Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund Announced to Support Music Docs

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind was a hit at Hot Docs 2019

By Pat Mullen

Hot Docs hits another high note with the announcement of a new fund to support music documentaries. The festival released news today of the creation of the Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund. The initiative was made possible through a gift of $450,000 from The Slaight Family Foundation.

The Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund is the first fund devoted exclusively towards the development and production of Canadian music documentaries. The fun supports both documentaries that celebrate Canadian musicians and homegrown docs that spotlight international artists. Music docs generally serve as the most popular selections among audiences at festivals, theatrical screenings, and at-home viewing. Their accessible quality, as well as popular appeal, also means that music docs can bridge new audiences for documentary. Recent editions of Hot Docs have seen the Audience Award bestowed upon music docs like Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World and Muscle Shoals with films like Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind, Long Time Running, and The Road Forward among recent Canadian hits at festivals as well.

The annual fund will support three to five Canadian documentaries through awards ranging from $15,000 to $60,000. Both shorts and feature docs are eligible. Canadian co-productions may also apply. The fund provides both creative and development support.

“Music docs are perhaps the most popular genre with audiences at our cinema and festival. We’re so pleased to join forces with The Slaight Family Foundation to establish this new fund, and to support these visionary filmmakers sharing incredible stories of the musicians and musical styles that have influenced them and touched the world with their artistry,” said Chris McDonald, president of Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “The Slaight Family Foundation has had a remarkable impact on the healthcare, social services, arts and culture communities in this country, and we are proud to partner with them on this important new initiative.”

“I learned the important role music plays in our lives through my father, Allan Slaight. It is fitting that our foundation is able to partner with Hot Docs in the creation of this fund that will document our music history across Canada and leave a lasting legacy for future generations to learn from,” said Gary Slaight, president & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation, in a statement.

Applications for the Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund open on June 3 and close on July 29, 2020. Please visit for more information.