One of the biggest topics of conversation at the Juno Awards and all the surrounding Juno events was that Canadian music funding from the government is in jeopardy.
On March 31, 2005, the Department of Canadian Heritage's contract with FACTOR (The Foundation To Assist Canadian Talent On Record) expires, and without this program being renewed, the Canadian music industry is in serious jeopardy. This expiration of funds will affect absolutely every facet of the music industry in Canada.
During the on-air broadcast of the Juno Awards artist after artist thanked FACTOR for their support and sported "Save Canadian Music" buttons. Helene Scherrer, minister of Canadian Heritage, pledged she would do everything in her power to "continue funding for many years to come."
"Without stabilized funding many great albums won't be recorded; domestic and international tours will often be impossible," states FACTOR. "Canadian music won't be showcased and supported internationally to the degree it is today. And then there's the trickle down effect that includes recording studios and engineers, video producers and directors, agents and managers, independent labels, publicists and publishers, concert promoters and club venues from coast to coast, cd manufacturers and distributors, live production companies and crews, vehicle rental companies, hotel and accommodation providers, equipment manufacturers and retail music stores."
FACTOR is the launch pad of tomorrow's stars. It's the place where an artist can receive a solid ground starting point and where they can enhance their budgets drastically on marketing and promotion, touring, recording, press kits, small business development and the list continues. In the Canadian music scene, approximately 60% of professional artists have received funding through FACTOR at some point in their career, and 49% of this years Juno nominees are funding recipients.
"A group of industry peers have rallied together to see what they can do about convincing the new Liberal Government to continue the funding. A web site www.savecanadianmusic.com has been designed to give Canadian music fans the tools to get involved. It provides information on how to contact local MPs, the stats on what FACTOR gives to the music industry and what the committee is committing to do. There is also a discussion form where everyone is welcome to put his or her two cents in.
"Not an easy task, but the music industry committed," states FACTOR. "Guaranteed this is not a hot topic of conversation or debate in city halls or on Parliament Hill at this present time. The goal is to ensure that the government is at least aware of this serious issue and through seeing how the community has rallied together, hopefully realize that stabilized funding for FACTOR programs is an absolute necessity to maintain a healthy and viable music industry in Canada."
Here is a list of some of the funds that FACTOR contributes to the Canadian music industry:
Total applications submitted – 3214 year 2002-2003 – total amount req: $40,127,827
Total applications approved – 1409 – total amount offered – $13,940,278
Direct Board Approval Program – $2,744,974
FACTOR loans – $675,310
Independent Artist Recording Loan – $420,167
Artist Demo Grants – $552,389
Publishers and Songwriter Grants – $78,5000
Video Grants – $406,062
Total audio production: $4,471,339
Direct Board Video Grants – $848,912
Total Video Production: $1,254,975
Marketing Independent Artist Grants – $132,565
Marketing Factor Loan Grant – $221,126
Marketing Independent Loan Grant – $20,000
Marketing FACTOR Loans – $63,320
Marketing Direct Board Grant – $1,129,486
Total Marketing Loans and Grants – $1,566,496
Domestic Showcase Grants – $281,098
International Showcase Grant – $284,947
Domestic Tour Grants – $989,628
International Tour Grants – $1,109,630
Total Tours and Showcases – $2,665,304
Domestic and International Business Development – $555,663
Label, Manager and Distributor Bus Dev. – $512,971
Business Development Grant – $1,233,130
Songwriter Workshop Grant – $7,902
Radio Marketing Fund – $1,672,497