Q: WHO is this Bursary intended to support?

A:    It is intended to support youth from the Greater Toronto Area who are interested in, but who face financial barriers to, furthering their study or practice of traditional or folk music.

In more detail:

  • “Facing financial barriers”:  The SHINE Music Bursary is intended especially to support young people who face financial and/or other personal challenges which impede their ability to pursue their musical aspirations.  To be successful in applying for this bursary, therefore, the applicant must explain the nature of his/her challenges.
  • “Youth”:  The applicant must be 16 to 24 years of age in the calendar year of application.
  • “From the GTA”:   The applicant must currently reside in the Greater Toronto Area, or in one of the surrounding communities.
  • “Traditional or Folk music”:  In memory of Jim Fay, who was an avid folk musician, this bursary is meant to foster the continuing traditions of folk and related musical genres.  This includes traditional, folk, roots, Celtic, bluegrass, and singer-songwriter, to name a few. We support music which has been created using actual organic musical instruments. Classical music is not supported by this bursary, and nor is music which has been created by digital production, sampling or computer.
    So, if you’re currently writing songs to YouTube beats and you’re considering applying for this bursary, then you should consider recording your music sample accompanied by an actual instrument.
    Lyrics which promote violence, intolerance or negative stereotypes will not be supported.


Q:   Do I have to play an actual musical instrument?

A:   Yes… and No…

Yes:  This bursary is intended to support individuals who play an actual physical musical instrument in the traditional understanding of the word. Acceptable instruments include: strings, brass, woodwind, guitar, piano, etc. (Not considered for bursary support: digital production, sampling and other techniques of generating music by computer.)

…and No:  While proficiency with an actual musical instrument is a definite advantage, we also consider the human voice to be a musical instrument.


Q:    WHAT will I need to include in my application?

A:    In order to consider an applicant for the bursary, we must receive three things: a completed Application, a Letter of Reference, and a Music Sample

  1. Completed Application:
    • Off-line:you may either download an application form, then complete it and then submit it to us via email to bursaries@shineconcert.ca, or send us a hard copy via regular mail to: SHINE Music Bursary c/o 34 Indian Trail Toronto ON M6R 1Z7
    • Or, On-line:you may begin the on-line application process by clicking on the Apply Now button
  2. Letter of Reference:

Your Referrer(s) should download our Letter of Reference form. Please ask your Referrer(s) to use this form, because it contains guidelines that will help improve your chances of being selected for a bursary.  The Letter of Reference should be completed, signed, and submitted to us directly by your Referrer(s). They may send it in via email or via regular mail, to the addresses shown above.

You may provide more than one Letter of Reference. E.G. If you feel that one person knows your musical qualifications, while a separate person could speak to the reasons why you need financial support, then feel free to provide Letters of Reference from both.

Who should you ask to write your Letter of Reference? Any adult who knows you sufficiently well that they can credibly attest to the reasons why you deserve (as well as why you need) the financial support of this bursary.  Examples include: current or former teachers, guidance counselors, Child & Youth Workers, social workers, parole officers, spiritual leaders, or community leaders.

  1. Music Sample(s):

The Music Sample(s) must clearly show you performing on your instrument.

You may provide more than one Music Sample. Music samples in which you are a member of a musical group are acceptable provided that you and your instrument are clearly identifiable within the recording.

Music Samples may be submitted as links to Vimeo, YouTube, or other video- and music-sharing services. Music Samples may also be submitted as music files uploaded to our website in the on-line application or sent to us as email attachments. Music Samples may also be submitted on memory devices such as CD, DVD, USB flash drives, etc.

We do not require professional-quality recording for the Music Sample. Video recorded on phones or other hand-held devices is quite acceptable.  That being said, if you prefer to use a recording studio, then access is available at no cost at Sketch, located in the Artscape Youngplace at 180 Shaw Street, Suite 201, Toronto M6J 2W5,  416 516-1559, info@sketch.ca.


Q:    I have previously received a Shine Music bursary – can I apply again?
A:    Yes you may, but… In addition to fulfilling the requirements outlined above for first-time applicants, someone who has previously benefited from a Shine Music Bursary should also explain in their application the following three things:

  • how their previous bursary funds were used;
  • what progress they’ve made since receiving their previous award, and;
  • why he/she feels additional support is needed and merited