RBCxMusic First Up Program Powered by MusiCounts - Program Header.png

The RBCxMusic First Up Program, Powered by MusiCounts, will offer a transformational professional development experience to 30 emerging artists and music professionals who represent the next generation of Canada’s music industry.

This program will equip its participants with the skills, connections, and industry insights needed to fuel fulfilling and sustainable careers in music. Through a months-long intensive workshop series, 1-1 mentorship sessions with industry leaders, paid performance opportunities and financial honoraria, this immersive opportunity is among the most comprehensive non-academic development programs for young music professionals in Canada.

Application Period

April 22 - May 14


Participants Confirmed & Introductory Sessions



Workshop Series & 1-1 Mentorship

Mid August - Early December

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Program Components

  1. Workshop Series: From mid-August to early December, participants will engage in weekly virtual sessions led by stakeholders in different areas of the music industry. Sessions will range from informational to interactive and will require participants to apply workshop content to their own creative projects and career planning.
  2. Mentorship: All program participants will have the opportunity to schedule several 1-1 mentorship sessions from a pool of curated industry professionals.
  3. Performance Opportunities: Program participants who are able to perform live will be able to participate in paid performance opportunities via RBCxMusic.

Time Commitment and Honoraria

Participation in this program will require approximately 6 hours each week over the course of 3-4 months. It is expected that each member of the cohort approaches this program with the seriousness of a job or gig. All participants who complete the program in full (as defined in a Participant Agreement) will receive an honorarium of $2,500 in December 2024.

For more details on the program, please see the Program Guidelines.

Who Can Apply

This program is intended for emerging music creators and professionals in Canada who demonstrate high potential, an early track record of success, an evidenced commitment to building a career in music, an eagerness to hone their craft, and an openness to leverage the new information and relationships offered through this program to advance their careers.

This program is intended to support emerging music creators (artists, instrumentalists, composers, and producers), and music professionals / entrepreneurs (managers, publishers, publicists, agents, promoters, etc.) between the ages of 19 and 35.

MusiCounts and RBCxMusic recognize that being an “emerging artist” in Canada is not a singular experience, but rather a journey with distinct stages. This program will have two streams aimed at engaging emerging artists and music professionals at two junctures in their career trajectory:

  1. Early Emerging: Artists and music professionals who are in the early stages of their careers, and show strong indicators of success and future potential. This includes artists and music professionals transitioning from music education programs and/or independent music projects to more active music careers.
  2. Early Career: Artists and music professionals who are active and established. They might have been already recognized by peers, the industry, and the general public but still have not been able to achieve their full potential or break on a national stage.

Approximately 15 participants per stream will be selected to participate in the program. Some of the program components will be tailored for participants in each stream, and some program components will bring together participants from both streams.

Selected applicants must be comfortable collaborating with fellow participants with different levels of experience across all subjects. Participants must be committed to creating a shared experience; the value of this program will not solely reside in the program contents, but in the exchanges and support between peers. Collaboration and community building will be cornerstones of this program.

For more details about program streams and eligibility, please see the Program Guidelines.

Application Support

If you have any questions about the application process or are unsure if this program is right for you, please email firstup@musicounts.ca.

Materials and resources