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date: 09 July 2020


  • Scott Henderson


Canadian content regulations for commercial radio that were enacted in 1971. These introduced a requirement for commercial AM stations to play a percentage of Canadian songs each day, including set percentages for prime listening hours to prevent stations from limiting Canadian tracks to less lucrative overnight hours. Subsequent regulations have been put in place for FM stations with some flexibility on the established percentages based on the mandate of each licensee. For mainstream, commercial radio, the percentage was established at 25% in 1971 and then increased to 30% in 1986 and to 35% in 1998. The 1986 extension of Cancon to Canada’s music video television station, Much Music, gave Canadian acts a national presence as opposed to the more regional impact of regulations on local radio.

Songs that qualified as Canadian under the Cancon regulations had to meet a minimum of two of four key criteria: music must be composed entirely by a Canadian, the artist must be Canadian, production must take place in Canada, and lyrics must be composed entirely by a Canadian. The system is commonly referred to by the acronym MAPL; pronounced Maple to ensure an added Canadian “flavor.” This designation led to controversy in ...

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