Music Yukon to be independently reviewed

Yukon's Film and Sound Commission is looking to hire an independent expert to review its funding of Music Yukon.

Yukon’s Film and Sound Commission is looking to hire an independent expert to review its funding of Music Yukon.

That decision follows the discovery the nonprofit had mismanaged funds and owes the Department of Education $56,000.

The Outside review will look at the impact of the commission’s yearly contributions to Music Yukon, said commissioner Barbara Dunlop.

For each of the last six years, the department has doled out $50,000 to Music Yukon to help fund its resource centre and pay staff.

The department also handed additional money to the group on a project-by-project basis to help market Yukon artists.

The organization, which formed 11 years ago, advocates for musicians, offers workshops and provides a place for musicians to meet.

The Yukon Film and Sound Commission never had any concerns about the way the organization handled its money, said Dunlop.

It was only when new executive director Steve Gedrose raised a red flag last fall that the department took notice.

When Gedrose stepped into the position last year, he realized the group’s finances were wonky.

The nonprofit didn’t have the money to pay out the Cultural Training Industry Fund it had administered since 2004.

The fund, given out through the Department of Education, was counted on as another source of money for the nonprofit.

Each year the group was given $75,000 to review applicants and deliver money to artists and professionals to hone their skills. The deal was that Music Yukon would keep 15 per cent of that money as administration fees.

But last fall, Gedrose told the government there wasn’t enough money in the bank to pay those artists.

That money had instead been redirected into other projects and staffing, said Gedrose.

But the Film and Sound Commission never noticed financial problems with the group, even though it did quarterly reviews, said Dunlop.

“Each of the contribution agreements we provided to Music Yukon were appropriately reported on,” she said.

The commission only froze the group’s funding after learning about the debt owed the Department of Education.

In the meantime, the commission is offering the group $15,000 to tide it over until an outside expert has reviewed the organization.

The money will go to funding the executive director’s salary, she said.

Music Yukon has long struggled to stay financially viable, said Gedrose and board president Grant Simpson.

The funding structure, which asks Music Yukon to match the government funding it receives, isn’t tailored to an organization that doesn’t make a profit.

Last year’s funding shortfall speaks to the need for more funding for the group, said Gedrose.

Music Yukon plays an important role in the territory by stimulating the economy and showcasing Yukon talent, he said.

An economic impact assessment done in 2006 found that Yukon’s music industry contributed $2.79 million dollars to the territory’s $1.5-billion GDP.

“It’s a healthy organization with lots of accomplishments,” said Simpson.

“When you consider what’s been done over the last 11 years, it’s pretty incredible.”

The organization is planning to pay off its debt over the next few years and is optimistic the independent review of the organization will go well, he said.

That review is expected to take place this fall.

The Department of Education did not return calls for interviews.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on Jan. 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Developer asks for zoning change

Would reduce the number of required parking spaces

The Liard First Nation is preparing to enter negotiations for self-governance with the territorial and federal governments. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
Liard First Nation preparing to enter self-governance negotiations with Yukon, federal governments

Chief Stephen Charlie seeking an agreement separate from “dead end” UFA

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Jan. 20, 2021

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Most Read