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Province launches Quebec-only music policy in government buildings, phone lines

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

MONTREAL — Quebec says only music by provincial artists will now be played in government buildings and on phone lines, with particular emphasis on French-language performers.

Culture Minister Nathalie Roy says the move, which takes effect immediately, aims to promote local artists and channel more revenue their way.

Roy says “the days of royalty-free elevator music are over” after she found herself “shocked” to hear an American singer warbling in English while she was on hold with the Ministry of Culture.

The ministry says that for music with lyrics, 90 per cent must be in French while 10 per cent should be in English or Indigenous languages.

Roy says 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.

The Ecoute mon album campaign, carried out in concert with the Quebec recording association trade group, will consist of 80 television and web clips featuring Quebec artists.

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

The Canadian Press