The Haliburton County Folk Society (HCFS) says it’s created a new musical subsidy program for County residents.

In a July 17 news release, it said the purpose of the program is to support and maintain the Haliburton Highlands vibrant music community during COVID-19.

The implementation of the program enables local musicians to use their downtime effectively by supporting them to enhance their performance skills, while providing an income for selected instructors, the society said.

“Subsidies are available to local artists who may appreciate financial assistance to pursue their musical training and knowledge,” the society said, adding that training may include, but is not limited to, instrumental, vocal, song-writing, performance presentation and music technology.

“Each musician is able to evaluate their own personal needs and select the instructor who can assist them with their development. All forms of physicallydistanced instruction will be considered and may include instructors who do not live in Haliburton County. Recommendation of appropriate instructors can be requested but the final decision rests in the performer’s hands,” the society said.

Subsidies will cover up to 80 per cent of costs. The applicant is free to propose any qualified professional instructor.

Applications will be open until Aug. 15. Anyone interested in applying for a subsidy is encouraged to complete the application form found on haliburtonfolk. com. Questions can be directed to: haliburtonfolk@gmail.com.

“The closure of performance venues has severely impaired the ability of performing artists to earn a living and taken away a source of pleasure and relaxation for the listening audience,” the society said last Friday.

The HCFS has risen to the challenge, launching a successful online concert series that provided a source of revenue for artists and in-home listening pleasure for the public. A series of concerts was livestreamed from the Dominion Hotel.

As the community opens back up, the HCFS said it continues to look for innovative ways to support musicians while enhancing the vibrancy of the community.

The society said additional programs to support musicians and the listening public are in development and will be announced in the near future.

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