Two big CHANGES AT FACTOR
by Tim Brady
Three years ago, Canadian Heritage terminated the “Specialized Sound Recording” grants program. At the time, Canadian Heritage minister James Moore said: “We already have programs in place – turn to FACTOR and Musicaction” – just don’t ask the Canada Council for the Arts anymore.
Musicaction is FACTOR’s francophone counterpart. They already had some initiatives to help record new music, but FACTOR had almost nothing.
So we started meeting with FACTOR’s president and staff in Toronto and Montreal; we invited their vice-president to our FORUM 2012; we met with MPs and the senior management at Canadian Heritage; we organized conference calls, and so on.
Now, three years later, FACTOR has added a “Specialized/Experimental” category to its structure, and they will create a jury specifically for this music. There isn’t more money for the records though, but at least the application review process has been improved. Futhermore, FACTOR is interested in sponsoring the CNMN’s next edition of FORUM, Calgary 2014. Relations between our community and FACTOR – a major grantor – have significantly improved.
They saw us as a serious interlocutor because we represent THE WHOLE community. I estimate the cost of adding 2 (crucial!) words on a form at 100 hours of work and $1,000 in travel expenses. I see it as a victory – a small one, but a victory nonetheless. So, it seems that the CNMN’s mission – to make changes for the new music community – is working out on a concrete level.
FACTOR is changing how it funds recordings, and how submissions are evaluated.
This is an even bigger change. These changes are primarily in response to the very rapid death of the commercial music industry thanks to MP3s/iTunes/YOUTUBE (though our voices have had their effect on these issues as well). It seems that all but the biggest acts (Justin Beiber and company) are losing money — even mid-sized rock and indie bands can’t sell records or make money theses days. But this change will affect us, and possibly for the better.
- The application process is being made all paperless, much more user-friendly (multiple users), and updateable.
— Unit Sales will no longer be the only way to get money for Touring, Video and other programs
— Moving to an Artist Rating, peer-assessment system
— Funding will now be a subsidy (grant) – NOT a loan
Contact FACTOR for more information. We strongly suggest that you also contact FACTOR to ask to be put on the “Specialized/Experimental” music jury list – visit this page for more information.