloaded here. This application form can be printed; it cannot be completed online.
Janet Riedel Pigott
Endowments and Prizes
Canada Council for the Arts
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa ON K1P 5V8
Telephone: 1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 4116
TTY (TDD) machine, for hearing-impared callers: 613-565-5194